Cord Cutting Rejoinder

My post on Cutting the Cord was intended to clarify just what exactly my wife and I are doing for media entertainment since we are no longer paying for cable TV service. The post netted some great responses!

Brandon pointed out that you can purchase a Tour de France subscription for $19. In Brandon's opinion:
The [Tour de France] streaming is better than the TV coverage. Has lots more data (Speed, Heart Rate, Power Output, GPS tracker etc...)
Hooking a computer up to a TV to watch the race will not be a problem. In fact I'm thinking of building a home theater PC (HTPC) to run Boxee software and stream web only content to my television. Which will largely depending on how well using a Roku only works out once fall shows return.

Adam was curious if the cost for internet access had increased as a result of cord cutting. The short answer is no. The long answer-- I have long paid Comcast for additional internet bandwidth. My internet cost was around $67.95 regardless of my television subscription. The discount for "bundling" TV and internet is a few dollars. Interestingly when I canceled my TV service the Comcast customer service representative was kind enough to give me a yearlong internet price discount at $49.95 including my speed boost. So to clarify I did not include my internet cost because the price was barely affected by canceling TV service. Sure it'll be cheaper for a year, but will reset to where it had been before whether I have cable TV or not.

Several friends have pointed out the Comcast data threshold of 250 gigabytes. The 250 gigabyte bandwidth cap is an arbitrary restriction that Comcast established in October of 2008. According to Comcast most users only utilize 5 to 6 gigabytes a month. In 2008 Comcast provided the following statistics on consumption activities:

  • Send 50 million emails (at 0.05 KB/email)
  • Download 62,500 songs (at 4 MB/song)
  • Download 125 standard-definition movies (at 2 GB/movie)
  • Upload 25,000 hi-resolution digital photos (at 10 MB/photo)
The August 2011 edition of Wired included the article What Bandwidth Caps Would Mean for Internet Gluttons using an infographic to explain bandwidth consumption:

For perspective the Full Lord of the Rings Trilogy is 11 hours and 23 minutes. More importantly in most cases Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon only stream in 720p, which is still HD just not 1080p. So streaming a 22-minute HD television show eats 0.42 gigabytes and a 44-minute show 0.84 gigabytes. Watching the typical feature film in HD would require roughly 2.5 gigabytes. Further, not all of the content we stream is in HD (MacGyver anyone) so these numbers are even lower.

Since cutting the cord we are averaging 4 - 5 gigabytes a day. At that rate I will consume roughly 135 gigabytes a month. At this point the 250 gigabyte cap is not overly limiting, but I will keep an eye on my consumption because if we exceed the limit for two months in a six month period Comcast will cut our cord. Given our current consumption patterns I am not worried about that happening.

Please keep the questions and comments coming. It has been interesting learning what others are doing to the cord, as well as having people question my setup. We continue to be pleased with our decision.


Post a Comment