Monday, June 2, 2008

RFD-TV Has Arrived

I mentioned in a previous post a while back that I am sticker-shy when it comes to buying horse training videos. The majority cost more than what I'm willing to pay, especially not knowing exactly what I will be getting. I had taken a chance on a couple of horse training DVDs and got burned, as the first one had very little information of value and no demonstrations, while the second DVD was corrupt. In fact, the entire lot of DVDs was corrupt. When I buy something I expect it to be in working condition, as I do not have the time to be exchanging and returning items. I always laugh when I ask a salesperson a question and she says, "If it doesn't work out, just bring it back." I want to add, "...and spend another $30 in gas and give up another two hours of my time in the process." I especially can't stand having to make returns by mail, as the lines and service at my local post office can be brutal.

Someone mentioned that RFD-TV has horse training shows. I had never heard of it before. I had cable TV and my tier did not carry that channel. One day a saleslady called wanting to sell me a bigger package for my cable TV. I told her that I was only interested in getting RFD-TV, so she set me up with a package that would have it. I even verified with her supervisor that I would be getting that channel, however once it was installed, the installer informed me that they do not carry RFD-TV period. I was furious. I tried all those extra movie channels for a while, but found that I never had two hours to spare to sit down and watch an entire movie. I saw no point in keeping the bigger package.

I researched RFD-TV and found that both DirecTV and the Dish Network do support it. I figured that if I was going to hassle with backing out of the bigger package with my cable company, I may as well switch to DirecTV and take their basic 150 channels with RFD-TV. I had to admit that I was like a deer in headlights when it came to taking action. It seems that any time I make a change, the result is that my To Do List quadruples in size because I invite a lot of new problems into my life. As a general rule, I have found that most people are incompetent at their jobs and make mistakes that cause other people to suffer the consequences, and the person suffering the consequences is usually the person who has to give up her time correcting the problem. That's me.

I literally spent two months just checking and double-checking which channels I would get with DirecTV and reading their small print. Several times I started to subscribe over the Internet only to back out. Something kept telling me I'd regret it, but I was already regretting this stupid movie package I bought from Charter Cable. I decided to go to my local Charter office and inquire as to everything that is involved in breaking our contract. I expected to be fined some exorbitant amount, but the lady told me there was no charge and I could discontinue my service at any time. All I had to do was to bring in the box, cable, and remote.

At that point I subscribed to DirecTV over the Internet, which gives you a bit of a financial break. I was surprised to see that they could install my dish and box the very next day. I always had a minimum 2-week wait for anything to get done by my cable company, and they rarely showed up on the day of their appointment. In fact, when they installed my bigger package, they also installed a new cable, but never buried it. I was told that someone would be out in 6 weeks to bury the cable, but no one ever showed up. This was very bad as my cable was running through my neighbor's property, and her gardeners were doing a lot of weed whacking. I asked the lady at the local office if she could send someone over, and she set up an appointment for Friday. However, it wasn't until the next Wednesday when someone actually showed up.

I wasn't going to discontinue my cable service until they buried that dang cable! I can't tell you what a relief it is to finally have DirecTV and have proof that they actually do carry RFD-TV and all those horse training shows. I had the installer show me the channel and there was Craig Cameron doing demonstrations on his horse. I must have been staring at it with my mouth hanging open, because he said, "I get the feeling this is the only channel that matters to you." I told him he was right.

My biggest issue with cable is that when you have work done on your property that involves digging, the company that marks all your underground utilities does not know where your television and/or Internet cable is buried. I have had mine accidentally dug up by either backhoes or horses on four different occasions. Despite this, the cable company kept burying the cable right over the septic tank and across my paddock shallow enough for the horses to dig up. I finally stood out there with them and told them exactly where to lay the cable so that the horses couldn't get to it. It's nice to not have to worry about it anymore.

What I thought was interesting was that when I returned my cable box and remote, there was a pile of other returned boxes at the receptionist's desk. She didn't even ask why I am discontinuing my service, which could have given the cable company some valuable information on how they can improve their services. The man who installed my DirecTV listened to my story of how a cable saleslady and her supervisor both duped me into buying a package that did not include the the channel I wanted. He said that sometimes those salespeople lie just to get their commission. I don't think I could ever be that deceitful and selfish. Look at the hassle I went through because of that sales woman's lie. I guess that as long as she doesn't have to suffer the consequences, she doesn't care. Ultimately, the cable company paid for it, because they lost a customer.

So far, my husband and I are both very happy with the DirecTV channel line up. There are a lot of good things to say about DirecTV. We no longer need a switch box to play video games. Cable had been causing interference with our PS3 station, while DirecTV doesn't affect it at all. We no longer need two remotes to change the channels within channel 3 vs. to change the actual channels to get to the auxiliary. The DirecTV box is much smaller and takes up less room than the cable box. The DirecTV remote has more functions and is easier to use. We actually get the Comedy Channel, the BBC, and the NASA Channel without having to pay extra.

My only criticism is that most of the horse training shows are on during the daytime hours, which is right when I am at work or outside riding a horse. Those horse shows need to be moved to the evening when most horse people have tucked in their horses for the night and can actually watch TV. When I had insomnia I watched half-hour after half-hour show, hoping to see a horse training video, but all I saw were trains rumbling past a camera over and over. In the evenings before bedtime I watched RFD-TV and all I saw were mostly shows on agricultural machinery, which were very interesting shows, but not what I was hoping for. I might have to alter my lunch break in order to catch some of those horse shows during the week. Oh well. You can't win 'em all.

15 comments:

coymackerel said...

I have a couple of DVDs that I think are well worth the money - one is Clinton Anderson's "Gaining Respect and Control on the Ground" series and the other is an equine massage video by Jim Masterson.

