Cable TV is getting out of control expensive. I'm not going to pick on just one communications company because they all do it.

You sign up for a manageable amount and 6 months later we're making that call to customer service. The one that goes, "Yeah, my cable has gone up another $38 this month and I've got a better offer at another company."

They will usually uncover a discount you didn't know you had - or they'll rework your bill to a lower amount. Anything to keep you as a pawn in this competitive billion dollar digital battlefield.

One way to lower your bill is to own your own DVR. More than likely you're leasing a DVR / cable box from your communications company. You're probably paying anywhere from $12 - $19 per month to lease it. So in reality, you could buy one outright for around $159. That's only nine months and you've cut the "leasing tether".

Make sure to check with your cable company to make sure that the unit you purchase is compatible with their digital signal. And you can be sure they'll try to talk you out of it.

The same goes for a modem if you are in a internet "bundled" contract. Buy your own, send theirs back, and you're good to go. In most cases you can buy a faster modem than the one they prove for around $100. Or you could continue to lease for around $9 per month for years. You do the math.

According to Consumer Reports, the Federal Communications Commission is working on a plan that will keep the communications giants from becoming too much of a monopoly on the cable boxes and giving the consumer more options which could land us much fairer pricing. Obviously the cable industry is not going down without a fight.

To date, over 100,000 people have signed a petition the help keep cable costs down - and congress is listening. Here's the petition to let them know you're sick of the rising costs.

And there's always the drastic move of cutting the cable cord altogether by going to a HD antenna. More and more people are choosing this option and supplementing their movie needs with a streaming service such as Roku, Netflix, or Hulu.

Until then, is it time to call your provider...again?


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