questionsis cutting cable really worth it financially?

vote-for54vote-against
vote-for4vote-against

sorry, but you are asking the budget conscious group here: i refuse to pay anything to watch tv. no cable. no dish. no netflix. nada. most of the reason i watch tv is because i have nothing else to do. i buy dvds (used and rewatch several times) or i watch whatever i recorded to my dvr from primetime the night before. if there is something you really wanna see, you can probably get a friend to let you watch at their place or record it for you.

vote-for6vote-against

For me it made a lot of sense to cut cable. Even with cable, I had my XBox live subscription and my Netflix subscription for the other services they offered. I don't watch a lot of blu-ray, so that didn't factor in.

Depending on what sports game is on, there is going over friends houses, going to the local sports bar, or just checking on the score via espn.com. I have been cable free for almost 4 years now and I really don't miss it.

EDIT: But I also live alone right now, so I only have to worry about what I want to watch, if you have a family or roommates it may be different for you.

vote-for5vote-against

There's a flaw in your reasoning: you assume that the only reason people have any of these devices is for tv purposes. With the exception of the Roku, people will generally use their products for more than one purpose. The Xbox Live subscription allows gamers the opportunity to interact with friends and relative strangers while playing games. The internet isn't something that most people live without and, if you own an HDTV, a blu-ray player isn't a huge step forward. Now, if you were to go out and buy these things just so you could watch tv, yes that would be absolutely stupid and a waste of money, but if you already own an Xbox, or a Roku, or a blu-ray player with wi-fi capabilities, you'll likely save money on these types of services.

vote-for5vote-against

I have a Roku and Netflix. I had to keep my cable because they snuck a contract in there. I actually have found that I like having cable to watch live sports, though otherwise I use it very rarely.

I think when the stupid contract is up I will completely cancel and instead invest in sports streaming packages that I can get through my Roku, like MLB.tv.

An idea for when the intro price is up from Comcast (if you decide to get it)...I was able to get $20 off of my Comcast bill (I have internet and cable) by calling them and complaining about the price and comparing them to century link. I hear just threatening to cancel works too. I didn't take the angry approach, but more the questioning/nice yet knowledgeable approach.

vote-for8vote-against

I greatly reduced my Dish bill so now it is $40 a month. I like sports and news and prefer Dish for those. Once Roku can provide apps (or better apps) I will reevaluate. Also I'm so far away from my local stations that I have to have some kind of service to get them consistently.

vote-for5vote-against

If it wasn't for live sports I'd let mine go. Most shows that I watch I can find online.

vote-for4vote-against

@dpn0121: I kind of have to agree there. When Roku private channels list the cable content they provide, I have found it ridiculously overstated. For example, the PlayOn app/channel, which you have to pay for, lists that it provides content from cable channels, like ESPN, Nickelodeon, TBS, and Comedy Central -- "Choose from 1000s of your favorite shows". Uh, not. These "sub channels" within the PlayOn channel on Roku have a few full episodes of a few shows, and are mostly made up of 1 minute clips. Thankfully they had a 2 week trial period before you have to pay.

I really like my Roku, but it is definitely for people who can and want to go without cable (or want it in addition to cable), not those who want cheap(er) cable or to replace cable. It is excellent for Netflix and I am looking forward to streaming HD baseball this summer when I get mlb.tv.

vote-for6vote-against

I haven't cut cable yet, but I do plan to do so in the future.

I was already paying for Netflix so didn't factor that in to the cost. I already planned to purchase MLB.TV so that doesn't factor in to the cost either. Time Warner doesn't provide the Cardinals games.

I already owned a Roku for Netflix, so that upfront cost doesn't exist for me either.

After my promo I would be paying $90+ for just cable so it makes sense for me to cancel. The basic cable alone is $65 and then $19.90 for a DVR. It all matters on what kind of stuff you watch.

vote-for4vote-against

@meh3884: MLB app has been es than stellar. Maybe the year they'll get it right.

vote-for10vote-against

We won't be cutting cable soon. We don't go out much and television is our main source of entertainment. And we're bundled with internet and telephone so the cost isn't that great when you think about it in terms of how much we pay per day. Less than a fancy small Starbucks (from the prices I can see on the internet, I've never been in a Starbucks).

We're kind of addicted to The Big Bang Theory and I'd miss not watching that for an hour a day.

And it probably wouldn't take too long watching a couple of hours a day of streaming video to go over our monthly bandwidth limit.

vote-for6vote-against

netflix and hulu plus aren't $20, they're $16 ($8netflix + $$7.99 hulu)
A HTPC is the way to go, you can build/buy a good one for $300 (equivalent to 3-4 months of comcast)
So first year you're looking at $300 for the hardware, $168 for the two subscriptions. Then $10 or $20 for some rabbit ears to get over-the-air local channels and you're set. Call it $500. That's about 7-8 months of comcast. Consider that you're going to pay for internet service anyway, so that shouldn't figure into the cost at all.

vote-for19vote-against

threatening to cut cable is worth it financially. They'll cut a deal with you before letting you cancel cable. But I guess there is always that risk of someone calling your bluff.

vote-for4vote-against

@wootfast: You are right I had discounted cable for 4ish years and they called the bluff. I had 1 bill at the normal rate. Now I have DirectTV.

vote-for4vote-against

I have Internet and one cable box from Time Warner in NY City. I don't have phone from them as it costs more than $0 (regardless of what they initially claim). The cable box costs me $65/month ($85 with a single premium channel, which I add occasionally, for example, when Dexter is running).

