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Cable rates are rising, but what are you paying for?

Zach Honig

On average, Americans are paying more for TV service than ever before -- $64.41 per month as of January 2013, according to the FCC, though if you add any premium channels and DVR to the mix, that figure can increase twofold or more. Earlier this year, the FCC released a report stating that from 2012 to 2013, the average monthly price of basic cable jumped 5.1 percent, while the average price per channel increased by just 2.1 percent. More cable channels are to blame, but programming costs have also jumped, according to Comcast executives cited in a New York Times report.

Technically, you're paying more to get more, but I barely venture beyond the staples: Comedy Central, local broadcast channels and The Food Network. And occasionally Showtime or HBO. I spent a day with my Verizon FiOS remote (and the handy streaming app) to see what else, exactly, I was paying $92.99 for -- before internet, taxes and equipment-rental fees. Turns out, there's a lot of garbage on the tube, and an even greater amount of redundancy.

Gallery: 30 cable TV channels you didn't know you were paying for | 30 Photos

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