Cable TV is said to be dying, and for good reason. Many people are turning to Internet-based television or other ways to watch TV, and it’s becoming increasingly easy to do so.
Before you finally cut the cord once and for all, it’s important to understand your options so you can make sure to catch your favorite TV shows, sports events, and so on. But how do you know if you’re ready to finally get rid of your cable TV subscription? Well, we’ve put together this guide, just for you!
The Pros of going cable-TV free are aplenty, but the main one is simply not having to pay extra money for a subscription that you don’t need. With the average cable TV bill sitting at over $120, that’s not a small amount to save.
Of course, turning to subscription services isn’t totally free. If you decide to buy an Apple TV or Google Nexus Player you’ll have to spend up to $200 for that. You’ll also have to pay for any subscriptions. Netflix costs $9.99 per month, and others tend to be in the same range. Not only that, but you’ll also have to factor in the costs for high-speed Internet, if you don’t already have that. When all is said and done, there will be an initial cost of around $200, plus $50 per month for high-speed Internet, plus another $20 per month for any subscription services you might want. That’s still $70 less than paying for cable, and the Apple TV will pay for itself within three months.
Another big advantage is ease of use. Alternatives to cable TV such as Netflix tend to be a lot easier to use than cable TV offerings, which might have hundreds of channels, most of which you don’t use, before you find what you’re looking for. With web-based TV, simply search for the show you’re looking for, and provided it’s in the catalog, it will show up.
For some people, there’s another unexpected benefit to cancelling a cable subscription. Instead of turning on the TV to watch whatever is on or channel surfing, users turn it on to intentionally watch a specific program. This can lead to less time spent lounging around, and more time doing other things.
Of course, there are a few cons to cutting the cord. Perhaps the biggest is the loss of sports coverage. While there are plenty of apps, services, and websites dedicated to helping users stream sports matches online, these are sometimes difficult to use. Not only that, but it will be a lot harder to find local sports coverage, especially if you live in the area of the team, in which case you will likely be a part of blackout restrictions, meaning that official networks won’t stream the match to your area. There really isn’t a very good streaming alternative for sports watching at this point, however it’s likely that one will pop up at some point soon.
Another con is the delay in online releases for lots of TV shows. This is especially true for Netflix, which generally doesn’t get episodes of a show as the show progresses, but gets full seasons at a time.
Is It Possible?
Absolutely. While it seems like it might be a little difficult right now, especially for sports fans, this is the way of the future. TV networks are increasingly offering their own services, and while Apple may have failed to organize its own subscription service last year, it’s really only a matter of time. Users interested in cutting the cord will need a decent Internet download speed, and it’s probably not the best choice for the avid sports fan, but apart from that there aren’t many reasons to not cut the cord.
Apart from using the Internet, you can also use a HD antenna (for example, see this one on Amazon), which will offer you basic network channels in HD. This will cover local free-to-air channels, as well as national ones.
You may also be interested in buying an Apple TV or Google Nexus Player, which will allow you to access apps like Netflix and Hulu, as well as do things like rent movies without much hassle.
If you’re skeptical, however, try cutting back on your cable use and seeing how much it affects your daily life. If you can do it with ease, then maybe ending your cable subscription won’t be so hard. If you can’t, then wait a few years until it’s easier.
Have you already given up Cable TV or are you planning to? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or in our community forum.