Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cutting the Cord

In December 2009, SGAlpha World HQ (henceforth known as SGAWHQ) embarked on the grand experiment that is Verizon FIOS. I had been intrigued with FIOS ever since it was announced: it promised blazing fast internet at a competitive price. We got the triple-play, or whatever they call their Internet-Phone-TV package. The introductory price was great, but when you throw in the regular monthly fee with the additional fee for the HD receiver and the home media DVR, it became an expensive endeavor.  The other thing we found, though, is that we didn't watch that much TV. We were really paying for the DVR...for shows mostly watched by Kappa.

In December 2010, we set in motion another grand experiment: Cutting the cord.  In December, we started a Netflix streaming trial. Through January and February, we found that they kept adding to their streaming titles, and that we and Kappa could find our favorite shows (with just a few exceptions), whenever we wanted, streaming via Netflix on the Wii.  We were hooked, and in late February switched from FIOS internet/TV/Phone to Cox (Cable) Internet, Vonage, and Netflix.

With the $100 we saved by switch, in March we bought a Roku XD (actually $80) so that we could utilize Netflix's HD offerings on our TV, and access Netflix from both TVs.

The Roku box is a serious cable-cutting option. It offers Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus premium streaming services, and then countless other free or pay “channels” with plenty of on-demand, and some live content. For you sports buffs, MLB, NHL, and UFC subscriptions are available for live sports as well.

Rachel was skeptical at first, but several seasons of The Office, 30 Rock, Weeds, Scrubs, and Twin Peaks have made her a convert. Kappa is on board too with Dora, Diego, Word World, and Thomas and Friends, among others.

If you are keeping score at home, we…
…ditched a $160/mo FIOS subscription (w/ DVR/Tuner boxes)
…added $35/mo cable internet, $15/mo vonage phone, $8/mo Netflix
…saved $100/mo (and bought a Roku with the first month’s savings).

Try it!


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