We’ve been getting mail from the phone company for the past year offering an upgrade to FIOS, and the idea of paying for it didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense until our cable signal went completely digital and everything dropped out except for all of the local channels.

It’s a symbol of just how much things have changed in the last six years—when we moved into the house, local TV was still somewhat watchable. In 2010, however, the floundering networks have programmed infomercial after testimonial after courtroom show, making the local service useless to us. We don’t watch a lot of TV now that Finn is here, and the fact that she has mastered all three remotes in a never-ending quest for MORE MELMO means we will be an ever more vigilant and idiot-box free household.

I was shocked, then, to read just how cheap they were offering the local FIOS “triple play” for: monthly around $30 less for basic TV, high-speed internet, and phone service than we are currently paying for just DSL and phone combined. I’ve read nothing but glowing reviews about FIOS from friends, and the idea that we might get some decent programming to watch again is exciting. The thing that gets me, though, is the price they charge for basic phone service: ±$60 for a number and a bunch of worthless services we don’t use—call waiting, voicemail, etc. As far as I can tell, there’s no way to reduce the service to a simple land line connection, although there was some talk about providing a cheap ±$10 incoming line/outgoing 911 hookup, which would be PERFECT.

So the guy will be here next Monday to rip out the old DSL modem and install a bunch of other shit in the basement. We are still rocking the analog TV set I bought as a bachelor in 1994, so we don’t need to rent their stupid set-top box, but we have to rent some $6 dongle to get the digital service to talk to the TV. At this point, there are several reasons I can’t wait for a new LCD, one of them being a built-in signal converter: the idea that I need to rent another dumb box to stack on top of all the other boxes annoys the hell out of me.

Date posted: February 3, 2010 | Filed under geek | Leave a Comment »

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