It’s really not a coincidence that National Cut the Cord Day falls on July 7th – the same week as Independence Day. More and more people are finding a new sense of independence by dropping their subscription TV services, such as cable or satellite. It’s the biggest trend sweeping the home entertainment space, and for good reason. But just in case you need a reason to pull the trigger and finally cut the cord for yourself, here are ten of our favorites:
It saves money
This is, by far, the biggest driver we see for people moving away from cable and satellite. Even in a highly competitive industry like subscription TV, prices just seem to keep creeping higher with no end in sight. It’s not just the costly programming that wastes money every month – it’s also the pricey rental fees for all the receivers and DVRs you need to watch your programming. When you cut the cord, you could free up well over $1,000 a year, and that’s a good chunk of change that goes right back in your pocket.
No need to haggle over contracts or pricing
It’s not uncommon for cable companies to lure customers in with an attractive promotional rate that sunsets after a (pretty short!) period of time. In fact, many people find themselves bouncing back and forth between providers just to keep their bills in check. Streaming providers have standardized pricing and are far less prone to raising rates than cable companies, so most people with Netflix end up taking it for granted because their rates stay the same for years at a time!
Far fewer commercials
If you stick to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, you can discover the wonder that is a life without commercials. Once you cut back on the commercials in your TV viewing life, you realize how much of your life has been wasted watching ShamWow and OxyClean commercials all these years. Hulu offers a commercial-free tier for a few bucks more per month. Providers like Sling TV and DirecTV Now stream live TV, so you’ll still be stuck watching ads on those channels.
You can still DVR shows
If you watch a lot of network TV and would find that you miss being able to DVR your favorite shows, you’re in luck. TiVo now makes a DVR specifically made for cord cutters that works with a standard antenna. You get the guide you’re already familiar with, plus the ability to bypass whole commercial breaks with the press of a button on select shows with SkipMode. Even better, there are no monthly fees to pay. It’s like the VCRs of old, but way better! These are an extremely popular accessory for our customers when we install their new antennas.
There’s so much to stream
The further we get into the streaming generation, the better it gets. There are more providers, and more programming than ever at really reasonable prices. There are the standards like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, as well as numerous niche streaming services like BritBox and FilmStruck that tailor to specialty programming like British TV and arthouse movies, respectively. Some cable networks you’ve known for decades like HBO and Showtime now have direct streaming services that don’t require a cable package. In addition to the vast libraries of classic shows and movies available, some of the most buzzworthy new shows are exclusive to streaming, like House of Cards and The Handmaid’s Tale.
There are so many ways to stream
A few years ago, the barrier to entry for streaming TV was a little higher, because it required you to get a new piece of hardware to watch services like Netflix on a given TV. Now, you may have stream-ready devices in your home you’re not even using yet. The majority of Blu-ray players come with some number of streaming apps built-in these days, and it’s becoming more and more common for new TVs to be “smart” by default. Let’s not forget that even if you don’t have a device linked to your TV that can stream Netflix, you probably have a smartphone or tablet that can do the job.
Easier than dealing with cable
I think it’s safe to say that anyone who’s ever subscribed to cable or satellite could tell you at least one customer service horror story. Whether by phone or in-person, dealing with customer service reps are not typically enjoyable experiences. It’s much rarer to need customer service from a streaming provider, and again, it’s far less likely to see the constant price spikes you normally see with cable. Granted, to be a streamer still requires you to have reliable Internet service, but that’s far less hassle to deal with than re-negotiating your TV package every 12 months. You also won’t have to deal with cable company installers as much anymore, which makes moving a whole lot easier.
You can stream a lot of live sports
In the early days of streaming TV, a big complaint was the lack of sports programming. That has largely been remedied now as cable channels like ESPN, regional Fox Sports channels and others can be found in the lineups of Sling TV, DirecTV Now and others. There are also league-direct streaming services like MLB TV, but they sometimes carry blackout restrictions, so do your homework before subscribing. Depending on the service and the package, they may be add-ons to the standard package, so it may be a little pricier to stay up to date with your favorite teams, but sports channels have always been the ones who’ve represented a large portion of your cable bill. Now if you don’t care about sports, you can cut a lot of that cost out of your subscription. You still might miss some of your favorite sports depending on the service you go with, as local channels are still not carried on live TV streamers like Sling in our area, but these services make a great companion for an antenna.
So many local channels
Speaking of antennas, this is a sometimes overlooked but increasingly popular option for cord cutters. Demand for antenna installations has been substantially growing for us here at Suess Electronics, so we have a vast wealth of experience getting reliable over-the-air signals all over Northeast Wisconsin. And with over 20 free channels of programming available in our area, there’s a lot of great programming to enjoy without the hassle of a cable bill. Besides the national networks like ABC, FOX and PBS, every broadcaster in our area offers at least one subchannel with programming ranging from lifestyle to educational, to movies and classic TV comedies and dramas. Pair it with an over-the-air TiVo DVR and you can watch TV ’til the cows come home without paying a dime in monthly fees.
It’s the future
Let’s face it – going cable-free is the future. Between over-the-air TV and streaming, this is how we consume television now, and the cable and satellite companies know this. That’s why they’re all now offering their version of streaming TV. Dish Network has Sling, DirecTV has DirecTV Now, and Spectrum has just begun offering its own slimmer streaming TV packages for their customers. The trend is spreading like wildfire, and not going away anytime soon. You now have the freedom to watch all the TV you want and be in total control of what you pay.
If you’re still looking for proof that it’s time to jump on board the streaming bandwagon, stop into our showroom and chat with our experts. Check out all the great options for smart TVs and pick their brains on how to get exactly what programming you want without pay TV service. We’ll make you a believer too.