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Case Study: The Sopranos and Premium Cable Packages

I am a big fan of the Sopranos (“What are you gonna do?”), and when the last “season” was announced, I almost wandered into my Cable providers store (Rogers Cable) and signed up for a Premium cable package (because in Canada, you can only get the Sopranos on TMN). I did some on line checking and if I wanted to sign up for premium cable:

  1. I would lose my current cable package because it is “out dated” and is no longer offered (is it more expensive, I have no idea).
  2. I would need to get a digital converter box for my tv (or rent the Roger’s PVR), which has it’s own monthly premium. This would create a lot of “agitat” setting up my current PVR (from Pioneer) and getting it to work with the Rogers Digital box, etc., .
  3. Cost of getting a package with TMN

In all I figured it would cost me about $25 more a month from October until about now so 8 months for arguments sake, so a total cost of about $200 or so. I am being purposely low on my estimate, but it’s about what it would cost. I’d also have much more opportunity to “blob out” on the couch watching whatever was on TMN when the Sopranos were not on (and I think my wife is glad to not have that opportunity available to me, as I already spend too much time watching TV).

What was my other options?

  • Find a friend who did get TMN and who taped the Sopranos and would allow me to either watch the shows at his/her house and/or loan me a tape with the show. Cumbersome and I would feel obliged to buy that friend some beer and thus it would cost me money, in some fashion or another.
  • There are many on line sites like TV-RSS where kind folks put up shows available to watch which you can download using Bittorrent (typically these shows are compressed in DivX format as well).

I went with the TV-RSS solution, and have had no complaints. The show is usually available the next day, and it all works quite nicely (the divX codec for Windows XP is free, and can be downloaded), and no extra costs to me either.

Luckily I got to see the end of the series. On a side note, what was up with that? Phil Leotardo is the only casualty? Fuhget about it!

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Yes, that is another useful option, that I do own. In fact my $75 DVD player is better than my $400 one that I bought 4 years ago!!!


  2. Exactly what I have been doing for the past few years… we watch quite a few American series (Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Nip/Tuck, The Shield, Big Love, etc) and we find it much, much easier to just download them and watch them at our convenience and without ads. This way, we have a cheapy cable package, mainly for the kids.

    By the way, for 75$ you can get a nice dvd player at Future Shop which will play xvid and divx files… quite handy!

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