Cutting the Cord (Part II)


Business-Insider-Cable-TV-Subscription-Decline-680x500

The numbers don’t lie: more and more folks are canceling their cable / FIOs / satellite services. As the above chart so notes (http://techgage.com/news/cord-cutting-not-slowing-down-decline-of-cable-tv-subscribers-continues/) the slide is gradually growing, particularly in light of faster internet being more readily available – a development which was also recently noted in the Wall Street Journal:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/getting-rid-of-cable-tv-the-smartest-ways-to-cut-the-cord-1405472757?mod=rss_Technology

Likewise, in response to the number of readers contacting the WSJ following publication of their article on this very subject matter, the WSJ followed up with a (rather) brief response in their blog answering just a few basic questions:

http://blogs.wsj.com/personal-technology/2014/07/18/cutting-the-cable-cord-answers-to-your-questions/

Clearly, this is a revolution in the making; a growing mainstream of folks are dropping out and tuning in through other means – and doing so doesn’t require you holding a Master’s in Computer Science or advanced technology. For additional discussion on approaches, here’s one helpful site worth reading if you’re in doubt as to which direction you should consider:

http://www.steve-oh-mg.com/streaming-television-revolution-confessions-of-a-cord-cutter/

And if you’re still in some doubt, here’s another helpful site for the novice cable cutter worth checking out:

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/cord-cutting-guide,news-17928.html

Mind you, it’s a growing market. Amazon, Roku and naturally Apple are all veying for this fast growing cable cutting market segment (for the record, I use Apple TV; just my choice) – so much so that now there’s even a growing developer’s middle market – as witnessed by this sample site:

http://skystreamx.com/cutting-cable-android-tv-box/

And lastly, concurrent with this trend is the growing realization users also have free access to digital TV stations – a fact that many are not fully aware of. In a nutshell, the FCC mandates duly licensed television stations to broadcast not only in their standard / regular VHF range, but also in a variety of upper frequency digital TV broadcast ranges. Many viewers are not aware of the fact that there’s a plethora of free TV routinely being  broadcast 24 x 7.  Below is a very helpful website worth checking out (it’s free) that’ll give you the lowdown on what digital (free) stations are readily broadcasting in your immediate area and what your options are – i.e., whether or not you could be served by an indoor or outdoor antennae, and what direction you’d need to point the antennae toward:

http://www.tvfool.com

Let’s face it: the traditional way of watching TV is changing; channel surfing is morphing into a more direct, focused effort of watching TV. Considering the numbers of channels the typical users gets through their subscriptions balanced against the cost of such services, people are fooled into thinking they’re getting their moneys worth by continuing utilizing the traditional cable / FIOs / satellite services; financial reality says otherwise. Consider: add into the equation the amount of time you spend watching each and every channel you’re paying for you’ll find that it’s a loss for the average consumer – a waste of money.  Think of it this way:

Number of channels / (divided by) Monthly cable bill x (times) Number of minutes spent on each channel

So, let’s say you have 500 channels that you’re paying $150.00 per month; this would come to a $3.30 per channel monthly cost.  Multiply this figure by the number of minutes you watch for any of the channels you watch (to do it right, do a spreadsheet and lay out all of your channel line ups, note how many minutes per month you watch each and every channel you’re paying for and total it up).

Chances are the vast majority of those channels are going to be listed as “0” minutes spent – and therein lies the inherent problem intrinsic with TV subscription services: you’re wasting your money paying for channels you’re simply not watching. Gee, it may be nice to offer you all these channels at seemingly low competitive rates, but are you going to really watch all that?

This is how the traditional cable / FIOs / satellite services work: you’re subsidizing the majority of channels by paying a premium for those select specific channels you tend to view more often; this is necessary as these select channels would likely not be able to exist without these subsidies. This is all well and good, but ask yourself: is your viewing practices offering a true balance between what you’re paying for and what you’re watching?

It all comes down to what and how you use your television.  So ask yourself: what are your viewing practices? Here’s what you do (and it’s rather easy and surprisingly revealing): do a viewing log. Mark down the following every time you turn on the tube:

the channel you’re watching;

the show you’re watching;

how long you’ve watch that show on that specific channel;

Repeat.

Do this for a month and see for yourself. Once you’ve done this ask yourself: are you getting your money’s worth from your TV subscription services?

Given how much it costs per month, you could be looking at anywhere from $1,800 to $2,400 per year you’re paying out for something you’re not really fully using.  Add up over several years and you’ll find yourself paying out serious money for something you’re not fully using.

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