An alarming letter from Cox Communications arrived in the mail yesterday, informing me that, as of Aug. 30, they will no longer carry HBO on the old-fashioned, regular cable but will relegate it to Digital Cable-only status.
They tried to make the offer sweet: three months of Digital Cable for merely $1 a month each, but no matter how kindly an ultimatum is made, I always instinctively resist it.
Of course, that wouldn’t include the cost for a converter box that I don’t want or the eventual raise after the three months. (Sorry, I don’t need multiple channels of HBO. One always has served me well.) I don’t want cable boxes that take over your TV and recording devices, usually leaving it where you can’t tape something and watch something else without an A/B switch (another expense). It defeats the purpose of cable ready TVs, VCRs and DVD recorders.
Know what’s even cheaper than a $1 a month for three months though? A cable bill that will be $13.95 cheaper forever. Sure, we had a story in The Oklahoman today about worries over the eventual switch to all-digital signals that will make old TVs obsolete without converters, but that’s not happening until 2009. I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it. I imagine I won’t be alone because if anything will send rioters to the streets, it will be the sudden inability to watch television, especially for those on the lower end of the economic spectrum who can’t even afford regular cable now.
So, it’s a sad day for me. I anxiously awaited the new season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in September and, even more importantly, the final season of “The Wire” in early 2008. At least they waited until after “The Sopranos” finished to pull this stunt.
Scott Schuldt, Staff Writer