Thinking of switching to cable from satellite... questions

cparker

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I have Frontier DSL for internet. 12Mb/s and also for phone.
I have DirecTV

Satellite bill about $125 a month
Phone/Internet bill about $90 a month.

So about $215 for phone/internet/TV

Time Warner has a bundle with phone/internet (50Mb/s)/and their "Preferred" TV package (200+ channels) for $109 for a year. It always bugs me when they don't tell you what it will cost after that first year, but....whatever.

Questions:
1.) I'm in the Buffalo, NY market. Will I be able to watch all the Sabres games with Time Warner?
2.) How is the phone service?
3.) I don't want to use their cable bo:mad:es). I have 3 TVs. Was thinking of buying a pair of Tivo Bolts.... and configure one with a cable card for recording off cable....and the other will be hooked up to antenna. Then get a Tivo Mini for the TV in the kitchen. I would seriously look at not using their modem as well.
---- So... if I don't use their cable boxes will they credit me for not using them? Even within a bundle?

If I could find the Sabres games steamed... I might just get cable internet and use Sling. Their packages have all the channels we watch for far less than cable or satellite.

Thoughts and input appreciated.
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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Going to Roadrunner alone may cut your voice and data by a big chunk. Cable phone service is usually not the most cost effective form of VOIP.

Expect the bundle price to go up anywhere from 40-100% after the honeymoon.
 
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osu1991

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Sep 4, 2004
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If you're thinking Tivo, I would jump on one of the sales that end today at Tivo.com.

https://www.tivo.com/Cyber2016Monday#/Cyber2016Monday

Roamio Pro that is cable only dvr with 6 tuners 3T drive $499 includes lifetime service or there are sales on the Bolt with monthly, yearly or all in lifetime service too.

They have a great deal on the Refurbished Roamio OTA antenna only version for $199 that includes lifetime service. Normally $369-$399 for a Roamio OTA

I have 4 Roamios split between my homes and my parents. 3 Basic's that are on Cox cable and one OTA at my lake house. 4 mini's too. They work great and love the commercial skip mode.
 

EarDemon

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Dec 5, 2014
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I live in the Buffalo market, but my TWC cable service is from the Rochester division. I have the full slate of services from TWC, along with DirecTV for backup, and for NFL ST, NHL CI and MLB EI. DirecTV is the sports leader and no one can compare.

1) Yes, Time Warner carries all Buffalo Sabres games. We have the new MSG Western NY feed which includes extra content like The John Murphy Show, the Bills Postgame Show, and some other original content that is not shown on DirecTV's game only 635-1 MSG alt channel. There is also the low budget Time Warner Sports Channel that airs Rochester American's games, some Bandits games, and does simulcasts of WPIX when the Mets aren't broadcasting on SNY and simulcast Knicks games when the Sabres and the Knicks are on at the same time.

2) The phone service for me has been for the most part extremely reliable. You will lose the service if the power goes out though. If your signal levels get out of whack you will have problems. I once had intermittent connectivity problems when it was discovered there was water in my lines that caused the upstream levels to spike hot at 57-58 dB, when you want to be at ~38-52 dB, ideally at 42-44. The call quality is supurb. The first thing I noticed when I ported over from Verizon was voice sounded richer. Calling features like selective call block, anonymous call rejection and no more robo, have dramatically cut down the junk calls. Caller ID on TV and Caller ID on PC are great features as well. Also the standard phone package includes calling to Canada, Mexico, China, all of the EU counties and maybe a few others if that matters.

3) No idea about TiVos. Not a fan of TiVo at all. I have a standard two tuner DVR (Cisco 8742) and a six tuner DVR (Cisco 9865). I doubt you'll be given credit if you use your own hardware, if the TWC provided HW is included in the bundled rate, and you'll have to pay a few dollars for the cable cards. The modem rental fee is $10. When the new Spectrum Plans are introduced in the February, if you opt for one, there will be no modem lease fee. Personally I've always leased. With the constant advancements in downstream bonding technology I would have had to buy three modems already to keep up. If you opt for your own modem, you will still need a TWC provided modem for voice, they will provision it for phone service only and you will not be charged a lease fee. Your purchased modem will be for data only. They do not allow customer owned modems to be used for phone service. This is another reason I lease. I don't want more more splits in my main line then absoutley necessary.

Just a note, they over provision internet connections by roughly 20%. So your 50Mb connection will result in 62Mb real world with an upstream of 6.3 Mb. TWC soft launched the new 100Mb tier in some parts of the Rochester area, and I was working with local reps in Batavia to come up with a decent price, but currently there are no billing codes for it to be packaged out with so all of my services would have been billed a la carte at full retail resulting in a $400+ bill. I had the service for 3 weeks and was testing out at just under 125 Mbps, and it was AWESOME! But they knocked me back down to the 50 Mb tier last week so I would have the massive bill. Prices should be more reasonable once the new Spectrum plans are officially launched early next year and ten I'll upgrade again.

