Every day you hear and read about cord cutters and how happy they do not have to pay for cable TV. Whoops! They still have to pay for internet access, which makes sense. When you think that most people leave their TV’s on for the noise factor even when they are not watching but listening to TV; streaming content is the de facto standard of video delivery. What most people do not think about is the cable companies realize what’s coming and have postured themselves to never having to reduce revenue. How can that be?
Easy. There are three elements to the “bundle” package most people subscribe to with their cable company. Phone, TV and internet. As the demand for 40 good channels on cable, they end up paying over $200 a month for those channels, a phone (which is becoming more irrelevant due to cell phones) and the ubiquitous internet connection.
If you look at any cable TV companies web site, they offer internet only services for around $50 a month. Wow. That’s a lot for something that just sits there until you use it. And you’re right. Where there is competition and adequate regulation you can get faster internet for about half the price if you lived in Europe or Asia.
As people look to dump the TV part of their package, they find that they still pay a high amount to stay in the internet streaming game. Add to that that companies like Comcast are starting to limit the amount of data you can use each month with your internet connection, we are headed right back to where we started. Comcast is offering an unlimited internet connection in markets with data limits (like your cell phone data plans) for an additional $30 a month. $50 + $30 = $80, ouch!
So let’s look at online streaming. First, there is no one content provider that offers you all your local stations and a few more. There is no one out there that can put this simple package together. Then you have to pay another $30 on top of the $50 for internet connections, because streaming all day will bust your monthly cap.
Should you decide that you can change your viewing habits (yeah right) you could still cut the cord and have almost everything you have today regarding TV content. Moving to an over the air option (OTA) gives you FREE local TV in 1080p HD.
Let’s compare OTA to the “bundle” and see:
|Now||Instead try this:|
|Cable provided phone||Cell phone|
|Cable channels||A regular in attic TV antenna|
|Cable DVR||Tablo DVR|
It’s really not that hard to make the switch if you change your “viewing habits”. I used to record 6 or 7 shows I loved and went crazy finding the time to watch it all. So I stopped watching all of them and spent time with my wife and dog every day doing stuff. Real life stuff. You can do this too.
It is true not everyone can put an antenna in their attic or on their roof and get a good TV signal, but it doesn’t cost much to try. There is also websites you can search for that can tell you before you spend any money on an antenna (ex. http://antennapoint.com/).
Tablo.tv makes great DVR’s to hook your antenna to and record all your favorite shows.
This approach leaves you with only a monthly internet bill much lower than you pay now for the “bundle”.
Let’s look at some numbers:
|Cable Bundle||Number of Channels||Internet, TV, Phone||Cable Boxes 1DVR & 2 Boxes||Taxes & Fees||Monthly Total|
|Introductory Price||400||$ 89||$ 25||$ 20||$ 134|
|Normal Price||$ 225||$ 25||$ 20||$ 270|
|Cable Internet Only||0||$ 50||$ –||$ 12||$ 62|
|Sling TV||23||$ 29||$ –||$ –||$ 29|
|Netflix||1||$ 12||$ –||$ –||$ 12|
|Amazon||1||$ 12||$ –||$ –||$ 12|
|One Time Cost||$ –|
|Over the Air Live TV||Number of Channels||Internet, TV, Phone||Cable Boxes 1DVR & 2 Boxes||Taxes & Fees||Monthly Total|
|Antenna||20-40||$50 – $100||$ –||$ –||$ –|
|DVR (Tablo & Roku 3 TV’s)||$550||$ –||$ –||$ –|
|Phone (Use cell phone)||$0||$ –||$ –||$ –|
|Internet only||$50||$ –||$ –||$ 50|
|One Time Cost||$ 650|
Take a few minutes and think about how much TV is a part of your life and the money you spend on video content. Then decide. Good luck.
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