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Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

Old 09-04-12, 12:47 PM
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Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

Has anyone here cut the cord and dropped cable or satellite TV for streaming? How's it working out for you? How much are you saving each month?

Wired has a new article on the subject:

Why Iím Cutting the Cord, and How Cable Can Get Me Back

I don't think I could do it. Even though my cable bill is obnoxious, I'm generally happy with the service. But every month when I get the invoice, I think about cutting the cord.

So if you've done it, please post your experience.
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Old 09-04-12, 12:52 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

I did it a couple years ago. It was annoying. I'm currently a DirecTV subscriber.
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Old 09-04-12, 04:28 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

How cable can get me back:

NO COMMERCIALS or "paid programming"
NO constant on-screen logos or intrusions of any kind during the shows
Channels that actually stick to their original purposes- 24 hour MUSIC on MTV, nothing but SCIENCE FICTION on the Sci-Fi Channel, American Movie CLASSICS on AMC, etc.
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Old 09-04-12, 05:03 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

I tried this a couple of years ago as well. And lasted two months. During that time, I realized that I'm paying not only for programming, but also for quality & convenience.

Sure, I could seek out most of the shows I wanted but none of them had the quality of an HDTV broadcast. And it was a pain in the ass. If you want to watch via Hulu you have to endure the same non-skippable commercial at each break. Most AMC & FX shows that I like are available via Amazon on-demand. But at $3.99/episode for the HD versions. If I watch only four series per month, that adds up to $64 just for those 16 episodes. Not far from my old bill & only 4 hours a week of programming.

A lot of broadcast and cable networks offer their programming on their website but again, it's nowhere near HD quality. Then there are no other (legal) options for HBO/Showtime original programming. Besides waiting a year for them to come out on DVD.

So now I'm back to DirecTV & all my programs magically appear on my DVR in perfect quality. It seems like much more of a bargain than it did before.
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Old 09-04-12, 05:18 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

I cut the cable for a while, but I hopped on the Fios bandwagon after Comcast decided they wanted to start charging me, without notice, almost 70 a month for just cable. I canceled on the spot, and signed up for Fios at around 90 a month for all three services.

I did not pay for premium channels, but I do still acquire those shows I want to watch, and I don't find it difficult at all to find quality downloads of any show I forgot to record or don't have the channel for. It is much more convenient though since I hate waiting a couple of hours after some shows air to download them.
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Old 09-04-12, 10:24 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

cut cable over a year and a half ago and haven't looked back--roku+playon+M2K script=everything i'd wanna watch

there's arguments over the legality of playon but it's not any different than using something like Bittorent in my opinion
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Old 09-05-12, 12:36 AM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

I haven't had satellite or cable for about three years now. I use a good rooftop antenna, that I keep behind the couch, plus Netflix. And I use a Roku. Plus an occasional Redbox movie.

I have plenty to watch, I would never go back.

By the way, ESPN, by itself, is costing every cable and satellite subscriber $4.69, plus another $1.12 or so for the other ESPN channels. That is everybody, even those who don't watch sports.
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Old 09-05-12, 09:31 AM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

I'd be willing to drop cable if my wife let me. Between over-the-air, all the streaming options, and my discs, I'd be more than happy. But we just signed up for Comcast Xfinity so I'm locked in for two years.
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Old 09-05-12, 10:09 AM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

Originally Posted by Heat View Post
By the way, ESPN, by itself, is costing every cable and satellite subscriber $4.69, plus another $1.12 or so for the other ESPN channels. That is everybody, even those who don't watch sports.
I'm curious what your point is here. ESPN is one of the few things keeping cable/sat alive, along with the local sports team networks, so their fee is pretty justified. If you're not a serious sports fan, there's very little reason to choose cable/sat over streaming-only.
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Old 09-05-12, 01:12 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

I was paying $80 a month for cable from Comcast, which I finally found to be unjustifiable. I can't get any antenna reception where I am, so I kept the cable, but cut it down to their lowest level: local channels (in HD) for $15 a month. I get ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and 3 PBS stations, all in HD, plus another 10 or so various local channels (some of which are in HD).

This was almost all I needed---the only thing I was missing was sports, especially on weeknights. I looked into the Roku and picked one up---after some repairs from Verizon regarding my DSL speed consistency, everything works well. I got the MLS soccer package for $60 for the season--fantastic, every single game of the whole league in HD, in full, condensed or highlight format, about 90% of games available live, all available later on demand. I'm going to also get the NHL package (if there's a season) for $170. For sports, I also get one free MLB game a day in HD, plus of course I get all the sports that are shown on the major networks on my basic cable.

