Why cord cutting myths really stands up to the scrutiny
MYTH #1: When you cut the cord, you don’t really save that much money
FACT: This claim is sometimes made by comparing introductory cable rates to what a person might pay for a combination of Internet, Netflix and/or live streaming TV options like Sling TV. The truth is many people cutting the cord don’t have (or can’t get) an introductory rate for cable and Internet. Their cable bill shot up somewhere in the triple digits after being a loyal customer for a couple of years. Joe The Customer called their provider for a better deal. Some Joes got them — at least temporarily. A lot of Joes were told to go spit.
There’s also a half baked assumption that subscribing to a bunch of services like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and PlayStation Vue will cost just as much as cable when paired with the cost of Internet.
Unless you’re someone who can’t say no to every streaming service on the market, you’re going to save money – likely hundreds of dollars – over the course of a year. The key to having low overall bill is truly rooted in getting the best deal possible for Internet by negotiating for a better deal, even in areas of the country where there is no competition. I was paying about $146 per month for cable. I dumped my subscription, got a basic internet package priced at $35 per month, and pay another $45 for my PlayStation Vue subscription. That’s an extra 66 bucks a month in my pocket and frankly with a better channel lineup. More on that in a minute.
MYTH #2: Cutting the cord means you can’t watch live sports anymore
FACT: This is such a load. Big cable companies would love for people to believe this. I cut the cord a few months ago, and I have the Yankees playing Kansas City playing in the background on my living room TV as I write this. I’ve got ESPN live streaming on PlayStation Vue. (Yankees are losing. Heh.) I could also watch (on TNT) the Miami Heat tonight or some hockey, but I have to write this blog. So I have four ESPN channels, FOX Sports, NBC Golf and Comcast Sports Network. If you’re missing a regional sports channel that bad, you might have an online subscription option that could still save you some serious cash if you map out a reasonable plan for yourself. With Hulu and YouTube planning on their own live streaming services in 2017, more options for sports channels will likely be offered.
MYTH #3: You need a super fast (and pricey) Internet connection to stream HD content for Netflix and even live TV streaming
FACT: You might need a hardware upgrade. A new cable modem with DOCSIS 3.0 should do the trick. My current Internet connection is 50Mbps for $35 per month, and honestly it’s probably more than I need. I can live stream two TVs, use a couple of Smartphones, a laptop and desktop for cruising the web all at the same time without any problems. To school yourself further on how little Internet you need (and need to be paying for), look no further than Daley over at the Technical Meshugana to set you straight. He’s the man. And listening to him will save you some serious bread.
MYTH #4: When you ditch cable, you’ll lose local channels and have less content
FACT: One of the bigger surprises when I took the leap was that I actually MORE to watch. A lot more. I didn’t realize how lame the 200 channels I was paying a heap for were until I ditched them. On PlayStation Vue, I got to keep the channels I needed to keep my wife happy and scored some nice extras that I have come to enjoy quite a bit. MTV Live is one of my new favorites. (Damn, Jay-Z just came on Jools Holland!) I watch live shows on MTV Live more often now than my standby YouTube, which I still like quite a bit. Having an unlimited cloud DVR has also significantly helped increase the enjoyment of my new channel lineup. Which leads me to…
MYTH #5: If I give up cable, I’ll lose my DVR and my ability to watch my shows whenever, and fast forward through all those annoying commercials
FACT: Sling TV has taken criticism for having no DVR option, despite offering some of the lowest prices in the streaming TV game. PlayStation Vue has an unlimited DVR options, but shows are deleted after 28 days. That seems pretty fair. If I’m not watching something within a month of saving it, I’m probably not going to watch it. As more competitors come into the live TV streaming market in 2017, DVR options will likely increase. It’s also worth mentioning the expanding market for DVRs being used to record over-the-air broadcasts as an option for people that want to record local channels.
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