What Started the Madness?
There is a lot of hype over being a cord cutter. A little over 2 years ago I received my Verizon Fios bill and it went up over $50. From approximately $139 to $189. So I did the normal reactionary move, and called Verizon and asked for the latest discount, or to waive the new increase. The rep said my current pricing is the best they can do for me. Meanwhile, I had in my hand an ad they mailed me that said $79.99 for TV, Phone and Internet. “That’s for new customers.” The rep claimed. So I did my usual empty threat of “I’m going to cancel and close my account” To my surprise, the rep said, OK, just one second and I’ll transfer you…. This is what started my cord-cutting experience. I’m now a Cord Cutter.
What did I do?
So I canceled Fios. Now I needed Internet. So I went with Comcast. $39.99 for 200mbps. I thought it was a pretty good deal. To my surprise, I got it installed in 5 days. It was a great price, speed was good too. My only complaint was during peak hours, the speed dropped significantly. I actually did my own speed test and numerous times it PEAKED at 10mbps during 4-8 pm. I made several calls to tech support only for them to tell me it “looks good on their end”. A tech came out and replaced my line and that only improve the Mbps only by a small percentage. So I canceled, and luckily I signed up again with Fios as a new customer and got 100/100 for $39.99. I now had reliable internet again. However, I thought about it and wanted to try the Gigabit service for $79.99. I tried, LOVE it, and kept it.
Let’s move on from the drama of dealing with internet providers, let talk about TV services.
A Cord Cutter’s Antenna
I know some of the services provide locals, but I live 20 miles from 2 metropolitan areas. The TV services only provide 1of the locals, not both. I love football, and I wanted both local channels. Having no clue on what kind of antenna to buy, I did buy a pair of rabbit ears, but they were worthless. I bought a widow antenna, and that was fine, it picked up the majority of the locals, but the reception was spotty. So I went to Amazon and bought this one. A 360 degree omni directional antenna with 150mile radius. (The one in the link is a newer model. The exact one I bought was only a 75mile radius.) It does look like something like the Starship Enterprise, but it’s no bigger than a dinner plate! I installed my antenna on the top of my gazebo, which attached to my deck, and wired it through some vent pipe and connected it to my TV. I now have 60 local channels. CRAZY!
A Cord Cutter’s TV Service
I signed up with Directv Now. I got 100 channels for $35 and HBO for $5. That was a fantastic Deal. I am an ATT wireless customer so I can stream on my cell or devices for free. Which is great for my kids and car rides! However, this WAS a great deal. Since I signed up in late 2016, my price has doubled. Come December I will be paying $65 for my service. Is it worth it? Is it worth the free streaming on devices? I think the answer is no, especially if I switch to an unlimited plan. I need to check out Hulu Live TV, Youtube TV, and SlingTV. (Coming soon, I will review the one I switch to)
I already had the streaming staples, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Now I need to start thinking about ESPN+, Disney+, and HBO Max. Rumors out there claim that Disney will package Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. I subscribed to Hulu for only $.99 a month for a year. ESPN+ is $4.99, but I’m not sure if the teams I watch will be on it.
A Cord Cutter’s Pricing Break down
Is it Worth It?
Fifty bucks is Fifty bucks, but is it worth the pain and headaches of switching services? I could probably save some money on what I am paying now. I could lower the Internet speed, and I could find a new TV provider. However, with all the price increases from ATT and the increased options for streaming services you need to consider your options. One thing is for sure, with so many streaming services, and price increases by the TV providers, what was once a cost savings alternative, it’s becoming clear, it’s getting expensive to save money.