Cutting the Cord in Denver

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Well, I finally went and did it. After years of threatening, and always finding a reason to back down, I’m finally cutting the cord on cable. For years, the difficulty in cutting the cord was that the duopoly in Denver, Comcast and Centurylink made the option of buying just internet service without cable, or without a phone line so expensive, that it just didn’t make sense.

Just today, for example, when I called Comcast, the first internet only offer was actually internet plus local channels plus HBO for $69.95 /mo. + tax. That’s way better than the $165 I’m paying right now, but of course, there is an additional $10 for a cable modem, so it’s really $79.95 per month plus tax.

cutting the cord cable denverBut, recently, CenturyLink stopped requiring a phone line (and phone line charges) for internet connectivity. The result?

I am getting the “up to” 40 Mbps package of internet service for $37.94 + tax, for at least the next 12 months. That rate includes the $7.99 per month for a modem. Theoretically, with either Comcast or CenturyLink I could buy a modem and lose the lease fee, but until I know where I am staying, that isn’t worth it.

CenturyLink Internet in Denver

CenturyLink advertises that they have up to 1 Gig speeds in Denver, but apparently not at my address. That’s OK. I was going for cheap today, not necessarily super high-speed. I’m sure I won’t get the full 40 Mbps, but according to DSLReports.com, I’m only getting 18 Mbps of the 50 Mbps I’m subscribed to on Comcast now, so I don’t think I’ll be too worried if I get even half of the 40 Mbps. The very big difference is in upload speed, so we’ll see how that goes.

Next up is deciding what streaming or movie services I want to subscribe to. I’m pretty sure I’ll get Amazon Prime for $99 per month. I like both the non-monthly expense, plus all of the “other” stuff we get, especially free 2-day shipping. I’ll be using that to order a Mohu Leaf HDTV over-the-air antenna. Where I live in Denver, according to the various websites that measure strength and distance of over air signals, I’ll be able to get the usual CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, and PBS without an amplified antenna, so that should be good.

The trick now is the DVR part of the equation. Tivo is still in business making DVRs, but it wants $15 per month for me to use it. No thanks. Another company called Moxi makes a box, with no monthly DVR fee, but it wants $500 for it. No thanks again.

This sounds like a job for the internet. I’m guessing a small PC with the right card, a big hard drive, a DVD burner, and a antenna card can be had for less than all of those other options. Sure, I’ll have to set my recordings manually, but that that seems worth the $15 per month savings over the Tivo box.

I’ll keep updating here as I figure out which is best for getting TV shows for kids and what not as I figure it out. In the meantime, wish me luck. I just saved over $100 per month by cutting the cable cord. The great news is that even if this doesn’t work out, I’ll be able to go back to Comcast as a “new” customer in a year or two and get an actual deal on my pricing instead of being taking advantage of as a long-time customer instead.

 

 

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