Can You Eliminate Cable Without Losing Your Favorite Television Shows?

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Regardless of who your cable provider is, you’ve probably stared blankly at the bill each month wondering why you’re paying so much for cable. With so much streaming TV services available: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and others, many are left wondering: Can you really eliminate cable without losing the few cable shows that you enjoy watching?

The short answer: Yes.

The longer answer: Not so fast.

The thing you want to consider if your plan is to eliminate cable is what you use cable for? Do you mostly just surf through the channels for a rerun of How I Met Your Mother? Are you an 11 year Grey’s Anatomy fan and HAVE to tune in to the new episode each week? Are you in it for the movies? And if so, do you like old classics or new releases?

If you are a simple rerun watcher, chances are Netflix will have your show for you. At $7.99 per month, their thousands of movie titles and television series will satisfy whatever restless night you have. However, don’t go to Netflix for this week’s latest episode of Scandal. They do not update their episode lists until well after the season is over.

If you’re a new episode junkie, you’ll want to look into Hulu. Hulu provides a large amount of last night’s new episodes online the next day. So, it’s just like DVR, essentially. You can use Hulu for free, but the advertising is pretty outrageous. Even with a paid account, which you can get a plus account for 3 months free, has some relatively intrusive advertising. It’s up to the person whether this is worth it.

And then there’s Amazon Prime. If you spend most of your cable budget on ordering the latest and greatest movie to watch, then you may want to look into this option. Amazon Prime features newer release movies that you can enjoy. At $99 year (which you pay up front) it averages to $8.25 a month. The one gripe that many have about Amazon Prime is that a large amount of movies are NOT in fact free, but are available for relatively inexpensive rental or purchase. During my 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime, I ended up spending an additional $20 on rentals.

If you’re a combination television watcher, then you may want to get all three services. You’ll end up paying around $25 per month, which is significantly less than most television cable providers (if not all). But this does NOT include internet service, which is a staple of the deal as well.

So, can you eliminate your cable service? Absolutely.

Will it come with some out-of-pocket money, advertising, and a sense of disappointment when your television show or movie is not available? Yes.

For right now, cable service is still a necessary evil to combination television/movie watchers. There’s always hope for a fix, but until then, do you want to borrow my Netflix login?

12 Comments
  1. dkreichen1968 says

    You didn’t even mention OTA television (29, going on 30, channels in my location). Or, Sling, which gives folks ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, TNT, AMC and more for $20 a month. Cable is simply the “old technology” that people who are “out of it” still have. 😉

    1. Kate Colihan says

      You didn’t even mention OTA television (29, going on 30, channels in my location). Or, Sling, which gives folks ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, TNT, AMC and more for $20 a month. Cable is simply the “old technology” that people who are “out of it” still have. 😉

      What I find is that really, cable isn’t the expensive part. It’s the internet. I currently have very limited channels, relatively quick internet, and I’m still paying $120/month. Even if I drop the cable, it’ll take me down to maybe $100. Add on Netflix and Sling and I’m precisely where I left off money-wise, without all of the premium channels that I want.

      Necessary evil, I think. Or maybe “you get what you pay for.” Either way. I just want to not pay tons of money and have my guilty pleasure! 🙂

      1. dkreichen1968 says

        What I find is that really, cable isn’t the expensive part. It’s the internet. I currently have very limited channels, relatively quick internet, and I’m still paying $120/month. Even if I drop the cable, it’ll take me down to maybe $100. Add on Netflix and Sling and I’m precisely where I left off money-wise, without all of the premium channels that I want.

        Necessary evil, I think. Or maybe “you get what you pay for.” Either way. I just want to not pay tons of money and have my guilty pleasure! 🙂

        $100 for internet? That better be smoking!!! If it is, that brings up the question why you would think you need it to be so fast? You only need so much. 7 Mbps works fine for me. I can download anything I want. I can stream in HD. Beyond that, it’s just wasted money.

        1. Kate Colihan says

          $100 for internet? That better be smoking!!! If it is, that brings up the question why you would think you need it to be so fast? You only need so much. 7 Mbps works fine for me. I can download anything I want. I can stream in HD. Beyond that, it’s just wasted money.

          The internet itself is pretty fast, no complaints. However, there are “dead zones” or “weak areas” throughout the city. I live in Philadelphia. This is to be expected. What I did NOT expect is for one of the weak areas to be in my house. The same house the modem is in. We’ve had technician after technician out with zero luck in determining the problem.

          As far as speed, I do a lot of work from home that requres streaming video seamlessly, and I also have two other people who work at my house who do the same, using multiple devices.

          So, long comment short (ha), I’d want to have the quick internet and wouldn’t complain much if it actually worked.

  2. Tim58hsv says

    dkreichen1968

    Wanna give a “Like” to your comment!

  3. MrPogi says

    Please note that Hulu “Free” is only available on a computer – if you want to use a tablet or set top box like Roku, you can only access Hulu’s paid “Hulu+” version.

    1. Kate Colihan says

      Please note that Hulu “Free” is only available on a computer – if you want to use a tablet or set top box like Roku, you can only access Hulu’s paid “Hulu+” version.

      That’s very true. Since there is real “Free” netflix other than the trial, I forgot this point.

      I know that their site currently offers about a week of a trail run for Hulu, but a friend who signed up through their ROKU got 3 months. Those ads though!

    2. dkreichen1968 says

      Please note that Hulu “Free” is only available on a computer – if you want to use a tablet or set top box like Roku, you can only access Hulu’s paid “Hulu+” version.

      Unless you run Playon on your computer.

  4. banslacurry995 says

    What I wouldnt give to have a debate with you about this. You just say so many things that come from nowhere that Im pretty sure Id have a fair shot. Your blog is great visually, I mean people wont be bored. But others who can see past the videos and the layout wont be so impressed with your generic understanding of this topic.

    1. dkreichen1968 says

      What I wouldnt give to have a debate with you about this. You just say so many things that come from nowhere that Im pretty sure Id have a fair shot. Your blog is great visually, I mean people wont be bored. But others who can see past the videos and the layout wont be so impressed with your generic understanding of this topic.

      I’m not sure what you are saying or why! Are you a potential spammer?

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