'Comcast VS Astound - A look at two leading cable providers'

#1
For many people there are lots of cable decisions available, and for some like me the choices are limited. I wish I could get DirectTV it's always incredibly cheap around my house for a huge bundle, but alas I live on the wrong side and there is literally zero reception, so that's out of the picture. We tried going to At&T, but the old cable we had did not support their new high speed service. That left but two options Comcast or Astound.

When we first moved in Comcast offered a TV and internet bundle for $39.99 with HBO for 6 months. At a nice 40-50mbps this was obviously a great deal. Then as time progressed our promtional price ended and went up to $69.99, quite a jump. The internet connection drastically slowed and we decided it was time for a new provider. Astound offered a $14.99 deal for each service for new customers for a year. We upgraded the speed and brought our monthly bill to $37.99 (but no HBO). This is what we currently have, at least til our deal runs out...

I will evaluate my experience with each service seperately in a number of categories:
Content- What is proably important to most, what shows/movies are available in the streaming library
Customer Service- Another important one, and I have spent HOURS on the phone with both so I have some experience
Add-on Cost- How much new movies,other channels, etc, cost to rent
Overall Cost- How much the service costs (using my SF data)
Overall Review- My personal overall experience with each service




Comcast

Content:
Most typical shows have between 5-10 episodes in their library, with current shows replacing older episodes as new one's air. Usually a new episode is added the day after it airs. Episodes of currently aired shows tend to stay On Demand for a month or so. Off-the-air shows have a constanly rotating catalog of old episodes, a select few allow you to view a whole season (somtimes more). The On Demand movies are all those b-movies and lifetime movies that you don't ever want to watch

Customer Service:
This is by far my biggest complaint with Comcast. It's not just a personal experience either, most of my friends and family have experience similar issues. After the technician failed to show up when we waited for three hours, they cancelled our installation instead of rescheduling, so I had to call and set everything up AGAIN. Later when we tried getting a better deal after the price went up they forwarded my call to four people before I was told I had no other options unless I added a land-line....

Add-on Cost:
Most TV shows cost between $.99 and $1.99 an episode, which seems a little steep considering I can buy them permanently on Amazon or iTunes. Movies are usually $3.99-$7.99 which is WAAAYYY to high since I can rent them right down the street at Redbox for $1.20. Channels are typically between $4.99 and $9.99 a month which is pretty darn good cnsidering how much extra content HBO has.

Overall Cost:
Currently Comcast is offering $39.99 for TV and internet combo for 6 months. The internet is only 25mbps, which is pretty slow, and you don't get any bonus channels, but it's not too overpriced considering each service seperately will cost you $29.99

Overall Review:
Terrible customer service and slow internet speeds go hand-in-hand with Comcast, but if you can score a good bonus deal including some extra channels it's worth a try. The On Demand library has just about every show you could want, which is definitely Comcast's best feature.



Astound

Content:
As is the standard, most shows have between 5-10 episodes in the library. New content is added in a mass upload weekly, so you have to wait a few days for some of your shows to update. On-air shows usually last a month or so before being replaced. Off-air shows often have entire seasons and sometimes series. TV On Demand movies are also very uninteresting, and filled mostly with knock-offs and b-movies.

Customer Service:
Very easy to get through their phone support service, the most Ive been on hold is 5-10 minutes. Their installation window was only 1 hour, so I didn't have to wait around all day. And after we complained about slow speeds they gave us a free bandwidth upgrade.

Add-On Cost:
Most TV shows cost between $.99 and $1.99 an episode, which seems a little steep considering I can buy them permanently on Amazon or iTunes. Movies are usually $3.99-$7.99 which is WAAAYYY to high since I can rent them right down the street at Redbox for $1.20. Channels are typically between $4.99 and $9.99 a month which is pretty darn good cnsidering how much extra content HBO has.

Overall Cost:
Currently Astound is offering $44.95 for TV and internet combo for 1 year. This also includes an HD receiver. The internet is 55mbps, and can be upgraded to 100mbps for $7.99. You get 6 months of Starz and Encore for free.

Overall Review:
The customer service and ease of installation cannot be overstated in how much better they are than Comcast. Currently the price is a little higher, but it is a nice bundle that includes a nice connection speed and ability to upgrade. Their TV On Demand does not have as many shows as Comcast, but overall my experience is vastly superior to that when I had Comcast.



*Please note that in each region the prices and deals I mentioned may not apply, r may vary slightly*
 
#3
I was not trying to pick sides, merely present what each service has to offer. That being said Astound has much better customer service and offers much faster internet. Comcast offered more shows On Demand, but rarely adds any bonuses and their promo prices only last 6 months, whereas Astound it lasts for 1 year.
 
#6
I'm like CaliTVguy I have never heard of Astound before. Here where I live you can only choose between Brighthouse Networks and Verizon. Our bundles are typically well over $100 a month so the prices you are quoting sound great. I don't have any of the movie channels and I still pay about $130 a month. I do have phone service included in that price but the difference still seems significant. Thanks for sharing.
 
#7
Brighthouse Networks must be to be what Astound is to you, I've never even heard of it!

That sounds extremely high, I have heard Verizon has good customer service, so I might try calling them and talking to an actual representative. Let them know about these other offers and sometimes they might cut you a discount or throw in a few freebies.
 
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