Apr 15, 2011

Could you live without Cable?

I'm always fascinated when I meet people that say they don't watch much TV. I don't know why I find them to be so interesting... probably because I'm GLUED to the television constantly watching all the latest shows. Still, it makes me wonder if it's really worth the expense. My husband and I have been looking for ways to scale back and save $ and looking at our bills, outside of the "Big 3" (Rent/Mortgage, Transportation, & Food) our cable/internet bill is pretty high.

Time Warner is a crook in my opinion because not only do they charge you a fee each month for their DVR service, but they charge the fee for EACH DVR box you have. That was a new one to me... I was assuming we would get charged a flat rate, but if you have 2 DVR boxes in your house they you're paying the $10 DVR fee twice. On top of that you have to pay a monthly fee for the remotes, channels, and all the other shit they throw at you. I don't even want to say how much our bill is each month because it's crazy high.

Last night while my husband and I were watching Sons of Anarchy (a show he sucked me into watching and now I'm a fan) we started debating whether or not we should get rid of our cable. *GASP* Yes, me... the self-admitted reality TV freak is actually considering saying adieu to our box. I have to admit that it would be hard to walk away from a DVR, but it may be nice to just have basic cable and a basic price. If Bravo, Oxygen, and HGTV all come thru on basic cable I think I'll be okay with scaling back.

So, my question to everyone is do you have cable? If so, how much do you pay (if you don't mind sharing), and could you live without it?

Our Netflix membership has been so amazeballs that it's quickly replacing movies and even possibly TV in our lives... I wish we had gotten a membership sooner!!


ANGELINA said...

I absolutely have to comment on this! So I gave up cable completely about 6 months ago because I was tired of paying $60 a month for just basic cable. Keep in mind that I was a total tv addict (in college I would schedule my classes around my tv shows--it's sad, I know!). I can happily report that life is still running smoothly without cable, and I now have extra money and time to spend on other things. Netflix has such a wide range of 'watch instantly' movies that I don't even miss cable.

Just a hint--cut the cord in stages so there won't be such a drastic change. For example, I went from the full cable package (premium channels included), to downgrading to the lesser package without movie channels for a few months, then reducing to the family-style cable (the food network, national geographic, and lifetime movie network were the most interesting channels we had), and finally to no cable at all. I was able to learn which shows I truly liked and couldn't do without, and thankfully there are episodes online so I can keep up.

Sorry for the long comment. Good luck! You can do it!

South Loop Social Light said...

@ Angelina - That's a great idea! I didn't think about doing it in stages. We're going to get rid of our HBO/Showtime first, which makes it easy since they don't currently have any series airing that I like. Next we'll get rid of our extra DVR on the 2nd TV, then hopefully we can downgrade to basic cable.

Do you have your TV plugged directly into the wall now? Or do you not have any cable channels at all? I don't know if I can live life without HD lol.

Niki McNeill said...

I totally feel you on this! If I lived alone, I would not pay for anything but basic cable, if that! But since I live with my boyfriend, we have to have premium cable + HD channels. With the availability of shows online & via Netflix I would be ok without the TV but I know it makes my basketball fanatic bf very happy to be able to wath the games in HD at home so I don't push it. At the end of the day, it's about what makes you content within your lifestyle!

afreshmusic said...

As you know I'm quite addicted to Pop-Culture but I said farewell to digital cable over 10 years ago. I still have basic cable but I use to have a million channels that I couldn't possibly watch.lol

In the early years of basic cable I use to miss out on some things but in this day and age you can catch it on the INTERNET! That's how I watch Dexter (you got me being a fan of that) and Weeds. I don't have HBO or Showtime but the power of the I.N.T.E.R.N.E.T will keep you up to date.

In my opinion I say kiss that bill goodbye.

*Side note* I have a friend who recently moved and he doesn't have the internet...he uses his phone for that. Now I don't know if I could live without the internet but hey...one less bill for him.

Bajan Beauty said...

A few weeks ago I was contemplating getting rid of my cable as well...Comcast is soooo expensive. I was paying $196 for cable with one premium channel, HD receiver, internet and my home phone.

I had put in my cancellation and was suppose to put in an order for Directv...I went to Mardi Gras and forgot to do it,lol. Long story short they turned off my cable and I had them turn it back on but I was now considered a new customer. They gave the double play package...cable and internet for $99. It is still expensive but it is better then $196.

South Loop Social Light said...

@ Niki - Yes, HD channels are amazing... surprisingly my husband is actually on board to get rid of the cable.

@ Afreshmusic - I now some people use their phones as a wifi point now so they don't have to pay for internet access. I may just downgrade to basic cable.

@ Bajan Beauty - I'm going to look into doing a bundle. $99 for cable/internet would be a huge savings from what we're paying now. I think I can live with 1 box and HD channels.

Bri said...

We haven't had cable in two years, and honestly I am fine with that. There are many movies we watch with memberships at NetFlix and we even get to order or favorite shows and catch up. There is also the pc where we can catch up on shows like Basketball Wives and whatnot. I mean it isn't a real factor unless you make it one, it has given us a reason to go out and exercise instead of boob-tubing all weekend.

Jason Haber said...

I know this is an older article but I came across it through a Google search.

Like so many others I got tired of the $150+/ month cable bill. I researched alternatives and finally found one that works outrageously well. Look into Roku. It's a small set top box that connects to your WiFi and streams directly to your TV. Using services like Netflix and Hulu Plus with the Roku enable us to watch more tv than we could ever handle.

Do your research and own hunting like I did and see if you think it might work for you. Oh, some people use Roku in conjunction with existing cable but we cut he cord completely and with our Internet and Netflix and Hulu it costs us about $60/month with the bulk of that cost being the Internet with boost from Comcast.

Don't forget about Redbox and rabbit ears. Yes, rabbit ears. They have come a long way and you can now get a very good antenna for less than $50. (The Roku cost roughly $80) and with the antenna you can get free HD local channels to watch whatever you like.

Best of luck. It's not easy to do but we couldn't be happier with it and we're saving over $1,000 a year!

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