Couch potato alert!

I think the Rogers Cable people have been reading my blog. Just days after whinging about the pathetic lack of viewable TV in the month of June, they call me up and offer me free digital cable. Now, I kind of like the fact that we’re old skool with our TV channels, considering we’re such TV junkies. 65 channels has always seemed like plenty to me. Maybe it’s because I can still clearly remember our 13-channel TV, where channel 1 was UHF, channel 7 was French and channel 13 was red, green and blue striped informational text. And in an era where we are struggling to make ends meet, digital or satellite cable has always struck me as an indulgence we could easily forgo.

But because I am so very tired of settling for crap in the hour or so each night that Beloved and I watch TV before the kids go to bed, and because I’d love to one day explore the range of TV options beyond 9 pm (hey, 5 am comes early!) I was particularly vulnerable to the nice East Indian chap who called this afternoon. Instead of abruptly cutting him off, I listened to his pitch with a detached kind of interest, still pretty sure I was going to blow him off. The gist of it was that the digital channels — hundreds upon hundreds of them, including Teletoon Retro, the only one I knew we’d collectively love — for an extra $7 a month, with the first six months free. Meh, $7 isn’t much. Couple of coffees at Tim Horton’s a month. Okay, I’m wavering.

“How about you throw in a free PVR?” I say, shooting for the moon. I desperately want a PVR but can’t justify getting one as long as our VCR still functions. There are very few gadgets outside of the photographic realm that I covet, but I have been deeply jonesing for a PVR for more than a year, mostly when I am rummaging through stacks of unlabelled tapes, hunting for one I can use 75 seconds before Lost begins. When I find out someone has a PVR, I immediately and obsessively must know the details of their viewing habits, what they have stored and what they record regularly. I really, really want a PVR.

“I can do that,” says my new best friend, and my mouth drops open in surprise. “It will cost you $19.99 a month to rent after the six-month trial period is over, though, and another $2 for the digital channels.” I am busy flipping calendar pages in my head as I count off the months on my fingers… September, October, November — we could have a free PVR and digital cable through December if I agree to this deal. I am hooked like a trout.

We can go pick up our no-strings-attached PVR on Monday. I’m so excited I could dance. Oh, the TV we will watch this summer! We may never actually leave the living room. And it’s free! Free and TV, two of my favourite things!

(Anybody want to lay odds on the chances of us returning the PVR to Rogers in December when the free trial period is up? Ah well, in classic Scarlett O’Hara fashion, we can think about that tomorrow…)

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

15 thoughts on “Couch potato alert!”

  1. Dude… are you sure you didn’t sign on for a one or three year deal? That’s usually why they give you the six months free…

  2. Nope, I was very explicit on that point. All I have to do is give them 30 days notice that I’m returning the unit. If I don’t return it after six months, we’re on month-to-month — no notice or deposit required. The only thing I’m not sure about is what happens to the TV in the basement, whether it retains regular cable or what.

  3. Okay- here’s my own warning. I got the same deal a few months ago. Rogers called, offered free digital, blah, blah, blah. What’s the catch? Gotta be a catch, right? No catch, they say. I ask 4 times and am assured every time that there is no catch. Sure enough the bill shows up and there’s a 60$ one-time fee to upgrade your cable service to digital. I call Rogers- obviously, they’ve made a mistake. Nope, no mistake- that’s a standard charge for ‘upgrading’ to digital. Only after I asked them where I could send their ‘free’ box back did they agree to waive the fee. I hate Rogers. I hate Rogers with a passion. Unfortunately, all my electronic services are with them. You eventually get what you are supposed to, but you have to complain to get it. I hope I don’t sound too pessimistic… just keep an eye on your next bill!

  4. oh, you will never go back after you try the PVR – it’s amazing! It gets expensive though – we’ve given up Cable now because how high our bill was getting. I miss TV sometimes, but usually I don’t…

  5. Yeah, you’re not going to return that box, assuming no major changes in the household budget. It’s just WAAAAY too nice to have kids’ programming available on your own schedule, instead of someone else’s. (We only got our first DVR about six weeks ago — it’s a revelation.)

  6. I had a TiVo before our TV died and I loved that thing. I never get to watch TV on my schedule, so just having it sit there waiting for me was the best. Oh, and the ability to pause live TV seriously rocks.

    Enjoy! I doubt you will be returning the PVR. 😉

  7. I work for the evil empire-aside from the PVR pricing being for only a dual tuner, it’s legit. But call in if you see anything weird-those offers are done thru 3rd party centers, and sometimes problems can appear-if you see install fees, it is an error. You should never be charged for upgrading to digital, unless you’re adding hookups in another room. I mean really, hey you, please upgrade to digital since everyone will be doing it soon. But then we’ll charge you? Nah.

    Even with my discount I’m nervous about upgrading to a PVR cause I know it’s a never go back scenario…. 😛 Enjoy the digital. It’s MUCH more awesome.

  8. Ah, the PVR… honestly, I think I watch less TV now than I did before we got the PVR, but that’s because I’m only watching shows that I really WANT to watch!! It’s fabulous to have ‘my’ shows waiting for me whenever I get the chance to sit down – and I never miss a minute of So You Think You Can Dance 😉 Lots of times now I’ll choose to read a book or something else “unplugged” rather than rushing to watch a show… because I know that I can watch it tomorrow night or next week if I want to! Not to mention the “series” recording feature which means I have many, many kids shows on tap whenever required!

  9. We’ve had a PVR since PVRs were available. I can’t remember what it’s like to watch tv without commercials and Reid asks to pause live tv if watch it in a hotel. The PVR lets you be more efficient since you watch only what you planned to watch and each show lasts 43 minutes instead of the hour. But… We put our tv in the basement several months ago and I rarely see it or the PVR. I am still in love with Zip, though, for the tv shows on DVD. You could give the PVR back in November if you get a deal out of Zip to start then.

  10. I am addicted to our PVR, the KIDS are addicted to our PVR. We have been trying to cut costs what with our little package coming at Christmas and me wanting a debt free mat leave… BUT the PVR is off limits!

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