FanPost

Subscription TV price comparisons 2014

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA


I've done this before where I compared the price of various TV services. But that was two years ago and a lot has changed. Multi-room DVR viewing is quite common now. Dish and Uverse have picked up the Padres. The Mtn is no longer around. Speed Network has become Fox Sports 1 (Fuel TV has become Fox Sports 2). TWC Sportsnet (Lakers) debuted and TWC Sportsnet LA (Dodgers) will debut soon.

There is a quick summary at the end if you aren't interested in the details.

In order to compare packages between providers I'll do as I've done before and use the packages that have every channel except the premium movie channels. I'm counting Encore, IFC, and Sundance as premium movie channels in addition to HBO, Starz, Showtime, etc. Additionally, I'll compare using a home in San Diego with two HD receivers with whole-home DVR service.

Also I will assume that cable internet will be used if using cable service or satellite service. In the case of UVerse, I'll assume DSL is used. For Cox it will be the "Preferred" service (25Mbps down/5Mbps up) as it's advertised as most popular. For TWC it will be the "Turbo" service (20Mbps down/2Mbps up).

DirecTV

This package comes with 2014 NFL Sunday Ticket. It also comes with 3 months of HBO/Showtime/Starz/Cinemax free which I assume will be cancelled before the end of the three months. San Diego has a Regional Sports Fee of $3/mo. This may vary by location. It used to only be for places that had a lot of Regional Sports Networks (RSNs), but they seem to have gotten quite liberal with it. There are referral programs, costco programs, AAA programs, and more that are not factored into this calculation.

Notes on sports programming: Only service with NFL Sunday Ticket. Does not carry PAC12 Network. Universal Sports on higher tier. ESPN Classic on higher tier.

Xtra TV Package

1 Genie HD DVR

1 Genie Mini

One time installation and equipment cost = FREE

Service Cost = $65.99 for first 12 months, $99.99 for months 13-24 ($1991.76 total cost for two years)

Internet Cost = Cox $48.99 for first 3 months, $61.99 for subsequent months ($1448.76 total cost for two years)

TWC $44.99 for first 12 months, unknown for subsequent months (at least $1079.76 total cost for two years)

Grand Total Cost For Two Years = $3440.52 with Cox internet, at least $3071.52 with TWC internet

Time Warner Cable

Two years later, and their website is still unusable. The channel lineups don't match to the packages on the ordering pages. What a mess. I added the sports pass package to this, but I'm not entirely sure what that even means. Maybe it's not needed. It automatically includes a choice of premium channel (HBO, Starz, or Showtime). I guess the premium channel is just always part of the package? Also the rates are for 12 months and the regular rate will apply after that, but whey won't tell me what the regular rate is. When ordering a bundle, I can't tell it to use my own modem and must pay for the modem rental. If ordering internet service separately I can order without a modem rental. Ugh, this website is terrible.

Notes on sports programming: Tennis, Fox Sports 2, Universal Sports, Big10, NBA, and ESPN Classic on higher tier. Does not carry NHL or Primeticket. Expected to start carrying Fox Sports San Diego before baseball season starts (uncertain what tier).

Preferred TV with Turbo internet bundle ($114.99/mo)

Sports Pass ($8.99/mo)

Whole House HD-DVR & HD Box Package ($28.99/mo)

Modem rental ($5.99/mo)

One time installation and equipment cost = $69.99 = ($50.00 Whole Home DVR + $19.99 Internet)

Service Cost = $158.96 for 12 months (unknown after that) (at least $3815.04 for two years)

Grand Total Cost For Two Years = at least $3885.03

Cox Cable

Getting the Cox Advanced TV Premier (with 3 add-on packs) is cheaper than getting Cox Advanced TV Preferred (with 1 add-on pack) and adding a pack to it. So I went with Cox Advanced TV Premier even though it includes movie channels such as Encore and Epix.

Notes on sports programming: Does not carry Big10, Universal Sports, or Primeticket

Cox Advanced TV Premier $114.99/mo

Record 6 Whole Home HD-DVR Receiver $8.50/mo + $5.00/mo 6DVR Service

Whole Home HD Receiver $8.50/mo

Cox Internet Preferred $61.99/mo

One time installation and equipment cost = FREE

Service Cost = $140.98 for 3 months, $176.98 after 3 months

Grand Total Cost For Two Years = $4139.52

AT&T U-verse

Since U-verse works with 1 year contracts, I'll assume you will renew after the 12 months. I'm making a big assumption that the renewal will be the same rate, but that's the best I can do. I'm showing the full rates as well, but not using them to calculate 2 year total cost. AT&T also gives a $100 gift card for signing up. I will subtract that giftcard amount (once) from the 2 year total cost.

Notes on sports programming: Primeticket on higher tier. Does not carry NHL, Universal Sports, or Big10.

U300 Service $49.00/mo for 12 months, $92.00/mo after 12 months

Wired DVR Receiver (free)

Wired non-DVR Receiver $8.00/mo

HDTV service $10.00/mo

High Speed Internet Max Plus (18Mbps down) $47.00/mo for 12 months, $63.00/mo after 12 months

One time installation and equipment cost = FREE

Service Cost = $114.00 for 12 months, $173.00 after 12 months

Grand Total Cost For Two Years = $2736.00

Dish Network

Plan comes with 3 months of HBO/Showtime/Starz/Cinemax free which I assume will be cancelled before the end of the three months. Plan comes with 3 months free Blockbuster at home which I assume will be cancelled before the end of the three months. Plan comes with 4 months of protection plan for free which I assume will be cancelled before the end of the four months. There are referral programs, costco programs, AAA programs, and more that are not factored into this calculation.

Notes on sports programming: Tennis and Fox Sports 2 on higher tier. Does not carry TWC Sportsnet, ESPN Classic, or Universal Sports

America's Top 200

DVR Hopper

Joey Receiver

One time installation and equipment cost = FREE

Service Cost = $60.88 for first 12 months, $90.18 for months 13-24 ($1812.72 total cost for two years)

Internet Cost = Cox $48.99 for first 3 months, $61.99 for subsequent months ($1448.76 total cost for two years)

TWC $44.99 for first 12 months, unknown for subsequent months (at least $1079.76 total cost for two years)

Grand Total Cost For Two Years = $3261.48 with Cox internet, at least $2892.48 with TWC internet


QUICK SUMMARY (2 year cost)


U-VERSE = $2736.00

DISH = $3261.48 with Cox internet, at least $2892.48 with TWC internet

DIRECTV = $3440.52 with Cox internet, at least $3071.52 with TWC internet

TIME WARNER CABLE = at least $3885.03

COX = $4139.52

This FanPost was written by a member of the Gaslamp Ball community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gaslamp Ball managers or SB Nation.

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