Yes There is Life After Cutting Cable TV

Yes There is Life After Cutting Cable

Many families all across America are ditching cable TV

It's been several years now since we made the decision to cut our cable TV bill. Looking back over the last three years and counting up the many dollars we saved, to this day we have never regretted our decision.

cutting cable TV

Like many of you who may be currently considering the decision to cut your cable TV provider, we were tentative at first. Cutting a service you have been paying for most of your adult is never easy and something not to be taken lightly. Cable TV was something we took for granted and parts of it we actually enjoyed. Like skipping through the commercials on our Cable DVR, or flipping through the hundred or so channels or even browsing the built in guide looking for something good to watch.

The Real Cost of Cable TV

For us it was the simple reality of economics that made the idea of cutting cable much easier to swallow. Our cable TV was approaching a hundred dollars a month. That's $1200 dollars a year! For something that we watched an average of 2 hours a day.

Let's do some simple math to put this into perspective. There are 365 days in a year, and if we were to divide this into $1200 we come up with $3.28 a day. When you figure an hour of Cable TV is filled with 15 minutes of commercials, you are really only getting 1.5 hours of TV in those 2 hours. So now let's divide that $3.28 daily cost by 1.5 you end up with $2.18 per hour. 

Now let's just think about this for a minute, every hour of cable TV was costing us $2.18 to watch.

Another Cable TV Price Increase Every Year

Prior to our decision to finally cut our Cable TV provider, it seemed like there was one price increase after another. Like clockwork, you could pretty much count on a letter from your cable TV provider every year announcing they were once again raising their prices. Along with that was the added stress and anger these annual letters from our cable TV provider always seemed to cause.

Cable TV Alternatives

Before we cut out our cable, we looked around for suitable alternatives. While Satellite TV was another option, you had to lease or buy your own equipment. While Satellite programming costs where cheaper initially, it was not going to save us any money over a two year contract.

The very first thing we did was install an HD over the air antenna in our attic. We were happy and excited to find we could receive our local network channels. It was amazing to be able to watch channels like CBS, NBC, ABC Fox and PBS for FREE and in better quality HD than what we were previously getting from our cable TV provider. 

Being able to watch these channels was a huge benefit and we were fortunate to live close enough to a large city to have adequate signal strength. 

Had we lived farther away, we probably would have needed to buy a larger antenna and place it high on a mast or on top of our roof. This would have presented its own set challenges like grounding and aesthetics. Needless to say, we were very pleased the antenna was tucked away inside the attic and out of sight and did the job well.

Paid Streaming Service

While we were extremely happy to receive free over the air local network channels, we still felt like we were missing something. It would be nice to watch an occasional commercial free movie in HD. Renting Redbox movies was getting old fast so the next order of business was to buy a media streamer we could hook to our TV. We wanted something that would give us the ability to watch Netflix.

Netflix at $8 a month seemed like a bargain considering how much our cable TV bill was every month. Especially since Netflix had a ton of TV series we could binge watch episode after episode all commercial free. Not to mention all the great movies we found. Suddenly we had more great stuff to watch than there was time to watch. Funny how we never really felt that way when we had cable TV. It seemed like a constant struggle to find something good to watch on Cable.

Hello Roku! Our New Best Friend

Choosing Roku as our media streamer was the ticket to more content then we could ever watch. Besides serving as our gateway to Netflix and Amazon Instant, Roku was a cable cutters dream come true. 

There were so many channels on Roku available (1800 at last count) we went a little channel crazy.  At first we tried to install every channel and quickly came to our senses. We did our homework and found some channels we liked to watch and weeded out the duds that were basically just wasting space. Before long we had our Roku box dialed in just the way we liked it. 

Our first Roku was a refurbished previous generation model XD/S. We were very happy with our first Roku and only after playing with a friends Roku 3 one day did we realized just how much faster and smoother it was. Soon thereafter we purchased a Roku 3  to replace our aging XD/S.

We are now in cable cutting nirvana, looking back over the last three years not a single day had gone by where we would even remotely consider going back to cable TV. 

Between our Roku, Netflix and occasionally renting a newer movie on Amazon Instant, we are living happily ever after in cable cutting bliss with more content than we ever have time to watch. Not bad for a bill that costs around $15 a month. 

In case any of you are wondering what the hourly cost is, let's do one more simple math exercise.

$15 (Current Monthly Cost) X 12 Months is equal to $180 a year. Divide this by 365 days and you have .49 cents a day. We found we were actually watching a little more TV since we did not need to watch as many commercials. So let's use the full 2 hours a day, and divide this into .49  and we come up with a paltry .24 cents an hour to watch TV using an Over The Air Antenna, Amazon and Netflix.  

Now let's take the $1200 annual cost of cable TV in our first math exercise times  it by 3 years which comes out to a total of $3600

Now if we take our  current cost of $180 times 3 years, it costs us a total of  $540. Subtract this from $3600 and we have a total savings of $3,060 in three years.  

That is one heck of a bargain and it's easy to see why more people than ever are cutting cable TV and choosing streaming media as a lower cost alternative.

Additional Resources

If you are ready to make the decision to cut your cable TV provider, here are some additional resources that will help make this transition a little bit easier.

Roku Channels Guide - An A-Z Guide
Internet Streaming TV Channels Guide
Roku 3 - Best Media Streamer for Cable Cutters
Amazon Vs Netflix Vs Vudu Vs iTunes
Amazon Top 10 Movies and TV Shows
Netflix Top 100 New and Popular Movies and Shows