Thursday, November 11, 2010

Strangled By Cable, Here Is An Alternative...

Instead of paying exorbitant prices upwards of $250/month for cable and/or broadband television service, which have lost substantial value over the last 20 years seriously consider investing in a high quality, large directional rooftop antenna like a Winegard HD8200U with a roof mount, and pre-amp. The set-up would be approximately $200 to $300, and you can wash your hands of ever paying a cable bill again. If you have your heart set on watching Bill Maher Friday nights on HBO, you can invest in a surplus C band dish at least 12' in diameter ($200-$300). Purchase a HDTV receiver ($300), low-noise block converter or LNB for both C and Ku bands ($150-$250), have all the hardware set-up by the retailer, tuned and installed ($200-$300); subscribe to a wholesale satellite programming service like National Programming Service, LLC. (NPS), which serves large commercial customers like sports bar, casinos, hotels, and stores but will sell programming al la carte (you pay only for what you order) to residential customers in the contiguous United States. The most expensive package offered by NPS, the "Movie Lovers" package consists of HBO 14 Digital Feeds, Cinemax 12 Digital Feeds, Sundance 1 Digital Feeds, Starz! 14 Digital Feeds, Encore 2 Standard Definition Feeds that at $60/month is a veritable bargain in comparison to standard cable. Although the initial set-up costs and out-of-pocket expenses are much more expensive to subscribing to standard cable, which typically waives these installation fees, the commercial cable companies get you on the backend with exorbitant monthly costs that can easily amount to $2,000 to $3,000 per year. The added benefit of owing your own satellite system are "wild feeds"; literally thousands of free-to-air High Definition channels beyond your antenna's (yes, you would still need a good, large directional antenna for local over-the-air HDTV service) capacity, and superior picture quality. C-Band satellite systems do not go out like cable TV often does after a thunderstorm. This is one of the reasons why C-Band is the delivery method of choice used by virtually every TV and radio station in the U.S. to receive their network programming feed from New York and over 90% of the popular TV shows that you watch on local TV.