A Cnet editor and his wife tried to “cut the cord” and ditch his pricey FiOs cable bundle, and either get their content free or through online downloads. Less than a month later, he’s back on the sauce. What a milksop!
He was paying $179 a month for FiOS with internet, phone, and TV with HBO/Showtime, DVR and a second HD box.
So he installed a 14-foot Winegard 7698P HDTV antenna on his roof to snag free over the air (OTA) HD. Including the 100 feet of coax, grounding block, and grounding rod, all the gear cost $620. Plus he nearly killed himself installing it on his steep roof. (He now recommends getting this professionally installed).
The results weren’t great, though. Big Medium fans, it stunk that CBS service was spotty. There were also audio and video breakups when it got windy, and DVR programming errors. When he tried to watch a Knicks game using a Slingbox through a friend, the video was so bad he couldn’t tell the players apart or the score.
Their other source of content was PlayOn on PS3,which streams a bunch of content to your PS3 like Hulu, Amazon Video on Demand, TV.com, CBS, and others. It’s a $40 on-time fee, but the incessant and unskippable Hulu ads, and waiting around for content to show up proved to be a chore. (They also chose not to use anything like BitTorrent).
After all the gear and subscription fees, they weren’t getting all the channels and content they wanted, and definitely not at the quality they wanted, and weren’t saving that much money, so after less than a month they gave up.
After coming back into the fold, Verizon offered them a new 2-year agreement for $110/month that drops the premium channels and only one DVR.
Cutting the cord can be worth it, but there’s no way to do it without some combination of hassle and sweat and sacrificing both content and quality. And not everyone is willing to make that sacrifice.
Recap: Diary of a cable TV cord cutter [Cnet] (Thanks to Random Hookup!)