Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    My rhetorical question is a blatant attempt to get people interested in the thread.  Some people might interpret it as a complaint about the prices we pay for this stuff, and if anybody wants to address that they're more than welcome.  But in my case I'm directing the question to myself.

    When I was a kid our connected home ent & comm consisted of a couple of rotary dial corded phones, a TV set that received two channels off the air, and AM/FM radio.  We probably paid $15-20 a month for phone service and nothing for TV or radio.

    Now in the year 2012, my total cost to be connected is about $300 a month, taxes in.  That includes our bundled telephone/internet/cable TV with all the trimmings, two cell phones and an OnStar car phone.

    That's a hefty chunk of change for someone in the middle middle class such as myself.  And most of this is discretionary spending.  I need the basic phone service, and that's about it.  I am paying through the nose for stuff I don't really need.  So why?

    Well, in one sense I do need entertainment and communication to keep me from going crazy.  In another sense, though, needs have been created for me and for us.  We all managed to survive before there was an internet, before high def, big screen TV's, and movie channels with On Demand service and PVR's.

    Am I thinking about cutting back on any of this?  Not at the moment.  If money got tight I would do it out of necessity.  But for now I'm staying wired because I do like a lot of this stuff and I do think it enhances my life.  Still, $300 a month is a lot of dough...    

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoneToTheDogs39. Show GoneToTheDogs39's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    I got rid of cable a couple of years ago, it was an adjustment and there are a couple of shows I do miss, but not enough to pay another $60+ per month.  Anyway a lot of cable shows/movies are online now. The internet, well that I need, cell for emergencies only costs me about $100 a year.

    Radio talk shows, especially WBZ provide news/entertainment.

    I download free books from the library to my laptop.  If you need all these gadgets for work that's one thing.   But otherwise they're just toys for grownups!   IMO

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from princess-cal. Show princess-cal's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    We pay even more than that to be connected and, quite honestly, I am fine with it.  We are lucky we can afford it an we enjoy all of our entertainment without any guilt!

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    I solved this problem years ago by having great anticipation that entertainment would be more expensive in the future.

    My entertainment consists of cable T.V. ( although most of it stinks, I keep it for NESN, NASCAR racing , CNN and weather ...I watch very little else), two DVD players ( one is a DVD recorder/ VHS ) a huge library of CDs , a small  but quality selection of DVDs, a Playstation 2 w/ about 25 older games ( mostly sports)and every book I ever really enjoyed ( yes, I read many of them more than once).

    I find for a guy who owns his own home with a good size yard and who works fulltime and many Sundays, that this is all the entertainment I need, I really don't have time for much more.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    I'm currently in the process of convincing my wife to scrap the bulk of our digital tv service.  It's just not worth the price.  I've avoided getting an HDTV for this reason.

    I really would love to kill the TV entirely, but we're not there yet.  I can dream though....

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoneToTheDogs39. Show GoneToTheDogs39's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    Regarding giving up cable: I got an amplified antenna for my digital ready box style tv (no HD blah blah blah),  I get at least 6 channels clear, good enough!    I paid about $100 for it (2 years ago) and it was confusing setting it up,  but Radio Shack walked me through the process over the phone.  The one I got was similar to this, but it's best to get the most powerful antenna they have,  with ordinary rabbit ears I couldn't get any reception. 
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11694069&znt_campaign=Category_CMS&znt_source=CAT&znt_medium=RSCOM&znt_content=CT2032189

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from tcal2-. Show tcal2-'s posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    Well Hf try being a Sox/Patriot fan living in NY.  DirecTV gets $300 just for Sunday ticket on the go.  The good thing was, I guessed right about the Sox sucking this year and for the first time in 12 years I didn't purchase the MLB package this year (saved like $150).


    When I was a kid I remember our Rotary phone being on a "party line".

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    I can remember when getting cable was exciting back around 1982. Now I have cable mainly because of the few sports that I still enjoy and to have news and weather ( as I stated in the earlier post. I find the Weather Channel especially useful ( and check it on the internet frequently) for planning big events in my life like when I am going to cut the lawn or paint outdoors. It also helps to know in winter if I have to get up early and shovel off the driveway and clean snow off the car. News is almost always interesting. I do not understand why "reality T.V. is so big when people can see "real" reality on CNN or Fox news , although Fox tends to bend "reality" a bit to the right, thanks to Mr. Murdoch.

    But seriously, MTV was a great channel when I first had cable, now it's 24 hour rubbish. I was once excited to have my cable company offer the Scifi channel, only to find out the movies they run are often low budget, poorly directed and loade with no name actors.

    So, I am not completely throwing away my $67 on "expanded basic"cable , even though about 80% of the channels they offer are completely useless. But I do get what I want from it. I don't purchase the premium movie channels, I can get DVDs pretty cheap. If it truns out I hate a movie it can be sold on Ebay...and recoup some of the loss.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    In response to tcal2-'s comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Well Hf try being a Sox/Patriot fan living in NY.  DirecTV gets $300 just for Sunday ticket on the go.  The good thing was, I guessed right about the Sox sucking this year and for the first time in 12 years I didn't purchase the MLB package this year (saved like $150).


    When I was a kid I remember our Rotary phone being on a "party line".

    [/QUOTE]


    Ah yes, pay-to-watch sports.  Another ingenious way they figured out to separate us from our cash.  I had the MLB Extra Innings package a couple of years, then cut back to MLB.TV.

