I never thought it would get to the point where Time Warner Cable is forcing me to decide whether to cancel TV service, but that is exactly what is happening.
Not too long ago I lost most (key word here is “most”) of my HD channels. This had happened before, I’m not sure why, but it has happened before so I figured eventually it would come back around. However, the longer I waited the longer they have not returned.
I have since figured out it was due to cable encryption. Apparently to service customers better you are required to have a cable box even for basic TV service. True it appears as though I will not get charged for it for the first two years (how kind of them) but I don’t want a damn box. I hardly watch TV as it is and now you wish to force me to add a box to my TV? This information was, according to their website, sent to me in a letter but I am sure I ignored it (yes, my fault).
Sure I can watch TV without a box, I still get all the channels I did before, well all except most of the HD ones. For some reason I still get NBC and CBS in HD as well as a few others. The thing is the standard ones look crappy on my HD TV and now if I do want to continue watching, I either have to get a box I don’t want or suffer with some terrible reception.
Since I hardly watch TV I’m leaning towards getting rid of cable. The most difficult part of this decision is football. I enjoy watching football. There are others things I’ll miss like watching the news in the morning or just flipping on to find something to watch. I probably can catch the news online and less TV just means more time to do other things I guess.
Football is the main thing that I need a good solution for. You can’t get it online easily. I have found some sites that stream illegally but they aren’t the best quality and it isn’t as comfortable to watch at my desk (though I could easily hook it up to my TV the quality isn’t worth the trouble).
Oh and before you suggest getting an antenna, I did try that route once. Yes it was a fairly cheap one, but I figured if it got a few channels, I’d know it would work well enough. It barely got one channel. I just don’t really want to go back to antennas, basic cable got me what I wanted but now Time Warner Cable (and I’m sure other cable companies do the same) are forcing me to get a box or suffer.
How is that a way to do business? I understand that they say the boxes save from sending a tech out often, but that’s not altogether true. It is easy to trouble shoot with no box, if cable TV isn’t working, more than likely the problem is at the pole. Maybe they can send a signal to fix things remotely with a box present, but I don’t care. I do not want a box. I don’t see why it has to be forced on me.
Growing up we could always get a few channels without paying a dime. I realize not everyone lived closed enough to a TV station to get reception so cable became a necessity. I’m happy to pay for my basic service (well not entirely happy but it works) but I don’t see how I should be forced to get a box I don’t want. Who cares that the box is free for 2 years, it is still a stinking box that I don’t want. Don’t even get me started on how suddenly I pay for my modem ($7/mo) which used to be free.
Cable companies are the most disliked companies in America and forcing something like this on us does absolutely nothing to change that perception. Cable companies suck. Complaining about it won’t matter either, they figure they may lose a few customers over this in the short term, but once it becomes the norm, no one will complain.