What’s been known as “cutting the cable cord” or “cord cutting” and switching to streaming services is ready for mainstream. While monopolies try to entice you with bundled offers with those triple play offers from Comcast, Optimum, or Fios continues, when your cable bill finally comes off the promotional pricing bait, it’s time to cut the cord and give the streaming services a try.
There are a number of reasons why people don’t want to cut the cord. The number one reason we hear is that people don’t get the channels that they love to watch. Another reason is that people are told they can’t get local news channels. We’re happy to let you know the streaming services are catching up, and they’re catching up fast. And don’t forget, you can always go back to cable, but you won’t!
Why Do it?
There are two reasons to cut cable. First, price. Once you get off a teaser rate plan your bill quickly rise to over $200/month. The other reason is you have to have a box for every tv in the house. There is nothing more exciting to be able to simply buy a streaming ready TV or adding a Firestick to the back of your tv and getting rid of all the cable boxes in the house.
Own a Vacation Home – Ditch that service Now!
People with vacation properties have been cord cutting for years because they recognize that the streaming service you have at home is now portable to your vacation property. So all that vacation property needs is an internet connection and some wifi.
When you cut the cable cord there are a few things you need. First, you need the “pipe” which you have to get from that cable provider. Typical plans start at around 30-60mbps cable service. Of course the cable company will try to sell you the bundled package with internet, tv, and home phone, but you just want the internet. Decide if you want to rent a modem from them which costs about $10 per month extra. Next you’ll need either a internet ready TV or what’s known as a dongle. Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Firesticks are the most popular. For price, we choose either the Roku or the Firestick for about $30.
The Streaming Services
Here’s the best part. You’re now in control of what streaming service you want. You pick, you buy, you use. Don’t be afraid if you think you make a mistake because you can cancel at anytime and get another service. The monopoly is broken. So the next task is to figure out what service you want.
So far our testing has indicated that if you want to get the most bang for your buck and get the most channels, then Playstation Vue is for you. But it will cost you around $85/month for their best package. And you DO NOT need to own a Playstation to get the service. There are other packages as low as $40/month but we wanted both HBO and SHOWTIME and some of the features you get with PS Vue. You get all the local channels, ESPN, FOX, YES for the Yankees. The ONLY downside for me was we lost MSG (which is owned by Cablevision). The industry has referred to PS Vue as the “least intrusive solution to cord cutting.”
Don’t forget that if you’re an Amazon Prime customer you know you get 2 day shipping on everything, but you also get a great steaming service free! Typically people also like Netflix. So you get to stream that as well for $15/month.
There are other great services out there as well. Sling, Roku, YouTube TV, Direct TV, Fubo, Crackle, Vudu are just a few that you now can consider. The image below is a comparison of the larger cord cutting services and the channels they currently provide. Click to enlarge it (or go blind trying)!
So now the streaming services are unlimited. When you have these dongles attached to the TV you can now go out and buy individual channel streaming services as well. But there are tons of free services as well. For example, PBS is a downloadable app and is free.
Additional Streaming Service Considerations
Some additional streaming service features are important to consider. First determine how many concurrent connections you want to be able to stream at the same time. Various services offer different connections. We loved Playstation Vue because it gives you up to 5 connections. Others like Fubo give you 2.
Another feature is DVR service. Again we liked Playstation Vue because it gives you myDVR with the service. Other services might charge for the feature.
Once you have your modem connected and your wireless router operating, simply turn on the TV, switch to the appropriate input on the tv where you connected your dongle, and start the configuration process. It typically should take about 5 minutes.
Put your TV anywhere
Another great reason for cutting the cable is we brought the TV outside. No longer did we need to string a cable outside to a new box. We just brought the TV outside with its Amazon Firestick and done – you have outside TV. As long as the wifi reaches, you can probably bring the TV out to a mancave.
Streaming Phone/iPad Apps
What we’ve seen on the Playstation Vue is that the app on the iPad, phone, and laptop work exactly as they would on the TV. You get to travel with your TV service wherever you go.
What are you waiting for?
Here’s what we found out. Our cable bill with internet, TV, and phone was $195/month without HBO and Showtime. We were getting 30mbps service. When we cut the cord, we switched to Optimum and got a 200mbps internet service for $55. We then ordered Playstation Vue for $85/month no contract. Total price $140 with a much better experience. We did lose somewhere around 10 channels that my wife liked, but she’s doing fine without and now LOVES the portability and the service overall. I love that we’re saving over $50/month and learning about the future of what will certainly surpass cable in the future if it hasn’t already.
We hope that this post helps you make an informed decision. Our suggestion is to not negotiate a switch from XFinity to Fios or the other way around. Try cashing in the cable for a streaming service. Once you do it, you’ll be glad you did, and you’ll save money in the process.