Time Warner doesn't make it hard at all to find out the retail rates of their services. They can be found here

https://www.timewarnercable.com/en/support/account-and-billing/topics/retail-rates.html

If you need any more info, or a comparison between the two services feel free to ask.
 

cparker

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Ok, well.....here's what I've done.....

Set up my cable install for 2 weeks out. This gave me time to order the TiVo boxes. I was told that if the TiVo boxes come real fast, I can call to have the install moved up.
Preferred channel package (200+) channels., 50Mb/s internet, and their phone package.

Purchased a pair of TiVo Bolts. One will be configured with an m-card, the other will be OTA.
Purchased a TiVo mini for the kitchen.

Why Bolts and not Roamios? Cause the Bolts do 4K natively and the Roamios don't.

I told Time Warner I didn't want their cable box. They basically said it's part of the package, (not being charged a monthly fee on it) and I have to take it, but I don't have to hook it up. Which sounds bizarre, but ....we shall see.

I'm not cancelling my current phone and Internet and satellite service, until I see all this new stuff in operation.

Guess that's it.....now just wait and see and make sure I have all the connections where I want them and will let y'all know how this works out. Hope it's good....cause right now I'm just north of 900 bucks up front.
 

osu1991

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Sep 4, 2004
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Ok, well.....here's what I've done.....

Set up my cable install for 2 weeks out. This gave me time to order the TiVo boxes. I was told that if the TiVo boxes come real fast, I can call to have the install moved up.
Preferred channel package (200+) channels., 50Mb/s internet, and their phone package.

Purchased a pair of TiVo Bolts. One will be configured with an m-card, the other will be OTA.
Purchased a TiVo mini for the kitchen.

Why Bolts and not Roamios? Cause the Bolts do 4K natively and the Roamios don't.

I told Time Warner I didn't want their cable box. They basically said it's part of the package, (not being charged a monthly fee on it) and I have to take it, but I don't have to hook it up. Which sounds bizarre, but ....we shall see.

I'm not cancelling my current phone and Internet and satellite service, until I see all this new stuff in operation.

Guess that's it.....now just wait and see and make sure I have all the connections where I want them and will let y'all know how this works out. Hope it's good....cause right now I'm just north of 900 bucks up front.


The Bolts only do 4K for Netflix and Youtube. I don't believe the Amazon app has been updated for 4K on the Bolt yet. The OTA and QAM tuners won't do 4K.
Everything else will be upconverted. I just use the Netflix, Amazon and Youtube apps built into my 4K tv for 4k video. The Roamios are fine for cable/OTA as you're not going to get anything higher than 1080i from a cable or OTA channel.
 

cparker

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Just thinking about this again.... cause that's what I do....

If wife wanted to watch.... oh... say... HGTV on the bedroom TV (which is the Bolt I was going to just hook up as OTA)... would she have to start it recording on the living room Bolt (connected to cable) and let it spool up a bit before watching on the other Bolt?

So I guess questions would be like....
Can the OTA Bolt watch stuff from the CABLE Bolt in real time? If yes.... awesome, if no... can it watch WHILE the program is being recorded on CABLE Bolt? Or would it have to wait until it's finished recording?

The Tivo Mini can see the 2 Bolts. So should be able to watch from either of them in real time. If I choose to watch something on local channel... available OTA and also on cable... does it simply pick whichever one it wants or do I choose which Bolt it gets its feed from?
 

osu1991

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Yes she would have to start it recording on the cable bolt then select the in progress recording from the my shows list to start watching on the OTA bolt.

You have to choose which bolt the mini is pulling live tv from.
 

cparker

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OK.... regarding watching cable content on the OTA Bolt... So the next question would be.... can she start a recording on the cable Bolt from the OTA Bolt? Not a huge deal except for convenience. Not sure if I'm saving anything by not hooking the second Bolt to cable. The cable card is like $2.50 a month or something so that's not a problem. All 3 TVs have antenna connections already so if cable goes out we can still watch anything available OTA. Switch input. Watch live TV OTA. We do it all the time when there's bad storms and the satellite signal goes out.

Hmmm..... I wonder if they'll charge me monthly for "extra outputs" or something. I have so much cable already in the walls..... but... I guess we'll see what they wanna do. If I don't like it, I just cancel and keep satellite and eBay the Tivo equipment for a loss. :)
 

osu1991

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Yes the timer would have to be created from the cable bolt. You could also use the Tivo app on a phone or tablet to set the recording on the cable bolt too.

I don't know about TWC. I would just have them set the bolt up. You can do the mini's afterwards. The mini's get their content directly from the bolt and shouldn't be considered extra outlets, as they have no tuner and require no cable cards.

Cox only charges the cable card fee for extra Tivo dvr's and no charge for all the Tivo mini's I have. Unless TWC charges an additional outlet fee in addition to the cable card, it might be more convenient to just have a 2nd cable card installed in the 2nd Bolt. As the Bolt only has 4 tuners, I would consider how often you would use cable on the 2nd dvr or how often you might have tuner conflicts of recordings and wanting live tv from a cable channel.

