Considering how a lot we’ve written about cord-cutting on the location, many can be stunned to hear that it wasn’t till a couple years in the past that my spouse and I decided to cut cable.
We aren’t alone, although: as of 2015 there was still roughly 100 million households that subscribed to some sort of paid TV service bought by means of either a cable, satellite, or telephone firm.
For us, the sum of money we spent on cable was simply unsustainable. My spouse and I are frugal and don’t wish to spend a ton of money on leisure.
A concert or sporting event every so often are good, but spending $160 a month for cable and web? No thank you.
And let’s not overlook the video games that it’s a must to play when you’ve got cable. It’s unimaginable the length they go to gouge their present clients.
I don’t miss the annual telephone calls asking why my price was elevated by $30 or watching my invoice like a hawk each month in case Xfinity tried to sneak in a rise. Granted, I do still have the same drawback with their internet.
Regardless of the hundreds of thousands of subscribers they at present have, cable is an outdated business that’s slowly dying. Thankfully we stay in a time of innovation where increasingly more rivals are answering the cry for simple pricing, reasonably priced options, and great content.
On this publish I provides you with a step-by-step information of how I reduce cable, including what I changed it with and what sort of savings we are taking a look at due to the reduce (spoiler alert: the savings are large!).
The first thing you need to do is get a Digital HDTV Antenna. This can help you obtain all of the free channels that don’t require cable or another service to view in your house.
These digital antennas aren’t what they was. In my attic there’s a large antenna. This was vital…many years ago.
Flash ahead forty years and we’ve paper-thin digital HDTV antennas which might be many occasions extra highly effective than previous analog antennas.
This digital antenna costs lower than $30, has a 65-85 mile vary, supports 4k 1080p and all older televisions, and comes with an 18 foot coaxial cable.
Straightforward first step, proper? On to the subsequent one.
The subsequent step in chopping cable is getting a Roku.
I assume it’s necessary to know what a Roku is and what a Roku is just not. A Roku isn’t a magical gadget that provides you access to unlimited free, premium content. I think of the Roku as extra of a platform that lets you add providers, or “channels,” like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and another variety of streaming options.
However, Roku is one thing you should buy if you will reduce cable. It has a simple, modern consumer interface that I assume most individuals will really take pleasure in. I’ve been utilizing it for years, even earlier than I cancelled cable.
The most recent Roku choice is the Roku Premiere. This is HD/4K/HDR suitable with an included remote and HDMI cable. It can value you lower than $40. There’s additionally the Roku Streaming Stick+, which is what I use.
Options to Roku embrace the Amazon Hearth TV Stick and Apple TV.
Purchased your streaming gadget? You then’re prepared for the subsequent step: choosing your streaming choices.
Whereas value and awful customer service are two massive reasons individuals are ditching cable, one other is the supply of streaming choices. There are presently 100+ totally different streaming providers, with many extra set to launch over the subsequent couple of years.
Adding streaming options isn’t obligatory, but sometimes makes slicing cable extra pleasurable. Relying on what kind of video content you eat, some might not even really feel a distinction once they change from cable to streaming options.
Listed here are a number of the extra well-liked streaming choices:
Netflix – Netflix has more than 139 million subscribers. Even when you haven’t minimize cable, you doubtless already have a Netflix account. Netflix has a primary plan for $eight.99 that doesn’t supply HD (and I suspect has few customers), an ordinary plan for $12.99 supports HD and streaming from two screens concurrently, and a premium plan for $15.99 that helps extremely HD and permits streaming on four screens simultaneously.
I am an enormous fan of Netflix as a result of I assume the worth could be very affordable for the content material library. They have tons of unique TV collection and films, and I recognize the very fact they are investing a lot (billions) in their content.
SlingTV – SlingTV provides three totally different skinny bundles, two for $25 and one for $40. One of the $25 packages has ESPN whereas the opposite has Fox Sports One. The combined $40 version has each. But that’s not all the skinny bundles supply. They arrive with many in style TV channels like CNN, HGTV, TBS, FX, Historical past, and lots of extra. You possibly can view all of the choices right here.
I’ve used Sling off and on. With the ability to watch stay sports and not using a traditional cable plan is an enormous draw for Sling, but there’s many different channels that aren’t sports-related. There’s no contract, both, and you can start and cease as you please.
It’s additionally value noting that with some exhibits you are able to stream on demand. For instance there are a selection of Historical past Channel exhibits where you can start with season one and watch at your pace, despite the very fact Sling is a “skinny bundle” that has conventional cable channels.
