Cutting the Cord on Cable TV and Finding the Right Solution

If you are like most, you are or may have been a prisoner to your cable or satellite television company. Many of them require you to sign a contract and that requires you to pay that amount for a year or two, or suffer a penalty for early termination. Of course that amount is not all you pay, outside of the fees, there are cable box rental fees, DVR fees, etc. I for one was sick of it, which is why I cut the cord on cable TV!

Cable TV Cord Cutting 101

Cutting the cord on cable TV is not hard but it is scary. When you make the call to your cable company, the customer service representative, on the other end, will work hard to make you second guess your decision. They may transfer you to a supervisor, or the retention department and may even offer you a lower rate with the addition of HBO for 3 months free. Sounds like a great deal, Right? Wrong! Remember your reason for cutting the cord in the first place and stick to your guns.

Once this dance is completed and you’ve ended the unhealthy relationship you had with your cable company. Full disclosure: You will probably will not be able to break free from them completely, as they may also be providing your high speed internet service. However, if you have options (other internet providers) let them know and negotiate with your ex to get a better rate.

Now What?? – Cut the Cord Options

Now what? You have no TV and have to communicate with people. Well, you could read a book or talk to someone, you might actually learn something or connect with someone. However, if that is too much work for then you should start your cord cutting journey with an antenna. Antennas are not expensive and will provide you with some free local channels, some major networks, and possibly more. This is not a perfect solution because many areas lack a strong enough signal to local networks and it may take some trial and error to find a good location for the antenna. It is worth a try especially if you live in a major metropolitan area. You may be satisfied by the amount of television you get and decide you do not need any additional service. If this is the case congratulations, now invest that money for your retirement (a topic for another discussion).

Beyond an antenna, there are many options to replace a very costly cable bill. The range of options are vast, as is their cost and content. If you are comfortable watching shows and movies on your computer then you can find free shows on websites like YouTube among others and not have to pay anything beyond your internet service provider bill. If you want to use your television, you may need a Google streaming, Apple TV, PlayStation, or Roku device to view online content on your big screen. Using these devices gives you the option of watching free content or paying for a subscription service like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling, Disney +, Apple TV, and Philo. This is not a complete list of the services available but these are some of the most popular.

Too Much of a Good Thing

The good news is there are a lot of options, but more than you will ever watch. My suggestion is to pick your service based on household viewer taste and content offered. For example, in my home we subscribe to Netflix, YouTube TV, Amazon TV, and most recently Disney +. The reason for our selection is: YouTube TV has all the major networks, local television, as well as basic cable channels, and unlimited DVR storage all for about $50 a month. Netflix has original content, recently released movies, and plenty of content for kids. Amazon TV comes free with my Prime Membership. Disney + is a new service and we decided to give it a trial.

Listing all of these services is making me realize that we may have too much and could save some money by dropping a few. The idea is to pick a service or a few that make sense to you and your situation. If your family loves Disney, then Disney +, and YouTube TV might be right for you (YouTube TV offers the Disney Channels whereas Sling does not). Match your interests and that of your family to the channel offerings and program variety of each service and pick one. If you pick too many, as apparently I have, then you may be paying more than you had with cable.

Mix it Up

Picking the right mix of streaming services, free or paid, will provide you with more than enough content than you had with cable. Be aware of the danger of having too many services and take advantage of the flexibility that these services offer. I read an article that reminded me that streaming services do not require the lengthy contracts we have become conditioned to expect from our content providers. Streaming services are monthly, if you have seen everything on Disney+ or Netflix, then try Apple TV or Hulu for a month or more. If Disney+ adds another season of the Mandalorian and you can’t wait to see baby Yoda, then sign up for another month. Use the flexibility to your advantage.

The Cord Cutting Solution

There are many benefits to cord cutting. The most obvious to me is saving Save-Moneymoney, which is why you must not get caught up paying for all of the streaming services. There is a ton of content and a lot of options, so pick one and enjoy it. Binge watch a series in 30 days or less, then cancel the streaming service and pick up another one the following month. This is an easy way to get great content, pay for what you want, and save money. I haven’t had cable since 2012 and don’t miss it at all.

