It is a good way to save money if you go into it the right way. The fact is you can save money, or you can save nothing.
To be clear, I am a fan of cord cutting. My wife and I decided to do it in May of 2017, and it has shown to be the right choice for our family. It’s not for everybody. It is an adjustment, but if you are trying to save money, cutting the cord is one option. I have calculated that it saved us roughly $100 a month in the first year. Cable continues to go up in price in our region, the NY Metro Area, so I suspect we are saving more.
My advice to anyone who is considering it is to spend some time reviewing your viewing habits today. My wife and I did and thought about what channels we must have, can live without, and of course that which we need for our young son. We spent a few months thinking it over. We looked at all the major streaming services out there. I, being an engineer, also considered data rates for different quality streaming quality (4k, 1080p, etc). We also considered the different streaming devices. At the time, the best value from our perspective was Roku.
Going into it, we were paying for 100Mb/s internet speed, cable tv, and a cable phone. We also were paying for Netflix. We would have to buy 1 1080p Roku, and 1 4k Roku. Our other streaming platform is an old touch screen computer that I salvaged and repaired from a family member.
Please excuse this tangent, but I would like to explain that touch screen for a minute. Basically, my father had an old PC, and it was no longer working. I suspected the old hard drive had failed, but otherwise the rest probably worked. He does not live local, and in talking it out, he really wanted something newer and faster. So, I took it home, and helped him buy a new one while visiting him. After getting it home, I threw in a new SSD, and a new version of Windows, and we had a new computer. We have this in our kitchen, and it has become a great tool for watching shows, cooking aide, and such. All it cost me was $200, and I have a versatile tool. So, that is my third “tv”.
Anyway, we decided that I needed a streaming service that had the local baseball team’s network, and I wanted a few other channels. My wife had her list. For us Sling TV’s orange network fit the bill with the most of the channels we both wanted, and those we wanted for our son. We already had Netflix, so I don’t factor that in the equation. Along with Sling, we added Hulu without live TV, and Amazon Prime for the video option. We were not Prime subscribers at this point.
The cable discount for internet service when you also have tv went away, so that was an extra $10 a month. We gave up the phone as we already only used our cell phones. We decided to up the internet speed to 200Mb/s.
All of that together, and our bill was still about $100 less a month than cable. Fewer subscription services, and we would save more. The big change is while the internet fees have gone up, the other streaming services have not. Cable in our region only goes one direction, so we are still saving.
Now what we learned is that we don’t have to watch commercials any more, unless we are watching Sling. We can access old shows on Sling, ones that aired in the last few weeks or more depending on the show. We tend to watch more diverse content as we have more options, and better searching. To say it another way, the interface to content via Roku and the different services applications, built into one of our Internet TVs, via Roku, or that computer is all superior to cable. We like it better, and our son has grown up with the new system, and only knows this anyway. Visiting my parents, and using cable again, was rather annoying. I took my son on a trip to visit a friend from my service days who was retiring; just a father son trip. I took the Roku from one of the TVs with us. As it turned out, I didn’t need to. The hotel we stayed in had a tv that allowed you to sign in to your subscription service, and wipe your passwords easily when you left. Thank you, Marriott. It was great, and my son was able enjoy his shows easily after being cooped up in the car for a few hours.
It’s worth it if you make those adjustments.