Published on January 30, 2018 By Island Dog In Personal Computing

Every year or so I take a look at my reoccurring monthly expenses and see what I don’t really use or need any longer. One of the biggest expenses I was tired of paying each month was the cable TV bill. I have thought about completely cutting cable before but always backed away for some reason, but it was time to finally make the cut. I was paying nearly $150 a month for cable and internet which was just ridiculous considering we just didn’t watch TV like we used to. About $10-15 of that was device charges for the cable boxes we had to have on each TV. My kids are in college and/or working so they are hardly home to watch TV. Even when they are they have their own subscriptions to things like Netflix or Hulu, so I found no real reason that cable was something needed in our household.

But before I actually made the call to the cable company and went internet-only, I had to look for some type of way for us to watch the few shows that we regularly watch. There are just a few series we watch, but it’s something we enjoy so I had to do a bit of research on streaming services. We have Netflix, but that is something I actually cancelled with the cable. Their selection of TV shows has become minimal, and although we enjoy some of their original programming, we can just get a month at a time and binge watch something like Stranger Things and then cancel. After reading and researching I decided to give DirectTV Now a try, which was a good choice because if I prepaid for a month they would also send me a free Amazon Fire Stick, so no reason not to give it try.

So with that decided I called Bright House and cancelled my cable service. They of course tried to offer me all types of deals to keep it, but I eventually talked them into giving me a deal on 300mbps internet while threatening to leave for a competitor. So I ended up getting internet-only service for nearly half of what I was paying with cable and internet.

After the first couple of days we realized we made a good decision. We didn’t miss cable at all, and all the shows we wanted to watch were available on streaming services. Even with the added cost of a streaming service, we were still saving quite a bit of money each month compared to cable, so we had no regrets about cutting the cord. Now DirectTV Now was another issue. I cancelled the renewal within the first week. The app was terrible to use, the audio on several shows we wanted to watch didn’t work, and it was supported on very few devices we wanted to use. I switched over to Sling TV and we have been using it ever since. It ended up being cheaper and we can choose the package which has the channels we want. We can use it on our TVs with an Xbox One, Amazon Fire Stick or Apple TV, and we can use it on our iOS devices. I definitely recommend it!

I also started using Hulu as there’s some shows just on there that my wife likes to watch, and I also subscribed to CBS All Access so I can watch the new Star Trek: Discovery. They are both inexpensive options so they make great additions to something like Sling TV.

One of my favorite things about using these streaming services is I can also use them on my PCs. All the ones I use have apps in the Microsoft Store which I can download to my PCs. I even have a streaming fence setup on my desktop using Stardock Fences to keep them organized right on my desktop! 

So we got rid of cable for just about a year, and while finishing this article up I was really trying to find some downsides to cutting the cord. The thing is I really can’t think of any. We’re saving money, have just as much or more video content available, and it’s easier to watch on a variety of TVs and mobile devices. If you’ve been thinking about cutting the cord, then I would recommend it. Do a bit of research first, but I think you will be pleased with the options you have to watch your favorite content, and save a bit of money while you’re doing it.

Comments (Page 2)
on Feb 01, 2018

it's like that everywhere i think. definitely in uk at least. people are encouraged to switch utility providers for better deals, but if you use isp email, for example, then it's a pain to have to switch your email every few years just to save money. the competition authorities should force those companies to offer the same "intro" prices to old customers who renew their contract really, as switching for the sake of switching is pointless and doesn't encourage real competition.

on Feb 01, 2018

I called to cancel dish network and am getting the no-frills intro package for next to nothing for 12 months. I'll have to decide if I continue that at an increased cost at the end of the 12 months or cancel for good. 

I decided to keep it mainly for their DVR and local channels at the reduced cost, though it does have a few decent cable channels. My wife isn't nearly as happy with some of the lost channels but we get Hulu for free from our Cellular company. I still have Netflix for the Marvel shows but that may go if they leave. 

on Jun 18, 2018

I did the same thing. We were paying around $360 a month to Suddenlink for cable, telephone and internet bundle. Of which about $50 a month was equipment rentals. I purchased 2 Roku devices and have slashed my bill by about $150. I have SlingTV, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and I have been perfectly happy with all of those services. Cable TV is going to be a thing of the past if they don't wake up and adopt a more competitive pricing model. 

on Jun 18, 2018

Well we cut most of our Foxtel Premium Package and now pay less than half for the got-to-have-it basic package [most of which is crap anyhow]; the sports package to get the rugby league and cricket; an entertainment package to get some TV series we like.

What pissed me off is that they've bundled Syfy in with documentary package, meaning that people now have to get a package they may not have otherwise wanted.  Oh well, bye, bye Syfy.... bye, bye a lot of other crap I can live without.

As soon as the contract is up, though, the lot goes bye, bye.