    I think this all got its start with the closed-circuit title fights.  I paid for a few of those, including Ali-Frazier, Leonard-Hagler and Tyson-Spinks.  Tyson-Spinks lasted about a minute of course, and I've never seen a building empty so fast.

     

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from tcal2-. Show tcal2-'s posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    In response to WhatDoYouWantNow's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Wife and I dropped cable, but kept the cable internet. Just no point. Most of what we watch is provided free now by the sites making it; everything else is covered by netflix. One or two shows require either borrowing someone else's HBO login, or buying shows individually. All in all, saves several hundred a year.

    I just wish that cellphone services had unlimited plans with less minutes/text. May have to switch to pay-per-use. I really don't talk much on the phone, so a few hundred minutes go to waste monthly.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Between me and my wife we have almost 5000 carry over minutes already this year.  The phone companies are giving away texts and minutes now a days knowing the big money is in selling Data.  You know the new commercials, bundle up to 10 of your devices...Cha Ching

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    Here's what I do.....

    $50 a month for a METRO PCS - UNLIMITED calling/texting/GPS yad yada cell phone all taxes and fees included (with service equal to or BETTER inmost areas for me)

    $10 a month basic cable (NBC,ABC,CBS etc)

    $40 a month internet....Hulu and Crackle offer "free" movies

    If you call to cancel your land line with Verizon like I did they ask why and at some point they asked me what I'd be willing to pay, to which I replied.....$10

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    Does anybody remember dial-up internet?  Man, that was a freak show.  I mean, it was cool to be able to get on the internet and wander aimlessly through cyberspace with a glazed expression for 3 hours, but the hooking on process was absurd.  The modem would loudly squawk and then make that sci-fi poinging sound, and then you'd be online but your phone would be down.  Remember trying to call people and not getting through for hours, and you'd be going 'damn, they're never off that internet'.

    My first internet service was called NetZero.  It was NetZero because it was free.  Woo-hoo!  There were catches, though.  A limit of 40 hours a month and a big old ad banner covering about 20% of your screen.  Of course you could upgrade to an ad-free premium service with no time restriction.  Then the 40 free hours a month got cut to 10.  Then I was paying for dial-up.  Then came the fateful day I signed up for cable internet.  Now I was sliding down the slope full speed. 

     
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  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    My monthly expense for phone, cell, Internet, direct TV pales in comparison to my monthly expense for my 2 dogs.  For what I pay for dog training, they should be able to get up and fix my breakfast in the morning. 

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    This thread got me thinking so I did some shopping:

    Comcast  Internet Service: $45.00 per month

    METRO PCS phone: $50.00 per month

    $95.00

     

    METRO PCS 4G Cell Phone unlimited calls/text etc.  with HOTSPOT = $70.00 month

     

    Save $25 per month save $300 a year..........

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from jesseyeric. Show jesseyeric's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    I have to admit that I am locked into this sh*t. I have Time Warmer and bundled TV(Cable)/Internet/Telephone with unlimited international calls in at $200 per month. I have every premium movie channel. Everytime the yearly contract is up and TWC threatens me with an increase, I say "Verizon Fios" and the leave the promotional costs for another year.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from mrmojo1120. Show mrmojo1120's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    I have a Comcast (Ugh!!) bundle for Cable,DVR,phone and internet at $180.00 per month.As much as I hate paying them every month,I hate the thought of not having the services at all.Although I've been thinking about dropping cable and trying HULU but I'd miss sports too much. 

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from tbs2007. Show tbs2007's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

    My rhetorical question is a blatant attempt to get people interested in the thread.  Some people might interpret it as a complaint about the prices we pay for this stuff, and if anybody wants to address that they're more than welcome.  But in my case I'm directing the question to myself.

    When I was a kid our connected home ent & comm consisted of a couple of rotary dial corded phones, a TV set that received two channels off the air, and AM/FM radio.  We probably paid $15-20 a month for phone service and nothing for TV or radio.

    Now in the year 2012, my total cost to be connected is about $300 a month, taxes in.  That includes our bundled telephone/internet/cable TV with all the trimmings, two cell phones and an OnStar car phone.

    That's a hefty chunk of change for someone in the middle middle class such as myself.  And most of this is discretionary spending.  I need the basic phone service, and that's about it.  I am paying through the nose for stuff I don't really need.  So why?

    Well, in one sense I do need entertainment and communication to keep me from going crazy.  In another sense, though, needs have been created for me and for us.  We all managed to survive before there was an internet, before high def, big screen TV's, and movie channels with On Demand service and PVR's.

    Am I thinking about cutting back on any of this?  Not at the moment.  If money got tight I would do it out of necessity.  But for now I'm staying wired because I do like a lot of this stuff and I do think it enhances my life.  Still, $300 a month is a lot of dough...    

     

    [/QUOTE]


    I cancelled my onstar after 3 months, rarely ever used it. Couldn't justify paying $15 a month for something I almost never used.

     
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  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Why am I paying so much for home entertainment and communications?

    Movies, movies, movies.  That's where the real excess in my home entertainment cost lays.  I've got an endless supply of them.  I couldn't even say exactly how many movie channels I'm getting now.  More keep appearing.  I'm getting movies of every time period, genre and quality.  I can record them and watch them whenever I want.  There are movies on demand that can be watched anytime for no extra cost.  Then there are the Pay Per View movies and events.  There are hardcore porn movies included in the standard movie channel package.  That was a shock when they showed up.  I still find it hard to believe that stuff is now so 'mainstream' that it comes with a standard movie package.     

     
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