Living in Los Cabos: Watching TV For Free
Yes, I know. You didn’t come to Cabo to spend your life in front of the Boob Tube. And yes, I know you’re planning on spending your time doing fun and interesting stuff. Which you will do. But every once in a while, just occasionally, you might want to see television. And that would probably be in English, right? Now how are you going to do that? Well, as of today I have a brand new answer! Yippee!
Now, just to set the stage, let’s talk about television in Cabo. There are several options, including the legitimate Mexican satellite service called SKY which offers some programming in English. About a year ago Carlos Slim tried doing some cable through the phone lines. I haven’t heard if that’s still around, it didn’t offer enough channels to be of interest to anyone I know. So, most often the Gringo population watches Dish Network.
Dish Network is not specifically legitimate in Mexico. Evidently NAFTA forbids them to send signal into Mexico, at least that’s what I’ve been told. However, it is possible to pick up their signal with the right equipment. This is not legal, but falls into the ‘little white lie’ crime category that is acceptable to most folk. Many of the ads you see say it’s legit, so they may have found a way around things, but I’m not betting on that. You pay them for your service just as you would pay a cable provider in the States, I’m sure it costs more because of the middleman but it’s been so long since I’ve seen a US bill I don’t know how much of a premium you’re paying. For snow birds or part time residents, or full time residents with helpful friends or family in the US there is a simple and very affordable option. They simply order an extra receiver for their ‘guest room’, and schlep that down. Believe me, our guys have a lot of experience hooking those babies up, within minutes they’ve got you connected. By the way, this is also how most Canadians work it, only they bring down a Star Choice receiver so they can watch hockey, curling and that funny football.
Well, courtesy of the Baja Western Onion via the Baja Pony Express (both excellent internet communities) I’ve learned about a new option. This service is called US TV NOW and is available via internet. You simply sign up for a free membership (yes, you did see the word FREE) and log into their website to watch US television in real time. The catch is that you must be out of the US to get the service, and yes, they can tell. Right now the free plan gets you four major networks plus PBS. This is important as DISH does not carry PBS, if you’re a fan now you can actually watch your favorite shows. That alone is worth setting up an account.
For an additional fee you can upgrade to all sorts of networks including ESPN, Animal Planet, History Channel and others. The cost is reasonable, certainly less than bootlegged Dish, at $29 USD per month for full access and $49 per month for full access plus DVR. They also have single day or week plans, which will be great for people who are just down occasionally or who only wish to watch TV for special events.
So, looks promising so far. The website is http://www.ustvnow.com for more information. Happy viewing!
Carol Billups is Broker/Owner of REALTY EXECUTIVES Los Cabos. A Certified Home Marketing Specialist, she has enjoyed working with both buyers and sellers for over ten years and still thinks hers is the best job on earth. She is also the real estate columnist for Los Cabos Magazine and Chairman of the AMPI Los Cabos Board of Realtors. You can read more of her articles on www.reloscabos.com. You can reach her from the U.S. or Canada at 1-760-481-7694, or in Cabo at 044-624-147-7541.
© 2011 Carol S. Billups