March 2, 2009

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We withdrew from TV this morning. I called Verizon and cancelled our FiOS TV service. Kept the Internet, of course: $64.99 for 20Mb symmetrical service. No complaints there. But what I want from Verizon is á la carte — or something close — and they don’t offer that. If it’s HD you want, it’s kind of all-or-nothing.

The interesting thing: after escalating the call to a higher-level customer service person, Verizon offered to drop the rental fee for the DVR/set top box, and to drop the price of Extreme HD (“more than 100 HD channels”) to $47.99. That’s a good deal, actually, if you watch a lot of TV. The problem is, we don’t. And we need to save money. So: off it went.

If my plane beats the snow out of Logan in 40 minutes, I’ll be speaking and hanging out at Ecomm for the next couple of days. When I get back I might rig up something to get OTA (over the air) TV stations on an old laptop. Not sure, though. I kind of like the idea of moving on completely, to see how that feels.

After that I called Dish Network and cranked service at our West Coast place down to the minimum required to keep the account active. After we get out there in April, we’ll see how we feel about killing the old tube there too. The situation there is a bit different because we’ve invested in a nice big Sony flat screen, and we often have guests over.

By the way, credit where due to Verizon. The quality of the video is better than you’re going to get either from cable or satellite, simply because the data rates through fiber are so much higher. If you’re into TV, and it’s available, go for it. In fact, if you’re into Internet, that service can’t be beat either. Unless you live in France of something.

Meanwhile, I can think of a lot better uses for that bandwidth, especially in the long run.