Author Topic: Yet another stupid Yahoo Finance article - Won't save money by cutting cable...  (Read 9801 times)

jmusic

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Cutting the cable cord - you might not save as much as you think...

TL;DR:  Compares cable to cost of new "streaming packages" expected from Apple, Netflix, HBO and CBS...

Because "NO CABLE AT ALL" surely can't be done!

slugline

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"The point is, if you want to pay less, its possible but you have to be willing to watch less."

Is that so bad?

Vertical Mode

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"The point is, if you want to pay less, its possible but you have to be willing to watch less."

Is that so bad?

Agreed, it probably makes a good transition step from those who don't want to go cold turkey from cable TV. I could certainly imagine that if someone grew up with it and was accustomed to having it as a fallback entertainment option, it might take a little adjustment to transition out of that mindset. Literally the only thing I miss about having cable at the old apartment was being able to watch the Sox and Bruins games when having a low-key night in.

Travis

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We cut cable a couple months ago and haven't missed a thing.  We bought a Roku box and truth be told we probably jumped the gun on it since we barely use it.  I was expecting it to have more free content than it does and some of the special channels we watch are already embedded in our television as apps.  Almost everything my son watches is on Netflix and my wife and I get a lot of our entertainment from Youtube.

After reading that article a couple more times, I'm thinking it was written by a Comcast sales rep.  He spends the latter half of the article pretty much trying to sell cable.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 04:02:44 PM by Travis »

mm1970

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Cutting the cable cord - you might not save as much as you think...

TL;DR:  Compares cable to cost of new "streaming packages" expected from Apple, Netflix, HBO and CBS...

Because "NO CABLE AT ALL" surely can't be done!
Well, I see the point.  At least in my location.

The *only* internet available is through the cable company.  $60 a month for internet only?? I WISH.

Every time I turn around, our bill is up over $100, and we have to call to bring it down to 80 or 90.
(No cable TV, we have internet and phone only)

Travis

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Cutting the cable cord - you might not save as much as you think...

TL;DR:  Compares cable to cost of new "streaming packages" expected from Apple, Netflix, HBO and CBS...

Because "NO CABLE AT ALL" surely can't be done!
Well, I see the point.  At least in my location.

The *only* internet available is through the cable company.  $60 a month for internet only?? I WISH.

Every time I turn around, our bill is up over $100, and we have to call to bring it down to 80 or 90.
(No cable TV, we have internet and phone only)

What is your data rate?  You only need 7Mbps for HD streaming.  I'm stuck with Comcast as an ISP due to my location, but I was paying $60 for 25Mbps, and negotiated it down to $45 at the same time that I cancelled cable (I was trying to lower the data rate and they gave me an introductory price on the same speed instead).

Bardo

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Sure, there soon might be a lot of streaming options, but realistically how much TV can one really consume?  Between Netflix and Amazon alone there is more programming now than I could ever watch.  How much more could possibly be necessary?  Are there people that just devote their lives to TV? 

MoneyCat

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I don't know about you guys, but watching "Dance Moms" is definitely worth mortgaging your retirement. [/sarcasm]

FoundPeace

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Are there people that just devote their lives to TV? 

Yes there are plenty. One quick example http://www.michaeldpollock.com/how-i-overcame-tv-addiction/

Quote
[T]here was a period of my life when I wasted nearly six hours of my day watching television. When evening rolled around, Id park myself on the couch, turn on the television and vegetate till I fell asleep near midnight. Eight hours later, Id wake up with the TV still on and me still feeling tired.

When you do the math, its rather shocking. Six hours per day adds up to 2190 hours over the course of a year. 91 days. Three months THREE MONTHS! per year. Sitting in front of a television.

I plan to never own a TV. Netflix is bad enough.

MoneyCat

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I plan to never own a TV. Netflix is bad enough.

We pretty much just watch Netflix on our Smart TV, PBS, and sports.  None of that requires a cable subscription.  You are definitely right, though, about Netflix.  We've been binge-watching that sci-fi show "Fringe" for weeks now.

