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Cutting your Parents Cord

By   WirelessPhreak      Sunday, March 12, 2017      Labels:  

Cord cutting has been a way of life for the early adopters, but technology has moved forward and cord cutting is becoming easier and more reliable. But is it ready for your parents? Well that is a question only you as the sole IT person for your entire family can answer. How much time will you need to dedicate to support, and does the outrages prices of your local ISP's Triple or Quadruple Play package have a better return on investment then the time you'll need to invest in support.

I am going to outline the first steps of cord cutting for my mother in-law. She is pretty tech savvy but does worry about stuff not working, so what we put in place better work. I will go over the service we are looking to replace and see how far we get.  I will actively update this post with status and well see how it goes.

Currently she has a triple play package, VOIP phone, Internet, and Cable TV. She is currently using the ISP modem so right off the top getting rid of that will save $10.00 a month. Also she recently moved to a different area and wanted to keep her original phone number from the 80s. Unfortunately she was unable to transfer it so we hacked together a plan to port her original number to a pay as you go mobile phone. Then from her mobile phone port the number to google voice.  I should do a blog post about it because it was quit an adventure.

First step testing the VOIP replacement:

The Device: I set up an OBI device to connect her google voice number and her telephone lines in her house. Here is the one I am going to get her. OBi200 1-Port VoIP Phone Adapter Since we set up here google voice under her gmail account setting up the OBI is super straight forward.  Also now she can use here original phone number again.

Cost Savings: Yet to be seen she is under contract for the Triple Play, once that expires we will re negotiate with the ISP.

Outcome: Good so far, one issue we ran into was the phone not ringing. I think it is a setting in google voice to ring the google chat account I will let you know what the outcome is.

Next step will be replacing the Modem:

The Device: Currently she has the ISP rented modem with built in wireless.  We disabled the built in wireless but it still advertises the ISP's SSID. The modem is also the digital to analog converter for her VOIP service.  This is why we are testing to make sure the OBI is a viable solution before we return the rented ISP modem. We are going to buy a ARRIS SURFboard SB6183 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem. I think she will get even better throughput with the Arris modem then the ISP rented modem.

Cost Savings: The modem is $80.00 and her modem rental fee is $10.00 a months so in 8 months her modem would be paid off, and once paid off she will be saving $120.00 a year.

Outcome: Yet to be seen.

The final and most difficult hurdle:

The Device: Cable television will be the most difficult replacement. My mother in-law is an avid TV watcher and DVR master, but she hates the offered DVR menu and management. So I am looking for a solution.  I don't think services like Hulu, Sling, or direct TV are mature enough to replace cable tv.  Netflix and Hulu are great but don't offer the shows she watches in a format she is used to. So for now we will wait and see. I might look into the Tivo and a cable card, this might give her a better management interface, but may not be cost effective.

Cost Savings: Tivo Bolt 1TB $300.00 one time cost. Monthly service is $12.50 a month if you buy is per year. From the cable provider you get a free cable card and a $2.50 credit every month. You could also drop the equipment rental and DVR fees yet to be seen how much those are.

Stay tuned for updates and more fun.

About WirelessPhreak

Just your everyday Packet Wrangler who enjoy's traveling and anything techie...