I hope it works out for you, I know all cable companies are different. I am on month 8 of a 2 year $99 a month bundle with Cox for 150/10 internet and advanced tv. With the cable card and tax mine comes to $109 a month. I was already up to $85 a month just for internet, so the bundle was hard not to try. I am quite happy with it. The Tivos/Minis are great and the picture quality has greatly improved on Cox since I last had it 19yrs ago. It works so well, my dad, sister and step sister have all switched to the same bundle deal with Cox. We were all Dish customers for between 10-15 years before. The costs for separate services were just skyrocketing.
 

osu1991

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As is likely the case with the bundles after the honeymoon. Don't forget to keep an eye on the expiry of your bundle pricing.

It's on my calendar with a 60 and 30 day reminder. I'm too the point if Cox doesn't offer the same bundle or something similar, I'll just drop it and go OTA. I have plenty to watch and can go without the 4 cable channels I normally watch. I can just add Sling or Vue for a few months and catchup with all the repeats or if I want football for a while. Rapidly losing interest in football so that's no longer a reason to keep paytv.
 

cparker

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We like the HGTV, DIY, Cooking Channel... stuff like that. Can't get OTA. I looked at Sling and could probably get all the channels we want between OTA and Sling's $40 package. But.... how would I record Sling content? AND.... I'd lose my Sabres games. I dunno. I'm getting to the point where I'm not sure it's worth the hassle OR the money any more
 

empiretc

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Mar 4, 2008
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we ditched satellite over a year ago. between satellite, internet, and home phone- we were paying over $200/mo. We jumped on the TWC (now spectrum) $89/mo triple play.

We purchased 3 TivoHD units with lifetime. We refused to get any cable box from them due to the crazy fees, and we requested the 3 cable cards for the Tivos. Between the 3 Tivos and 3 Roku boxes running the TWC app, we have 6 televisions on full HD with access to VOD. We also have 2 SD TVs connected. On satellite, we had 2 full HD televisions and one SD.

The home phone is now crystal clear compared to what we had with the ancient POTS before. And we have nationwide calling included along with voicemail. Our internet speed was also doubled with this package and the modem fee was waived.

Now, that the promotional pricing has ended, we pay ~$140/mo total. We do not regret making this switch at all.
 

cparker

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It's really bizarre....to me... that they are telling me HAVE TO take their cable box even though I said I'll be using TiVo boxes. I don't have to USE their DVR.....I can leave it in a box in the basement...but I have to accept it.

C'mon......that's bizarre
 

harshness

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It's really bizarre....to me... that they are telling me HAVE TO take their cable box even though I said I'll be using TiVo boxes. I don't have to USE their DVR.....I can leave it in a box in the basement...but I have to accept it.
This may be due to TWC wanting to maintain flexibility in their demand viewing technology. If you whine about not being able to do some form of demand programming with your TiVos, they can tell you to get over it or use the DVR that they gave you.
 

EarDemon

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It's really bizarre....to me... that they are telling me HAVE TO take their cable box even though I said I'll be using TiVo boxes. I don't have to USE their DVR.....I can leave it in a box in the basement...but I have to accept it.

C'mon......that's bizarre

Not really.

The bundle includes the cost of the box, if you don't want the box, you're broken out of the bundle and therefore it's more expensive, since it's not packaged out anymore.

I don't really care for Burger King's fries, but I'll order the combo meal, eat a few fries and dump 'em as you're pretty much better off ordering a value meal versus a la carte.
 

cparker

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Not really.

The bundle includes the cost of the box, if you don't want the box, you're broken out of the bundle and therefore it's more expensive, since it's not packaged out anymore.

I don't really care for Burger King's fries, but I'll order the combo meal, eat a few fries and dump 'em as you're pretty much better off ordering a value meal versus a la carte.

Love the analogy! heheh.... ok so their box sits in a box in the wiring closet.
Not sure if it's just plug-n-play, but I can always have them set it up and THEN put it away.... take it out and plug it in if needed for troubleshooting.
The TiVo boxes should arrive Monday. The cable install isn't scheduled until the following Monday. Debating if I should move up the install or just hook them up and use them as OTA boxes for a bit to get used to them. I do have to call and set it up for TWO cable cards instead of just one.
 

osu1991

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I would hook them up to OTA first. It takes about an hour for each box to go through first time setup. There are 2 or 3 software downloads and installs to get the box setup before you can use them
 

cparker

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I would hook them up to OTA first. It takes about an hour for each box to go through first time setup. There are 2 or 3 software downloads and installs to get the box setup before you can use them

Thank you.... so... kinda getting used to them on OTA for a little while will be fine then.
Will probably have to redo their network settings after TW does their install, unless TW will set the router up like my current Frontier router (IP, network name, etc)
I have some devices on static IPs so.... just a small pain in the butt.

Been running around in the basement, tracing cables. Wondering if they'll use any of the RG6 quad shield or insist on running all their own cable. Making sure if they DO want to run cable, that I have easy access and clear workspace... stuff like that. I just find that if I make the install tech's life easier, I tend to get a cleaner install. :)
 
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