THE BLOG

The Cable Cutting Chronicals - Week 3

02/21/2011 05:35 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Steve Rosenbaum CEO, Waywire Networks; author, ‘Curate This’; Speaker: on curation and storytelling

Well, now that we've gone and cut off cable, we thought maybe we could go all the way. So after a convincing call with Verizon, we ordered up new internet service - with a promise of fast connection and great service. We'd replace our cable modem and be 'cable free'. Now, I have to say I was a bit suspicious. First of all, Verizon was sure we wouldn't need an installer, they would simply ship us a 'self-install' kit. And once we found that we couldn't get FiOS, I was concerned we'd be taking a step backwards. And, we had an old Vonage number in the house, but that had become crazy expensive and unused. Verizon offers a great internet/phone deal that's cheap. 59$ a month. And the phone sales guy was charming... so what the heck.

But just to be on the safe side, we didn't cancel the cable broadband service. Rather we agreed to let Verizon send us a kit... and we'd compare side by side, with a 30 day no-cost cancellation. So far, so good. But... quickly Verizon said that they would need to send a truck - and we'd have to be at home from 8am to 5pm on a weekday. We'd already transferred our Vonage number to Verizon. Uh oh.

Meanwhile, we've discovered the magic and mystery of HD over the air signals via rabbit ears. Not only is the picture quality amazing, but there are all these other channels we didn't know about that we didn't get on cable. NBC has a whole bunch of digital channels, including news, weather and sports. And, it's FREE! Now, if only we had a device to record, and playback those lovely HD signals.

Ok, so Verizon comes to the house - and 3 hours later we have a shiny new internet connection. But it's slooooooowww. Yeah, I know - we should have known that. But hope springs eternal. So, we're back on the phone with Time Warner - hoping for a faster connection and better reliability.

A surprisingly nice and engaged call center rep tells me our modem is old, and after a bit of prompting fesses-up that there is a speed increase called Turbo that we can engage. So, we split the difference, and I agree to carry the old modem up the block to the Time Warner service center, and he agrees to bump my service to Turbo. Deal. Verizon is out - and Roadrunner stays. And after a new modem is in pace, it seems like we may have a better solution. Meanwhile, what about our old 'landline' we'd ported to Verizon? Ha! Back to Vonage, but now it's 9$ a month rather than $35.

Now, we're back to programming. Without cable - we've been surviving on over the air and GoogleTV - which is still very much a work in progress. When will Google open the Android App store for GTV? Any day one hopes.

But -hallelujah!... turns out there is a way to record HD off-air signals and play back from a hard drive. It's Tivo Premier, or at least that's the promise. So, while my old non-HD Tivo is now obsolete, I'm cautiously optimistic that Tivo may come in to save the day. Fingers crossed, my Tivo Premier comes next week. Let's see if that's digital TV nirvana.

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