Gini Dietrich

The Big Question: Have You Cut the Cable TV Cord?

By: Gini Dietrich | June 16, 2017 | 

The Big Question: Have You Cut the Cord?As streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu—and now YouTube Red—continue to grow in popularity, many people are reevaluating what used to be a near-essential service: Cable TV.

Why would anyone cut the cord?

Cost and convenience is a big motivator.

But many still have not cut it down for one reason: Sports.

And, because of bundling, the cost-savings aren’t always actually there.

Here’s what cord-cutting utopia looks like:

As soon as you turn on the TV, an onscreen guide offers a menu of live cable, local broadcast networks, and your favorite shows from Netflix, Amazon, and the like.

And you can surf from one to the other at whim, like a tourist crossing borders without dealing with customs.

This fantastic world does not exist, of course, and it may remain a dream.

Untangling the rights and distribution of all that content is more than arduous, it’s simply not economically viable for anyone involved. — The World Just Moved One Step Closer to Cord-Cutter Utopia

Both professionally and personally, consuming media is an important part of keeping up to speed with current events and pop culture, but it’s also an important part of downtime for many of us.

Clearly the ways we can do that have changed.

Welcome to this week’s The Big Question:

Have you cut the cable TV cord?

We Couldn’t Be Happier

From Brian Tudor:

Yes! We cut the cord in 2013 and the experience gets better every day.

We went from spending more than $130 a month just for DirecTV, plus $40 for a landline so the DirecTV box could communicate, and $50 for internet services.

Now we have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and HBONow, and couldn’t be happier.

We never watched anything live before anyway, so now we can stream on our own schedule and not have to worry about a DVR filling up or missing recordings due to preemptions.

Karen Wilson has been at this a while…

We’ve had ours cut for nine years. I don’t miss it even a little.

We ditched our traditional landline for VoIP 11 years ago and finally let that go last year.

You Can Find Anything on the Internet

Eric Schumacher works in TV and film, and he cut the cord:

This is my career, and yet my wife and I are about to cut the cord.

There’s very little we can’t find on the internet and the time suck of the search for something on TV just isn’t worth it any more.

With a quick online search, you can find exactly what you want in seconds.

Chris Brantner cut the cord years ago, and hasn’t looked back:

Not only can you get tons of free content over-the-air with an antenna, but there are now multiple live-streaming services that fully replace cable for a fraction of the cost.

Services such as Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, and fuboTV allow you to stream popular pay-TV channels with no contract.

This allows you to keep up with news and sports in real time… so cutting the cord no longer means you have to miss out on any television.

Two tips: 1) Get an antenna for free access to the big four networks, FOX, CBS, NBC, and CBS; and 2) Try out various live streaming skinny bundles such as Sling TV with the free seven-day trials. Settle on the one you like the best!

Don’t Believe the Hype

According to Dustin Montgomery:

My wife and I cut the cord seven years ago when we got married.

We have had several people tell us we should just hook up the cord for the free basic channels, but at this point the advertisements are unbearable.

Sometimes you may miss just turning something on and just “vegging” so it is important to find a few series on Netflix beforehand that you enjoy that you can go to right when you plop down.

Cable companies love to recommend higher speeds than necessary when you tell them you will be streaming video.

Don’t fall for it. Unless you are downloading huge games constantly, you should be fine with their lowest tier offerings.

Can’t Cut the Cord Yet

Some people are close, but aren’t quite ready to cut the cable.

With bundling, cable is still cheaper, says Matija Martek:

I have a cheaper bundle with cable.

But, funnily enough, my TV receiver broke two years ago and I have no reason whatsoever to call cable company to replace it.

Berrak Sarikaya is the same. She can just get TV cheaper when she goes all-in:

I was going to but where I am right now, it’s cheaper to get the bundle with TV and high-speed internet.

I have the most basic package and hardly ever turn on my cable.

I do almost all of my TV-viewing through apps on my laptop or XBox.

