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Vonage and Amazon Unbox + Tivo

How Things Work and Not Work.

I hardly ever use my land line so to save money, I decided to switch to Vonage.  For those who have not seen their TV ads, it’s a company that provides VOIP (voice over IP) via your broadband internet connection.  I wish I could get rid of a land line completely but I still need to FAX and buzz people into the building. I wasn’t sold on the idea but decided to try it.

Got the box in the mail in 2 days, plugged it in as per the instructions, and to my shock, it worked the first time with no problems whatsoever.  Even my FAX worked.  It gives you a voice mail and all the other usual goodies (caller ID, forwarding, call waiting, etc) and unlimited long distance calls.  Nice.

I was so amazed at how easy this was to get working, I decided to continue my tech trek.

I have a Tivo so I decided to sign up for the Amazon movie/TV show download program called “Unbox”, which gives you $15 for free when you sign up.  The way it works is, you choose a movie you want to “rent” and it downloads it to your Tivo so you can watch it on your regular TV (instead of having to watch it on your computer).  It all sounded good and it’s free so I tried it.  After 2 calls to the Amazon Unbox customer service (waiting about 20 minutes each time), it still doesn’t work.  I decided to give up on it.

So I’m 1 for 2. That’s 50%.

Then, I read on Engadget that Verizon (my old landphone carrier) sued Vonage and won an injuction for infringing on their patent to connect phones via the Internet to other phones.  Not only does Vonage have to pay like $56M, they might have to close up shop. Son-of-a-$(%#!

So now I guess I’m 0 for 2.