Cable Strategies

User Forum Topic
Submitted by CardiffBaseball on June 4, 2009 - 12:13pm

Ok, I am looking at a rental west of I-5 in Carlsbad (will I have to change my screen name???)

For the first time in 4 years I'll be leaving Cox. Since this rental is another $300 (roughly) I am looking to save elsewhere and Cable/phone/internet seems to be a really good spot.

Some random items:
- Company will reimburse internet because we have to jump on 24X7 for support (when needed). With cox and bundling this only amounted to $15 while my "phone" costs were closer to $50. I need to keep this in mind.
- I am really considering dropping the whole phone thing
- Cox bill is around $190 by the time I add another receiver, HBO, and HD (including unlimited phone)
- Finally being on the west coast now with almost anyone I would spend time on the phone with being in EST, and being very busy with my kids, I almost never use the "phone".
- Oh one more quickie, I doubt we'll go without for now so hardcore no-tv types, you don't really need to lecture me. I know it's a time waster but what the hell.

Given all that I am considering dropping land-line. We all have cellular and we almost never use it. That messes me up for bundles but might allow me to get a better reimbursement which can be close to a $100 swing.

Now I am not 100% sure I'll get the lease but in Carlsbad it looks as if the choices are Time Warner and ATT U-Verse. I don't think DirectTV will work in this location because I am not sure we have exposure.

U-Verse - Hated idea at first but I've been reading good stuff. In particular I really like the Total home DVR option as that seems to be a problem in our house with two boys that like to record their Death Metal concerts, South Park and every other thing my wife hates (not me though..)
- Internet speeds seem pretty good now, however DOCSIS 3.0 should be much better.

TWC - Had in Ohio and Texas for several years, and it was fine. For whatever reason my experience with Cox has been better, however Cox is pretty damn high.

Curious if anyone had dealt with either of these guys locally. I really don't want a slow unresponsive internet but at the same time you seem to get sucked into buying phone with local and long distance to get any kind of good deal.

Submitted by treehugger on June 4, 2009 - 1:01pm.

Welcome to Carlsbad!

I live in Carlsbad and have time warner. I have no landline (just cell) and my cable+internet is around $100 after they tack on all the fees. I have not had any problems, I had considered switching to ATT as well (who can resist a great deal). Had a few friends in the area switch, it was horrible. ATT told them they would have service, turned out they had a bunch of problems and the maintenance guy basically said "sorry your wiring doesn't really support this service". One of my friends has a home office and was trying to get everything bundled so the work would cover all the costs....really screwed him up and he ended up being without service 'cause the ATT failed and he had to go back to time warner.

Submitted by CBad on June 4, 2009 - 2:18pm.

Live in Carlsbad and have Time Warner too. But I highly doubt you want what I have. I have bare minimum basic and it's like $13/month. I have AT&T for phone/internet. I don't even really care what it runs because it is all reimbursed through my work (which brings up a point, if your internet is reimbursed due to the 24/7 need why isn't your phone for the same reason? don't you have to talk on the phone for your work?). Internet is 30/month and I think phone is something around 13-14 for phone and long distance depends on the use but it's typically around 12/month ($2/month for the 10 cents a minute plan). So the AT&T bill is typically in the 50's/month. Blackberry is paid for by the company too, again, why isn't yours? So all in all I am personally out about $13/month. I have yet to have either Time Warner or AT&T beat my prices for my needs with any bundle. It's always more $ for more TV which I don't care about. Recently I have had 2 friends in Carlsbad move over to the new AT&T bundle and had nightmares like the other poster mentioned setting it up. I'd let them work out the kinks on that one. I think they are running 90/month for all 3 but it's only for 6 months and comes with the possible nightmare included.

Submitted by CardiffBaseball on June 4, 2009 - 2:31pm.

Well our blackberry comes with Phone so I don't think they'll pay for home phone service...

I am leery of ATT however, there are some nice features. This is in the San Pacifico area which is somewhat newish, I am hoping the wiring is a bit better than the typical 1950-1960 type house.

Submitted by nostradamus on June 4, 2009 - 2:36pm.

I just got ATT Uverse about 2 weeks ago and it works well. Took them several hours to set up, but this didn't bother me. I have had no trouble and it is cheaper and faster than my Time-Warner cable setup.

Anyhow, I'm liking ATT so far. They have a money-back guarantee so can't hurt to try it.

Submitted by Coronita on June 4, 2009 - 2:40pm.

this might help.

http://piggington.com/ot_how_much_you_fo...

Another ATT uverse customer here.

Submitted by nostradamus on June 4, 2009 - 2:44pm.

BTW once you get set up have your kids record the show "Metalocalypse" it is hilarious IMO.

clip

Submitted by DWCAP on June 4, 2009 - 7:43pm.

I am not in Carlsbad, I live in MM, but I have had both TWC and ATT. I have ATT now and I wouldnt go back. They had trouble putting in all in, it doesnt run through your cable so it isnt just "flip the switch" but once it was on it kicks ass.

Weird how it is differnt for everyone.

Submitted by Coronita on June 4, 2009 - 10:46pm.

BTW CardiffBaseball,

I should mention that with ATT-uverse do don't need to get any phone service either with uverse nor with traditional ATT phone service. (With just DSL, you need to get phone service too).

