Wednesday, August 01, 2018

A Quick Guide (or Direct Recommendations) for Cutting the Cable Cord...

After considering for a long time whether or not to "cut the cord", I finally took the plunge.  There are some very detailed online guides that thoroughly explain all of the options and considerations involved, but it's easy to get lost in those until your mind is full of indecisiveness and uncertainty.  So here is a super-quick guide - direct and to the point - for anyone who just needs a straight-up recommendation...

  1. Cancel your cable service.  I had been paying $155/month to Verizon for their cable-internet-phone bundle.  I called and asked to cancel all three and made clear that the reason was that I wanted to "cut the cord". The rep immediately asked if I'd be willing to pay $65/month for just internet, to which I declined saying that was still more than I wanted to pay. The she said she could do it for $50/month.  DONE. 

    Cost: From $155/month to $50/month. Savings = $105/month.

  2. Buy a Roku Stick for your TV.  Normally they are about $50, but... (keep reading)...

  3. Subscribe to DirectTVNow.  Yes, there are cheaper options, but DirectTVNow is the closest thing to your familiar cable setup out there (for those, like me, who fear the unknown). It includes almost every channel I used to have, all of it streaming live as its broadcast so that it FEELS like regular TV, and even includes all your local broadcast networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, etc., so that you don't even have to deal with buying an HD antenna. Plus, there's no monthly contract. 

    Cost: $40/month, and they send you a free Roku Stick.

  4. Bump up Netflix.  I already was a Netflix subscriber, but with all the savings of cord-cutting, I upgraded my plan from 2 screens to 4. 

    Cost: From $11/month to $14/month.

  5. Keep Amazon Prime TV.  I already subscribed to this and am not changing anything. 

    Cost: Nothing additional.

  6. Keep HBO Go.  I was already an HBO Go subscriber as well. 

    Cost: Nothing additional.

  7. Download free Roku apps.  There are tons out there, but just for common TV shows and movies that you might actually want to see, I recommend downloading Pluto, Vudu, and Tubi.  I'm already addicted to watching The Onion station

    Cost:  $0.

Total change to my monthly all-inclusive TV bill:  $171/month to $98/month.  Savings: $73/month, or $876/year.

To re-iterate, on this plan, I'm not losing any of my old cable channels (that I actually watched).

And I'll probably even cut costs further once I find my new comfort zone.