RFAAOATB

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How much as a percentage are you accepting to pay for entertainment via internet, dedicated streaming or cable?  I recently cancelled cable and internet but still have Netflix.

Estimating high end total package is about $200/month about 5% of my monthly income.
Estimating Netflix plus limited internet $70 is about 2% of my monthly income.
Estimating Netflix only is about .25% of my monthly income.

I cut cable because it was too expensive, and cut internet because screw them for overcharging me that much.  I am keeping Netflix because I will be getting limited internet soon, and sometimes I watch it off the WiFi in the gym.

In order to make $200/month be .25% of my monthly income I would need an income of $80,000.  That would be about $960,000 a year.  If I wanted to use a retirement income stream I would need 24 million in investments.  Cable may only make sense for those who've passed the decamillionaire mark about two and a half times.  Knocking it down to limited internet with Netflix would mean a net worth of 8.4 million would result in that entertainment package being .25% of my monthly income.

We'll see if enough people get tired of it that the price will lower significantly to be a smaller share of monthly income or cable increases with better service as television becomes a medium for the elite instead of the masses.

mm1970

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Cutting the cable cord - you might not save as much as you think...

TL;DR:  Compares cable to cost of new "streaming packages" expected from Apple, Netflix, HBO and CBS...

Because "NO CABLE AT ALL" surely can't be done!
Well, I see the point.  At least in my location.

The *only* internet available is through the cable company.  $60 a month for internet only?? I WISH.

Every time I turn around, our bill is up over $100, and we have to call to bring it down to 80 or 90.
(No cable TV, we have internet and phone only)

What is your data rate?  You only need 7Mbps for HD streaming.  I'm stuck with Comcast as an ISP due to my location, but I was paying $60 for 25Mbps, and negotiated it down to $45 at the same time that I cancelled cable (I was trying to lower the data rate and they gave me an introductory price on the same speed instead).

Mmm...I'm not sure.  It was 100 Mbps, and we just cut it way back, because we found we were never getting more than 30 anyway.  (We could theoretically get 100 in the middle of the night).  Looks like our only options here are 5, 50, and 100.  Well, that's what the website tells me.

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Cutting the cable cord - you might not save as much as you think...

TL;DR:  Compares cable to cost of new "streaming packages" expected from Apple, Netflix, HBO and CBS...

Because "NO CABLE AT ALL" surely can't be done!
Well, I see the point.  At least in my location.

The *only* internet available is through the cable company.  $60 a month for internet only?? I WISH.

Every time I turn around, our bill is up over $100, and we have to call to bring it down to 80 or 90.
(No cable TV, we have internet and phone only)

We have Comcast. The lowest possible internet-only plan we could get is $88, as of last week. It's $75 with the most basic cable package added in. So we still have cable. Cutting the cord will cost us. FIOS costs $75 for internet only without the 2 year contract, $65 with the 2 years. SO is military so we can't do the 2 years.

I think all these streaming options will only cause Comcast to raise the internet price.

ETA: Our speed is supposed to be ~12, we usually get 25. I've called and verified that we're not being charged for a higher speed.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 06:08:27 PM by traffic girl »

I'm a red panda

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This article has a very good point. If you cancel your traditional TV subscription and replace it with many non-traditional TV subscriptions, you aren't going to save money.

But if you cancel your TV subscription and don't replace it with anything (maybe a one time HD antenna + amplifier purchase for $100?) you WILL save money.

If you "cut the cord" and then get netflix, hulu plus, amazon prime, and this new ala carte subscription (it's still a subscription!) you haven't cut any cord.

rocketman48097

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I just cut the cord and laughed when I read that article.  For me, I do think I need a service, so I signed up for my free month of netflix, $8 per month after that.  With taxes, I was paying $63 to the greedy cable company. 

