...And the Cord is Cut

The deed is done. In my last post I described my reasoning behind dumping all but internet service from Comcast, and this morning I did just that. My bill has been cut from nearly $160 down to about $74 for 20Mbps downstream / 4Mbps upstream internet and a modem lease. The rep recommended a 'basic cable' package for $24 that would give me a $15 discount on the internet service, for a net increase of $9. Get out of my face with that - I'm not spending any money on standard definition content.

A $7/month lease on a junky cable modem won't do, so I purchased one from Amazon for $90. The Motorola SB6121 is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem; a future-proofed step up from the DOCSIS 2.0 modem provided. In addition to being given the thumbs-up from Comcast, you can quickly find a large amount of people that are successfully using this device with their Comcast service. Just to make sure that I wasn't being bottle-necked by my current modem, I ran a quick test and found that I was getting just about what was promised.

That said, for my current plan DOCSIS 2.0 is fine (it's good up to nearly 43Mbps downstream), and I really don't need a 3.0 device. However, the new devices are all 3.0, and if our pals at Comcast crank up the speeds out of the goodness of their hearts, I'll be ready. It should be here in 2 days, thanks to Amazon Prime, the love of my life.

For giggles, I checked the actual power consumption of the DCX3400 DVR to see if the report of it chewing up 150W continuously was correct. Turns out that this was way overblown, as a poster later on in the thread pointed out. Actual measured power:
  • On and showing a picture on the TV with sound: 28W
  • 'Off' with no picture on the TV, just the time shown on the box: 28W
  • I didn't sit around to see if it goes into a standby mode, which I've read should be around 17W. 
Now, at the rates from last month, power costs about 15 cents per kWh when you add up all the various charges. Even if this device ran at peak power for the whole month, it doesn't amount to much - just $3.07/month. No big savings here, the box's power dissipation is inconsequential.

To sum things up, once I install the new modem and give Comcast back theirs, my new bill will be about $65 with taxes and such for 20Mbps down / 4Mbps up internet. This is about an $80 savings over what I typically have been paying, now that TV service is gone. And lastly, if you're a Comcast customer and plan on having internet for more than a year, do yourself a favor and buy a modem, don't lease one. A $90 top-of-the line modem pays for itself in a little over a year. Buy it here, so I get a kickback!