Free television exists through the use of antennas that can pull signals from the air. However, not all stations are available this way and signals can suffer from weather interference. Cable TV prevents these problems by sending your programming through a specially installed link. Not only are your signals crystal clear, but they can offer several hundred channels.
The average cost of cable TV depends on your location as well as the number of competing companies. In general, service costs £32 a month excluding any government-mandated fees and taxes. New-customer specials can reduce that cost by about £6 per month for an entire year. (Standard service gets you about 200 digital channels.) You may also need to spend an extra five dollars per month or so to rent the cable box, which decrypts the cable signal so it can appear on your TV screen.
To add channels that are not included in your basic subscription, you can pay between £3 and £6 per month. These channels can include specialised entertainment offerings, additional sports coverage or movie collections.
Premium channels can cost an additional £9 or so a month and include such choices as HBO and Cinemax, which emphasise movies. These channels also typically include an on-demand component, which charge one-time fees for special events or one-time movie premieres.
Saving Money on Movies
If you like to watch recent movies from the comfort of your own home but want to avoid the costs of premium movie channels, consider subscribing to a DVD rental service such as Netflix. (Its link is under Resources.) For a monthly fee, you can choose from one or more movies that are delivered to your home and which you can keep for an limited amount of time. Returning the DVD lets you choose another.
You can save money on your cable TV bill by negotiating your monthly fee. Call the sales department rather than customer service because they have an incentive to keep your business. Praise the virtues of their service by saying how much you enjoy it. However, also point out that a competing satellite service is offering you a better deal and ask them to match it. You're more likely to succeed if you can quote the prices of competitors because you have the brochures in hand. Try this tactic at the end of the month, when salespeople may need to fill quotas.
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