So far, I see no reason to get another service, at all.  I also have rabbit ears that I get 3 live channels in my house for free of charge, and my wife has always wanted to go cable free, even before streaming services. 

I can't even imagine ordering all those services.  I have so much in my netflix queue I will not have time to get to.  Why would I ever order a second service?  Honestly, if I could tolerate free TV, I wouldn't have even ordered netflix. 

MooseOutFront

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We're 14 months in to having cut cable.  Last year I went to a lot of efforts and some costs to set up alternatives to bridge the gap and secure a high enough WAF (wife approval factor) rating to keep the cord cut.  Now, we just watch less and can get to episodes of what we want to watch eventually even if it requires more effort than turning on the tv and going to the DVR.

I wouldn't even consider going back or paying for one of these premium al a carte packages.  Amazon prime, antenna TV with hard drive,  plus "other means" is plenty good enough for us.  Even if we end up losing access to stuff we want to watch down the road.  We'll adapt rather than spend money.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 11:43:21 AM by MooseOutFront »

mm1970

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This article has a very good point. If you cancel your traditional TV subscription and replace it with many non-traditional TV subscriptions, you aren't going to save money.

But if you cancel your TV subscription and don't replace it with anything (maybe a one time HD antenna + amplifier purchase for $100?) you WILL save money.

If you "cut the cord" and then get netflix, hulu plus, amazon prime, and this new ala carte subscription (it's still a subscription!) you haven't cut any cord.
we have hulu +, netflix, and Amazon prime (mostly for the free shipping, but use it for movies too).

We can only get one station with an antenna in our location, so that's basically useless.

I'm a red panda

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we have hulu +, netflix, and Amazon prime (mostly for the free shipping, but use it for movies too).

We can only get one station with an antenna in our location, so that's basically useless.

How much money do you save vs. a standard cable package? Or is it basically the same?

MgoSam

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I have Amazon Prime and my landlord/roommate has Netflix and also Hulu (don't know if it is plus or not, immaterial as I don't use it) and between the two of us, I get enough options as I want. I honestly thought I would miss ESPN, but after not having it for almost a year, I don't miss it at all! Eventually there's a game I wish I could see, but I can always go to a friend's place or bar to watch it, and this added step makes me consider whether this would be a good use of my time.

zephyr911

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Jerkasses.
I have more TV queued up than I can ever find time to watch, for $35/mo. That includes internet service and two different streaming options. That'll go up by $30 in a few months unless I can find another promo deal on the 'Net service (it's $20 for my first year, $50 normally)
Oh, and my HD antenna for football season (covers most games).

Travis

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Cutting the cable cord - you might not save as much as you think...

TL;DR:  Compares cable to cost of new "streaming packages" expected from Apple, Netflix, HBO and CBS...

Because "NO CABLE AT ALL" surely can't be done!
Well, I see the point.  At least in my location.

The *only* internet available is through the cable company.  $60 a month for internet only?? I WISH.

Every time I turn around, our bill is up over $100, and we have to call to bring it down to 80 or 90.
(No cable TV, we have internet and phone only)

We have Comcast. The lowest possible internet-only plan we could get is $88, as of last week. It's $75 with the most basic cable package added in. So we still have cable. Cutting the cord will cost us. FIOS costs $75 for internet only without the 2 year contract, $65 with the 2 years. SO is military so we can't do the 2 years.

I think all these streaming options will only cause Comcast to raise the internet price.

ETA: Our speed is supposed to be ~12, we usually get 25. I've called and verified that we're not being charged for a higher speed.

Have you called them to see if the early cancellation can be waived with PCS orders?  It's worked for me in the past with DirectTV and Comcast.

jmusic

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Have you called them to see if the early cancellation can be waived with PCS orders?  It's worked for me in the past with DirectTV and Comcast.

I don't think anyone else was talking about cancellations, but someone I know may have made up some fake orders to get out of a Verizon ETF...  He's now happily on Ting.

Travis

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Have you called them to see if the early cancellation can be waived with PCS orders?  It's worked for me in the past with DirectTV and Comcast.

