Looking at the monthly cable bill, I realize that we are paying too much. About $160 a month for Comcast’s phone, HD cable and high speed Internet. Is it time for FIOS?
After going through their on-line tools, it appears they are about the same cost for a new subscriber. Before taxes, $3,060 over 24 months for Comcast (sorry I can’t get used to Xfinity) whereas Verizon is $3,120 for comparable service. It’s important that you read the fine print on these deals given the monthly rates change over time. I configured both services to include equipment for two HDTVs as well as a DVR. For Internet speeds, I currently get anywhere between 8 and 30 Mbps down/ 2 to 5 Mbps up from Comcast so I used the 25 Mbps plan from Verizon to compare.
I could have saved some money with Verizon by going with their Prime HD package (230 channels with 40 in HD). However, it was missing BBC America which puts me into their ExtremeHD deal. I really wish that one could buy cable stations a la carte. I should just buy a season pass for Doctor Who on iTunes ($33 for a season which I would quickly recoup from the lower cost package).
So, what’s the Hub to do? Assuming Comcast honors their new customer pricing for me, staying with Comcast would be convenient and it currently works well. I’ve heard Fios installs are an all day affair. Comcast is also giving away a free IPod Touch. On the other hand, FIOS has a few advantages. Verizon has a great reputation for HD picture quality. On a new installation, they run a hard line to one computer which would save me the trouble of running an ethernet line to the attic. Finally, their DVR solution seems superior between the widgets and the ability to watch recorded programs on any connected cable box. However, Comcast is catching up in this area.
Yes, I am actually considering retiring the TiVo as the primary DVR. I am at least open to trying it. As much as I love TiVo, the cable company DVRs have more capacity. They also don’t significantly add to the cost over a two year period. I have this nagging feeling that TiVo may die soon (all hard drives eventually go) and my Series3 is an unhacked unit (meaning not backed up). TiVo will probably go to the attic (the physical location of the hub) and spend its remaining days recording off of antenna.
Any input on which direction I should go in? There’s part of me that wants to root for the Comcast guy in those commercials. Please share any thoughts on your experiences with Comcast or FIOS. Please comment after this commercial break.