I use a PC attached to my TV, so no cost for a Roku or whatever (if I wanted a Roku, it is about one month's cable). I pay for Hulu+ and Netflix, so I save about $45 a month.

All in all, dropping cable is worth it.

vote-for4vote-against

You don't mention what city you're in, but here outside Dallas we get over 40 OTA channels with an in-attic antenna. Couple that with 1 service and there's STILL lotsa stuff I don't watch.
Plus- online, an aggregator such as Zinc.TV adds tons more shows I'll never have time to watch. Cut cable, never missed it.
Oh, and the antenna in the attic has been there almost 20 years, I built a UHF antenna(from easy online instructions) for $5 and coupled them together. Being protected from the weather offsets the signal loss as they'll last forever.

vote-for4vote-against

@wootfast: When we jumped from Time Warner Cable, they thought they were calling my bluff when they straight up told me, "you won't leave, and if you do, you'll be back." When I suggested they price match their competitor's intro rate instead of pretty much doubling our bill. We jumped to DirecTV. We're looking to cut the cord completely next January when our contract is up. I'd rather watch fuz than go back. Man, am I going to miss HBO.

vote-for2vote-against

I work for a major tv provider, so i get most of my channels at no cost to me :) with netflix, XBL, gamefly, my ISP monthly rate,
8.00
3.3 per month (xbl gold card.. usually on sale $40 a year)
16
59.99 =
87.29... and thats for a pretty crappy selection... seriously im not a big fan of netflixs movies..
most of my customers bills are around 60-70$ per month to put some perspective in, and they usually have HD tv in 1/2 rooms and another receiver for a tv in another room..

and cord cutters are not that big of a deal imo... power to them actually. I wont be a cord cutter... for it is too hard to find a stable HD streaming feed of NFL/NHL games...

vote-for4vote-against

To get basic cable, I would have to shell out an extra $20/month, $40/month for the channels I actually watch. On the other hand, I only pay $8/month for Netflix on my computer and Wii. If I want to watch anything not available there or on another site for free, I just go to my mom's house and watch TV. So, for me, it makes no sense to spend extra money for a service that I probably won't use very much.

vote-for3vote-against

@havocsback: I get 47 OTA channels here in Arlington. It's mostly crap, but there's more than enough decent programming to keep my PC DVR full.

For movies I take advantage of the daily Amazon deals so I watch 2-3 per month at $1 each.

I don't pay anything for TV now. I'm missing a few things and have to watch some stuff on the web, but for $100+ per month savings it's been worth it.

vote-for3vote-against

We pay tooo muuch for cable. TWC bundle deal, plus extras (like the boxes, remotes, fees, etc) comes to $180/ month. My wife really likes certain shows, the kids use the phone to keep off their cellphones, and we all need them internets. I'd settle for basic TV and Net for maybe $100, but I'm outvoted. And the landlord won't let us do FIOS, either; tho he always seems surprised at the dishes on the roof.
I had dish before, much better TV quality, but no Net.

vote-for5vote-against

We haven't had cable in over 5 years and don't miss it. I just saw a TWC commercial and they were saying "as low as $89.99 month!"—really? That's considered low?? We cut crystal clear over-the-air channels with our digital antenna and there's actually a lot to choose from in Los Angeles. We pay $8 a month for Netflix streaming which has a lot of TV shows. Sure, we're a season or two behind but we don't mind. I can find most other shows online also. The only thing I do miss is sports, especially baseball, but I have sports bars for that.

vote-for3vote-against

I ran the numbers and it absolutely made sense for me.

I have a $13 TV antenna that picks up a decent number of stations. I pay $35 a month for Internet access, which I don't count towards my "TV" budget because that's something I'd have anyway. Cable would cost at least $30 a month more for even the cheapest service, and that's not including all the ridiculous taxes/rental fees. Plus, if I had cable, I'd want DVR, and that's another $15 or so a month.

I have subscriptions to Hulu+ and Netflix and will occasionally rent from Red Box or Amazon. I have a Roku that was a gift. I can always find something to watch.

The only cable channels I miss are Boomerang (classic toons) and TCM (classic movies).

