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Anyways, I used to have a TiVo HD. It cost $13.67/month back then, with a 3 year prepaid plan. Add the $3.99/month* for the CableCard. Now the $105* it cost to install the card (more than I paid for the TiVo HD.) Say the card lasts 3 years, then dies, that's $2.92/month*. When the card dies, you pay another $105* to have them come and replace it, which is exactly what happened to me. So that ends up being roughly $20.58/month* to use a "cheaper" CableCard.
Compare this to Verizon's regular HD DVR. It's $15.99/month*. Then compare it to the Multi-Room DVR, which you can get 6-12 months free, then it's $19.99/month*. This averages out to $13.32-$16.66/month* for the same 3 years, and the whole house can use it as if the DVR were in that room. In the end, the CableCard option costs you more, unfortunately.
I fully expect a reply stating "well, build your own HTPC with CableCard reader." Sure, that's only a few thousand dollars, and then you're STILL paying that CableCard rental fee and install fee of $6.91/month* not including the hardware costs. If you build a $2,000 system, and it lasts 5 years, you're now talking $40.24/month*. Then consider, what portion of the population can actually build their own HTPC? Not a very large percentage, I'd guess less than 0.001%.
The point of this post is that no matter what, you ARE getting screwed by the cable company. The fact that your money may be sent to TiVo, or random hardware manufacturers doesn't mean it's not still costing you something/month. Just a bit of insight from someone who did all this research before deciding to just go with a FiOS Multi-Room DVR after my TiVo HD died and they wouldn't warranty replace it.
* All prices in this post are Verizon FiOS prices. Time Warner Cable was slightly cheaper, with all prices being the same, except the CableCard install was $75 instead of $105.
Then, mix this with the fact that these are both highly, highly addictive, and dangerous, things just don't end well. Conversely, an alcoholic can get drunk all day for $10 or 20. A pothead can smoke all day for $20-40. $300 is a bit higher than both of these figures.
C) Drug use. For example, just in tenth graders, 41% of American students have tried pot, compared to 17% in Europe. Also included in this same study* is the fact that 23% of American students have used illicit drugs other than cannabis (not counting alcohol), while only 6% in Europe have.
I hate to be the one to bring up drugs, but from what I see on a daily basis, it does play a major role. I'm not saying every drug user is going to become a criminal, but it seems from recent data collected by SAMHSA, the balance of drug abuse is changing in the US. Marijuana and alcohol are decreasing, while other more serious, dangerous drugs are increasing in use. This varies from Europe, where Alcohol and Marijuana, in that order, are the most abused, with much, much lower percentages of the population using more dangerous, serious drugs.
I attribute this change in the US being due to the availability. Alcohol, as a teenager is actually much harder to come by than say marijuana, or surprisingly prescription pain killers, for example. Teens these days have broad access to marijuana, and seem to always have a friend who can get pain killers or tranquilizers (I do not have a source for this statement, it is based on personal observation.) This leads to them just avoiding the trouble of acquiring alcohol and instead, smoking marijuana, while not really a problem in my eyes, or taking prescription pain killers, which is a much bigger issue. Marijuana isn't truly a gateway drug, many users can go their whole life without moving to something "harder", but things like prescription pain killers, tranquilizers, etc are more likely to create the need to get higher and higher, and are rising in use at an alarming rate.
I've not known many marijuana users, or alcoholics for that matter who will harm someone to get money to acquire their drugs. Crack, Cocain, Meth, Pain Killers, Tranquilizer, etc users on the other hand, will go to great lengths to get their next high. I've seen many, many friends go down this path, and it's truly sad to see.
Study Cited: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/21/us/study-finds-teenage-drug-use-higher-in-us-than-in-europe.html
Older, but still accurate information with the same testing methodology used in both regions.
"Your entire family wishes you were dead, even your dog."
A better solution would be for ISPs to start fulfilling their promises rather than using savings to beef up executive compensation.
Part of the problem here is a conflict of understanding. When ISPs began offering "unlimited" Internet access, they were referring to time, not bandwidth. At the time, the limits on connection speed and number of total users meant that people were not going to use enough bandwidth to strain the system. Of course, the fact that ISPs oversold their capacity gives the people complaining (incorrectly) about it not being "unlimited the way they said it would be", a legitimate gripe that the ISPs are advertising a product that they cannot deliver. The ISPs banked on a certain usage level, but marketed the possibility of a greater usage level than that and now find their networks overwhelmed by the early adopters who understood the possibilities sooner. The ISPs created the situation and have just realized that their pricing model will not support the network expansion that will be necessary to meet the demand for bandwidth that will come as the average person starts to understand the possibilities that the early adopters are paving the way for.
Well, if that's the case, why didn't they drop "unlimited" when it wasn't about time anymore? Now, they specifically say Unlimited Data in some ads. THIS is what is misleading everyone and, rightfully, causing complaints. If they truly didn't want to confuse people, they would say "Unlimited Time, XXXGB Cap." Problem solved. This will never happen though, because their goal is to mislead customers.