For the past year and a half, TVWriter™ has been carrying articles about people cutting the cord, as in canceling their cable/satellite service subscriptions and doing everything for free – make that close to free – on their desktops/phones/tablets. Last month I finally decided to give it a try and see if getting all our entertainment via our web connection would work for the Brodys.
This was no idle experiment prompted by a desire to actually learn something, nosirree. It was born out of anger and frustration caused by the wonderful folks at my Unmentionable Satellite Network and their pricing policies, which led to a several months long adventure during which I pared services and programming and managed – oh miracle of miracles! – to get my monthly bill down from an irritating $107 to $41.
Which would have been truly awe-inspiring, except that the next month, without me making any further changes, the price went up to $51. The month after that it was $71. Then $101. Then $91–
Enough was enough. I’d had it. So I started doing some research. The first thing I learned is that there’s no such thing as broadcast reception where we live. And here’s the gist of everything else: (Because the details are so damned boring I wouldn’t wish them on anyone except maybe the Unmentionable Network.)
I can axe Unmentionable from my life and use a combination of methods to download and/or stream every show Gwen and I watch without paying any more than our current $45/month ISP bill (and current Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime costs as well) and thereby save somewhere around $100/month and beat the current cable/satellite system. But–
Doing that would mean having to spend way more time than I have sorting/organizing/tracking/remembering the Brody family’s shows and making sure they’re ready to be watched and then, you know, watching them before they go away. Even with the various interweb TV tracking sites that are currently available (I like Episode Calendar best), we’re talking hours of record keeping and searching for the best downloads/streams and potentially long viewing delays. Oh, and there may or may not be legality issues in some instances that I really don’t want to have to deal with…
We can stick with Unmentionable and have none of the stress associated with the TV viewing uncertainty above, and continuing to pay what turns out to be $4+/hour for everything Gwen and I watch – because it turns out we only watch a total of 25 hours a week. Which, now that I have that number, makes me feel even more taken advantage of…
We can switch from Unmentionable Satellite to the cable service run by Wave Broadband, our current ISP, with reasonable pricing and great speed) and get both internet and “Enhanced Basic” TV – oh, and a telephone land line too – for $90 a month, which is $55/month less than our current web/TV total. If we did that we’d never have to be stressed out about finding/missing anything. Except HBO and Showtime, which is no biggie because currently we – as in Gwen – currently watch only 1 show, the ever-delightful GAME OF THRONES, on both channels–
Oh wait. I just read the fine print. Turns out that Wave’s Enhanced Basic package doesn’t include a DVR. That’s $17 a month more. Which makes the hourly cost of our modest TV viewing roughly $2.50/hour, which although lower than our current satellite cost still seems a bit high for our meager viewing and brings the total monthly cost to–
The same number I started out with? That can’t be right–
And it isn’t. Whew. The new $107 is the total cost for TV and internet and a land line that we’ll never use. Our total monthly cost right now is actually $152 including TV and internet – Unmentionable’s $107 plus $45 for Wave.
Bargain City, right? Right?
All I know for sure right now is that I don’t want to think about this any more. It’s time to shift that responsibility.
So all of you reading this, out with it: What do you think? The Brodys’ viewing pleasure is in your hands. Lemme know!