Run the numbers and see what works for you. I'm definitely saving money over cable and I've found I'm more discriminating with what I watch when I have to choose something from a Netflix or Hulu queue instead of mindlessly channel surfing.

vote-for2vote-against

I have noticed that TWC seems to have gotten very stingy with giving discounted pricing within the past year or so, so that is what fueled my desire to "cut the cord." I still have Internet service with them, but cut cable out about 10 months ago. We (wife & I) haven't really missed it one bit. I built a HTPC that works perfectly for around $300 and that was paid back within a few months since our cable bill dropped ~$60/month after we dropped the TV off and kept only Internet. We also bought a decent amplified indoor antenna for about $30 off Monoprice and get a ton of stations being in a Milwaukee suburb, which satisfies our needs during those times of just turning on the TV to see what's on without an interest in anything particular. To control the PC easily from the couch we have a Lenovo N5901 (they now have newer models as well) which is absolutely terrific and a steal for how cheap it is compared to Logitech's options.

vote-for4vote-against

Anyway though, having the HTPC is great as we are able to view videos anywhere on the Internet and are not limited only to what is supported on a Roku, Boxee, or similar unit. We never have trouble finding something to watch when we want and having videos as "favorites" on Hulu so they auto-populate your queue is just as good as having a DVR and is completely free. We've found no need yet for Hulu+ or Netflix and fulfill our movie needs by hitting up one of the many Redbox kiosks within minutes of our house at $1-1.50/night.

All in all, this was one of the easiest things I've ever done to save money, and it really adds up!

vote-for2vote-against

by the way, expect some major increases in monthly rates from most cable providers this year. Industry insiders have reported that they've been keeping their rates lower than they want to for the last 2 years because of the econmy, but now that they see a probable end to the current slowdown, they are planning to raise rates in a major way.

vote-for-5vote-against

I clicked on the topic thinking it would be a discussion of buying bulk wires and end bits is actually worth the time. I have too many short Cat 5 cables and not enough long ones. Probably worth cutting cable and getting bulk rolls...

vote-for1vote-against

My suggestion - try cutting the cable. You'll either be surprised by what you can do without (saving big $$ in the process) or you'll find out that you miss something that cable/satellite has to offer & sign back up with a new subscriber discount. Probably a win for you either way.

I've been on Basic Cable (OTA channels + WGN / too far from the towers for an antenna), Netflix, Hulu Plus, TiVo, Blu-Ray & Roku for about a year now. I get a few shows I miss from Cable from Amazon Streaming or by waiting until the DVD's come out & getting them. The TiVo XL is over 50% full, and there are a ton of shows on the Netflix queue. I'm saving at least $50 a month and watching more TV than ever.

vote-for4vote-against

Cutting cable made sense to me, I was just too fed up with all the commercials. If basic TV can survive on income from commercials only, why can't cable channels do the same? I already had an AppleTV and a Roku player in my possession so I just decided to go ahead and give cutting cable a try. I just use an AppleTV in the living room and a Roku player in my bedroom. I also get movies off the internet and stream them from my laptop to AppleTV. I cut the cable service and never looked back.

vote-for3vote-against

I cut the TV cable in 2006. I pay for high-speed internet cable and use playon (I was in the beta group - paid $40 for a lifetime license) on my PS3. It acts as a server to access media from my PC, which has about 1000 movies, 1,400 TV episodes and 50,000+ songs (multiple hard drives storage). Rabbit ears pick up about 20 local stations, and as a bonus, the cable company was too cheap or lazy to put a filter on my cable, so I get about another 50 stations for free. I have basic Netflix and Amazon Prime, student rate ($39/year) that has free movies/TV shows. Ironically, I only watch about 8-10 hours/week, and often less. The person who commented about playon didn't investigate very thoroughly. They have tons of apps to add networks and get literally thousands of TV episodes. I have 31 networks. Nova, Frontline and the myriad of PBS shows are almost full episodes and go back several years, including current programming. Also, NatGeo and History have tons of archives.

vote-for2vote-against

I've got antenna for sports (I don't watch much, just the major events), Netflix for some movies and shows, and I've already got a blu-ray player, laptops, etc that can handle the streaming. I don't feel like I need Hulu plus, and even with the bundle pack, adding cable would apparently raise my bill by about $50/month. I think I'm fine without it.

vote-for3vote-against

Dropped it in 1998 and have never regretted saving the $6720 plus! I think it probably paid for a good used car!

vote-for2vote-against

@oscaroni: Thanks for the enlightening post! I'll check this out!

vote-for2vote-against

@oscaroni: Your comment about "almost full episodes" is what gets me. Maybe it is because I can get a lot of the stuff that actually interests me through Netflix or other Roku channels. I still don't like the way they advertise the content they have. You are right that the History Channel and NatGeo stuff was great, though, but not worth the cost for me :-/. The MediaServer was cool but that and the plugins I tried were too buggy to pay for. Maybe when the media server is out of Beta it will be worth considering.

@mx023 I started using HockeyStreams on my Roku to stream every live NHL game there is. Don't hold the legality of it against me (I honestly haven't looked into that much), but while many other sites that stream live sports have been shut down, this one is still around, for whatever reason. It is weird to pay for such a service, though, so I'm just trying it out for a week (much cheaper than something like NHL GameCenter, though and no blackouts).