Cutting the Cord


Cutting the Cord

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CC BY-NC / Amazon Prime streaming / CC BY-NC

We finally did it. We cut the cable cord. When we moved we did not order cable TV. Even with the packages they offered we could see a huge savings if we just ordered phone & Internet services. We still have land lines for business purposes or we probably would not have phone service either.

Rather than having cable TV we have a Roku box and a ‘rabbit ears’ for local channels. Because of our memberships we enjoy Amazon Prime streaming, NetFlix, and HuluPlus. There are also options like purchasing programs through iTunes if we feel like we really want something. CC BY-NC gives us a steady supply of entertainment as well.

The cable companies really know how to market to get your business. It’s really hard to decline their package deals. But the truth is that we never really used but just a few channels, and we never watched Live TV. So when you think about it and really look at what you are spending for that package deal versus what you are actually using, does it really make good financial sense? For us it did not. We have better places to be investing those precious dollars.

How much are we saving by going this route we have chosen? In round numbers, about $70 month.

Cable companies are banking on the public being too ‘addicted’ to their packages to stop using their services. But the trends are indicating that it is not just us geeks who are cutting the cord. There are a lot of people choosing this same route we did. I am not predicting what the future may be for cable companies, but I think they are going to have to make some changes or feel the impact of a steady stream of loyal followers leaving the fold for better pastures.

In an article by Dana Kerr, ‘More Americans opting to cut cord on traditional TV‘ she sites a report by Nielson that notes in 2007 just 2 million people did not have broadcast TV versus 5 million now. That number is growing as a result of people using alternative devices for entertainment. She also states in her article, ‘According to Nielsen, 67 percent of these cord-cutters get content on other devices; 37 percent use their computers, 16 percent use the Internet, 8 percent use smartphones, and 6 percent watch on tablets.’

I did a Google search for ‘cord cutting’ and there are a multitude of articles discussing this trend. There are so many options out there now that no one has to feel trapped by their cable companies.

Where are you in this trend? Have you already ‘cut the cord’? Are you using alternative devices for your entertainment?

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Comments (17 )

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  1. @patweber says:

    My husband and I just started considering this about a month ago. It's not a high priority although it would be a certain welcome to savings! Thanks Cheryl.

  2. @JeriWB says:

    I would be more apt to do this than my husband, but since Game of Thrones is only on HBO (but also one of the most widely pirated TV series ever) we are still keeping a TV subscription. I did cancel my XM radio the other day since the super-cheap intro rate had run out.

  3. I am all for this. We cut that cord a few years ago. Netflix and Hulu are great for pretty much anything we might want to watch. It is interesting to note that sure you don't get tv when it airs and sometimes when you wait for Netflix to pick it up you can wait for a while for them to get the next season; but when it comes down to it, there is always so much content to watch that you really aren't sitting by the wayside.

    Now there is a trend that really annoys me. Some stations (HBO being one of them) that do have apps, but to use the app you have to have a TV subsription through cable or satelite. I have to ask, what the heck is the point of this? If I had cable I wouldn't be looking for an app to watch these channels. This is like saying you can't get an artificial leg unless you have two good ones. Makes absolutely no sense to me.

    • Geek Girl says:

      I agree with you. The interesting thing for us is that we are finding that there is so much content we are having a hard time keeping up with it. Seriously… we are not suffering from cutting the cord at all. That whole app thing… I agree.

  4. Denise Baer says:

    This is great. I never heard of Coke & Popcorn. I live in Germany, so you can imagine how exciting it is to watch television. Since we have basic channels anyways, I use ABC, NBC, CW and Hulu. Now I added Coke & Popcorn to the mix. I just wish I could get a television with Wifi and that these would work. Unfortunately, I have to run HotSpot Shield (Shhh, don't tell anyone) so i can watch my shows. Thanks for the information.

    • Geek Girl says:

      wow… Germany. I am always interested to know what kind of TV other countries get to watch.

  5. findingourwaynow says:

    That's awesome. I would but my big stumbling block is my husband's desire to keep it. It will take a while, but I think it will eventually happen. Wish me luck on my mission. 🙂

    • Geek Girl says:

      What have to do is what we did. Get all the things you need to cut the cord and then 'act' like you did. That's how we made the transition.

  6. Hi Cheryl: As my husband is retired and watches a lot of TV, this wouldn't work for us.

    Personally, I could live without TV. The only things I watch are nature shows on Oasis HD (truly beautiful cinematography), Dancing with the Stars (my only escapism on commercial TV) and the National News on occasion. I'm less inclined to watch movies.

    • Geek Girl says:

      We watch very few movies. We tend to look at TV series to see which were most popular and then go grab those. We never watched live TV so it's pretty much the same thing as using a DVR.

  7. Jeannette Paladino says:

    Actually, I just added a cable service. I now use my cable company for my phone service because it was cheaper than using Verizon. I now have a smart TV – ability to access the web, NetfFlix and Amazon Prime, although I still haven't figured out how to use these streaming services!

    • Geek Girl says:

      Our phone and Internet service is through the cable company as well. We just chose not to get a cable TV package with it. So like you we have smart everything and streaming and recorded shows.

  8. Geek Girl says:

    This was in consideration for us for a few months. We decided that the move was a good time to actually do it.

  9. Geek Girl says:

    We love Game of Thrones and we don't have HBO.

  10. Dan Meyers says:

    YESSSS – this is awesome, congrats!!! Keep us updated on how they all work out. We have Hulu plus now to try to keep up with some US stations so we're starting to get the hang of it. You rock!

    • Geek Girl says:

      it's been great so far. We have had more content than we have time to watch. We see basically everything everyone else does, just later… sometimes not much later. Given that we have never watched anything live this transition has been quite easy really.

  11. namirusso says:

    We've been meaning to cut the cord, too. Maybe after the next season of "The Walking Dead." Ahhh-ha! That's how they get you, right?