09 Sep Fire your Satellite or Cable Company and Never Look Back!
Why You Should Get Rid of Your Satellite or Cable Company For Good!
There is no one more devoted to the idiot box than I, but that didn’t mean that I had to become one just to be able to watch the shows that I love. If you ask me, the price of watching television has become ridiculously high without justification. The more I hear about how high the prices are for cable and satellite television, phone and internet service, the more grateful I am that I decided to make some changes a few years ago. I was paying what could be considered a lease payment for an economy car for the pleasure of having the internet, satellite TV, and a land-line phone. When you consider the bazillion television channels (let’s not forget the useless music channels!) that they offer to justify charging a ransom for, you quickly realize how few channels that are really worth watching there are.
Do this. List all of the cable channels that you presently think that you can’t live without. You will notice that a couple of them are offered in the basic package aka “ridiculously priced but we’ll still allow you to buy this week’s groceries” package. Next, you will find a few listed in the next package level and so on and so forth. Soon, you will realize that in order to get every channel that you ‘desire’ you will have to purchase their top level plan or else.
This is where you begin to realize that maybe there is too many home improvement shows being produced and you can certainly live without the glut of ubiquitous “reality” shows. You shouldn’t have to pay through the nose to be entertained. So, I decided, along with many others, to rebel. There is no need for these services to cost so much, I have no problem with someone trying to make a profit, but human decency should be factored in at some point. For example, Comcast has actually scrambled all local channels.
From Brier Dudley’s blog: “Over the past four years Comcast has gradually required its customers to add some kind of cable box on all of their TV sets, giving the company more control over the content the customers view and potentially more revenue from box rentals. The move also pushes customers with entry-level cable service to upgrade to digital packages, increasing their monthly bill by 300 percent or more. Yet it was endorsed last year by the Federal Communications Commission, which accepted the cable industry’s arguments that further encryption was needed for security and environmental reasons.”
This is pure evil and it’s endorsed by the very agency that should be protecting the consumer’s interest. So, our lesson is that we have to look out for our own interests.
The first thing I did was cancel my land line. I never used it, I just kept it because I thought I should have a phone that would (ostensibly) never have to be charged. I must have been thinking about the rotary phone that I had as a child because the current one had to be charged. It’s one of those out of sight out of mind things.
It was a household appliance that I wasn’t using but dutifully paid for it once a month. I decided that it was time to finally purchase a cell phone. After researching a myriad of options, I settled on Virgin Mobile which admittedly at the time had limited coverage but the monthly rate of $25.00 (however, the rate has increased to $35.00 now) for unlimited data and web and 300 minutes was a perfect fit.
I really had no plans of using it that much, so the number of minutes weren’t an issue. I usually ended up surfing the internet quite a bit; it was portable and convenient, so it worked for me. At the time. Soon, I began to notice the limitations of Virgin Mobile. There weren’t many towers so it was difficult to get reception at times. I have since moved over to the darkside aka AT&T with a much better phone and overall service. I’m paying for service for two phones and one tablet with unlimited calls, 10 gigs of data for 127.00 per month.
Still a little rich for my blood, but it’s fine for my current needs. Next, I decided to purchase an antenna for my television so that I could get all of my local channels. The local cable company charges roughly 19.99 a month for locals. I paid that amount for a flatwave antenna that is connected to your television via a usb port. I was able to pick up a total of 32 local channels.
I’ve recently checked the current prices for flatwave antennas and I have to say that the prices have almost doubled due to the fact that these manufacturers realize that cutting the cable cord is a real thing for consumers these days and they’re not above riding the financial wave. As much as I love my locals, I will admit that it felt a little lonely without my cable standbys like “The Walking Dead”. My solution was to purchase a Roku.
I use it to stream television shows via the internet from services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. (You can also invest in the newer Chromecast that costs less than 40 bucks. It looks like a flash drive and can be plugged into the tv’s usb port. Read a review about Chromecast here.) You will be able to watch entire seasons of your favorite shows this way. Admittedly, it takes a few months for current programming to show up on Netflix, so don’t expect to watch anything live.
Each service costs $7.99 per month. The Roku unit looks like a cable box and costs between $59.00 – $99.00 depending on the type that you want. There are no other costs associated with operating the unit. Roku offers unique programming as well. You can find them with a simple google search for “Roku private channels”.
After a couple of years, I got rid of Hulu Plus. It offered a lot of local programming, but you could only view it the day after airing. At the time, there was no CBS programming offered but there were a lot of foreign programming that I had no interest in, so I thought it was pointless to continue paying for it. Instead, I watch some of the shows that they do offer that Netflix doesn’t and that’s some of my Home improvement programs from HGTV and the DIY networks straight from their website for free. Additionally, you can watch network television directly from their respective websites for free.
Truth be told, Netflix pretty much provides me with all of the entertainment that I need. Not only do they offer some of my favorite network shows and lots of popular cable shows that I enjoy that I can spend an entire weekend binge watching, but they have some pretty decent shows that they produce. Add their vast movie collection to the mix and there is no reason to waste 10 bucks at the movie theater. I can spend less than that for a month’s worth of entertainment with Netflix.
Satellite companies are another source of frustration for sports fans who would love to give them a kick over the old goal post. DirectTV has a deathgrip on some subscribers due to the fact that they have a monopoly on some of the major sports events like their Sunday Ticket package. That’s about to change now that CBS has Thursday night football which will hopefully encourage people to abandon their subscription with DirectTV.
With this new development, fans now will have a Thursday night game, 3-4 games via CBS and FOX on Sunday afternoons and a Sunday night football game on NBC for a total of 5 to 6 NFL games/week on broadcast tv for free. Typically, 12 games are played a week (4 teams a week have a week off with the exception of opening and closing weeks of the season where every team plays) so they’re essentially getting half of the offered games for free vs. paying $300+/year for all 12 games a week. Additionally, you can watch Sunday night football games via simulcast online at NBC Sports .
If you are looking for another way to cut back on expenses, cut the cable and satellite cords. It could potentially add up to at least $100.00 a month in savings! Will it require an adjustment to your usual tv routine? Surely. But you’ll be too busy counting the money you save to notice. I’d love to hear what you think! Are you satisfied with what you are paying now? If not, do you have any plans to reduce your current bill?