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The Options for Receiving The Outdoor Channel

First, the two quick and inexpensive fixes—the two mini-satellite companies, Dish Network and Direct TV.

Both systems offer Outdoor Channel in Standard Definition.  Both are yet to add the High Definition version of Outdoor Channel.  When they do put up the High Definition Channel, you’ll find it to be a huge improvement over Standard Definition.  If you have Dish or Direct, you should let them know you want High Definition. 

Both satellite services offer the SD channel “a la carte” (you need to say that to the phone rep.) for $2.99 per month, added to ANY channel package, of any size. If you only watched The Outdoor Channel to see Shooting USA, that would be 50-cents per week to see our shows, but you’ll find more programs you’ll enjoy, like the NRA’s American Rifleman, that appear with our shows on Wednesday nights.

Both satellite companies are offering “sports packages” of multiple channels to get you to spend more than the $2.99 “ala carte” option.  The phone rep. may not know there’s an “ala carte” option, you may need a supervisor. 

Overall, switching from cable to satellite will likely save you money, since they are locked in a fierce struggle with the large cable companies for customers.

But that’s not going to be an option for you, if you are using your cable company for your high-speed internet connection. If that’s the case, they have you by your internet short-hairs.

So now we need to deal with your cable company and that probably means Comcast or Time Warner… together they are partnered to be the biggest players in the country. The third large, and very disagreeable, player is Cox Cable.  To my knowledge, Cox does not offer any form of Outdoor Channel.

All the large cable systems are using their internet service, phone service, and “Video on demand” to try to combat the threat of the less expensive satellite services. But they are running scared in the scramble to hang on to customers as the local telephone companies are being freed-up to offer TV over their new fiber optic service lines. 

Already phone company Verizon is in hot competition with the cable systems in certain parts of the country. This quote is from one of the trade publications I receive:

  • Verizon has been aggressively building a fiber-optic cable network, called FiOS, around the country. It has been challenging Comcast, the country's largest cable company, by offering bundled packages of high-speed cable TV, Internet and phone service. Comcast has been adding telephone service to its video and Internet offerings. – Broadcasting Today

I hear from a viewer in Texas, who has Verizon FiOS, that the service is much less expensive than cable there and the picture and sound quality is better because of the fiber optic, digital delivery, to his house. And Verizon includes The Outdoor Channel in their most basic packages of channels. So if Verizon is offering FiOS in your area it is a great new option. They are expanding as rapidly as possible across the country.

Meanwhile, ATT is expanding their fiber network and offering TV along with internet and phone service.  In fiber optic form, ATT becomes a viable alternative.

With all the new competition, we’re hearing that the big cable companies are quite sensitive to the suggestion that a customer might switch to a different service. One viewer wrote that he could only get Outdoor Channel on his Time Warner system if he upgraded to the digital tier and got the digital converter box. He complained about the cost to the service rep and she gave him the box and the service for a year for free!

So beat ‘em up a little. You might get Outdoor Channel and save some money at the same time.

But there are some cable systems that simply will not offer the channel under any circumstances.

In those cases, let’s hope Verizon rides to your rescue soon. Or your local ATT phone company.  Or that switching to DSL and Satellite works for you, like the systems we have at our house.

But I recognize we may lose you as a viewer for a while, until the new technology catches up to your neighborhood. It’s virtually certain The Outdoor Channel will get to you eventually as the only remaining channel dedicated to traditional programming for sportsmen and sportswomen.

In the meantime, let me know if you manage to solve your problem with one of the options I’ve listed above.

Jim

 

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