Comcast — free basic cable for Internet customers … or not

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UPDATE — it looks like this promo is only for Internet-only customers who don’t currently have cable TV. See update here. And only for a limited time.

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So way back when I cancelled DirecTV in September, Jill Cataldo mentioned in comments that if you have Comcast for Internet, you’re entitled to free basic (non-HD) cable for one TV in the house. We called Comcast several times about this and no one knew what we were talking about, so we just kind of let it drop and forgot about it.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. While I was gone doing the program in Zion, apparently someone from Comcast knocked on the door and offered us the above box. Mr. Mashup reports that, not only is it free, but the rep said they’d drop our Internet-only bill by $5.00 a month for a year if we took it, and then it would go only back up to our current level, and that she’d also up our Internet speed for a year.

I looked at what he signed, and it says “NO CONTRACT” and “FREE” all over it.

So there ya go!

Note on HD channels

We have not yet hooked it up, but Jill says on her site http://www.jillcataldo.com/node/3891#comment-108663

Caveats: It is BASIC cable. Meaning, the major networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, HCW and PBS, plus only three cable networks: CSPAN, TBS, and Discovery Channel. It is also NON-HD, meaning standard resolution, not high-def. You will also lose the HD subchannels (like 11.2, 11.3, 11.4 and so on) if you use just the Comcast Basic tv service for the set, as they actually charge an additional fee to provide those HD channels to you, even though they’re free over the air.

What I do like? Comcast OnDemand is included, and with OnDemand, you can watch free movies, whenever you want (there are hundreds of free movies available every month – you can pay to rent movies through it too, of course.) Also, the last 4-6 episodes of nearly every popular cable show are available free in the OnDemand too, so we’ve been catching up with Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels, Cake Boss, American Pickers and the other cable shows we enjoy. The kids really like the kids OnDemand channel too.

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We are going to put it on an old TV upstairs that is not hooked up to the antenna (we currently just use it for the occasional kid’s DVD) so as not to worry about losing the HD channels.


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Comments

  1. MK says

    Different people define “basic cable” in different ways.
    Some, basic cable is channels 2-21.
    Others basic cable is roughly channels 2-50 something, and includes discovery, A&E, etc.

    What do you mean by basic cable?

  2. says

    We have not yet hooked it up, but Jill says on her site http://www.jillcataldo.com/node/3891#comment-108663

    Caveats: It is BASIC cable. Meaning, the major networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, HCW and PBS, plus only three cable networks: CSPAN, TBS, and Discovery Channel. It is also NON-HD, meaning standard resolution, not high-def. You will also lose the HD subchannels (like 11.2, 11.3, 11.4 and so on) if you use just the Comcast Basic tv service for the set, as they actually charge an additional fee to provide those HD channels to you, even though they’re free over the air.

    What I do like? Comcast OnDemand is included, and with OnDemand, you can watch free movies, whenever you want (there are hundreds of free movies available every month – you can pay to rent movies through it too, of course.) Also, the last 4-6 episodes of nearly every popular cable show are available free in the OnDemand too, so we’ve been catching up with Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels, Cake Boss, American Pickers and the other cable shows we enjoy. The kids really like the kids OnDemand channel too.

    —-

    We are going to put it on an old TV upstairs that is not hooked up to the antenna (we currently just use it for the occasional kid’s DVD) so as not to worry about losing the HD channels. I’ll add a note about that.

  3. Charlotte says

    I can’t WAAAAIT till we can dump DirecTV! We generally only watch CBS, ABC, NBC and PBS anyway. Oh, and hubby watches Fox for football. I think there’s a $20 / month early termination fee, which I am seriously thinking of forking up, as it beats $65 / month.

    We’ll have to get a Tivo or something though, because I like to record my sons shows and play them for him when it suits me. ;)

    Also, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find HD to be “all that and a packet of chips” to be honest. Maybe it’s just me…? Or maybe I’ll notice once we no longer have it? ;)

  4. Jana says

    I’m definitely checking into this as we already have only the basic cable (defined as channels 2-13) for an outrageous $22/month! Is that box a tivo/DVR?

    • says

      It doesn’t look like it. DH threw out the box but didn’t hook it up yet, but I went up and looked at it and it doesn’t LOOK like it. But I’ll report back once we get it hooked up, if I am wrong :)

          • says

            When we called the 1-800 number we got nowhere, unless you have better luck. The 630 number is from the business card of the person who actually brought us the box. It says she is a “residential field specialist greater chicago region.”

  5. don says

    Im interested in your reports on how this all works out for you MM… Ive been paytv free for over 3 months now, except netflix and hulu plus and I am loving it…. there are many ways to stream everything including sports…

    • says

      We have Netflix (streaming only) but not Hulu Plus — It’s been six weeks now and we haven’t really even noticed the change. We always have something to watch. Although I couldn’t watch Extreme Couponing — oh, woe ;)

    • says

      We are on a higher-tiered one because dh uses it for work a lot and needs to VPN in and stream things and the lower bandwidth wasn’t cutting it. So it’s crazy, something like $60-$70 a month if you don’t bundle other services, but also a business expense. The lower tiered one was something like $40 a month. I feel better about that with the free basic cable thrown in, now.

      • Charlotte says

        We’re out in Bolingbrook and our internet is $44.99/mo (normally $59.95/mo). If you pay more, call Comcast and as for a discount. Anyway, ours seems to be called “performance” and works excellent with streaming Netflix as well as video calls on Skype. :)

  6. Juliez says

    Is that box a DVR? We actually have Comcast’s basic cable right now, so we are used to the limited selection, but we rely upon our TIVO.

    • says

      I’m not sure yet. Will do an update when it is working — the remote has a DVR button. DH is up trying to hook it up but as of the last update it was only getting channel 2, lol. It could be the 20 year old TV…

      • says

        OK, it’s not a DVR, but dh says it looks like it would easily hook into something external like the channelmaster. Last night I browsed through quickly and we were getting broadcast channels, the speed channel, lol, and not sure what else.

  7. Richard says

    I spoke to the Comcast rep tonight and she told me that this offer is only good for costumer who have internet but not cable. So if you already have Comcast cable to you would not be eligible for the offer above.

  8. Charlotte says

    Sent her an e-mail as Comcast just called me tonight to offer me the Blast! package for the same price that the performance would be. I’d rather have the performance for the price of any of the lower tiered services. :p

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