Snip-Snip: Bye-Bye CablePosted by Badger Coach on April 2nd, 2014
Have you looked at your cable bill lately? Do you think you are paying too much for cable? Do you think that in two years, your cable bill will be higher or lower than it is today? Do you like playing the promotional games offered by cable companies, just so you can keep your cable bill from going up too fast? Are you tired of calling the customer service department, only to hear a computer generated voice ask you a bunch of questions before you are allowed to talk to a live person to handle your questions? Are you tired of the lousy choices your current cable package offers? I have good news for you! You do not have to be tortured like this anymore. In the words of an Aaron Neville song—Oh Happy Day, has finally arrived!
If you are serious about cutting your cable bill in half and want to continue watching all of your favorite programs and more for less money, follow these simple steps.
Step 1. Go shopping: You will need to pick up a $50 to $70 indoor antennae from your local electronics store. This will allow you to watch your local television programs, even the ones filmed in high definition (HD). You will also want to see if you can get Aero in your city. It replaces the need to buy an antennae, but it is only offered in select major cities. The good news is that it is coming to a major city near you in the very near future if it can get approval from the Federal Communications Commission. You will also need to find a good internet service provider if you don’t already have one. This will allow you to stream your movies and television shows across the internet.
Step 2. Use what you have: You will need to own a fairly new laptop, tablet, smartphone, internet TV, or Blue-ray. You may also want to invest in a video game console such as a Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360, or a Sony Play Station 3. While game consoles are not necessary, they will allow you to have more fun, and allow you to use your television for other entertainment activities.
Step 3. Know your limits: If you are on a tight budget and you own an internet TV but do not own a video game console like a Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360, or a Sony Play Station 3, you can still watch all of your favorite programs via wireless set-top media devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, ChromeCast, Google TV, Roku, or you can connect your TV to your laptop or tablet to watch televsion.
Step 4. Selecting a media streaming provider: If you want to watch all of your favorite television programs and also watch newly released movies, you have a few choices— Amazon Instant, Apple ITunes, Hulu Plus, Netflix and Vudu. To be sure that you do not miss anything, use Netflix (movie rentals) and Hulu Plus (current TV episodes). This combination will cost you less than $20 per month.
Step 5. What are the economic benefits?: Depending on where you live and the current cable package you now have, by cutting the cable umbilical cord, you may be able to save up to $75 or more per month or $900 per year. Over a five-year period, you could save up to $4,500 by simply switching from a Fred Flintstone cable TV delivery system and adopting a system The Jetsons would most certainly use.
Step 6. Do your research: Before you cut the cable cord, visit www.findinternettv.com to see if your favorite television programs are available online. You will also want to check online with your web-based television providers to see what television programs they carry.
Step 7. Understand the limitations: When converting from cable to web streaming, you will not be able to watch your favorite television programs during their regularly scheduled programming hours. You will have to wait one day after your show airs to do that. This is a small price to pay when you consider the monetary benefits.
Also, do not cut your cable cord until you have tried web-based TV for a few months. To help reduce the extra expense during your experimental phase, call your cable provider and let them know of your plans to give them the snip-snip treatment. My guess is that they will offer you a promotional package. Take it and compare it to the quality of our web-based TV providers, and then decide which system works best for you.
At the end of the day, you have worked hard to get where you are. If you want to stay on top, you need to take advantage of as many money-saving opportunities as you can. And more importantly, share this information with someone you love. They work just as hard as you do for their money and secretly or perhaps openly, look to you for guidance.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and is for educational purposes only, and not an offer to buy or sell securities. As always, please consult with a qualified legal, tax, investment or insurance professional before making any financial decision. Investing involves significant risk, even the loss of capital. Invest only what you can afford to lose. Guarantees provided by an insurance company are based on its claims paying ability.