Rosetta Stone ought to sell software for translating the myriad television packages and rates, but for the time being, we're on our own.
Now that Time Warner Cable has raised its monthly rates effective Jan. 1, it's a good time to take a look at how they compare to other services. Let's start with the new AT&T U-verse, followed by DirecTV and then a look at both the old and new prices for TWC's various packages.
AT&T is introducing its TV service in select neighborhoods of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Garner and, evidently, mine in North Raleigh. (Go to www.uverse.att.com and plug in your address to see if it's available.)
According to the site, I can get AT&T's U200 package of up to 220 channels for $59 a month or $92 when bundled with its Express Internet service (downstream at up to 1.5 Mbps), though it's not immediately clear whether I can order the TV service alone.
The U200 package sports channels include: ESPN, ESPN Classic, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, Big Ten Network, FSN Southwest, Golf Channel, NFL Network, Speed Channel and Versus.
The rate levels also include:
U-family: $44 per month (up to 50 channels)
U300: $79 per month or $112 with Internet (up to 260 channels, including Fox Soccer, star, Encore, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Flix)
U400: $99 per month or $132 with Internet (up to 320 channels, including a special sports package — Comcast SportsNet; Fox College Sports Atlantic, Central and Pacific; Fox Sports en Espanol; more than a dozen FSN channels; FSN Prime Ticket; GolTV, HorseRacing TV, SportsNet New York; SportsSouth; Sun Sports; TV Games network; and Yes, in addition to the channels available at the lower tiers).
OK, how about DirecTV? Here's what we came up with online:
Family package: $29.99 per month (45-plus channels)
Choice: $29.99 per month for first 12 months, regularly $52.99 (150-plus channels, including Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, NFL Network, Spike TV, SportSouth)
Choice Extra: $34.99 per month for 12 months, regularly $57.99 (200-plus channels, also includes Fox Sports Net, The Golf Channel, Versus)
Plus DVR package: $39.99 per month for 12 months, regularly $62.99
Choice Extra + HD: $44.98 per month for 12 months, regularly $67.98
Plus HD DVR package: $49.99 per month for 12 months, regularly $72.99
Premier package: $81.99 per month for 12 months, regularly $104.99 (265-plus channels, including ESPNU, Fox Soccer, Madison Square Garden Network, MASN, MSG Plus, New England Sports Network, The Outdoor Channel, Sun Sport, Tennis Channel)
Finally, here's a look at the current and future rates of Time Warner Cable, with some info. on sports channels offered at each price level. Hope this helps.
|Service||Current monthly price||Jan. 1 price|
Basic cable (with no other service)
(up to 24 channels)
(up to 74 channels, includes ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports Carolinas, Versus, The Golf Channel)
(over 260 channels, includes ESPNU, ESPN Classic, Speed, Fox Soccer, MLB Network as of Jan. 1)
(Digipic 1500 and higher lineups depends on your premium subscription, i.e., with HBO, you get the 1500 lineup of 275 channels; you can also pick Sports and Games as your digital tier or add it for $4.95 more per month; it includes Fox Sports Atlantic, Central, Pacific, NBA TV, Tennis Channel, Fuel, CBS College Sports, Outdoor Channel, GSN, NHL Network, Big Ten Network)
(290 channels, with HBO/Cinemax)
(307 channels, with HBO/Cinemax/Showtime Unlimited)
(313 channels, with all premiums)
|Digital sports and game tier||$3.50||$4.95|
|Wireless home networking||$9.95||$11.95|