So, instead of paying $960 a year for full cable, I pay a total of $410 a year for VERY basic cable and the Roku MLS and NHL packages. Not to mention a ton of other free stuff to watch on Roku.

I have a big dvd collection, and don't watch that many TV shows, so I don't use Netflix or Hulu on the Roku, but I think those are good deals if you want that content.

So, that's my story. I was really psyched to discover the Roku, as it let me just pay a reasonable amount for the specific sports I was looking for, rather than be forced to pay for a bunch of stuff I didn't want.

The slight downside from cable is that I don't get to watch all the Bruins or Red Sox games live, but all things considered, I'm okay with that.
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Old 09-05-12, 02:52 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

As alot of you know, I watch alot, I mean alot of Televison (both network and premium/basic cable shows) when I'm not working, so dropping my Directv subscription is not an option. I make pretty good money as a Freelance Sports Television Graphics coordinator....I make up to $45 per hour on some jobs for 10 hour days, so I can afford it.

If your on a really tight budget with bills up your ass like car payments, utilities, rent, mortgage etc, then I can understand that paying for expensive TV subscriptions isn't really an option or not affordable to your family's budget.

BTW, I have a Lifetime Playon subscription and it's turned into a piece of shit. The streaming quality is garbage now. I tried playing a live sporting event off some random link and it's not watchable at all. I also tried watching something from Nat Geo and it's jerky as hell.
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Old 09-05-12, 03:02 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

Originally Posted by Eddie W View Post
I tried this a couple of years ago as well. And lasted two months. During that time, I realized that I'm paying not only for programming, but also for quality & convenience.

Sure, I could seek out most of the shows I wanted but none of them had the quality of an HDTV broadcast. And it was a pain in the ass. If you want to watch via Hulu you have to endure the same non-skippable commercial at each break. Most AMC & FX shows that I like are available via Amazon on-demand. But at $3.99/episode for the HD versions. If I watch only four series per month, that adds up to $64 just for those 16 episodes. Not far from my old bill & only 4 hours a week of programming.

A lot of broadcast and cable networks offer their programming on their website but again, it's nowhere near HD quality. Then there are no other (legal) options for HBO/Showtime original programming. Besides waiting a year for them to come out on DVD.

So now I'm back to DirecTV & all my programs magically appear on my DVR in perfect quality. It seems like much more of a bargain than it did before.
+1 My sentiments exactly.

I know a few posters here find their stuff through not so legitimate means, but as you said, it's a fucking pain in the ass. It takes 2 seconds to do a seach and have a season pass to record something for all 22-24 episodes without thinking twice on my Directv DVR.

Trying to find a watchable link of some show not on a network site that doesn't have buffering issues or the potential for a virus to download into your computer is not worth the time or headache IMO.

Playon developed something called "Play Later" which they claim is an Internet DVR to save shit on your PC to watch later. I tried the demo for it and it's a piece of garbage. All it does is save illegal streaming video onto your computer and it literally took 2 1/2 hours to try to "record" something I was testing. I stopped it and deleted the software.


If I only watched like 5-10 shows and don't give a shit about sports, then I guess I could survive on the antenna and possibly a Hulu Plus subscription/Netflix.

But I watch stuff on Showtime like Dexter and Homeland and I watch basic cable stuff like The Walking Dead, Mad Men, and the large assortment of TNT and USA shows, so going streaming only doesn't work for me or wouldn't be convenient.

And yes, I do watch sports and I plan to watch the Lakers on the new Time Warner Sports Network (if Directv gets it in time) since they have 0 over the air local games this season (Sunday ESPN/ABC national games don't count since only a handful get broadcasted)

Last edited by DJariya; 09-05-12 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 09-06-12, 03:31 AM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

By the way, ESPN, by itself, is costing every cable and satellite subscriber $4.69, plus another $1.12 or so for the other ESPN channels. That is everybody, even those who don't watch sports.
And with the amount of commercials they run, it SHOULD cost $0.00 per subscriber! (I'm not a sports fan, and most sports fans I've known personally haven't been very bright- the fact that this is tolerated proves that.)
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Old 09-06-12, 10:13 AM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

We dropped cable a few years back even before the streaming thing caught on. We now use Netflix streaming on our computers, mobiles and a Roku box. We have an antenna for local, but it's mostly for PBS for the young one.

