Cable: basic or full?

The other day I signed up for Shaw's student plan, and decided to get a little cable TV along with high-speed internet. With the student package high speed costs about $22.50 per month; basic cable is $10; and full cable is $20. Installation is scheduled to take place on Saturday (incidentally spoiling my planned trip to Banff), and I'm trying to figure out if I should phone up Shaw and switch from basic cable to full.

Basic cable gives you about 25 channels, and full basically doubles that (adding in TLC, Discovery, History, Prime, A&E, etc.). It seems that - outside of Calgary - most of the stations in the basic package are feeds from Spokane.

  • The upside of full cable: there's more to watch
  • The downside of full cable: there's more to watch


Hmn... I'm debating whether or not I should buy a TV and, if so, how much to spend. How large of a TV do you think that I might be able to fit into my car?

Full cable has more to watch, but that doesn't necessarily mean you will watch more TV. Basic cable has so few channels that you might find you're not getting your money's worth.

I wouldn't bother with a TV if I were you. Since you've got a tuner card, you can watch on your computer. Throw MythTV or something on there and you've got an instant PVR to further maximize the how-much-you-watch versus how-much-you-pay ratio.

Well, my computer has fans running in it which result in annoying background noise which a TV wouldn't have. Also, some patch to Windows XP seems to have resulted in my tv tuner card no longer working in there. The card actually doesn't have WinXP drivers - I was using the W2K ones.

TVs also fit into the cheaper for bigger display category (unless I were to acquire an LCD TV), and it might be nice to have something a little bigger than a 19" display. Plus, I don't think that I'll have a couch or anything nearby my computer desk to watch from.

I saw a 27" toshiba for $199 in the flyer today. Maybe you can get something like that.

I was poking around on a few websites and it seems that there a few 27" TVs that can be had for around $200.

I'm presently wondering if I should try to use the $30 off $250 coupon in the most recent superstore flyer out here, but I'm not sure that I can get a TV that size to fit in my trunk.

Why does Dave assume it has to go in the could put it on the back seat, or even the passenger seat just to get it home.

I'm not crazy...oh, wait, nevermind.

Ryan and I talked a little bit about that yesterday. I just don't have the biggest car in any way, shape, or form.

Well, my computer has fans running in it which result in annoying background noise which a TV wouldn't have.

There's ways of reducing that background noise to acceptable levels, but if you want more than 19" there's not much point pursuing it. The lack of WinXP drivers is a shame, but not relevant if you go with MythTV because MythTV is a Linux app.