Cord cutting (or, uh, fraying possibly)

by Ginger on October 19, 2015

in Entertain Me

Over the summer, when I was housebound so much, I watched a LOT of tv. A LOT. But I think I turned our cable on…hmmm, MAYBE once every 2 weeks or so. I thought when the fall rolled around, and fall tv started, that would change, but honestly, it really hasn’t much. I have a handful of shows I watch on “real” tv, but pretty much everything else I’ve been watching on Amazon, Netflix, or the occasional Hulu jaunt. Between that and our recent need to reevaluate our budget, it seemed like a good time to look at cutting cable.

We’ve talked for a while about cutting the cable cord, but we’ve had 4 specific hold outs, mostly for very specific shows–AMC (Walking Dead, but used to also be Mad Men), HBO (Game of Thrones), Cinemax (The Knick), & Starz (Outlander). And until this summer, I couldn’t figure out a way around a couple of those. But honestly, it seemed INSANE to keep 800-odd channels, for 4 shows. I mean, really. The rest of those million channels are just noise.

We finally figured out a decent option, for the time being. We cut our cable package down to the floorboards, but kept HBO & Cinemax–we went from 800 some odd channels, to 31, of which I believe 15 are the premium channels (the rest are the basics like ABC, NBC, PBS, etc., plus a couple of random channels that appear to show 24 & NYPD Blue on repeat. I dunno, things like this are why cable companies are so confusing.). I’m losing Starz, but am ok with catching Outlander after the season airs. We’ll buy season passes for Walking Dead, and any other AMC shows we might be interested in, we’ll buy on an episode by episode basis. (AMC really is putting out some of the best shows on television right now). The current plan is to keep the premium channels until The Knick is over (seriously love The Knick. Also, it’s a freaking GORGEOUSLY made/shot show. If you get the chance to check it out, I highly recommend it–but don’t watch it while eating dinner is my recommendation), then we’ll cancel & get HBO Now for Game of Thrones.But we’ll see how that actually plays out.

Oh, and in the process, we quadrupled the speed of our internet, & cut our bill a pretty hefty chunk.

I know we could cut our bill even more if we lost cable completely & we’re kind of looking at this as a dry run for that possibility. (And maybe between now and then, those other premium channels we’re holding on for will come up w/an option for the cord cutters. I’m not holding my breath though.) But for now, I feel pretty good about losing all the noise of those other 800 odd channels. I’d rather binge watch stuff on Netflix than aimlessly flip through all that nonsense, and I feel pretty good about at least fraying the cord.


Tragic Sandwich October 19, 2015 at 11:48 am

The thing that keeps us from cutting the cord is the DirectTV DVR full of Baguette’s shows. You never know when she’s going to want to see one again. Meanwhile, we watch a couple of sitcoms (but often weeks behind) and Game of Thrones. We spend an insane amount of money for that DVR, and we need to figure a way out of that.

Ginger October 21, 2015 at 12:19 pm

We were able to keep our same DVR, with all the content by going down to the super basic package. I don’t know if that’s something you can do with DirectTV though.

Are any of her shows available on Amazon? It might even be cheaper to buy the individual ones one time, than to keep paying for the DVR…

nonsequiturchica October 20, 2015 at 10:05 am

We cut the cord over a year ago and only regret it for Monday Night Football and now that the Cubs are in the playoffs. We kept basic networks (NBC, FOX, PBS, etc.) and HBO (mainly for Game of Thrones) and save over $100 a month. Now we just use Netflix and Hulu when we want to see things on networks such as Comedy Central. Sure we see them a few weeks later but no biggie.

Cherie October 21, 2015 at 7:36 am

Sooo…I am totally going to out myself as an idiot here but can you explain HBO Now to me? I keep trying to figure it out but the only info on their website seems to be if you already get HBO. Which we don’t. But I might be willing to pay for HBO Now for Game of Thrones if I could figure it out. Which I can’t. Because I’m dumb, apparently.

Ginger October 21, 2015 at 12:25 pm

So HBO Go is the service that you get if you already have HBO. HBO Now is only available on some devices (so, for example, we can get it on the Amazon Fire, but not the PS4, I think), but it’s a standalone service–$15 a month I believe. It used to only be available on Apple TV, but they’ve increased the devices over the last couple of months.
(We obviously don’t actually have it yet, so I can’t speak to whether that’s all how it actually works or not, but that’s what I’ve sort of figured out so far).

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