Yeah baby! That’s right, I finally did it. I got sick of paying through the nose for cable and internet so I cut the cord. I turned in my digital cable box and internet modem and have been cable-less for about five weeks now. I’m not a tv junkie but there are a handful of shows that I like to watch, but for the most part I haven’t missed it too much. I am a big movie buff and my boyfriend is an even bigger movie buff so we’ve been watching a lot of dvd’s lately at my house.
Cutting the cord from the monopoly of cable companies seems to be a bigger trend lately than I thought. And from what I see, most people figure out what they are going to do as an alternative BEFORE cutting the cord. But not me, I just got fed up of paying almost $200 a month for the minimal time I watch tv so I just ripped it all out and turned it all in. My plan was to figure something out fairly quick but I just kept getting side tracked on it and here I was over a month later staring at a blank 42″ flat screen tv in my living room.
Then yesterday on Facebook one of my friends posted that he was considering getting rid of cable and he had been researching other options. He’s a tech geek so I knew his research would be reliable.
Quickly into the conversation I knew I had my answer. He recommended getting a Chromecast. I was like “Huh? What is this Chromecast that you speak of? And why haven’t I heard of it before?” I think of myself as fairly tech savvy and I’m usually on top of the newest gadgets but lately I have been crazy busy with life and it seems I’m out of the loop.
So off to Google I went and found that it’s a device (that looks like a flash drive) from Google that simply plugs into the HDMI port on the back of the tv and streams audio/video via wi-fi using your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Seriously? How cool is this?! And it’s a one time purchase of only $35.
Then you just download the supported apps and stream away……or as they call it, casting.
It supports YouTube and Pandora which are both free, so I was playing videos on my tv while I was downloading other apps.
I downloaded and signed up for both Hulu Plus and Netflix. Hulu Plus offers the first week for free before being charged $8/month and Netflix offers a month free before being charged $8/month. So I have plenty of time to get a feel for both and decide if I need both or just one of them. Even if I kept both, $16/month is far better than almost $200/month on cable and internet.
Oh so I bet you’re wondering how I’m streaming via wi-fi since I turned in my equipment right? Well, I have awesome neighbors that live upstairs who had no problem with giving me there login to use their wi-fi. I figured that I would need to find internet service that wasn’t through the cable company to make this all work but I didn’t have to. I will get my own internet but for now this works and I have time to figure that out.
So let’s break this down. I don’t have my bill from the cable company with me but I know it was about $180/month rounded up. That’s a whopping $2,160 a year….for television and internet. What a rip off.
I bought the device for $35, and that’s a one time cost. If I end up keeping both Hulu Plus and Netflix that’s $16/month which is $192 a year. I’m not sure I’m going to keep Hulu Plus but for the cost purposes here we’ll assume that I will. There are other apps for the Chromecast that have a monthly membership fee but I honestly don’t feel the need for any of them at this time. The only other piece of equipment that I’m going to get is an antenna so I can watch the free local channels and from what I’ve looked at already, I’ll spend about $50 for that.
So for the first year I’ll end up paying a total of $277 for my tv viewing pleasure, rather than the ridiculous $2,160 for cable. That’s a $1,883 a year savings. And the second year I won’t need to purchase the equipment again so if you subtract that cost of $85, then my second year cost is only $192 for the year. HUGE price difference don’t ya think? I’ll now pay just over the cost for ONE MONTH of cable for the entire year. Such a no brainer.
I seriously couldn’t be any more excited about my decision, I feel liberated even.
I would love to hear from others who have cut the cord and what alternative you use now. Are you happy you made the change? Share your pro’s and con’s of your decision.