However, you *might* want to get a regular (stripped) phone service for emergencies/reverse 911/local calls. The trick is that you just request ATT to provide you a regular phone line with NO long distance access, NO call waiting, NO unlimited local calls. You can get your ATT phone line bill down to $10/month. You can still make local calls, and they don't cost extra up to a set allocation of total # of calls and total # of mins, beyond which you start paying minute by minute. However, if you rarely use the land line, you won't need to worry about going over your local minutes.

Submitted by CardiffBaseball on June 4, 2009 - 11:17pm.

Thanks all and Flu that might be a good option because 911 access for $120 a year isn't bad. Also I assume incoming calls too you really don't want to route all the forms you fill out for this or that to a cell phone.

From researching ATT, I assume I wouldn't need my wireless router any more? One comes with the Residential Gateway. Of course you can use the router as a switch.

Since this is a rental I am not sure how much fishing of wires these guys will do. If they'll run you a connection to bedrooms is that for the set top box only? Or could you run a PC in that room with a wired connection? I like to stream movies and it would be nice to get all of that on a wired connection.

Also my kids use Xbox Live, is that working out pretty well (for anyone who has ATT+XboxLive). It's been fine on Cox but I have it connected to directly to my router.

Submitted by LuckyInOC on June 5, 2009 - 1:03am.

We don't have ATT U-verse yet.

We just have regular phone, DSL internet, cell, and Dishnetwork all on one bill. It is cost about $150/mo. 400 min on 2 cells, Long Distance on land, 5.0 internet speed, 200+ channels (no hd yet) w/ no premium movie channels. Two set tops (1 DVR) that drive 4 or more TV's. They multiplex the signal from each set top using separate channel (i.e. Channel 60). So you can tune any TV on the common cable for the tuner. If I had more than 4 TV's, I only would buy another UHF controller(s), but still only have 4 tuners. We have 3 kids, 4-tuners usually enough with PS2, Computer, & Wii. They need to go outside and play sometime...

We plan on upgrading to U-verse with 4-tuner HD DVR when I break down and buy 50" LCD.

Lucky In OC

Submitted by Coronita on June 5, 2009 - 6:45am.

CardiffBaseball wrote:

From researching ATT, I assume I wouldn't need my wireless router any more? One comes with the Residential Gateway. Of course you can use the router as a switch.

Yes, that is correct, provided (and pardon me for not using all the correct lingo since I'm more of a software engineer than a IT networking guy)

(1)you aren't a firewall power user that demands a highly configurable firewall.

(2)you are ok using 802.11G or lower and not planning to run 802.11N or something like that.

(2) needs no explaining. What I mean by (1) is that if you need to do things like NAT translations, , port routing,etc, the default router/firewall capability in the gateway is very very limited. It does support configuration DHCP on your lan (you can pick your ip address range) and it MAC authentication so that if a computer has a MAC address not registered in the router, it won't let you connect. But that's about it. In addition to wireless, there are 4 ethernet ports in back so you could run your own router if needed.

Quote:

Since this is a rental I am not sure how much fishing of wires these guys will do. If they'll run you a connection to bedrooms is that for the set top box only? Or could you run a PC in that room with a wired connection? I like to stream movies and it would be nice to get all of that on a wired connection.

Let me clarify something. ATT uverse uses two types of boxes. There is a set-top box for each TV and there is one box for internet (called the residential gateway). I do not believe you will get more than 1 residential gateway. The set-top box for each TV *does not* include additional networking ports you can connect a computer to. As i mentioned above, the residential gateway has 4 ethernet ports in back to allow a direct line connection to your computer. Generally, the ATT technician won't run additional hardwired lines to other rooms from the residential gateway.

There ethernet port behind the settop box is used to bring the tv service in. It can be used instead of the coax connection. Let me explain..During installation, you settop boxes and residential gateway either connect to the home's built in coax cabling (usually used by your TV cable company) OR if your house is prewired with ethernet, it uses the eternet cabling. Faster speed is possible with homes prewired with ethernet...However, for homes that are older and aren't prewired with ethernet, coax is the only way.

Att installs a modem outside that converts the signal from the digital phone line to either the home's coax cable or the home's ethernet. In some cases the coax versus/ethernet doesn't matter because your bandwidth will be limited by ATT's digital line into your home. The total bandwidth available to your home is subdivided among your tv, internet, and phone service (if you get uverse phone service). Getting HD tv will chew up more bandwidth than getting non-HD tv...It isn't a problem unless you are planning to get HD for something like 10 tvs and also plan to get the fastest internet speed...The residential gateway (a separate box) also connects to your home's coax cabling or home's ethernet cabling to provide internet service. ALSO please note...Once you pick your rooms for where the settop box and residential gateway is placed, you cannot move it to another room (unless you know how to muck around with the coax cable junction box or home ethernet junction box where the digital line distributes it's signal)

ATT service generally includes 1 gateway and 1 settop box. Additional settop boxes are $7/month (and there is no option to buy them). For TVs that don't run HD, I found a plausible solution is use to run a wireless tv sender, something like this:
http://www.x10.com/promotions/wireless_v... (make sure it operates at a frequency range that doesn't conflict with the 802.11 router or your cordless phones...I already had one for another purpose)

Quote:

Also my kids use Xbox Live, is that working out pretty well (for anyone who has ATT+XboxLive). It's been fine on Cox but I have it connected to directly to my router.

Sorry, can't answer that one. My xbox days are over.

Lastly, one additional thing that I will comment on. If you are purchase a brand new construction home in the future, you definitely should pay extra to have them run a few extra lines of coax and 10B-T to each room. In this modern day you should be running at least two independent coax cables and two independent ethernet cables to each room.

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