I've had comcast digital cable & internet for a year now, and I really love the fast internet service, but i don't really watch enough tv to want to pay for hbo and the other channels anymore. I just want clear local channels to watch news and sports occasionally.
If I cancel my digital cable but keep my internet with comcast, will the local channels still come through without the motorola set top box?
It depends. They may put a filter on your line to block those channels. If they don't, anything that isn't scrambled, and is on a channel that a "cable-ready" TV can receive will still be there, and could be watched. Essentially, in most markets, basic cable. However, if you're not paying for it, you would be guilty of cable theft, and subject to prosecution.
Here's the interesting thing: If you have cable TV service *and* cable internet service, you get a discount on the services. In most markets, the discount is in the same ballpark as how much basic cable costs. In other words, if you drop cable TV service, the price of your cable internet service goes up. It goes up about the same amount as the cost of basic cable. If you simply downgrade to basic cable, you continue to receive the discount on your cable internet service.
So even if you happen to be the morally bankrupt type of person who is willing to steal cable, are you the type of person who would risk it for less than $5 a month? If you get caught, and, let's say your hypothetical fine is $300, that's 60 months, or 5 years worth of service. Plus, in addition to any fine, they'll go back and bill you for the period you were stealing it, and they won't give you a discount on your cable internet service for the same period. Those are some stakes! Logically, it makes no sense.
So yeah, you probably could continue to get basic cable without paying for it, but for a buck or two a month you can get it legally. That's a pretty good deal.
If you don't pay for it, I'd suggest asking them to put a filter on your line so there is less opportunity to accuse you of stealing cable TV. And then don't steal it.
I asked them about this. Why was I getting basic with Internet, since I was only interested in Internet? Basically it was "If you're interested in getting cable, it'll already be there" $10 additional on the bill, went down. The filter idea is good, for the reasons Warren mentioned. Whatever you do, ask questions, and get things in writing. CYA is all the rage these days.
I my market, "Digital Cable" and HBO are extra costs above and beyond "basic cable." If your market is run the same way, you can drop digital cable and the premium channels, return the box, and still get 30 to 80 channels on any cable ready TV. Of course, you'll still have to pay for basic cable, but it will be cheaper than the package you have today.
To find out what you can get and how much it will cost, call Comcast and ask.
Any cable compatible TV (which 99.9% of them are), will be able to get channels 2 to 75. so you may still have to pay for "Basic" cable TV from Comcast. Otherwise they might put a filter on your line to block all TV channels.
Basic cable rates are negotiated with the local cable authority that issues the franchise (government). Keeping this rate low makes both the politicians and the cable company look good. So they are likely to be very inexpensive compared to digital cable, premium packages, or HDTV.
Basic cable plus high speed internet is about the same price as high speed internet only.
I think with the prices running close to the same, then perhaps it really might not be theft for someone to get high speed internet service only and then enjoy the benefits of basic cable tv service. I think that is the reasoning behind the prices in the first place! Just a thought anyway.
Well not necessarily but I won't argue with you. I have some personal experience with a theft of service charge. There are some circumstances where getting free cable, although considered theft, you might still not be liable. I have an aquaintance that was charged and ended up in court. The cable company lost and had to paid all lawyer fees. Some cases are not so clear cut.
Oh and if I'm not mistaken it is the cable companies responsibility to block the signal to your tv. If you order highspeed internet only and can still get a tv signal on your tv, then shame on them for not blocking it. As has been said by others sometimes the cable companies just let it slide anyway. I'm not sure what my local cable company does here since I pay for more than basic cable anyway. Before I movd to my present location I lived in a Cox serviced area. My neighbor was a Cox technician. He said many people did that very thing but he didn't care as did many other service techs. I do agree that theft is theft.
I had a friend who stood next to a car that was parked with the engine running. He got in it drove it home. It wasn't theft because it was the owner's responsibility to remove the key from the ignition, but he didn't.
No, it's not, you own the wiring within your house and are allowed to do with it what you want, including leaving it connected to your tv; there's no requirement to phytsically disconnect your tv when you cancel service.
I'm sure the judge will have a good chuckle when you try to use that as your defense for stealing cable TV.
At the very least you'll be required to pay for the service you stole, and it's unlikely that they'll offer you any of the discounts that you could have had if you did it legally. But if you take it beyond the negotiation stage, and ask for your day in court based on that argument, you're probably also going to pay a fine, and the cable company's expenses for their collection efforts.
That's a awfully expensive chance to take hoping that your fantasy is more than just a fantasy. Especially since it would have been so inexpensive to do it legally.
As long as you have the cable drop connected to your inside wiring, the cable company can exercise control over what you do to it or with it, regardless of your ownership of the physical cable. Delivering a cable TV programming to your television set when you're not paying for it is illegal. So indirectly, physically disconnecting your TV from that cable would be required as long as it's still connected to that cable drop.
If you'd like to steal cable, go right ahead. But I sure hope there isn't anyone out there who finds themselves in trouble because they followed your very bad advice. Do you also go to the home repair newsgroups and tell people that it's okay to not turn off the power at the circuit breaker when working on electrical wiring? Are you having fun thinking about how someone will find out too late how bad your advice really was?