Handy entertainment notes for new move-ins

August 14, 2019

It’s that time of the year when old students and interns leave to make way for the new batch of people entering USC. The first thing to decide on is a place to stay. Once you’re done with that, you will want to go about and make the place feel like home. One indispensable thing which every household needs is an internet connection. Additionally, you might be a fan of sports or TV shows, for which you might be considering either a cable subscription or various other services. This article is a quick guide on some options to consider.

As far as internet is concerned, my choice is Spectrum (formerly Time Warner). Their customer service is excellent and they nearly always offer cheaper rates to new customers. The latest version of Spectrum internet comes with separate devices for modem and router (see the differences here), while my earlier device combined the two. If you have old internet device(s), I’d recommend getting a free upgrade to the new ones as you’ll see a discernible increase in speed. Do this simple speed test to find what your internet speed is.

Pic courtesy lmgtfy 😉

Coming to a TV subscription, you may want one if you’re into a bunch of stuff like sports, movies, cartoons, catching up on the news in the morning and so on, or if you have a family where different people have different watch requirements. Spectrum offers a combined package for internet+TV (you might want to throw in a landline phone connection in there as well because ironically 3 services may be cheaper than 2 based on how Spectrum’s plans work!). However, Spectrum TV is not cheap, particularly a few months down the line when your new customer bonuses might run out. If you can do without a full-fledged TV subscription, you might want to join the new trend explained below.

Welcome to cord-cutting! In other words, say goodbye to a cable subscription. If you’re a fan of TV shows, of course you already know about Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime and Disney+ and so on. What was once almost a monopoly owned by Netflix has now become a fiercely competitive domain. My personal findings are as follows:

  • Netflix has better originals
  • Hulu has more mainstream shows, including a lot of enjoyable cartoons
  • Amazon Prime Video is worth it for getting free deliveries with Amazon Prime
  • Disney+ is the new kid on the block, so I honestly don’t have much of an opinion

The other aspect to cord cutting is sports. Chances are that you are a football (soccer) fan, particularly if you’re an international student. This isn’t helped by the fact that most European football takes place early morning on weekends, making it too easy to miss. However, here are a number of subscriptions to stay in touch with football and the rest of the sporting world:

  • FuboTV : This has the most channels. Doesn’t offer ESPN though, which is a bit of a downer
  • Sling : It has 2 tracks – orange and blue – which when combined, offer a lot of sporting action and other channels as well.
  • Hulu : Yes, Hulu also allows you to watch TV channels in addition to shows

There are others as well such as services from YouTube and Sony Playstation, so pick one of those if you are a heavy user of the respective service. And with that, we come to the end of this article. Hopefully you have a bit of an idea of the options available to you. Being in one of the westernmost time zones of the world isn’t a deterrent to catching your favorite action from anywhere in the world if you’re willing to spend money behind the right subscriptions. Enjoy your new home!

Published on August 14th, 2019

Last updated on April 1st, 2021