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Getting HBO...Showtime...Starz at little cost

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by jason williams, Oct 21, 2007.

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  1. jason williams

    jason williams AllStar

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    Jan 24, 2007
    Since HBO..Starz..Showtime offer endless repeats it is possible to get 90 percent of the programs they offer in the last year in about a month of service. Since my HR20 with its its new 1 Tb drive holds about 500 hours of SD programming I should be able to record all I need..Also most of the pay per view go to these channels eventually. Also if you time it right and get in on a new series they repeat the whole thing after it is near completion.

    So is it possible to subscribe to a month of service and then cancel or is there a reason you can't do this.
     
  2. JDubbs413

    JDubbs413 Icon

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    Sep 4, 2007
    You can add and take off premium channels at your discretion via the website.
     
  3. bdowell

    bdowell Icon

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    Mar 4, 2003
    If you don't subscribe for a minimum of one month you can be hit with a program change fee that will offset or more than offset the savings you would otherwise possibly get.

    As long as you stay subscribed for a minimum of a month, you should be able to (as long as you are a DirecTV subscriber, not a Dish subscriber, as Dish has their own program change penalty fee) switch from one premium package to another and not see much difference in the cost (HBO costs $1 more per month than the other packages do last I knew).

    If you are primarily thinking movies, then personally I'd subscribe to Starz for a few months, load up on all of what they have and stockpile a lot of their movies, then switch to HBO or Showtime to get their original programs and whatever movies they have. Stick with one of them for a few months, then switch to the other, and at about 6 - 8 months out, switch back to Starz to get whatever new movies came out in the preceeding 4 - 6 months.

    Starz is incredibly repetitive, but now that they are broadcasting in HD at least it's a quality picture. Over 2 - 4 months you stand a good chance at being able to catch just about everything that Starz offers. Starz also comes with (if you are a DirecTV sub) the Encore channels and they offer up tons of older movies, again with many repeats.

    HBO and Showtime both offer original programs with mixed results. Some of the best of what HBO had is now finished (Sopranos, Sex and the City, Deadwood) and only a few originals remain (Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire returns soon, Big Love, etc.) Showtime seems to be winning back the lead for original programming with programs like Dexter and Californication. Movies on either of those channels are a mixed bag for sure.
     
  4. bdowell

    bdowell Icon

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    Mar 4, 2003
    ... but, if you don't keep premium channels for at least a month, you may be subject to a penalty fee.
     
  5. JDubbs413

    JDubbs413 Icon

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    Sep 4, 2007
    Oh okay I didn't know that, thanks.
     
  6. Pink Fairy

    Pink Fairy Hall Of Fame

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    Dec 27, 2006
    Yes, there is a $10 premium disconnect fee if you cancel a premium service before it has been 30 days.

    As long as you at least wait that long before switching premiums, there should be no problem.

    (I personally am now a big fan of showtime. With The Tudors, Dexter, Weeds, Californication - and a movie once in a while, I know I will always have it on my account.)
     
  7. grandpaken

    grandpaken AllStar

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    Feb 4, 2006
    Unless they changed things you can add and remove it anytime you want...you just have to pay a $10 penalty in addition to any partial month billing. Then again you say you have the HR20 and you want to fill it up with SD programming. Why not hook the HR20 to a computer capture card via S-Video, record whatever you want in HD, then copy the SD version to your PC...at least you'll have a chance to watch it in HD.
    If you're not a technical person you could get a standalone DVD recorder. Delete the HD show on your HR20 when you've either watched it or transferred it to your archives. Another alternative is to put a giant eSata drive on the HR20 and record and save everything in HD. When that one gets filled up unplug it and plug in a new one. Keep going until you run out of hard drives, time, or money.
     
  8. bdowell

    bdowell Icon

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    Mar 4, 2003
    No problem. DirecTV used to let you change after even catching an hour or two of any of these channels, and then would pro-rate the monthly fee down to one day. What happened was that many people would treat Showtime and HBO as their own personal dirt-cheap pay-per-view channels and would call in when there was a boxing match or a big original movie/program, etc. They'd call in, order the channel for a day, drop it the next day, and then repeat the same thing in a few weeks.

    The channels intend to be something that you'd subscribe to for at least a month, and DirecTV wound up losing money because they had to report X number of monthly subscribers over to the channels, but in reality the number of full time subscribers to the channels wasn't right.

    There are also costs associated with having the customer service people available to handle the requests to add or change programming, so if customers keep calling in on the toll-free numbers, DirecTV was accepting those phone charges, plus paying someone minimum wages (or whatever rates they pay) to sit and take the call, and then paying some amount over to whomever provides the programming. If they pro-rated the costs down to a day, then the customer was being charged something like $0.39 for a day of HBO just to watch a fight or something like that.

    Considering that a typical pay-per-view fight is about 100 times that amount, or that a typical pay-per-view movie normally costs about 10 times that amount, it's not really fair that people would 'get away with' paying the pro-rated fee to watch the channels on DirecTV for a day. So, DirecTV cut back on that happening by implementing a programming change fee that they can charge to penalize people that change programming too often.
     
  9. bdowell

    bdowell Icon

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    Mar 4, 2003
    Yeah, was commenting above that Showtime really seems to be trying hard and doing the better job on original programming now. They used to be also rans and the poor man's HBO, but lately they seem to be the better value of the two and HBO is in serious danger of getting dropped from my sub.
     
  10. Pink Fairy

    Pink Fairy Hall Of Fame

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    Dec 27, 2006
    I keep HBO for Big Love when it is on, that's it. Only thing worth watching in my opinion.
     
  11. ansky

    ansky Hall Of Fame

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    Oct 11, 2005
    If you want to cancel a premium channel before 30 days is up, you can switch to another premium channel and they will not charge you the $10 cancellation fee. But when you switch, the 30-day period starts all over again.
     
  12. sNEIRBO

    sNEIRBO Icon

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    Jul 23, 2006
    I only subscribe to HBO for "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Entourage". It used to be worth it to keep it all year long with DEADWOOD, ROME and Sopranos but since they went the hard way it might be a - turn it on for Curb & Entourage, turn it off when their seasons are done situation from now on.
     
  13. paulsown

    paulsown Legend

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    Sep 18, 2007
    Does this go for Playboy as well?
     
  14. Pink Fairy

    Pink Fairy Hall Of Fame

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    Dec 27, 2006
    The disconnect fee? Yes.
     
  15. jkast

    jkast Cool Member

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    Sep 4, 2007
    You know, I have never figured out how to cancel something on the web site. I can see how to add. Anyone really know the steps to take to cancel, for example, the ESPN Game Plan via DirecTV.com?
     
  16. Pink Fairy

    Pink Fairy Hall Of Fame

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    Dec 27, 2006
    Well, I am not sure how to cancel services, but I do know that after the season begins, you can't cancel a sports subscription anyway.
     
  17. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Jun 18, 2006
    Personally I have been a little disappointed with both HBO and Showtime in their original series this year. They've been a little low on plot and haven't kept my interest.
     
  18. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

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    Feb 12, 2007
    Uncheck the little box by the item you want to cancel and it should be removed when you confirm.
     
  19. jason williams

    jason williams AllStar

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    Jan 24, 2007
    STARZ is offering a $25 Target gift card with for a 2 month sub..Does this mean they will pay me $3 to take it
     
  20. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Nov 15, 2005
    Yes it does
     
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