The thing with ESPN is one of the issues that caused us to drop it. We found ourselves only watching a few channels and couldn't justify spending so much for so many unused channels.
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Old 09-06-12, 06:10 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

I think I'm gonna cut the cord. The wife and I have considered it before, but I think its more feasible now than it ever has been.
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Old 09-07-12, 10:57 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

Yeah, if you want to do it legally it's a PITA, really not worthy if you have the money. If you are more open minded, with scripts and stuff is really easy, and not a lot of work.

"Sadly" my morals, ethics or whatever make me do everything the right way, so I pay Comcast around $250 every month (triple play, internet, tv and phone). Yeah, that's the thing about being married and having kids.
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Old 09-07-12, 11:52 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

We're dropping cable too. With a 1 year old running around (and another one coming in November), TV is basically just background noise these days. We rarely have the time to actually sit down and watch anything, and when we do it seems like there's nothing on.

I can think of a lot of other things to spend $100/mo on than cable.
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Old 09-08-12, 08:17 AM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

Its done. $100 a month more in our pockets. Lets see how it goes. Haha.
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Old 09-08-12, 01:33 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

I dropped my DVR about two years ago, dropped down to 'basic cable' about a year ago, and dropped down to absolutely nothing about six months ago. I do have an antenna and OTA tuner a friend gave me, I get about 20 channels with that - 3 music video, 2 weather, 3 in spanish, and 3 religious - but that has been on for the Thanksgiving Day parade and once to refresh the channel listings.
My cable bill is 35/month for broadband, down from a historical high of about 150. I'm quite fine with it.

I do have Netflix and Hulu Plus, but once I got caught up on Futurama (Netflix) and Community (Hulu), I'm debating cancelling again. Netflix is convenient when I go on business trips, but other than that, and the occasional kid's show for my boy, I haven't watched either in over a month.
And Hulu is just awkward to use on the xbox, especially for a tv series.

I'll admit I'm possibly not a representative consumer - I don't care about sports, I catch my news online (and from magazines!) and I would actually rather watch a series/season on DVD than broadcast. And I have really been working on the cost cutting over the past year or so.

I'm not inherently anti-cable/sat, I will fully admit the convenience, selection, stability and ease of use is very much worth it for many people. Just not for me. It's not something I care to spend time or money on.
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Old 09-12-12, 01:38 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

I cut the cord a couple months ago and don't miss it. I realized that all I actually watched on cable was the occasional background Seinfeld ep, Tosh.0 at odd hours, or Letterman/Ferguson to help me fall asleep, and those are on regular TV anyway. I liked the comfort of having those, but could not justify the price tag when streaming services all come in under $10/month.

I hate sports, so no loss there. I can understand that being an attraction if that's your need, but I understand there are sports streaming services out there too.



Also, people hate Hulu Plus because you get ads even though you pay right? Why doesn't anybody have that complaint about regular cable? The way I see it, you pay less for Hulu than you do for cable, so it wins there. This might be a good argument that cable should be free
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Old 09-12-12, 02:23 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

The current business model for cable only really works if a mass number of people in a geographic area subscribe. More and more people under 30 seem to be cutting the cord completely. I foresee companies imploding once their safe monopolies start getting threatened.
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Old 09-13-12, 03:05 AM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

Also, people hate Hulu Plus because you get ads even though you pay right? Why doesn't anybody have that complaint about regular cable?
I've been complaining about that since 1983...
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Old 09-16-12, 08:30 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

If I lived by myself, I definitely wouldn't have pay TV (Dish Network). I only watch about a half dozen shows, which I could get off Hulu or the shows' websites, but I still live with my mom and brother, so dropping pay TV altogether is a no-go.
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Old 09-18-12, 08:34 AM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

I cut cable cable about 6 years ago. We watched about 5 seasons of CSI, 6 seasons of xfiles, and bunch of other stuff. We got cable back when my wife got pregnant. We cut cable again about a year and a half ago. We have amazon prime, Netflix, vudu, and OTA. I would drop Netflix but they have a lot of tv shows that amazon doesn't have yet.
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Old 09-25-12, 10:31 PM
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Re: Cutting The Cord - Dropping Pay TV for Streaming

What are the stats, guys?

Haven't had cable in five years.

I watch Hulu every morning. At least Daily Show and Colbert. Commercials don't boher me.

But I watch TV at my parents' house, and it's nothing but fucking commercials. If we're watching something, say on FX - a movie. The commercial comes on, and it feels like five or seven minutes until it's back on. Channel surfing makes it tolerable. But I feel like an idiot for toying with commercials like that.

With Hulu, you can get away with one 3-minute commercial before the show, and then nothing throughout.

Plus, nothing is "on demand" on cable. If I want to watch a movie right now, as long as it's something in Netflix's library, I can be watching it in a minute.
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