Amazon Video – Amazon Video isn’t the perfect streaming service, as their library of content is missing. With that being stated, it’s included when you’ve got a Prime account, which many purchase for free delivery. I’m a type of individuals, so any content material I use on Amazon Video is actually a bonus. The price of Amazon Prime is $12.99 a month, or $99 a yr (if paid yearly). There’s an HBO add-on for $15 a month which you could start and cease everytime you need.
YouTube TV – Just like SlingTV, YouTube TV is a skinny bundle various to conventional cable. In actuality, with 70+ stay TV channels including sports activities and native TV, it feels more like a “hassle-free” and transparent model of conventional cable. The price is $49.99 a month and like most streaming options, you possibly can cancel anytime.
I haven’t used YouTube TV, but I’ve been tempted to offer it a attempt. There’s unlimited cloud DVR storage, and it consists of all the massive sports activities channels similar to ESPN and FS1, in addition to the large news and way of life channels.
We’ve hardly scratched the surface right here. There are numerous other options obtainable, including Hulu, PlayStation Vue, CBS All Access, and fuboTV. The sheer number of choices could be overwhelming, but keep in mind with most of those providers you can start and stop whenever you need. In case you don’t end up utilizing a service enough to justify the monthly value, cancel it.
Purchasing a DVR is one other optionally available step, but as somebody who used to document a number of exhibits utilizing my cable DVR, it was an essential function for my twine slicing setup. (When you get YouTube TV you’ll be able to skip this step since limitless cloud DVR is included.)
There have been two things I have been wanting for in a DVR: no monthly payment and a considerable amount of storage.
I discovered both of those in the Tivo Roamio. With 1 TB of storage capability and no month-to-month fees, I was bought.
Unfortunately it appears that Tivo is again to pushing their subscription plans. That doesn’t mean you possibly can’t discover the Tivo Roamio anymore, you’ll just find yourself getting a refurbished one as an alternative of a new one.
A good various Tablo Quad OTA DVR. This can run you approximately $250 and is a bit unique as it connects by way of WiFi, while most DVRs plug into the digital TV antenna.
Calling the cable company isn’t enjoyable, and in the event you’re like me you could have made many calls through the years and been pressured to play their recreation of continually placing present clients by way of the ringer, squeezing every last dollar out of you until you’re shaking with rage.
In a really perfect state of affairs you’d be cancelling all providers from your present cable provider. But for lots of you the call will include asking for a service downgrade.
This was my state of affairs with Xfinity. It was not an pleasant call because the pricing games continued.
To organize for the decision I went to the Xfinity web site and seemed for charges that may be provided to somebody shifting into my home. This is a vital step I would take previous to calling to end your cable service.
After calling and having the agent twice providing me bundle offers, despite me telling him I wouldn’t accept even when they have been dust low cost, he stated the perfect deal he might give me at my present internet velocity of 100 mbps was $74.99/month.
My first thought was: this is insane! However not shocking, sadly.
I tried to stay calm nevertheless it’s robust whenever you’ve been by way of this so many occasions earlier than. I informed him I had a screenshot that confirmed a new customer would obtain a fee of $59.99 for 12 months with no contract.
I also informed him I might literally cancel proper now and with one click my wife can be arrange with the decrease price, so why don’t we save one another time and just honor the speed?
We then went forwards and backwards for over 5 minutes of why new clients are given better charges. It wasn’t until I stated these pricing video games and terrible remedy of present clients are the primary purpose we are getting rid of cable, and if they don’t honor the rate proper now we have been leaving for a competitor’s offering.
I was put on hold and hastily they might give me the new buyer fee.
Backside line: all the time be ready on the subject of negotiations with the cable firm. Arm your self previous to your call and know what charges they’re providing to new clients.
You’re nearly assured to economize by slicing cable out of your finances, even when you tack on additional streaming options like we did.
Our cable bill was $157/month. Much more unfortunate is that that is on the “low” finish of cable and web bundles. Preserving it this low required annual calls to Xfinity and one time a really real menace to cancel all our providers with them (internet included).
Our new value is $60/month for 100 mbps web. It’s no contract, which is great as I like the pliability and leverage it provides us.
There’s clearly some startup prices involved with twine chopping, but should you forgo buying the DVR for $250 the costs are minimal. Quality digital antennas can be found for lower than $30. Roku or different streaming sticks are sometimes across the $50 worth range.
Even if we spend a mean of $50 a month on streaming choices, we’d save approximately $50 a month, or $600 a yr. If we spend $20 a month on streaming choices we’d save approximately $80 a month or almost $1,000 a yr.
Slicing cable has by no means been simpler, nor has there ever been so many various entertainment choices. Should you’ve ever thought of slicing cable, now’s the time.
As a result of this was an enormous submit, right here’s a quick abstract of every thing I bought and advocate buying to cut cable: