I have been a DirecTV consumer since 1999 the year I signed up for a leash. You know the leash that goes on the third finger of your left hand. Moving forward to December of 2016, I came across my latest DirecTV bill, and it was $183.00. I was very upset and decided to give DirecTV a call. You see a few months before December, I had communicated with DirecTV I did not want to pay $183.00 per month. I worked with the gentlemen on the line to have my bill reduced to $100.00 per month. He assured me this would be my new monthly bill and after I checked the next two billings and verified the new pricing, I was on the road to saving $83.00 per month or $996.00 per year.
So back to my December call. After being on hold, I spoke to the first rep, explained the situation, he confirmed everything I said, and then informed me he had to transfer me to another department that can fix the error right away, I thanked him and waited while the other department was connected. After connecting, I proceeded to repeat the issue with the new representative who indicated to me that she will fix my problem and is very sorry. After waiting for about 15 minutes, she came back and told me the only thing she can do was lower my bill to $145.00, not the $100.00 we initially agreed upon a few months back. Needless to say, I was not in agreement with the new proposal.
She became snobby as if I had no other options. Needless to say, while I was arguing that DirecTV is in breach of our agreement, I was also browsing PrimeNOW by Amazon. I had recently visited my friend Donald in Yakima who cut the cord and purchased a device called Tivo which allowed him to obtain several channels over the air for free; it also integrated AmazonTV, Netflix, and Hulu, as well as some other streaming services into their product. PrimeNOW had a Tivo Bolt in stock, an HDTV Antenna, and Tivo Mini’s which connect back to the bolt and allow you to use the Tivo’s Tuners and DVR features in other rooms. I ordered it, confirmed the order, and told the lady on DirecTV that I just ordered alternative TV service and its on its way and would be installed tonight. I don’t think she believed me at first, but I proceeded to cancel my TV service right there on the spot based on breach of contract.
TIVO Bolt and the world of OTA & Cablecards
My Tivo Bolt, Tivo Mini’s, and HDTV Antenna’s arrived. I had already gone through the house and removed all the DirecTV receivers, I pulled the Tivo Bolt out of the box, plugged it in, followed the onscreen instructions, and I was well on my way to Free TV. While the Tivo Bolt was communicating back to Tivo, getting updates, etc.returning back, I proceeded to install the Antenna. I put the Antenna, on the roof as high as I could, I then used the cable going to the DirecTV dish to connect by Tivo Bolt to the Anreturningdown to the living room where the Tivo Bolt was located, I was at the setup screen, I plugged the coax cable into the Tivo and proceeded through the onscreen setup. Within 20 minutes, I had over 50 channels of free TV to watch and record. I then added my Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu accounts to the Tivo. I just went from paying 183.00 per month, to paying 0.00 per month for TV. This is a net savings of $2,196.00 per year in my pocket.
I continued to enjoyed the free TV through March of this year. I was discussing my Fiber(FIOS) Internet service with a rep at Frontier as I wanted to downgrade from Business back to Consumer as I no longer needed the static IP’s as I moved my equipment that I had at home into a datacenter my friend owned and offered me free space. So she told me I could switch my Internet to consumer service for 82.99 per month for 75meg down and 75meg up. I currently had 150/150meg up and down. She then said by the way, you can get our PrimeHD FiosTV service for 2yrs for 1.00 more per month. Most would think that would cause someone to say yes right away. I actually thought about this for 3 days, and then emailed her back and said lets do it. About 5 days later, Frontier came out, switched me to consumer Fios Internet, and added the Fios TV Service. Since I had a Tivo, and I didn’t want to pay 10.00 per month for additional receivers, I opted for what they call a cable card. This card goes into the bottom of my Tivo Bolt, and allows my Tivo Bolt to function on the Frontiers Fios TV service. Lets look at this another way, Assuming I had the Fios Internet consumer service and DirecTV prior to this change, I was paying 115.00 for the Fios Internet 150/150 and 183.00 per month for the DirecTV which amounts to $3,576.00 per year for InterNET and TV. Now I’m paying less than $100.00 per month or just under 1,200.00 per year for InterNET and TV service which equates to a net savings of $2,376.00 per year. WOW!!!
So in closing, Tivo Bolt is an amazing product. Tivo bolt does have a subscription service that can be paid, monthly, annually, or onetime. The Bolt also will play 4k shows and broadcast, it also will work on both Cable or Over The Air (OTA) services.
If your looking at just Over The Air and know you will never purchase Cable Service, you can look at another product Tivo Sells called the Tivo Romio. This box will only work OTA and does not have the cable card option. This box initially cost more up front vs the Tivo bolt however, there is no monthly, annual, or lifetime subscription service that needs to be purchased to unlock all the features of the Romio. I actually purchased this box as well to test it out and see how it works. There is a cable card slot in the bottom of the box. The adapter the card goes in is missing. If you have the skills, you can purchase the necessary component to allow for a cable card to function in this box. I have another cable card installed in my Romio and its working as well. I’m a geek though and I can tinker with stuff.
Another food for thought, If your looking at a way to save money, don’t mind having 2 devices to access TV content, look at the Tivo Romio for at least all the major broadcast networks ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and then a TV streaming service such as DirecTV Now (35.00) per month or SlingTV (20.00) per month which will give you many of the channels on cable now days that have hit shows. I signed up for DirecTV Now during their promotion. So I have the GO BIG package which is $35.00 per month for over 100 channels. They also gave me HBO for 1yr for free and after that the monthly fee is only $5.00 per month compared to the 15.00 to 25.00 per month that many cable companies charge. You also get access to HBO-GO which is HBO’s streaming service if you subscribe to HBO through DirecTV Now. I’ll talk more about DirecTV now in another blog soon.
As always, thank you for reading my blog..
William J. Nelson