As cable companies come, Dish Network is the best of the bunch. Sadly, it’s time for me to leave them.
I’ve been a Dish customer for about twenty two years. When we first moved into the house, I assesed our options and ruled out both Comcast (maybe it was Road Runner back then) and Direct TV as being way too expensive. Dish on the other hand, seemed reasonably priced and had attractive packages so they became the provider of choice.
It’s been a good relationship, but in recent years it seemed like the price just kept going up and up. To deal with it, every time there was a price increase, I would cut back programming a bit to keep the price within reason. Last year, I cut back big time and had only the locals, a few cable channels and HBO. Even with that, it was costing me almost $75 a month.
In Friday’s mail, I received this notice from Dish:
“Starting with your next bill, you will see two changes that will result in a $5 monthly increase. The first change is a $3 increase on your core programming package. The second is a $2 increase on your local channels package”
Eighty a month for minimal programming. It was time for me to leave.
Most of the time we spent on Dish was watching the locals and HBO. I could get HBO through Amazon for $15 a month and I had already installed an outside antenna this summer so I had the locals covered. The only thing missing was the ability to timeshift.
After some research, I came across the TiVo Roamio OTA. The nice thing about the Roamio OTA is that the price includes a perpetual TiVo subscription. All of their other units require sending them $15 a month to access the program guide which was not going to happen. At $399 it wasn’t cheap, but I calculated that it would pay for itself in six months time. So I headed off to Best Buy, purchased the unit, did the installation and cancelled my Dish subscription.
So far the TiVo is looking good. It can record up to four streams simultaneously and is pretty easy to use. Picture quality is excellent.
I really don’t understand what is in the heads of the executives at Dish. By all accounts they are losing subscribers at a really fast pace. You would think they would do their best to keep the loyal customers that are still with them. Even if their costs have gone up, it seems to me that it makes more sense to make a bit less profit from current customers than to raise your prices and lose them. I’m sure the accountants ran the numbers and thought this was the best solution, but reality might come back and bite them big time. Anyway, I’ve moved on. It’s been fun, but I can tell when I’m not wanted.
(The photo at the top of the page is my dish installation. I installed it myself on top of a post that once held a large satellite dish. The cables run underground about a hundred feet and then enter the house. It was done this way because my wife didn’t want an unsightly satellite dish on the side of the house. Excuse the background. It’s winter here and things aren’t looking there best.)