#119 - Google Fiber, Television is terrible, GoPro, Column

5 minute read

Motto: The Column - Now with Content!

I got Google Fiber.

For those of you who don’t know what those numbers mean - the nationwide average internet speed is often quoted as 5 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. With Google Fiber, I’m sitting at 12,545% and 62,011% those figures. I uploaded 22GB worth of Music and Videos to the cloud yesterday. It took about an hour. At 1Mbps, it would have taken 2 days and an hour. I know this because I just mathed a little.

I’d like to say “it’s completely changed everything about how I view the web!” But, it hasn’t really done that. The connection has been somewhat inconsistent. It varies from “absolutely fantastic” to “just good”. 1080p YouTube videos either never stutter at all, or they stop to buffer every 7 or 8 seconds. I haven’t yet figured out any rhyme or reason why the inconsistency exists.


With Google Fiber, I now have the first DVR that I’ve ever had access to. I’m not a big “TV” guy, but having a DVR is still pretty nice. Having said that - I still don’t see the advantage of watching a recorded show or movie over watching a show on Hulu or Netflix. I have a very strong opinion about TV, and you’re about to hear it.

Television is horrible. TV shows can be good, but television is horrible.

Reasons TV is terrible:

  • The format of television is not even close to the most ideal method of media consumption. You like the show that’s on at 6pm? You get home from work at 6:45? Tough. Even if you get home at 5 - you are stuck from 6 to 6:30 watching TV. That’s when it’s on, that’s when you have to watch it.
    • TV shows on-demand make much more sense. Hulu. Netflix. Et cetera.
  • Channel surfing is a horrible, horrible waste of time. It’s like gambling. You sit there, installed at a television, hoping something good happens.
    • The internet can be the same way, admittedly.
  • TV providers, like internet service providers, are notoriously horrible from a customer perspective. The customer service sucks, the prices are higher than they seem like they should be, and they always seem to be taking steps that help the business by hurting the customers.
  • Total cost of basic cable: ~$50/month is the low end, after you remove promotional discounts (source: Dish, Directv, Time Warner, and Cox’s website is so convoluted, there is no one link that will clearly demonstrate how much you pay and which channels you receive - but it’s over $50 if you want ESPN)
    • This $50/month gets you generally around 140 channels. Of those 140 channels, you will probably watch no more than a dozen of them with any frequency. Of that dozen, several of them are probably broadcast to your home for free already (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, etc.).
    • Pre-supposing that you already have a fast-to-decent internet connection at your house, that $50/month could get you:
      • Hulu+ ($8), for TV shows on-demand from the day after they air.
      • Netflix ($8), to expand library of movies and shows.
      • Amazon Prime ($6.58), to further expand the library of movies and shows and free 2 day shipping from Amazon.com (which, if you buy one thing per month from Amazon, pays for itself).
      • Google Play Music All Access or Spotify ($10), for any song you want, when you want it.
      • 200 GB in Google Drive cloud storage ($10), for remote backup of all the music, photos, and documents on your computer, probably with some room to spare.
      • All that together is only $42.58/month. You can buy yourself lunch with the other $7.42.
        • Note you could do Audible audiobooks in lieu of any of these if that’s what floats your boat. You’d still have cash left over.
    • If you need ESPN to watch Sunday Night Football, just go to a bar. There’s 5 weekends a month. That means you can buy 2 beers each weekend and still probably come out ahead financially.
      • IF you need to watch ESPN every day. I have no solution for you. Pay for cable.

For those reasons, after I leave Google Fiber territory, I’m definitely not going to pay for TV. I’ll get the 4 or 5 channels that come for free through the air and that’s all I’ll need.

And now for something completely different

I own a GoPro action camera. People who own those are obligated to make sweet videos like the following (this video is a 30 second obligation that will explain the video following).

So, anyway, I finally fulfilled my obligation. See below:

I have heard rumors of an upcoming GoPro improvement. By the next update I suspect I will no longer have the latest and greatest model. Stupid technology, always getting better.

There was some feedback after Wednesday’s “shortest Column ever” post that I have have been considering. The reason I went to the “write on a schedule” vs. “write when I feel like it” was to force myself to write creatively about a wider array of topics. To force myself to think about and conclude things I hadn’t already done and share those things. That’s the zen. When enforcing a rule like that, though, I’m bound to fail on occasion. Wednesday was not a great example of the kind of post I like turning out. This isn’t really up to snuff either, though. This post is too long. Too broad.

Anyway, that’s why I am writing on schedule. That and also because I like it for accounting purposes. 104 columns a year. Simple. Easy. Accountable. (I’ll try to bring the entertainment to the table a little better from now on, though)

I’m still interested in transforming the Column here into a feature on a full-blown website. Sometime in the future WVZ7X7.com might become a possibly maybe reality maybe.

I’m going to go watch Don Jon.

Oh, one last thing, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is playing. It wasn’t bad. I suggest watching it. On Hulu.

Top 5: Events Hypothetical Worldwide Pentahalon that I’d Have a Chance of Winning

  1. Basketball Dunking
  2. (Flatland) Skateboarding
  3. Computer Programming
  4. Video Making (obviously)
  5. The Ability to Recognize Subtle References to Dumb Movies and Shows


“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” Groucho Marx