12 Things Not To Buy In 2016 - Comments Page 1

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Posted by:

Ken Mitchell
24 Dec 2015

I would disagree with your recommendation to not purchase a dedicated GPS device. Yes, most people who live in the city or who never leave the coverage area of their 4G internet service may be able to use their cell phones as GPS. But once you're out of cell coverage - in the mountains, or even just up in the foothills - you'll find that your phone will fail to connect to the mapping service. The GPS will still work, giving you your latitude and longitude, but you may not be able to see your current location on the map. And if you're starting your journey out in the boonies, your phone may not be able to connect at all.

A dedicated GPS will work anyplace that you have a clear view of the sky. And you can generally download free map updates every quarter.

Posted by:

Don
24 Dec 2015

I guess I'm missing something, but I just don't understand how you can really "cut the cable". With all the services you list above, you still have to have some way of getting them, and I don't know of a good one other than cable service. Is there another way?

Posted by:

Don
24 Dec 2015

I guess I'm missing something, but I just don't understand how you can really "cut the cable". With all the services you list above, you still have to have some way of getting them, and I don't know of a good one other than cable service. Is there another way?

Posted by:

SamiamHis
24 Dec 2015

With the garbage internet we have where we live there are no cheaper alternatives to satellite TV. Perhaps someday that will be true but for now I rely on pressuring the satellite company to give me their best rates. Distasteful at best.

Thanks for all the great tips and reviews! Have a wonderful CHRISTmas and a blessed New Year!

Posted by:

Dennis
24 Dec 2015


Bob, there are still places where economical Internet access with practically unlimited data doesn't exist. That's why I don't use Netflix, etc. "Cutting the cable" and switching to services like that would cause data overages on my ISP that would break my monthly budget if I used it in place of my $100 cable bill. ($15 per gig if I go over during any given month and I seem to go over every month as it is). Keep up your fine work!

Posted by:

Ken Mitchell
24 Dec 2015

Don: While you probably buy these services from the same company, your internet service and your TV service are separate services. Here in Sacramento, I have the "bundle" from our local phone company, Consolidated Communications. The internet service is $60; the TV service is $150. We're evaluating whether we can "cut the cable" on the TV service, but we understand that we'd still need the internet service.

Posted by:

Jim Lewis
24 Dec 2015

My comment mirrors Don's when he states;

"I guess I'm missing something, but I just don't understand how you can really "cut the cable". With all the services you list above, you still have to have some way of getting them, and I don't know of a good one other than cable service. Is there another way?"

I see no major difference's in satellite or cable so what is the alternative?

Posted by:

Anthony
24 Dec 2015

Cutting the cable refers to cable tv you would still need an internet connection. We dropped the tv and phone portion of our UVERSE bundle and now use it for Internet only. We use our cell phones mostly. We converted our land line to a cell phone black box from Verizon for $10/month which connects to our household phones. Over a ten-year period we will save about $12,000. I installed an antenna for off air TV reception we got about 60 channels including multiple channels that are not on cable and we get a better picture. For example our local PBS station broadcasts for sub channels only one of them appears on cable. We live about 40 miles from downtown Chicago. Somethings especially some sports will not be available with this cable cutting setup however. Also if you want to record off air you will have to buy a digital recorder about $200.interestingly program information is available on our Samsung TV and also on the digital recorders.

Posted by:

Anthony
24 Dec 2015

Cutting the cable refers to cable tv you would still need an internet connection. We dropped the tv and phone portion of our UVERSE bundle and now use it for Internet only. We use our cell phones mostly. We converted our land line to a cell phone black box from Verizon for $10/month which connects to our household phones. Over a ten-year period we will save about $12,000. I installed an antenna for off air TV reception we got about 60 channels including multiple channels that are not on cable and we get a better picture. For example our local PBS station broadcasts for sub channels only one of them appears on cable. We live about 40 miles from downtown Chicago. Somethings especially some sports will not be available with this cable cutting setup however. Also if you want to record off air you will have to buy a digital recorder about $200.interestingly program information is available on our Samsung TV and also on the digital recorders.

Posted by:

Anthony
24 Dec 2015

Cutting the cable refers to cable tv you would still need an internet connection. We dropped the tv and phone portion of our UVERSE bundle and now use it for Internet only. We use our cell phones mostly. We converted our land line to a cell phone black box from Verizon for $10/month which connects to our household phones. Over a ten-year period we will save about $12,000. I installed an antenna for off air TV reception we got about 60 channels including multiple channels that are not on cable and we get a better picture. For example our local PBS station broadcasts for sub channels only one of them appears on cable. We live about 40 miles from downtown Chicago. Somethings especially some sports will not be available with this cable cutting setup however. Also if you want to record off air you will have to buy a digital recorder about $200.interestingly program information is available on our Samsung TV and also on the digital recorders.

