cable

New York State Kicks Out Spectrum Cable

Charter Spectrum logo

Episode 1510

The state of New York has voted to kick cable provider Spectrum out of the state, after the ISP failed to create a high speed network in rural areas. The company will also have to pay a $3 million penalty, and continue to operate until the New York Public Service Commission finds a company to replace them. New York made a provisional approval of the merger of Spectrum and Charter Communications, but without the rural internet agreement, the state has revoked that approval and kicked them out.

What's the difference between a TV converter box and a cable internet box?

Cable

Episode 1490

Paul from La Jolla, CA

A TV converter box is the set top box that comes with a cable subscription, and it takes the signal coming in through the copper cable and turns it into something the TV can understand. He would use the converter box to switch channels. The internet box is a bit different, and would give him the cable internet access. Often times companies will combine the two and offer a converter box and a cable modem. He would get more channels on the hybrid cable TV and internet box, but he'd have to pay for the internet access to use that.

What are my options for canceling my ISP?

Episode 1423

Gloria from North Hollywood, CA

Gloria wants to get rid of her ISP and change her email. Leo says if she's going to get rid of her ISP and its email, Leo recommends going with Gmail first and setting it up to get the email off her old email account. Her ISP is DSL Extreme. Leo says that DSL Extreme is a good provider, but if she's having issues, it may not be their fault. It may be the carrier that DSL Extreme is piggy backing on, which is usually AT&T. They have to allow them to carry it, but they don't really want to share. So they make it difficult.

Can I own my own modem?

Motorola Surfboard DOCSIS III

Episode 1419

Cecil from Hemet, CA

Cecil has been dealing with issues with Spectrum and he's replaced the router. Can he replace the modem too? Leo says yes. He can buy his own modem and save himself a $10 a month rental charge in the process. He'll want to check with Spectrum to see what routers Spectrum supports, and based on those, he can buy his own. Most support the Surfboard DOCSIS III. There's also the NETGEAR Nighthawk.

How can I get cable channels for free?

Roku Express

Episode 1418

Jennifer from Norco, CA

Jennifer is retired and doesn't want to pay for cable, so she has an antenna. She wants a few cable channels, though. Leo says she may be able to stream those channels online through her internet access. Leo recommends streaming from the cable channel website, or use a streaming box like the Roku Express. It's cheap. She should also check out tvfool.com for how to point her antenna to get the most channels.

What cable should I use for my TV?

RG6 cable

Episode 1332

Laurie from Napa Valley, CA

Laurie wants to move her TV across from where her cable is. Leo says she can, and she can make the cable as long as she wants, but she shouldn't use a splitter. The better the cable she uses, the better it looks too. Flat cables are for running under the carpet. She'll want low resistance RG59, RG11, or RG6 cables. RG6 is what the cable company uses and it's the best choice.

Laurie should check out BlueJeansCable.com for recommendations and descriptions.

How can I find the best cable, internet, and phone service?

Episode 1329

Ricky from Chatsworth, CA

Ricky thinks his Triple Play package is just too expensive. What is the best provider for internet, cable, and telephone? Leo says that the only real advantage of a Triple Play package is that he'd get one bill. For a phone service, he prefers real phone service because in the event of a disaster, the plain old telephone service will continue to operate. Leo advises going to DSLReports.com because they will give him the best ratings on what is the best coverage and reliability. Leo also recommends talking to neighbors.

Do I have an alternative to my phone company?

Episode 1286

Frank from Huntington Beach, CA

Frank's cable company was taken over by Frontier from Verizon and it has constant outages that drive him nuts. Leo says it's gotten so bad that they're having hearings about it! Frank wants to change, but what are his options? Leo says that he probably won't have a choice for telephone, but he can change his internet service. He will have other TV options as well because he can always go with satellite or even Time Warner Cable. In fact, he can switch to Time Warner for all three and his phone number may be portable. Time Warner wants his business, so he should try to call them.

How can I monitor my data usage?

Episode 1274

Jonathan from Knoxville, TN

Jonathan is with Comcast and they've put data caps on his service. 300GB per month plus $10 for another 50GB. Leo says that's terrible. 300GB isn't very much if he's watching Netlix. He can check his consumption in Windows 10. He can also check on his mobile device. Asus has a traffic monitor interface that he could use. Wireshark is another option for analyzing the traffic on his wireless. He could also put open source firmware on his router like DDWRT or Tomato which would do that monitoring for him.