Top 5 myths about cutting the cord in 2016

cord-cutting-myths

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.

Want the latest news and analysis from the worlds of cord cutting, politics and tech reviews? Check us out on Facebook and Twitter and check out the Getting Started guide if you are thinking of cutting the cord.



3 Comments on Top 5 myths about cutting the cord in 2016

  1. This is an awesome roundup of the myths that cable and satellite companies continue to keep afloat. I truly believe that the ways we watch TV, including live sports, will be changing for the better in the next few years.

  2. Where do you live, that you’re able to get 50mbs Internet for $35 a month? Korea?

    You could never get that service in the Bay Area.

    Nevertheless, I did cut the cord over a year ago, and am getting more than enough sports viewing. I’m also getting far, far better movie and TV show choices, all of them commercial free. And yes, for a whole lot less than I was paying fo my cable old subscription, which included only ONE ad-free channel (TCM) and a whole lot of reality garbage.

    • Hey Peter,

      I do not live in Korea. I’m in a large city like yourself. That’s awesome you’re getting all that programming. Thanks for sharing that on the site.

      To answer your question, I had to call a couple customer service reps before I could get my broadband provider down to a low enough price. Setting a cancellation date was the first thing out of my mouth when I called the second time. Then they were willing to talk price. I was looking for a rate on broadband that they were offering to new customers, which they refused to give. They finally offered $45 per month. So then I asked about how much my equipment fees were costing me per month. Turns out I was paying $10 per month for a not-so-great cable modem and OK router. So I turned in my equipment and got my bill down to $35 per month. Hope that helps. Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the video snippet of Sen. Claire McCaskill grilling cable execs last week about their “secret rates”. That’s something they definitely didn’t want out there.

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