Posted by:

Mike J
24 Dec 2015

Regarding brand-name ink cartridges: I just went through hours of phone calls to HP regarding my 8610 not functioning in any way because I put in after-market ink. I even tried Costco's re-chipped cartridges which they guaranteed to work. They didn't and HP told me the printer will not work when non-HP cartridges are installed. It won't even scan or fax or anything total shut down.
If there is some way to override this please make it the topic of one of your very informative articles.
Thanks Bob for keeping 'Ask Bob Rankin' going and Merry Christmas.

Posted by:

OldNader
24 Dec 2015

It appears to me that most of the skeptics just don't understand. You are going to have an isp for your Internet anyway. So your cable or other tv services would be in addition to your other costs. With no cable or other tv services, the small amount you pay for Hulu or Netflix will be MUCH less than your costs to have cable or other tv services.

Posted by:

Anthony
24 Dec 2015

Cutting the cable refers to cable tv you would still need an internet connection. We dropped the tv and phone portion of our UVERSE bundle and now use it for Internet only. We use our cell phones mostly. We converted our land line to a cell phone black box from Verizon for $10/month which connects to our household phones. Over a ten-year period we will save about $12,000. I installed an antenna for off air TV reception ($30 from Channelmaster).we get about 60 channels including multiple channels that are not on cable and we get a better picture. . Our local PBS station broadcasts four sub channels only one of them appears on cable. We live about 40 miles from downtown Chicago. We also use Hulu + and Netflix. Somethings especially some sports will not be available with this cable cutting setup however. Also if you want to record off air you will have to buy a digital recorder about $200. Interestingly program information is available on our Samsung TV and also on the digital recorders it's provided by the tv stations themselves.

Posted by:

Anthony
24 Dec 2015

Cutting the cable refers to cable tv you would still need an internet connection. We dropped the tv and phone portion of our UVERSE bundle and now use it for Internet only. We use our cell phones mostly. We converted our land line to a cell phone black box from Verizon for $10/month which connects to our household phones. Over a ten-year period we will save about $12,000. I installed an antenna for off air TV reception ($30 from Channelmaster).we get about 60 channels including multiple channels that are not on cable and we get a better picture. . Our local PBS station broadcasts four sub channels only one of them appears on cable. We live about 40 miles from downtown Chicago. We also use Hulu + and Netflix. Somethings especially some sports will not be available with this cable cutting setup however. Also if you want to record off air you will have to buy a digital recorder about $200. Interestingly program information is available on our Samsung TV and also on the digital recorders it's provided by the tv stations themselves.

Posted by:

Daniel Wiener
24 Dec 2015

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Bob, for letting me know about the Shield Signal Proof Headwear Kickstarter project. For too long I've been reluctant to wear my conventional tin foil hat because it didn't fit that well and drew ignorant, unkind comments from passers-by. Thus I've been left vulnerable to all kinds of potentially insidious signals from nefarious government agencies and extra-terrestrial entities. The resulting tension has raised my blood pressure, but when I tried to explain it to my regular physician he just wanted me to take prescription drugs which wouldn't solve the underlying problem so I refused.

But it appears that the Shield Signal Proof Headwear is the perfect solution! It is "antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiradiation, antiodor, antistatic, and radar and infra-red invisible". And according to their FAQ, I won't have to worry about "signals that come through other parts of head and hit the inside of the reflective cap, then pass back through the brain a second time or stay inside and multiply their power". That was an obvious concern, along with whether it would increase the risk of a lightning strike which they say "it definitely doesn't".

All in all, what's not to like?

Posted by:

The lady Di
24 Dec 2015

If we cut the cable, what about news broadcasts like Fox news?

Posted by:

Jean
24 Dec 2015

I'm a Senior. Can't afford satellite cable, etc. Was paying $35/month for "basic" on Direct TV. Got basic stations and a couple more. Then I bought a Flatwave Amped indoor antenna. It's great! Better picture than satellite! Not much more choice of stations, but get the basics. So great if you don't need hundreds of nothing stations. And after about two months, it HAS PAID FOR ITSELF, and is now FREE.

Posted by:

RueltstB
24 Dec 2015

@Bob - Can you DELETE 3 or 4 of Anthony's duplicate posts? He evidently did not read the Instructions and kept hitting the "Submit" button.

"All comments are previewed, and may be edited before posting."

Great article and some good Replies.

Posted by:

Scott
24 Dec 2015

I disagree with not purchasing a dedicated GPS because of the data you would be using with navigation on a cellphone.

Posted by:

Lincoln
24 Dec 2015

Please remember that not everyone owns, or intends to own, a cellular telephone. So there will still be a place for genuine digital cameras for a lot of people, for a long time to come.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Perhaps true, but as of September 2013, the Pew Research Center found that 91 percent of Americans owned a cell phone. That number is surely higher by now.

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