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Five reasons people still pay for cable (but shouldn’t)

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Five reasons people still pay for cable (but shouldn’t)



Do you or someone you know suffer from “spending too much money on TV services you don’t actually need”?

 

This may not be recognized in the DSM-5, but the question remains nonetheless. Too often we hear horror stories of people who are spending far too much cash on paid TV (satellite, cable or even both). Sometimes they don’t realize there are alternatives, and sometimes people are wary of change.

 

Here are some common reasons we hear (and our responses) regarding why someone hasn’t dropped pay TV.

 

1) “There aren’t any other options out there.”

 

Paying for TV is one of those quintessential American pastimes, much like baseball or the West Virginia Roadkill Cookoff. But like many things, it has become antiquated and replaced by better options. As you’re aware, you can watch nearly every top TV show for free with Mohu HDTV antennas. But education is key, and cable companies don’t want anyone knowing there are superior substitutes.

 

Pay TV survives because it is the lowest common denominator for entertainment — it has a solid infrastructure spanning the country. It has a large content selection, filled with programming you may or may not be interested in. Lots of people like watching TV. It makes sense, right?

 

Wrong. Price hikes are outpacing inflation. As for that infrastructure? It’s not exactly popular or properly maintained. Regarding content, why would anyone want to pay for something you can get for free?

 

2) “I can’t get my favorite show over the air!”

Luckily for you, there are tons of various streaming services that complement OTA HDTV. Couple a service like Netflix, Hulu or Crackle with web content and your Mohu antenna, and you’ve got access to more content than any cable service can offer — for less than what you’re paying now.

 

3) “I can’t get my sports fix without it.”

In addition to having games broadcast in 1080i HD over the air, there are countless apps and streaming services that fill the gaps for every armchair quarterback. Services include:

 

 

4) “I’m not techie enough to get an HDTV antenna. Cable is simple — just plug it in and go.”

 

HDTV antennas are one of the most practical investments you can make, both functionally and financially. Installing an HDTV antenna is easier than any satellite box, and on par with the “plug it in and go” mentality from some cable providers. Installing an HDTV antenna boils down to this:

 

  1. Find out which HDTV antenna works best for you
  2. Purchase the HDTV antenna
  3. Plug your HDTV antenna into your television
  4. Scan for channels
  5. Enjoy free TV

 

The most complicated portion of your experience will likely be determining where to place your antenna. We’ve considered that as well. Mohu Leaf antennas are built to be paper-thin and easily hidden. Mohu Curve antennas offer the same quality and range, but are aesthetically pleasing for public display.

 

5) “Paying for TV is awesome.”

 

Wait. No one in the history of ever has said this with sincerity. The average cable bill is upwards of $80 a month, and we can think of several ways you could better spend that money than to pay for cable.







Cord Cutters Should Have an Antenna



wralweather1Cord cutters who rely solely on streaming content should strongly consider adding an HDTV antenna to their homes. The recent outbreak of severe weather across the Midwest and Southeast United States led to flooding, tornadoes and the deaths of more than 30 people. Fortunately, improved radar systems and early warnings allow people enough time to find shelter. The early warnings are often broadcast over local networks’ news channels and without a TV antenna such as a Leaf or Curve, viewers may not get the warnings about nearby storms.

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 8.59.13 AM

Storm clouds near Mohu

Fortunately, the severe weather mostly bypassed Raleigh (the home of Mohu) but for two days our local stations broadcast the locations of heavy rain, hail, thunderstorms, flooding and  tornadoes. We were definitely aware of what was going on, and had a tornado or flood come, we would have had time to prepare. Two nights ago, while watching OTA TV, the screen had a ticker running along the bottom updating viewers of where the storms were and their severity. Other stations broadcast the weather alerts directly from the National Weather Service.

The bottom line is streaming content is a great way to cut the cord. But Netflix, Hulu+, Amazon Prime and the rest cannot replace broadcast TV especially in times of emergencies and bad weather. It’s also possible to get warnings on a smart phone, but they are often not as detailed as a real-time weather forecast.

