Friday, September 11, 2009

Burning Question of the Day: How Much Do You Pay For Cable?

How much do you guys pay for TV each month? Who is your service through, and what does it entail? Do you have a DVR? And, do you consider cable a necessity, or a luxury?

For over our first year and a half of being married, J and I had no cable of any sort. Even before antennas were made obsolete, we couldn't pick up any signal whatsoever in our apartment. And mostly, it was fine. We watched a lot of movies, took advantage of TV shows that made full episodes available online, downloaded shows from iTunes, etc.

After moving into our house, we decided to spring for cable when Direct TV offered us a promotional package of the basic package (maybe 200 shows?), which included our local stations, and Bravo. I believe Dish Network was technically cheaper, but to get the channels that we actually watch, we would have paid a lot more.

What we didn't spring for, and now I'm kind of wishing we had, was a DVR. But it looks like the cost to upgrade is insane. I'm considering buying one off of eBay, after verifying that it doesn't have an additional balance attached to it. Then again, most shows are available on the internet, but our connection seems to have a hard time streaming shows.

For us, it's definitely a luxury, albeit one that I'm hoping to keep around for quite awhile--for me, coming home and watching a half hour or so of mindless TV is one of the quickest ways to de-stress from my job! Plus, there are a couple of shows that J and I really enjoy watching together...

Edited to Add: I forgot to include how much we're actually paying, which is $29.99/ month.


  1. Oh, I would love for us to look at cable as a luxury. Unfortunately, we're both TV watchers. We pay about $130 a month for Comcast - that's a bundle that includes our cable (with HD and DVR), internet and phone. Every time we re-evaluate the budget we think of dropping the phone portion, but have yet to do it. And I LOVE our DVR, cannot imagine life without it. Sad, really.

  2. Cable *was* a luxery for us, but since we made the plunge a few months after moving to our house, I'm not sure I could go back. That said, I'm not a fan of how often our TV is on; even if I'm reading or not in the room, the TV tends to be on. Not so much a fan of that. We do just have standard Cox cable, and, like you, I wish we had DVR. That way, I record all my favorite shows that come on past my (early-ish) bedtime!

  3. We currently do not have cable or internet because Comcast was being horrible w/their service. When we move to the house, we will once again have Comcast (only thanks to corporate) and for cable and internet, we will pay around $50/month. The cable is like one step above the basic- enough so we get some extra sports channels.

    While we haven't had cable for a couple of months now, I really haven't missed it. Now that college football has started again, I feel like I am going nuts not being able to watch all of the games!

  4. Seeing as how my hubs has worked for two cable and telephone companies for the past 5 years, yeah, we've got it. I don't even consider it a luxury. It's just one of those bills you have to pay, like the water or electricity. I miss having Time Warner when DH worked there. All we paid for was the taxes and had premium everything and a DVR in every room. We were spoiled and it only came out to $50 a month. We now have Uverse, but haven't gone through the craziness of getting it in his name so we can get our discount (we actually have to disconnect and reinstall. 20% off just isn't worth it to us right now). Yeah, the discount isn't as great, but it's a much better company in terms of benefits and pay. With Uverse we have the 3rd highest cable tier - HD channels with everything but HBO and Cinemax (we have all other movie channels). We have boxes in 3 rooms, but only one is DVR. Uverse has total home DVR so you can watch recorded programs, just not record them, in the other rooms. Obviously DVR is a MUST in our house. So is HD. I'm so freaking spoiled by HD channels. I get angry when something goes wrong with the HD feed and a show has to switch. It's bad. We also pay for our internet which is their midrange speed package. Everything comes out to $120 a month.

  5. I love my tv.... It's sad, I know. I wish I could pick up a book and be half as entertained, but that book would have to be incredible. (I do read, in case you were wondering, just not as often as I watch tv)

    Ok, back on track.... We pay $75.00/month for our tv programing. My husband is a High Definition loving freak, we have a 92" projection screen downstairs and everything we watch must be in HD.... So, with that said, our $75/month to Dish Network includes their step up from Basic (not sure what it's called), DVR (which I am in love with), and HD. All in all it's not a bad price. I couldn't live without seeing all of my favorite shows, it is a de-stresser for me as well Mer.

  6. TOO MUCH. $114/month. we have DVR and the HD channels through our local cable monopoly, Charter (that also includes our internet). we dropped our movie channels and premium channels (which we still get in HD, oddly) when our year-long promotional rate ended. I think we're about to break up with cable and go with Direct TV.

    we do watch a lot of TV, but I cringe when I write that fat check every month!

  7. We pay about $90/month for Internet and tv...Internet is my guilty pleasure and tv is Matt's. When are "special" (yeah, great special huh?) is up, we will probably downgrade...we have a ton of DVDs plus like you said shows on the Internet! We go through Charter.

  8. this has nothing to do with this post, sorry...but, i was just wondering. what happened to the unzipped mind? i was loving her blog posts giving tips about various diy projects.

  9. Oh... We have verizon which lumped in with our direct TV. So with phone, internet, TV with DVR is about $180. I would think that the TV portion is maybe $60 a month.

    Cable... I love TV! I can not answer your last questions. :(

  10. yes its a luxury and one I'm not willing to give up. We have 2 DVR boxes, high def...and its about $100 a month through comcast. That includes our cable internet, too!

  11. Comcast for me was $35/mo. for basic cable, plus $35/mo. for internet (plus tax, so it ended up being about $75/mo.).

    I assume it's about the same here, but it all gets paid through UVM, so I haven't a clue.

  12. We are cable free (my whole life as ben spent cable free actually)- but after two years of marriage we borke down and got cable internet. It is about 50 a month. Sick. Oh well. I don't know how we did it without internet for so long.

    (Chris grew p with cable and i know he would like to get it- but I see it as a total luxury- and I don't really want to get more shows so we watch more TV. we already spend too much time on our computers . . .)

  13. I'm slowly catching up in my Google Reader, hence the late response! :-(

    We have Dish Network with a promo rate right now, but once it moves to full price I think it will be $65/month or something like that (currently $49). We have the middle package (don't remember the name)... 250+ channels, sports package, HD, dual tuner DVR, 2 receivers (covers 3 rooms). I think the DVR (full price) is like $12 extra or something like that. I had Tivo up until a couple months ago, and I MUCH prefer Tivo (much more user friendly). There are some features I prefer on DVR, but overall I prefer Tivo.

    Once you get a DVR, you'll never go back! I don't know how I lived before it (how horribly sad is that?!)

  14. We use Verizon and pay around $135 for wireless, cable, HD and DVR. The DVR wasn't a huge upgrade price and I can't live without it. Well, I guess I could but I don't wanna. Ah ha

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