This article, entitled "8 Reasons to Consider Reconnecting to Cable," comes from SavingsAngel.com.
You’ve done it. You’ve cut the cord to satellite TV and kicked cable to the curb. Convinced that the savings you’ll gain by dropping these expensive forms of entertainment will free up plenty of money for other things. But has it? What are you doing instead that is costing you? It’s not uncommon for cord cutters to seek entertainment elsewhere.
Are you buying more high priced video games at $25-$50 a pop? $22 BluRays to watch something high resolution on that big high-def TV you bought last year? Going to the movies more often? Don’t get me started on how much that could cost – although I’ll be the first to admit I love going to the movies with my family!
Maybe you’re using a multitude of other monthly services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime or others? They aren’t free either and not necessarily cheap if you tack on the cost of individual programs or movies you want to see. Netflix recently raised their prices a dollar to $8.99 a month. Hulu Plus is $8 a month. Amazon Prime jumped from $79 to $99 a year. Are there other streaming services, subscriptions, or on-demand entertainment you purchase to make up for your lack of cable?
When it’s all said and done… the channels, TV shows, and sporting events that you and your family enjoyed may not be available even with the multitude of cable alternatives you’re using. Sure. Cable can carry with it a higher price tag – but if you are only saving $10 to $20 (after adding in your cable alternatives) and giving up some entertainment and information options you really love, is it worth it? Remember to subtract the bundled cable Internet to figure out what your cable TV bill really is for comparison.
Again – it’s great if you’ve adjusted and you don’t miss the access to options – but it’s my job to ask you to weigh your costs vs. benefits. If access to high-quality, endless choice programming was valuable to you and you end up stacking multiple alternatives and still miss the old options, nobody is going to shame you for reconnecting.
For some, going back to cable or getting that satellite up and running again just isn’t going to happen. They’ve learned to adjust and life is good. For others, there may be reason to re-consider. Consumer experts the world over (including myself) have predictably beat the drum of cutting your cord – but this consumer expert is going to do the unthinkable and ask…
Why would you want to consider going back to cable?
1. TV Technology has improved over the past couple years
As an home entertainment geek, I recently took advantage of a promotional offer to try XFinity’s new X1 platform. It’s worlds better than the last cable/satellite provider my family and I used. The ability to control my receiver, and every DVR function including advanced searching and timer setting with my phone and tablet from anywhere is incredibly convenient. The user interface, built in apps, and is also worth taking a peek at. While you are comparing prices and promotional offers from cable/satellite providers in your area, ask to see the coolest new receivers – and how they connect with any tablets or smart phones you have.
2. Picture quality. For one, you didn’t shell out the money for a big high definition TV just to get inferior picture quality. Who likes watching compressed video on a big screen? On-demand services have been improving – but very little exists that can match a good HD signal offered through a modern cable service. Yes. The picture quality with a digital antenna is fantastic if you only watch network programming. Do you have favorite cable channels that you’d enjoy more on the TV you’ve invested in?
3. News, sports, and other live programming. Is there live sports programming on ESPN that might be worth the difference in cost? A favorite news channel that has left you watching small online video clips instead? Maybe the alternatives suffice – but are the entertainment options you’ve substituted out-costing a cable bundle?
4. Movies and shows not on Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime. Take a look at a website: CanIStream.it and compare which movies and shows are available where. This is a great site which includes all the major streaming platforms including Xfinity, which includes thousands of shows on demand. My wife and I have been able to watch a couple shows that weren’t available via Hulu Plus nor Netflix.
5. Tired of Spoilers? Does it seem like everyone is talking about the latest episode of the hot new series and you end up having to constantly leave the room because you’re waiting for it to show up on Hulu Plus or Netflix? TV is a social medium – and there are more ways than ever to connect with fellow viewers thanks to social media and tv and second screen apps. If you’ve never read twitter during a major sports event or political debate, do it. It’s a riot.
6. Do you need the big bundle? Maybe the one channel you and your significant other miss most watching together is AMC, Discovery, or Food Network. Save yourself $10 to $40 monthly and don’t bother with the higher level or premium movie packages. And, it should go without saying that bundled voice services can often be overpriced. My favorite voice provider if you need a line in the home is Ooma. It’s close to free after you buy the $145 phone. (Click here to learn more about cutting your phone service).
7. TV where you want it. After my cable reconnection, I’ve been able to stream sports, news, and kids channels on my tablet and phone – which can be very cool depending on the situation. There are over 50 streamable cable channels. With Xfinity, you can download TV shows and movies from several movie channels to your device and watch them offline.
8. Switch teams every year (or at least threaten to) and you can get a great deal. Most cable and satellite providers will give you a great 1-year deal – which I recommend comparing providers to see who works best for you. After your one year period, act as a free agent and see what offers other providers will offer. You may get a great offer to renew for another year when you call your cable company to let them know you’re shopping around. Sometimes, you’ll need to call your cable company a couple times to get their best offer (which should be very close to the best offer given to new customers). Sometimes, you’ll actually need to cancel to get the best “come back” offer. This means you should call your old cable company and let them know you’re considering coming back for the right offer. Yes – it’s a little work – and never be afraid to hang up the phone without getting your cable established if you didn’t get a great price to stay. It’s worth it if you can save $200 to $300 a year and still enjoy all the latest programming and technology I’ve illustrated above.
If you don’t get an offer immediately and alternatives don’t look so good, you can always use this month or two off to experiment with the latest cable alternatives.
Are you a cable/satellite subscriber? Or not? We’d love to hear your take on this subject in the comment section below. Also – I was only able to share my personal experience with Xfinity. I’d like to hear if you enjoy your cable or satellite TV’s latest features.
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