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Thread: To Cable or Not-Cable - that is the question

  1. #11
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    We had Comcast for several years for both TV and Internet. We don't watch much TV so we got the "Limited Basic" package the city forces Comcast to offer -- only broadcast stations, public access, and shoppingshoppingshopping. Internet is cheaper with that package than it is by itself. But then they started charging for the converter box. Then they started charging more for an HD converter box. And the price has gone up anyway. We priced the competition (CenturyLink here) but after the first few months of their come-on deal, the prices are pretty much the same and their Internet speeds are distinctly inferior to Comcast. Plus we'd have to buy a new modem and figure out their little quirks.

    We ended up storing the converter box in a closet, putting an antenna on the roof (great picture!), and adding an Apple TV streaming box. We don't live in Amazon's universe and do nothing with Google. Roku's devices are attractive, but we're an Apple house anyway and the Apple TV offered us some pluses that the Roku does not.

    We do stream the TV we do not watch live. We subscribe to Hulu and CBS' All Access (since DW watches a lot of CBS content and they're not part of Hulu). The Apple TV provides a bunch of other channels to watch but some of the still require their own subscriptions. I have to think it's the same for Roku, Amazon, etc. Too many subscriptions and you're up to the price of cable. Right now we're at $90/month for Comcast's middle Internet package and the cable we're not using. We also have not connected smart TVs (we have one and a smart Blu-Ray player) because they're too much in one package, tend not to be expandable, and tend to be security problems.

    My mom has just about everything Comcast offers (including the landline phone and middling Internet access but not any subscription movie channels) and pays around $200/month. She's looking to "cut the cord" so we've been considering Hulu with Live TV as an alternative. You still need to go through a broadband Internet provider. But $40/month (Hulu) plus $90/month (Comcast) looks better than $200/month. And it looks like they'd get the channels they want and then some.

    ETA We did buy a secondhand Apple TV for the downstairs TV. Easier than tying up a computer/iDevice with programming -- plus I suspect that sending a signal from the wireless router to a computer to the TV saturates our wireless bandwidth because, after a while, you start seeing obvious buffering and interruptions to Web sites.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  2. #12
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    Just cancelled our cable - they will come pick up the box on Monday. We weren't paying anywhere near what some folks are listing here, but they just raised the rate again while taking some favorite channels away. We have a fire stick and may get a roku. No streaming packages at this point, so we'll just see what is free. Have feelers out for one of the newer antennas, but don't have much hope as we live in a valley. All-in-all, I'm hoping to change some bad tv-related habits. Again, we'll see what happens.
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

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  3. #13
    Senior Member Sad Eyed Lady's Avatar
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    I have a little flat antenna inside for local stations, and Roku for others. I watch old shows on Youtube and subscribe to Netflix for a few months at a time. Usually through the winter months, then cancel it for several months. This works for me and is VERY economical.
    "Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." Leonard Cohen

  4. #14
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    My frugal leanings are appreciated by the wife in most endeavors but not in the discussion for cable. I could do without the cable and could survive nicely with just the four or so stations I can get free with an antenna, supplemented with Netflix and our internet connection.

    But the marketing gurus have packaged their products so that cancellation of cable saves you very little compared to the bundles.

    Since I retired my income has remained the same except for the little raise the Trump tax reshuffling gave me. I will not be getting any increase in income, period....ever. So the 10-15% guaranteed increase in my cable, internet package every year almost ensures I will reach a tipping point where I’ll want to disconnect. Right now though I pay $165/ month and that is tolerable for the service. My mother is forking out 225ish to Comcast ..... a company I despise.

    I detect a wave of disinterest in cable television by much of the population. Most of the Channels are boring, mindless rubbish. It might perhaps be a technology that is going away. I can’t complain because my late uncle was investing in cable television stocks at the outset of the industry. His investments made my aunt well off and she singlehandedly has kept the extended family afloat by graciously sharing her dividends. God bless her.

  5. #15
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    I detect a wave of disinterest in cable television by much of the population. Most of the Channels are boring, mindless rubbish. It might perhaps be a technology that is going away.
    I suspect that, just as many/most viewers moved from broadcast television to cable offerings, many are now moving to offerings from newer providers, like Netflix and Amazon. Some of that may be a reaction to the boring mindless rubbish you mentioned; when there are thousands of hours of programming to fill repetition is inevitable (even if it's of the Dancing With The Stars/So You Think You Can Dance copycat variety or the "we're-rebooting-that-TV-series-you-loved-20-years-ago" variety).

    But as industry consolidation continues, it's becoming harder to cut the cord with Comcast and their ilk. Comcast owns NBCUniversal and some other networks. DirecTV customers are now part of the AT&T "family" and get preferential treatment for that. The only alternative broadband provider to Comcast here which can be taken seriously is CenturyLink, which offers an inferior product which costs about as much. We no longer have cable service to our TV but still fork over the vast majority of what we paid them then for broadband Internet. And all of those new options -- Netflix, Amazon, etc. -- rely on broadband Internet access. As do the on-demand options for the traditional broadcast and cable channels. It becomes a Hobson's choice...
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  6. #16
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    My kids use other things and when I went to my son’s and he wasn’t home what a pain to try and find something to watch.

  7. #17
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    I cut the TV cable in 2005 and have rarely missed it. Currently I have Amazon--I had Netflix for a while but cancelled that when I ran out of streaming movies I wanted to see. Will probably ditch Amazon soon for the same reason.

    Otherwise, I make do with Youtube, DVDs from the library, and very occasionally streaming content from the TV networks.

    The problem I have now is cable broadband, which keeps going up in price. That I need regardless of price, not just for entertainment but because I sometimes need to work at home. I look forward to the day when there's either real competition among broadband suppliers (not holding my breath), or I just decide I can do without broadband at home.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Haven't made the switch to cable yet. I picked up this $35 indoor antenna at Costco and it's working pretty well, we are getting lots of channels: https://www.costco.com/Winegard-Flat...100327451.html

    Dh has been wanting to get rid of our landline and switch over to Magic Jack for phone service. If it was up to me I would just get the bundle package and be done with it, but Dh is much more frugal than I am.

  9. #19
    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sad Eyed Lady View Post
    I have a little flat antenna inside for local stations, and Roku for others. I watch old shows on Youtube and subscribe to Netflix for a few months at a time. Usually through the winter months, then cancel it for several months. This works for me and is VERY economical.
    This is pretty much what we do. Our antenna gets local stations for local news and NBC, CBS, PBS, FoxTV. We use the Roku to subscribe to SlingTV, Hulu, and Netflix. We also have an Amazon subscription, so can watch stuff off of it. I pay around $45-$50 a month for the subscriptions (not counting the annual Amazon subscription).
    "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart is also." Jesus

  10. #20
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    We do not cable as cable does not come by hour house but we do satellite. OTA reception is excellent when we get can get it. Satellite goes out regularly so between OTA and satellite we usually have something to watch, something - not necessarily good or what we want. Also, limited date internet so none of those fancy movie subscription things.

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