Aimee West is on the proverbial fence when it comes to cutting the cord:

Can I say maybe?

It was cheaper for us to get cable and internet than just internet.

But most shows we stream on Neflix or Hulu or other apps.

The Future of TV is Uncertain…

The future of television was meant to have arrived by around now, in a bloodbath worthy of the most gore-flecked scenes from Game of Thrones.

The high cost of cable TV in America, combined with dire customer service and the rise of appealing on-demand streaming services as inexpensive substitutes, would drive millions to “cut the cord” with their cable providers.

Customers would receive their TV over the internet, and pay far less for it. — The Future of Television: Cutting the Cord

The Big Question: The Notebook Conundrum 

Traditional notebooks, bullet journals, Evernote, Apple Notes… note-taking is a constant reality.

What are your preferred tool(s) and methodologies for note-taking?

You can answer here, in our Slack community, or on the socials (use #SpinSucksQuestion so we can find you).

To sweeten the deal, if you answer the question and we feature it, you’ll receive a follow link to your site.

So get to answering!

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Aimee West

    Thanks for quoting me! Cable is such a regional thing I think as well. We have areas in the UP of Michigan that still have dial up for internet, if they even have that. I hate that an our area (maybe all areas are like that?) they can have a monopoly on who services certain areas or even certain apartment blocks.

    • You raise a really good point. It’s easy for me to say, “Cut the cord!” But I live in one of the largest, most urban cities in the country.

      • Aimee West

        LUCKY! Not an option where I live yet. But hopefully soon.

  • We cut it ten years ago when we moved to the US. My proudest moment was one day my kids asked me what a commercial was!

    We survive with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube.

    • LOL!! My kid gets super frustrated when one interrupts her YouTube watching. It makes me laugh.

      • They have no idea how we suffered. We used to use the commercial breaks to run to the bathroom. Now the kids keep watching on their device from the can!

        Oh the miracles of technology.

  • Karen Wilson

    I should have mentioned that I calculated about a year ago that we have saved over $10,000 since we dropped cable. 🙂

  • TiVo Bolt consolidates OTA TV, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Acorn, STARZ, HBO, and more. It resembles you cord cutter utopia and works well in multiple rooms simultaneously. It’s the reason I dropped cable entirely.

    • We are doing a trial of YouTube Red, which seems to do the same thing. But…you have to sling it through Apple TV. It doesn’t sound like you have to do that with TiVo Bolt?

      • Prof Steve Lee

        Gina, TIVO Bolt consolidates everything in one place. Then I use Apple TV to pull in things like Sling TV and DirecTV NOW and a few others. Slinging to anything is not as easy or comfortable as he old cable TV process.

  • Pamela Wright

    This is not a good thing for my industry. People are getting used to streaming their TV content and when they go RVing/camping they expect to be able to continue streaming. Most RV parks/campgrounds don’t have the bandwidth to allow multiple individuals to stream their content, resulting in unhappy campers.

    • Ohhhhh. That’s a really good point! I would want to be able to stream while I was camping, for sure.

      • Pamela Wright

        It will be interesting to see what the next big thing is going to be in the internet infrastructure world. A lot of cable companies are going to be in a Catch-22. They want you to stay with them for TV but also want to sell you cable access to the internet.

  • Elise Perkins

    We’re about to move and I’ve been toying with the idea of cutting cable but sports is the big hangup for my husband. Really interested in Sling, and saving this article to my Pinterest board. THANK YOU!

    As for note taking, I am the ultimate list maker. Before baby (and now getting back to it), I would write a list at the beginning of each day, each with its own checkbox, and then I would put a dot next to the items that were critical to tackle first. I would then re-write the list at the end of the day so I started off with a clean list each morning…similar to clearing your desk at the end of the day. It’s just so satisfying. I just discovered bullet journals and that intrigues me too. List makers, unite!

    • That was the big hang-up for Mr. D., as well. So I did a ton of research and found a solution he was happy with. Men. I tell ya,