Today’s question of the day comes to us from George C…
My brother-in-law just moved from the West Coast back to Texas. In doing so, of course he dropped his triple play Internet/TV/Cable. He also sold/gave away his old CRT televisions. They watched Netflix via an old computer (they didn’t know about Roku type of devices). He and his family (wife, two younger kids) just bought a new house and he is very open to new configurations. He is technically capable of installing software, routers, etc…. But would not delve into (for example) Myth TV, pyTivo, etc…
He’ll probably need two TVs, one for the living room and one for the master bedroom. OTA is a possibility, as there is a clear shot to the towers. The wife really wants a land-line “in case of emergency”. He thinks that they can stay with cell phones (I suggested Ooma). The house alarm system come with an independent wireless system. He doesn’t mind paying a fair price for a device, but really, really wants to avoid recurring monthly fees.
Everything is on the table. TiVo? WMC? Roku? DVD players? DSL? Cable? U-verse capability is available. Cell phones (since wife wants land-line, but he thinks not necessary). How about TVs … plain or “smart” TV?
If you were starting completely over, what would you do? How would you configure your brand new house for maximum WAF, minimum or no monthly costs, and easy administration/setup?
We recently started with a nearly blank slate as well and have been slowly rebuilding. Our first major project was to dump the local cableco and copper in favor of Verizon’s FiOS services. While giving up on POTS gave us pause, the VoIP battery backup provides some comfort. However, with kids in the mix like George’s extended family, I might be less likely to do away with the copper landline completely. Most telephone companies offer extremely cheap basic service — perhaps that would provide the wife piece of mind without breaking the bank. However, I wouldn’t consider DSL for Internet service if they plan to do anything at all “over the top” as the throughput just isn’t there. So the family would need either fiber or cable Internet.
In regards to television hardware, I’d say skip “smart” sets. Rather, they can’t go wrong augmenting their entertainment options with a few Roku boxes (starting at only $60) or similar. Especially given their existing Netflix subscription. And when the next thing comes along, replace them. However, my family still finds great value in “cable tv” despite those recurring monthly fees. As such, we settled on a Verizon triple play that has been working out fine. Bundle discounts for new customers, regardless of provider, are often quite competitive and compelling – especially in regions with competition. I’d just ensure the family learns ahead of time if/when any promotional pricing might expire. Unfortunately for George’s family, they don’t live in Suddenlink’s Texas territory. Suddenlink, if you recall, directly rents and supports TiVo Premiere hardware.
Lastly, everyone needs a cell phone.
Other suggestions or possibilities for George to pass along?