Talking tech since 2003

As you may know, I’ve been on the hunt for a way to get the most television at the lowest possible price. Out of disgust with the size of my bill, I cut cable out of my Verizon FiOS plan entirely, and have looked to supplement streaming services with over-the-air broadcasts. But it hit me while playing with my Xbox One last night that there may be a way for me to get TV without all the additional costs.

xbox-one1-300x164After speaking with a Verizon FiOS customer service representative, I found that I was on to something.

If you’re an Xbox One owner, it’s totally possible to get TV service without having to add cable boxes, DVR service, or any other additional costs. How? Because your Xbox One, when combined with the Verizon FiOS app, is capable of streaming nearly 90 live TV channels — that is, as long as you subscribe to cable service through FiOS.

There are also channel-specific apps available for the Xbox One — FOX NOW, CW NOW, and so on — that let you stream cable TV shows on-demand after they’ve aired. And more apps are being added all the time. If you happen to miss a show, these apps can act as a DVR of sorts to let you catch up the next day.

Even better: this setup might not cost you anything extra. My current Internet-only price comes in at $79.99 per month. If I were to add TV to the mix, bundle discounts would keep my total at that same $79.99.

Now, there are some downsides. Verizon doesn’t make doing this very easy, for starters — you have to go through the online process of adding your new TV service, including the hardware, and then call Verizon after the order is put through to tell them you don’t want the hardware anymore.

Another downside is a lack of local channels. If you want this setup to bring you football every Sunday, you’re going to be disappointed. Verizon’s FiOS app for Xbox One can’t do the local stuff, and the NFL has no streaming service. So you’ll still need to rely on over-the-air broadcasts or some other means of catching the game.

Still, if you decide to go this route, the price might not be a huge difference from Internet-only service, and it’ll let you watch The Walking Dead at the same time as everyone else. If you cut the cord because of the price of cable and equipment, this is an option you have available. You won’t technically be a cord-cutter anymore, but is wearing that label more important than getting the most bang for your buck?

Let us know what you think.


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