How to calculate cord cutting savings

Everywhere you look there seems to be cheap, even free alternatives to cable TV. Most content providers offer only on-demand type content with live streaming only available with in indoor or outdoor HD TV antenna.

We scratch our heads saying what is everybody so excited about when they dump cable for the alternatives? That’s what I have been asking myself more and more. Right now I cant dump cable TV because we watch a lot of shows on TV5Monde (French TV) provided by Comcast. The channel isn’t available except through a cable TV company.

  1. What does this have to do with calculating cord cutting. Two things:
  2. You have to be able to get to the content you want with live streaming (TV5Monde does this through cable companies).
  3. You have to consider what your internet connection costs are when they are not “bundled”.

Let’s do the math. Cable First.

Typical bundle

Cost: $89/month

What you get: basic cable with phone and internet.

Why you hate it: RENTING cable boxes by the month adds another $20-$40 a month.

Cord cutting

Cost: $50 – $70/month for high speed internet alone. Sure the prices vary greatly by location and speed, but every internet provider (cable company) I checked with charges this amount for high speed internet only access.

What you get: varying speeds and nothing else.

What else you need: Content providers can be free or charge you, sources such as Netflix, Sling and other providers. This adds another $8 – $30/month.

So let’s compare the dollars:

1.      Cable Cost
Internet $89
TV Included
Phone Included
Cable Boxes $20 – $40
TOTAL $109 – $129
2.      Cord-cutting  
Internet $50
TV (Netflix, Sling. etc) $8 – $30
Phone (Vonage) $15
Cable Boxes None
TOTAL $73 – $95
3.                Verizon local package (internet and 20 local live stations). $59
Cable Boxes $20-$40
Phone from cable company $20
TOTAL $109 – $129

Not a whole lot of difference when you add it up. The calculation above uses numbers specific for my situation. Yours will be different. You might be surprised when you run your own numbers.

The first thing that comes to mind when you look at these numbers is why is the internet cost so high? There are companies who still offer DSL internet service which may not support multiple video streams to your home. DSL costs $25/month. Is it worth paying double to get the speeds we need for video? We don’t really have a choice.

The largest part of the savings equation is the elimination of the cable box rentals. Ouch! Switching to live TV with an indoor/outdoor antenna or HuluPlus eliminates that pesky monthly charge.