Don’t forget…you could always read a book.

Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think and if you have any other ideas that you would like me to explore.

All the best,

TryItMan

10 Replies to “Cutting the Cord on Cable TV and Finding the Right Solution”

  1. Hi Glenn

    Thanks for your post, I totally agree with you on cutting the cord on cable TV. We did that many years ago, and we have no regrets. You are correct in saying that the customer service representative will do all that they can to encourage you to keep the service.

    We cut off the cable, but still have the internet service with the company, and very often, we still get mailers from them offering some fantastic deals on cable. We were losing more than we were gaining because most of the time our TV is off.

    Like you said, there are many alternatives to cable. We live in a rural area, so the antenna did not work well for us. We now have an android box, and my daughter subscribed to Netflix for a but the TV is still off most of the time. Sometimes, family members will hook up their computer to the TV, or watch shows on the computer. We read the news on the computer or on our phone.

    Your post is very informative, and I believe that it will do well in educating consumers about living without cable TV. It would be nice if everyone chooses to read more.

    We can definitely save money when we cut the cable.

    1. Jackie, Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you have made some smart cost cutting decisions. It takes a little getting used to but once you do, and realize how much you are saving it is totally worth it. I once had to wait for my cable to be hooked up in a new home we had to wait two weeks, by the end of the two weeks I had read two books and didn’t miss TV at all. So the thought of paying large amounts of money for a service I ultimately did not miss makes me cringe. Be well.

  2. We chopped our cable about 5 years ago and have never looked back. That is close to $6000 we haven’t put out! Wow! Of course we subscribe to Netflix and Disney + but still only a fraction of the cost. Great ideas in this article!

    1. Cherise, Thanks for your comment. It is amazing how something many of us have become so reliant on really doesn’t matter once it is gone. It is kind of cool when you realize how much money you saved since you cut the cord, and the best part is…You don’t miss it! Why exactly do people pay for cable? What have you done or are you gonna do with the $6000? Has your successful Cablectomy influenced anyone else?
      Be well.

  3. Great article, I can relate to pretty much everything you stated here. I haven’t had cable since 2012 either and have experimented with just about every streaming service out there. The one constant I’ve had is Netflix, but over time I’ve added and dropped others. Currently have way too many services, but a couple of them are bundled together or free/reduced trial periods. Its a great problem to have too many options, but it can be overwhelming. One thing is for sure, I can’t see myself every paying for a cable package again. Thanks for sharing this info!

    1. Dereck, Thanks for the comment. Congratulations on freeing yourself from the cable company. I remember being frustrated with a large bill and minimal enjoyment from my television service. I also remember worrying about what I was going to watch once I cut the cord. As you and I have learned, there is so many other options and services out there that the amount of quality content is overwhelming. There is literally too much to watch, but as consumers we get to choose what we want, and can change at anytime. Like you, I have too many services and plan to trim some of my subscriptions soon. Thanks again for your comment. Be well.

  4. Completely agree with the sentiment here. It’s not just about cutting the cord either – Cable TV is actually rubbish. We negotiated a great deal with our provider (Its ridiculous) which is why we’re currently with them, but it’s really not necessary. Netflix really has everything we want to watch. And it’s a major money saver too!

    1. Bhavik, Thanks for your comment. Good for you! Sometimes cable can make sense, but you have to break them down and get what you want from your service. The call to cancel your cable service is a great time to negotiate on your terms. The cable company doesn’t want to lose a customer and that is when the customer has leverage. It sounds like you successfully used that leverage to get what you wanted. I hope someone reading this post is inspired by your story and not afraid to leave their cable company if their provider doesn’t budge. This is all about consumer empowerment and I appreciate your contribution. Be well.

    1. EcoCatherine, Thanks for your comment. Did you install a satellite dish or did you switch from cable to a satellite TV provider? What are you using for internet service? Sorry for the questions but I truly want to be educated regarding your success. Be well.

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