Time Warner cable customers can now gain access to HBO without having to purchase an expensive bundle full of channels they may not ever watch. The new bundle, known as Starter TV with HBO, includes all local channels in addition to C-SPANs, shopping channels and shopNBC as well as HBO - 20 or so channels in total - for just $30 per month for the first year.

Comcast introduced a similar bundle late last month that also offers up access to local television channels and HBO. It's a bit more expensive than Time Warner's offering at $40 per month but you also receive Internet access as part of the package.

It's worth pointing out that just as with Comcast, customers will end up paying more than the $30 flat fee each month once you factor in things like various fees and taxes. What's more, the package doesn't include amenities like a DVR so you'll need to throw down even more cash if you want an easy way to record your favorite shows.

The cheaper bundle is the latest tactic by cable providers to keep from bleeding customers. It's long been known that most would prefer an a la carte pricing structure although providers aren't likely to make that a reality anytime soon (if ever). Smaller bundles like this are certainly a step in the right direction and a welcomed addition and with any luck, we will see other big providers offer similar deals in the near future.