I don't think anyone else was talking about cancellations, but someone I know may have made up some fake orders to get out of a Verizon ETF...  He's now happily on Ting.

Quote
SO is military so we can't do the two years.

I assumed they couldn't enter a two year contract because they were afraid of having to cancel it early due to PCS or deployment.

TexasStash

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These articles both infuriate me and make my laugh... To me, there are so many benefits to unbundling that cost is just one of the factors to consider. Among the others:

1. No contracts: Cable packages always seem to have contracts, especially for any sort of "reasonable" promotional pricing. So you either pay exorbitantly or you get locked in with a steep ETF. Sling TV, Netflix, etc have shown that these newer smaller packages are probably going to come mostly without contracts. Freedom!
2. Freedom to pay what you want: This to me is far better than the strict price comparison to replace cable. Most people aren't looking to replicate 200 channels. These articles act like end users somehow chose the 200 channel packages. Sorry, but I don't need ESPN 15, HBO 12, Cinemax 7 or Current TV or HDNet Movies. And now unbundling means I can pay for what I actually want without adding all of those other channels. Obviously, Sling TV and Apple's rumored offering will still leave people paying for channels they don't want, but many other offerings will give you only what you want.
3. Let's think about the future: It's not farfetched to see a world where you might have more options than just your cable provider for internet. So all the people who say "Comcast will just raise the internet rate" are right in the short and medium term but likely wrong long term. Whether it's atmospheric balloons, satellites, possible wireless options, municipal fiber, or Google Fiber moving into the neighborhood, there will probably be more options in the future.
4. Less gaming the system with promotional rates: Cable providers are notorious for their "after promotion" rate hikes. But a lot of the new services are up front with their pricing and don't have dates when the prices will end. More transparent all around.

Saving money is great, and I'm a big fan of that, but even if that weren't a consideration, going from 1 option (or 4 options all provided by 1 vendor) to many options and many vendors is a major win to me.

Travis

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Quote
Let's think about the future: It's not farfetched to see a world where you might have more options than just your cable provider for internet. So all the people who say "Comcast will just raise the internet rate" are right in the short and medium term but likely wrong long term. Whether it's atmospheric balloons, satellites, possible wireless options, municipal fiber, or Google Fiber moving into the neighborhood, there will probably be more options in the future.

And until the day that terrible internet-hike apocalypse comes I will continue to save $100 a month on my previous cable bill.

zephyr911

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Quote
Let's think about the future: It's not farfetched to see a world where you might have more options than just your cable provider for internet. So all the people who say "Comcast will just raise the internet rate" are right in the short and medium term but likely wrong long term. Whether it's atmospheric balloons, satellites, possible wireless options, municipal fiber, or Google Fiber moving into the neighborhood, there will probably be more options in the future.

And until the day that terrible internet-hike apocalypse comes I will continue to save $100 a month on my previous cable bill.
LOL! Apocalypse indeed.
We already have, at a minimum, rapidly proliferating mobile 4G hotspots. They're starting to show up in cars, even. They're not universally cost-competitive with cable to the house, but they're getting that way. Just one example.
I'm with you on saving $100/mo. I managed to get a year of high-speed internet for $20 after moving. Even after that, I'll be saving $75+, with literally *no* discernible difference in the availability of entertainment. None.

Sid Hoffman

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3. Let's think about the future: It's not farfetched to see a world where you might have more options than just your cable provider for internet. So all the people who say "Comcast will just raise the internet rate" are right in the short and medium term but likely wrong long term. Whether it's atmospheric balloons, satellites, possible wireless options, municipal fiber, or Google Fiber moving into the neighborhood, there will probably be more options in the future.

