About the Project

We openly admit it — we’re not the first people to get rid of cable service. Heck, we’re not even the first people to start blogs about it. But a big difference is this: so many people who get rid of cable write things like “I only watched a few shows” or “I mostly only watched two or three channels.”

We are definitely not those people.

At the time of cable shutoff (April 22, 2010) we had 66 season passes and wishlists set in our TiVo. We were on a cable plan with over 200 channels (including 92 high-definition channels), 45 music stations, and on-demand materials galore.

So what made cable so infuriating? Well, first off, cable is always infuriating. Technical problems, faulty equipment, customer service people who don’t ever seem to have seen a TV or cable box in their lives. But when we moved to Florida, things got much worse. We moved here with our TiVo box in hand, and immediately our local cable company (Bright House) was confused by the TiVo and its need for two cableCARDs. They insisted a technician come out to install them, and when he came, Missy did the installation while the tech, who had never seen a TiVo before, watched.

Immediately we had to contact Bright House to let them know that their settings weren’t right — they were feeding several channels to us in a way that flagged them on the TiVo, so that they erased themselves 24 hours after recording. It took a series of phone calls and emails to get them to feed the channels correctly from their head end, and it was probably using terms like “head end” that finally got them to listen.

Not that long afterward, Bright House cut us off from several HD channels because we were using a TiVo with cableCARDs. Their reasoning was that they would be changing from their current feed to Switched Digital Video (SDV) “soon”, and cableCARD users wouldn’t be able to receive the SDV. After a lot of calls and letters from many residents, they gave back use of the channels.

Over a year later, they made the switch to SDV. And we got a converter box to let our TiVo talk to the head end. The problems have only grown since then. At its most basic, SDV means that we have a tube of limited size feeding cable out to everyone. If too many people are watching other channels, the tube gets full, and certain not-as-popular channels are unavailable. So if it’s a Thursday at 8pm and you want to watch G4 or BBC America or another unpopular channel, you’re out of luck. We also don’t receive the Discovery family of channels (Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel) most of the time, although Bright House refuses to look into it or fix it.

Also, as TiVo users, we can’t utilize Bright House’s large network of on-demand chanels. Although we still pay for them. And as an added kick in the privates, they won’t allow us a package deal on cable/internet, because we’re not using their horrible DVR. So we’re paying more than other users, and receiving far fewer channels and options than other users. Is it any wonder we want to stop dealing with Bright House?

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