Talking tech since 2003

verizon-boxThe box to the right is the white flag I’m waving to Big Red, also known as Verizon.

The experiment is over.

Twenty-one weeks after canceling the TV portion of my Verizon FiOS package and trying to survive on Netflix, Amazon Prime and one-off episodes purchased on iTunes, I am officially throwing in the towel on trying to equal the experience cable provides with lower-priced alternatives.

It simply cannot be done. At least, not in my current situation.

This past Friday, I was able to add Verizon’s second-lowest TV lineup back to my FiOS package and bundle it with 50/50 Mbps Internet for the exact same price as standalone Internet access. Of course, I have to pay a monthly fee for a set-top box on top of that, but the truth is, I was spending way more than that $15 a month on alternative ways to get my shows.

So now, instead of day-after TV (or, in some cases, season-after TV), I’ll be watching a lot of shows when they air. Instead of going to a buddy’s place or going to a sports bar (where I’d spend a lot more than TV costs per day), I can watch games from the comfort of my couch.

And instead of sticking to a cable giant and leaving it one short in its video subscriber count (which I wanted to do so desperately), I’ll re-join the majority of Americans who subscribe to some kind of cable TV.

Just to be clear, this was never about forcing the issue.

As much as I wanted to go a full 52 weeks, just to prove it possible, I wasn’t going to do it if it meant sacrificing things I enjoy and don’t mind paying for. I had assumed that over-the-air TV would save me in the NFL football department, but due to a variety of factors, I was unable to pick up a single network that broadcasts games.

Verizon also informed me that they would not add HBO to my package when some of my favorite shows (The Newsroom, True Detective, Game of Thrones) started up; at least, not without adding a TV package, too.

A few clicks later, my cable-less streak ended at 21 weeks, as Investigation Discovery streamed through the Verizon FiOS app on my Xbox One. I felt a little bit dumber and a little bit more normal again. Honestly, I’m not sure which I felt more of at the time.

*

This will be the last ‘Year Without Cable’ piece you’ll see. It definitely won’t be the last cord-cutting article you’ll read on this website, however. We’ll continue to cover digital entertainment and the way it’s forcing media companies to adapt, and we’ll fill you in on new ways you can get consume content without subscribing to cable.

I may not think it possible to match the cable experience right now, but based on the trajectory many media companies are on in terms of bringing content online, I think we’ll reach an Internet-based TV solution a lot sooner than many of you might think. And we’ll be reporting on it every step of the way.

Thanks for reading. Time for dinner and then some Jeopardy.

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