Let's not forget about the elephant in the room now: internet service is now considered a Title II utility in the USA.  While it was predictable that basically every for-profit internet provider in the country is now suing the FCC to stop this, I have my doubts they can win.  Ultimately, internet service really is every bit as much a crucial utility as phone service was a hundred years ago.  I honestly hope that partisan politicians can leave the FCC alone to run with this, because honestly, even Google's Fiber subsidiary said that it's ultimately a good thing and would actually help them roll out Google Fiber more quickly if they were considered a utility.

I took that to mean that could spur even more competition because under Title II, anybody is thus required to be given access to the infrastructure needed to roll out utilities.  Up until this point, rolling out fiber means that Google had to either get a local government to agree to pay for it, or pay potentially exorbitant fees to other cable companies for the right to share their utility rights of way.  Ultimately I would love to see more municipalities getting in on it, providing internet access as a small $10-15 add-on to your regular city services bill that includes water, sewer, trash, etc.  Since cities are run locally by the people and run as non-profits, I could see this being a positive possible outcome.

Aminul

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I laughed when they started talking about how you will need a $60-70 broadband internet connection for the online services.  Don't the majority of people have a reasonable internet connection as it is?  They're making it sound like an additional expense.

Bob W

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We went from several years no cable no net with 6 free channels  - to 3 channels - to cable/internet - to cable/net/Republic/Roku.

I can attest that not only is no cable/no net doable, it is enjoyable. 

We are now moving to Republic + Roku/Netflixs + internet.   Our total 3 cell phones and all bill will be around $87.    We'll try it and reevaluate.   I have found I have zero interest in cable with the Roku/Netflixs  deal.   We need internet now that both of us are working from home 2-3 days per week (saving over $200 per month on gas and depreciation and daycare)     So I have come to terms with "sometimes technology is a very good thing."

I highly suggest the Roku + Internet + Republic deal to those interested. 

socaso

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One thing that is fantastic about the Netflix/Hulu/HBO now is you can cancel or suspend them whenever you want. You can't do that with a cable contract. We will probably subscribe to HBO now for the new season of Game of Thrones and then catch up on anything else HBO related that we want to see while we have it, then cancel after the season. We regularly subscribe to Netflix and Hulu and it's more content than I can even keep up with. Even with HBO now our bill will only be $31 monthly and as someone else pointed out, no taxes on that! When we had cable we were paying about $85 a month for a basic package with HBO.

zephyr911

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I laughed when they started talking about how you will need a $60-70 broadband internet connection for the online services.  Don't the majority of people have a reasonable internet connection as it is?  They're making it sound like an additional expense.
I don't know how universal this is, but in many cases the bundling makes it less attractive to selectively drop services. When I first started considering dropping my cable, it looked like I'd go from $90/mo for cable+internet to $67 or something for the most basic internet option I could get. Even though it still costs more, people feel like they're getting more per dollar, which is why that whole construct is so successful to begin with.
I finally talked myself into cutting cable when I moved and was able to get the $20 promo. The current bottom retail rate is $50, which is still less than half what I was paying... even if I blow a small fraction of the savings on beer in a bar to watch football, or buying a show I like via a streaming service, we still come out ahead by several hundred a year. Good enough, I say.

MsPeacock

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I cut the cable cord in January - kids still haven't noticed. I never watched TV anyhow, so I certainly don't miss it. Kids had transferred all their viewing to youtube and netflix. TV hadn't been on in quite a while. I previously had an "$89.99" triple play bundle from Verizon Fios for internet, landline phone, and cable (basic). IN the past I would call and get talked back in w/ reps telling me that internet only was $75 and the bundle was only a few dollars more and blah blah.

Well, the truth is that bundle was actually about $150 per month once all the fees and box rental and taxes were factored in. When I went to internet only and talked them down from $75 I ended up getting second-to-slowest speed (which is like 25mps I think) for $50 per month - and internet has no taxes, no box rental, etc. So the cost really is $50. Plus I got voip for $6 a month.

mabinogi

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Sometimes I wish that I subscribed to cable just so I could save money by cutting it. ;) But other than Netflix (which now I share with a sibling) I've never paid for TV in my life.