Should you cut the (cable) cord?
Lately I have heard of many Facebook friends “cutting the cord” & going over to “ROKU” “NETFLIX” “HULU” “APPLE TV”, etc. There are significant financial savings to this, BUT there are also disadvantages. For many of these to work you MUST have “Internet”. Unless you have gone the “Old School” path of the antenna (oh the days of free tv!). Many are combining and still pay no where near what their “Triple Play Bills” were costing them.
BEFORE you schedule your shut off ask yourself (and honestly answer) a few questions:
- How valuable is TV to you?: If you look at your Cable/Satellite bill each and every month and swear one of these days you will downgrade your package, or cut it off entirely (only if you knew of an better alternative) .then you’re ready to “cut the cable”. There is an alternative for you. Ones I believe will make you and your wallet very happy. If you watch A LOT of television shows, go to social media when your fave show is on to discuss every part of it with like minded people, countdown until a premiere or finale or special episode, then I believe “cutting the cord” is not for you. Right now anyways. Of course there are always circumstances where our preferences take a back seat. This post and the links in it will help anyone considering “cutting the cord”.
- (A big “THANK YOU” to Beth W. for suggesting I include this as question #1. Do not forget to click on her name to go to her blog & check out it’s awesomeness.)
- How do I want to watch TV?: Switching often requires a good, strong, (not wifi from a neighbor) broadband connection and an device strong enough to stream. If you have a laptop, tablet, iPod, WIFI Enabled TV,etc. ask yourself: “Am I comfortable watching ALL of my TV shows and movies on this device forever?” “Do I have more than one device in case someone else wants to be online for a different reason?” “Can I afford to replace and/or fix a device that konks out? (happens A LOT more than to a TV & Cable will come out and replace/fix their products for free)”
- When do I want to watch my favorite shows?: You cannot watch the breaking news on Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, etc. Nor will you be able to keep up with that “must see” show (“The Walking Dead”, Series finale of “The Breaking Bad”, “The Vampire Diaries”, *insert your fave show here*). A lot of times you can find said episode the next day if you have the right app, or site to go to, or do not mind watching a “may not be legal, but I am not sure” episode download online. IF you do not mind avoiding ALL forms of social media after a big episode, avoiding others who adore the same show(s) as you until you see the episode, then you’ll honestly be a-ok.
- What do I like to watch?: Make a list of your fave shows. Are they on network (ABC,NBC,The CW) or Cable (A&E, FX, USA)? If you can’t live without “NBC’s” “The Voice” or “The Big Bang Theory” then you may be able to get by with an antenna. Rabbit Ears are as little as 8$. An outdoor antenna can run you 50$. This could be bad news depending upon your address. Check out this site: ANTENNA WEB.ORG input your address and zip code. Here you will get a very accurate idea of signal strength in your area. Cable show fanatic? Some shows stream a lot, others such as “Homeland” are not available quickly & they will cost you a few bucks via Itunes or similar sites. Die hard Sports Fans? Sorry my friend, you WILL have to stick with Cable/Satellite.
- The Cost?: Add up all of the monthly streaming services you will use (Netflix, HULU, etc.), cost of any shows/seasons you may buy (Homeland fans need apply), Are you a Redbox type of person? Add those 1.25$ per movie costs in there too. Do not forget equipment. IF the cost is LESS than your typical Cable/Satellite bill, and you CAN live with the lifestyle change, then by all means go for it. Remember you will need to add in cost of your Internet too.
How to Watch (non Cable) TV Now:
For descriptions, and prices, of the most popular streaming, and downloading, services, go to:
(This link has been a wealth of information. It breaks down EACH of the popular streaming sites, the cost, what it includes, etc. A “must have book marked link” for those considering the switch or adding to the package they already have.)
Are you ready to drop your Cable/Satellite company? Why or why not? If yes, what might you miss the most, the least? Was your decision based on more than a financial one? Any suggestions for others considering the same?
Bella Thanks: “REAL SIMPLE”