I am a child of the 1970s. Back then you had a handful of channels to choose from and that was it. If you wanted to change the channel or the volume you had to get up and turn the dial. If there was a show you wanted to see you had to be in front of the TV at the prescribed date and time or you missed it. We simply did not have the opportunity to tailor our TV interests to our schedules.
Things began to change rapidly in the 1980s as cable TV became more and more popular. You could pay for cable and have premium TV channels like HBO and Showtime and get movies at home. If you had cable you had privilege.
Cable TV Becomes The Norm
Fast forward to the millennium and everyone has cable. From the 1980s to the millennium the price of cable also soared with the amount of channels and special packages that could be added on. At one point I remember paying about $270 for cable. We had almost every channel available but the reality was that I could not watch 1/100th of those channels because I was too busy working and taking care of family. I knew I really didn’t need hundreds of channels, and I knew I really didn’t want to keep paying $270/month for something I did not use.
Cutting the Cable
As I debated this cable conundrum and how to resolve it, the gods of technology presented humanity with streaming TV. I knew a lot of people that watched all if not most of their shows through streaming TV, so I decided to try streaming. I cut the cable and have not looked backed since.
Apple TV and Roku
The first streaming device I used was the Apple TV. I absolutely loved it. All I needed to run the Roku on my TV was the internet, which I already had. So using it did not cost any more than I was already spending. I subscribed to Netflix and had Prime video so I could watch whichever shows I wanted using those two services.
My Apple TV eventually died and so instead of paying $150 to get another one I bought a Roku for $35. Roku did the exact same thing for me as did Apple TV. On Roku you can now have Apple TV+ so you can have it all for just $35. I now have Roku in every room in the house.
The Cost of Cutting the Cable
For this article I asked in the Living In Oakland Park Facebook group: “Do you have cable or streaming only ? If streaming only, was it worth the switch ?“. My group members shared their thoughts on making the cut.
Michael Cooper shared:
“We switched from full Xfinity cable with DVR but no premium channels. We kept Xfinity Internet, subscribed to YouTubeTV and got a Roku stick. We went from $217/month down to $138/month. $73/month for internet and $65/month for YouTubeTV. A big plus for YouTubeTV is that all the local channels are included so you never need to switch to an antennae unlike SlingTV. Very happy with it“.
John Wessel shared a similar sentiment to Michael Cooper:
“Several months ago I removed Comcast from my TV life. My Comcast internet bill went up a bit but I don’t miss the $270.00+ bill a bit…”
Maria Medina affirmed her to choice to cut the cable:
“Streaming only. Definitely don’t regret cancelling my cable. If there’s a show that I really want to watch, the majority of channels have a monthly subscription service. But haven’t had to do that”.
Melina Sedam also does not regret cutting the cable, she commented:
“So happy I don’t have cable anymore. Set up a good antenna for some basic channels with news, cooking, travel and kids. My kids love neflix and we watch movies with amazon prime and vudu”.
Kevin Loud Elsasser also felt that cutting cable was a good decision, he stated:
“We stream with Apple TV… for WiFi, we bounce between XFinity & U-verse. We use an HD antenna for local channels. One of the best decisions we’ve ever made”.
Mayor Matt Sparks even chimed remarking that:
“We stream but we consistently go over our level, I have tried on numerous occasions to contact Comcast to get unlimited…. but they are near impossible to reach”.
The overall feeling from those that responded to the question was that it was worth it to cut the cable and go 100% streaming.
But before you do so, consider this experience shared by Chantelle Iacone, who recently moved from New Jersey to Oakland Park.
“It really depends. We have Comcast for unlimited internet so we pay a little more than $100. We were going over our data before we went to unlimited because of the camera systems. We pay for Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Disney Plus (we had that before getting Hulu plus). During football we get the NFL so we can watch the Eagles. When you keep adding the extras it adds up to almost what cable is…”.
So if and when you make the switch keep in mind the services you sign up for so you don’t end up spending the same amount of money that you did from cable.
Otherwise as Jamie Bartrug emphatically urges “Cut the cord and don’t look back!“.