Cutting the Cord: FAIL

Mel and I have been interested in a while now in cutting ourselves off from bloated media providers (read: Comcast). We’ve used their services in the past for both internet and Basic Cable TV. We’ve never had complaints about the quality of service, but we have always felt like suckers (like the guy at Best Buy purchasing the extended warranty) – and Comcast’s corporate practices are terribly frustrating.

I can’t guarantee that the sun will rise every day, but I can guarantee without any doubt that my Comcast bill will go up for unexplained reasons at least every other month.

At least they’re consistent.

We’ve tried to dump the beast several times in the past. I wrote previously about how we bought a small tv antenna – and it totally didn’t work at all for TV reception. We had also dabbled at our previous address with USI wireless, but ended up on Comcast eventually.

I guess history repeats itself.

This time we’re trying the $100 tv antenna. We mostly get a great tv picture! Except for when an airplane flies overhead, which is about every 2-3 minutes in my neighborhood.

Airplane Flutter” is what the internet calls it. The internet says that all I have to do is build a shield for my antenna out of tin foil and I should be all set… uugghhh.

For internet, USI has installed their fancy modem on the exterior of our house. When I’m lucky, I can almost watch a YouTube video (provided I give it 2-3 minutes to buffer before I try to watch).  uugghhh.

It looks like we’ll be tucking our tails between our legs and heading back to Comcast. I don’t feel good about it at all, but I’m feeling out of options…

Anyone out there been more successful at cutting the cord than we have been? What’s your secret?

7 comments to Cutting the Cord: FAIL

  • We use antenna at our house. Although, we don’t have planes flying over very often and we don’t need to make a tin foil shield (that would look lovely, wouldn’t it?). We get about 10 tv channels with antenna and we’re fine with that. The tv is usually just on for background noise anyway.

    We just hate the thought of paying for tv viewing. We think of internet as a need, not a desire, so we only pay for internet and we watch all our shows on our laptop in bed at night before we go to sleep. It’s kinda fun. It’s like our nightly tradition.

  • I feel your pain. I went through the same thing when I lived in Minneapolis, and ended up switching back to Comcast. Bleh.

    If I figure out something better, I’ll let you know.

  • Buy a an Xbox360 or a PS3 and you won’t care what is on TV ever again.

  • We’ve had luck in South Minneapolis with this pretty basic antenna after cancelling cable service: http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Amplified-High-Definition-Antenna-Reception/dp/B0007MXZB2

    However, we haven’t managed to cut the cord for Internet service, especially since we’ve replaced cable with streaming Netflix and Hulu, which doesn’t work so well with USI. Good luck!

  • @all – thanks for the input. everyone.

    As others have mentioned, reliable internet is really more important to us than TV, which is why we’ll probably end up back on Comcast. Once we’re already getting a Comcast bill each month for internet, the additional $15 for tv service that doesn’t cut out every 2-3 minutes doesn’t sound like a bad deal.

    Sigh. I guess that’s just what things cost these days, right?

  • Joe Reinemann

    Virgin Mobile makes a USB device that looks like a jump drive that you can “pre-pay” like a phone card. It’s relatively cheap and you can get 10 days of service for about $10. I don’t know what a whole month costs because I have never used that option. I got one of these for Christmas and love it for traveling. It would be my preferred option for internet access w/o Comcast. That doesn’t solve the T.V. issue, however.

  • Greg Hess

    Here’s my post 16 days later –
    What I do is call Comcast and say that I want to cancel my account. When they ask why, I tell them I am dissatisfied with the price and service. I am honest and tell them that my 35 year old house doesn’t have good wiring and I don’t get the internet speeds as advertised and that I am not going to pay for a service that I cant fully receive. So then they offer to lower the price for a term. Then when it comes time to raise the price, I call them back and say that I was only staying on cause the price was lowered, and thus begins the cycle.

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