BTW I think your top in the previous post looks great on you.

Shirley said...

I wish we could get RFD-TV in Canada. I'd love to watch something other than cop shows. We have a sattelite dish and I get the horse racing chanel, but no other horse channels.

Rising Rainbow said...

I wanted to get RFD-TV but if the trainers are all on during the day that would never work. I guess I'll just not worry about it anymore. Besides with my recent experiences with Tommy Garland I'm not as impressed as I used to be.

Pony Girl said...

What a nightmare, your cable story! Goodness! I just have good old basic cable, it's $14.95 a month. Of course, I do not get RFD TV. My parents do, though, so I try to catch the training shows while I am there. I think I am going to buy my dad some VHS tapes and have him start recording them for me. Do you have TIVO? Or DVR? Those all record off of your T.V. Then again, who knows if you want to go through all the cable-company hassle of setting it up, lol!
I have only ordered a few horse training dvd's. The Ken McNabb one's were 20 mins long (same eps as on RFD-TV) and very affordable. My Parelli ones were much longer, detailed, and better quality, too. Of course, they also cost you a pretty penny, too!

Twinville said...

You said: "I must have been staring at it with my mouth hanging open, because he said, "I get the feeling this is the only channel that matters to you." I told him he was right."

You created such a fun visual. hehe Glad you are so 'mostly' happy with your RFD-TV.
I, like you rarely get to watch it during the day because I'm busy homeschooling my kids, attending field trips or caring for our animals or a myriad of busy daytime activities.
The evenings are when I can veg out with the boob tube on.

I also wish RFD-TV would figure that out and move more horse-related shows to the evening.

Abraham Lincoln said...

We never had Direct TV but we did have Dish for a number of months. Maybe longer than a year. Getting rid of it was easy but I had to get up on the roof to take parts of the satellite down and return before I got my deposit back. And it had the RFD TV show on it. I used to stumble over it now and then, during the day and about all I got to see was farm auctions. I never saw anything about life or animals but then I was not on all day long watching either.

My advise. Don't throw any of the boxes away as you will need some of them to send/take the stuff back that is on your roof.

We have road runner now and while they rip us off in price, the service is decent.

Flying Lily said...

Why don't you set it up to record your horse shows? Esp if they are all on the same channel, it might not be that hard (I say that knowing I probably could not figure it out myself). Cable/Charter not my favorite company! They sent a gang of thugs out to activate our cable - thugs damaged basement ceiling, did creative wiring that had to be redone, and appeared to be drunk on the job. Nice! then constant rate hikes. Now I just have the hi-speed internet, no TV whatsoever, and I do miss the movies etc. Hope your Direct works out!

Anonymous said...

Well, now you need to get TIVO so you can record the shows that you want to watch, then watch them at your convenience. I finally broke down and got it last winter and it's great. I rarely watch TV live anymore. I can record everything I want to watch, then save a lot of time by skipping past the commercials. A one hour show can be watched in 40 minutes.

Ann

Donna L. said...

We have Dish Network. My only complaint is that we lose reception on a fairly regular basis. Never did when we had cable but Dish offers channels that we couldn't get on cable.
You should tape your horse training shows to watch in the evenings.

onthebit said...

YAY! I think the best entertianment horse show on RFDTV is the inside eventing one where you watch the O'Connors during one whole show season. I love the Julie Goodnight show...I think it is horse master. And the Ryan Gingrich horse behavior show is also good. I hope that you can find time to watch them all at somepoint. I am lucky I have a DVR or I don't know when I would watch the hows. I think they usualy have a horse show on at 5:30 around me.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Yes, I need to get with the times. I'm not so far gone that I still have analog TV, but I do still have VCRs. I know that DirecTV had a package that includes DVR, but I didn't get it. I'll look into getting TIVO or another type of DVR. I just remember how complicated it was to pre-record shows with our VCRs. I never had the patience for it. In all the years I had VCRs, I only used them to record live or to play rented tapes. I hear that TIVO is idiot-proof, though. Can you believe that I am a software engineer, and I never took the time to learn how to pre-record shows with a VCR? I think that's part of the problem. I work with complicated software and hardware all day with my job, so when I get home I don't want to have to hassle with anything that smells like work. LOL.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Guess what? As I was getting caught up on my blog reading, Chris Cox Horsemanship came on at 8:30 PM on a Tuesday. I guess they do occasionally air horse shows in the evening after all.

Mrs Mom said...

hehe-- my ONLY issue with our cable company here (Comcast) is that they do not have RFDTV. But, when rate hikes come into play, I call and hassle them, and my rates get reduced. We are lucky that our service is good- when we need help they are actually here when they say they will be. (Shocking, isn't it?)

Glad you are getting to check out some of the training shows though! Hope you can find either TiVO or a DVR that you like and can use with out having to "smell work" ;)

Anonymous said...

I would go with TIVO instead of DVR. I think you can have more shows recorded before the memory is full and, from what I've been told it's pretty easy (I have DVR, which is almost as good). With the DVR, you can select a show, then set it up to record it at any time, or to record only the first run, or only in that time slot, etc. It's all pretty intuitive, I don't think I even opened the instruction manual. :-)

Ann

Twinville said...

NM,

You sound like me. Trying to record anything on a VCR was like trying to learn Japanese for me.
My mind just cann't wrap around too much technology.
Heck it too me 6 months after my birthday to finally try out the new Canon camera my hubby had bought me.
It is so much better than my old camera, but that camera worked fine and I knew how to take pictures with it.

The instuction guies these days are as thick as phone book, but then I realized that oftentimes thats only because they have to include about 4 other languages! haha
So now I always tear out the other languages so I don't get so overwhelmed.

Hey I'm glad that you got to watch some horse shows on RFDTV!