In many ways, cord cutting has been, for me, a personal journey through the digital age and the birth of a new entertainment zeitgeist that will forever change the way we consume media. Okay, I know that sounds a little too profound for streaming season 4 of Dexter on Netflix; but the point is that you learn a lot of things when you kill the cable bill and seek out better cable TV alternatives.
Cord cutting is not just a way to watch television, but it’s also a lifestyle. To cut the cord is to embrace freedom and the power of the informed consumer. Today, I would like to share with you the three lessons I have learned from cord cutting.
1. Getting what you want means knowing where to look.
When I first cut the cord, I thought I was going to have to make at least a few sacrifices. Surely, I thought to myself, I’ll have to give up one or two shows if I want to be rid of cable forever. However, when I actually got rid of cable, nothing really changed except for my monthly bills. I was surprised to find out that most of the shows I watch, like The Daily Show, were available online through one service or another. If Netflix didn’t have it, Hulu did; when neither one of them had what I was looking for, I could usually buy it off of Amazon or iTunes. It may not be as easy as just turning on the TV, but legally getting content without cable is still pretty easy and in more cases than not still much less expensive.
2. Don’t spend more money than you have to.
ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW. If you have cable, you definitely have these channels; but if all you ever had is cable, you might not realize that you can get these channels for free if you have an over-the-air antenna. I know I certainly didn’t know. When I found out that a simple antenna could give me free television in HD, I immediately went online, bought an antenna, and by the end of the week my antenna was set up and ready to go. Much to my surprise, I found that most of my evenings consisted of watching Network Television instead of cable and that most of my favorites shows were on there.
The Simpsons, Parks and Recreation, Arrow, Modern Family; almost everything I watched could be picked up with an antenna. I’m astounded that I used to spend hundreds of dollars a months to essentially get something that I could have gotten from a $40 antenna.
3. Easy doesn’t always mean better.
While cable companies may offer you an expensive and bloated service that offers limited choices, they do excel at making that terrible service easy to use. I mean, plopping down and clicking on the television is pretty much the easiest thing to do in the world, right?
Sure, cable is easy, but at what price? Cord cutting may not be as simple as cable, but it’s a far better way to watch television. With cable, I have to pay extra for HD; as a cord cutter, HD comes standard. With cable, I get channels I don’t care about; like MTV 7 and the Bread Channel. As a cord cutter, I can tailor my entertainment experience to my tastes for my price range. So yeah, I might have to connect a few cords and buy a couple devices; but in the long run I’m happier with cord cutting that I am with the “easy” option.
All in all I would say that cord cutting has definitely been a positive experience. Not only do I save hundreds of dollars every year, but I’m also much more satisfied with my entertainment options and I’m definitely never bored.
What about you? Are you satisfied with cable, or are you like millions of Americans who are fed up with high prices and low satisfaction? If you are, then stop waiting and kill the cable bill!
Dave Kennedy is a long time cord cutter who became increasingly frustrated with the high cost of Cable TV and decided to make a stance. In 2011 he launched KilltheCableBill.com, a site dedicated to helping people save money through providing simple, cost-effective cable TV alternatives. Since then, David has helped 1,000s of people cancel their cable subscription while keeping the shows they love.