We’ve been talking this week and last about cutting the cord. That refers getting rid of cable and satellite and watching your programming over an Internet connection. A lot of folks do it hoping that they’ll save quite a big of money. But is this always the case? Let’s add up some numbers.
I’m going to assume you already have a modem and a router in place already and own a TV.
If you are content to watch programming on your tablet, phone and PC, you don’t need to buy anything. If you own a game console, you can play many program apps on it. But otherwise, you’ll want to buy a streaming device. They range between $35 and several hundred dollars. We’ll pick a price of around $50 for a nice streaming stick with remote.
If you want to receive local programming and sports programming, you’ll need to get those over the air. (assuming you live in a place that can receive over-the-air signals with an antenna.) You may be able to buy a simple table-top antenna for say $25. But you may live somewhere that requires a pole-mounted antenna. Then you’re looking at mounting a 30 or 40 foot pole, purchasing an outdoor antenna and perhaps paying someone to put it up.
So for the equipment, you’re looking at outlay from $0 to an average of $75 to maybe several hundred dollars. But those are one-time purchases. You own the streaming device, you own the antenna. There are no contracts or additional fees.
You’re going to need a high-speed Internet connection to stream video.
I’m going to go with a rate of $65 per month for broadband. Some of you may pay more while others pay less.
Then it’s time to talk about he cost of streaming services.
Netflix will run you $9.99 a month. So if you chose to just have that service combined with your cable, you’ll pay around $75 a month. But if you find the Netflix options too limiting and maybe want to add in Sling TV to allow you to watch some of your favorite cable channels, that puts an extra $20 a month on the bill. And if you’re missing some of your favorite network shows, you might want to add a monthly Hulu subscription for $7.99. Now we’ve passed that $100 mark. Add-on services like Showtime and HBO are available for around $10 a month each. So if you add a few premium channels things can start to get expensive.
Just over $100 is still less than many people pay for Internet and cable bundled together. But you probably aren’t going to see the same variety of channels. Also many folks find they can’t get their local stations over the air and they miss live sporting events. So they end up getting a very basic cable package as well.
Some cable providers like Comcast offer an Internet Plus package. Comcast’s $65 package offers Internet service, local channels and HBO for $65 a month. (It starts at a discounted rate but increases yearly and a contract is required.) So it’s a good idea to ask your current provider options they offer for cord cutters.
You can find more tips on cord-cutting by clicking here.
Have you cut the cord? Did it save you money? Did you find your program options limited? Let us know in the comments.