On a happier note, an antenna is great to watch TV content in real time, especially broadcasts like the Super Bowl, the Oscars, and season finales (coming soon in May) and not have to wait to stream it from the network’s website or another streaming provider.







Industry Updates–Streaming Content Gets Big



Lots of changes took place in the TV/streaming content industry in the past few weeks. Let’s pause and look at what has happened.

Supreme CourtABC vs. Aereo–the Supreme Court heard this case on April 22 and the public can expect a ruling in June. Mohu covered it in an earlier blog. Two issues are at the core of the case. The first is does Aereo’s “re-transmission” of OTA content constitute a public or private showing? If it is a public showing, does Aereo owe retransmission fees to the broadcasters? The second issue is murkier and relates to storing items in the cloud. The Supreme Court Justices are more concerned with items in the cloud and the impact their ruling will have on other cloud-based content–anything from iTunes to DropBox.

Netflix is Moving to Cable–Netflix has long lived on computers and streaming devices and, along with an HDTV antenna, is cord-cutting staple. However, according to the Washington Post, Netflix signed a deal with three small cable companies (RCN, Atlantic Broadband and Grande Communications) and will become a cable channel on their TiVo DVR boxes. Viewers will need a separate Netflix subscription to watch Netflix content. However, this is the first time Netflix has explicitly put its content on a cable box.

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OTA Shows Update Part 1



Let’s take a look at how two new OTA shows are performing: Cosmos, and Surviving Jack. They are available OTA for free with a Mohu antenna. In a future blog post we’ll take a look at how  Crisis and The 100 are doing.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 11.55.34 AMCosmos (Fox, Sunday at 9 ET) was meant to be “event programming.” At this point, Fox will let the show run for its scheduled 13 episodes and then take it off the air in June. For many mainstream reviewers, Cosmos is a hit. It’s visually stunning–using special effects to explore both the outer reaches of the universe and tiny strands of DNA. After a few episodes the narrator, Neil deGrasse Tyson, seems to have hit his stride in his story telling and his goal of making science available and accessible to all viewers. Many of his detractors believe that the show undermines their religious beliefs regarding creation, evolution and God.
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I Cut the Cord and Lived to Tell About It



Modern-FamilytigtlecardToday’s blog is guest written by Michelle, a friend of Sarah’s (Mohu’s usual blogger). Michelle recently cut the cord and is going to tell her story.

We’ve had cable for at least the past ten years. While cleaning out some file cabinets I found some old cable bills. The same service we have today used to cost about $25-$30 less. To put it mildly, I was surprised. I’m currently getting a promotional deal which is $67.75 a month with taxes. Once the deal ends next month, the price for what we have will jump to over $80/month. For television. Ouch.

We definitely watch TV in my house. I’m a big fan of Modern Family because I feel like that’s my life right now and my husband is a big fan of Law and Order: SVU. My kids are pretty limited in their TV viewing and often stream something (approved by me) from Netflix onto a computer or tablet. But $80 a month is $960 a year and I’m pretty sure I could find something else to do with that money.

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TV Industry–What's New



Cosmos_1Several changes are causing disruption in the TV world for over-the air (OTA), cable, and streaming content. Below, we’ll discuss some of the changes.

On Sunday night Fox premiered, Cosmos—A Space Time Odyssey hosted by noted astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson. It picks up where Carl Sagan’s original Cosmos left off in 1980. The Motley Fool calls the production and airing of Cosmos “event programming” and sees it as a reaction to the ever-shifting landscape of television.

Fox is starting out with Cosmos but has other event programming in the works. As The Motley Fool says about Cosmos, “The success of this type of programming isn’t fully reliant on the usual development cycle. It’s not even necessarily built for the long run. It’s built as a way to test the waters and see how viewers respond. Should it work, executives can start crafting round two, but until proven it’s very much a short-term proposition.” Fox is also using Cosmos to bring new viewers to its network, which is better known for Family Guy and Glee. 

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