So, I have been continuing to get ready for our move. I’m sitting here on my day off, looking at things. (Ever since I made it known that I am looking for a job, extra hours have become harder to come by. Strange for a hospital that claims to be short staffed, huh? That’s OK. I’m putting in my 2 weeks’ notice next week. I’m taking a month off when the wife’s school is done for the year.)

One of the things I am doing is looking at changing the way that we handle Internet and Television. That system is a ripoff thanks to what they call “bundling.” I have seen Greek instruction manuals that are less confusing than our cable bill. Let me give you an example:

  • They charge me $102 for Internet service that is nominally at 800MBps. When I check it, the best I get is around 50-70 MBps. My in-laws live 2 miles away and are getting 250 MBps, according to speedtest. So I decide that I am not paying for speed that I’m not getting and look to see what a lower speed would save me. Lowering my speed to 400 would actually RAISE my bill by $22 a month. Going to 200 would raise my bill by $34 a month. Yeah, I know that they have a disclaimer that says speed can vary, but only getting 10% of what they are advertising seems to be a bit much.
  • Now on to television. My wife watches far more of it than I do, but I do occasionally watch. Mostly movies, hockey, and old television shows. My wife loves watching shows like medical dramas. I can’t stand those, but we gotta keep the wife happy. They charge us $91 for 185 channels. Cutting it to the 125 channel option would save us a whopping 94 cents per month. If I go to only 10 channels, it would save me $40, but I can get those same 10 channels with an antenna.
  • Then there are the add-ons. They charge us $30 for three cable boxes, another $10 for DVR service, $6 for the remote controls so we can use their cable boxes, and a bunch of other things like sports fees, local service fees, and sales tax. Then they give us some bull hockey ‘discount’ for a “bundle” and our entire Internet/Cable bill? $225 a month. Holy shit.

Believe it or not, this is the better of the providers in our area. We tried DSL. That service has even slower Internet. We tried DirecTV, but every time it rains or even gets cloudy, we lose TV service. It rains in Florida every day.

So I am looking at our new neighborhood. There are two high speed providers in the area, both claiming to offer 1000 MBps. I will be overjoyed to get a quarter of that speed. The cost looks to be $70 a month, but I can’t be sure, as my address doesn’t exist yet, so they won’t give me a quote.

At that point, I think I am going to switch to streaming. My choices, as I see it, are YoutubeTV, DirecTV streaming, or HULU +live TV. Does anyone else have other suggestions?

Categories: Me


Reader · May 1, 2023 at 10:28 am

No matter what, cutting cable TV has improved my life. I do pay for YT only so that I dont get commercials. That saved my kids from seeing some garbage homo informercial when we’re watching a history lesson or other learning videos. I consider that well spent money. F cable tv, its more garbage that you realize. Streaming internet allows more variety at less cost.

    D · May 1, 2023 at 11:06 am

    So much this. I blocked and uninstalled YouTube throughout my house (along with TikTok). The YT commercials are absolutely atrocious. No, I don’t want to have full-screen mandatory ads for a movie about two homos. No, I don’t want pride week banners. No, I’m not interested in watching shows about black families struggling against various issues in the hood.

    YouTube either can’t figure out what various demographics want to watch, or they don’t care and want to shove it in your face.

    I’m betting it’s the latter.

    My family had a game we used to play before we ditched YouTube. Any time a commercial came on, we played “spot the smart white adult male”. Eventually it became “spot the white male”. When it reached “Are there any white people in any of these commercials?” we uninstalled and blocked YouTube.

      Pat H. Bowman · May 2, 2023 at 8:48 am

      Depending on what you want to watch, Philo may be an option. It’s $20/mo and we run it on an 8 year old Roku. Living in rural TN usually means sketchy internet. However, we landed in a house that has fiber to the door, a legit 980 x 480 service for $64/mo. I typically watch YouTube at night from a computer with an ad blocker. All in, we’re well under $100 a month and work pays for my internet. But check out Philo. Been with them for 3 years now.

    Brutus · May 1, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    You could block all of youtube’s commercials by installing an adblock to your browser. U Block Origin works well for me. Why fund the enemy?

JG · May 1, 2023 at 10:28 am

I have a Samsung TV and they provide Samsung TV channels on the TV plus built in internet. I just purchased internet that has unlimited data and it is less than $100 per month at speeds about 400Mbps. I do streaming of PLUTO, TUBI, FREEVEE, and YOU TUBE that are free. There are other internet access free apps that can be used.

I live near my oldest and we watch our grandson on certain days so he has signed up for Disney+, Netflix, and Prime that he has us on so our grandson can get to shows. Me and my wife moved from Georgia in the end of 2021 and retired in SC. The costs of internet was not that much different.

SiG · May 1, 2023 at 10:49 am

We cut the cord several years ago. We did YouTubeTV, Fubo, and are now on Hulu+LiveTV. Fubo was supposed to be better for sports, but it was stuff I didn’t care about, while outdoors stuff I wanted to see was absent.

The actual cable and service we get it all over is the same as we used to get cable TV over: now Spectrum, formerly Bright House networks. We get 200 MBPS regularly, but few providers will supply that. Right now, Ookla (speed test) is saying 352 MBPS. Our cable bill is $80/month.

I think Hulu+live is a wash with YouTubeTV. A few things are better with YouTube (virtually unlimited DVR) while Hulu has more original content. Of course, like all original content anywhere, over 90% of it is crap.

    Divemedic · May 1, 2023 at 10:50 am

    I’m thinking about either Fubu or YouTube at this point.

Stealth Spaniel · May 1, 2023 at 11:00 am

Cut the cable-ASAP! I only do streaming, and nothing has happened in the states/world that I am not aware of. I do Prime, Netflix, Roku, occasionaly YT, and my internet. I pay $67 a month with Astound (Wave) Broadband. It’s buried, so weather doesn’t affect it, I have lost neither speed nor reception for anything. If I make a phone call-when my router died-they are on it. Never have had a problem getting a tech out. The only reason to have satellite is if you are out in the boonies.

D · May 1, 2023 at 11:02 am

As much as I hate the stupid Amazon CIA boxes, it works well for us.

We have two TVs and each one has a FireCube plugged in.

They are signed in to my Amazon account, and since I have Prime, we get a bunch of free shows.

We have the Hulu app installed as well and pay for that as well as Paramount Plus.

No Netflix or Disney Plus. They are the enemy and we cancelled their service years ago and never looked back.

Between Amazon Prime shows/movies, Hulu, and Paramount I get almost everything I’d ever want to watch.

Prime costs something like $140/year, Hulu is ~$17/mo including taxes. Paramount is $10/mo. That makes our TV bill ~$39/mo.

We’re lucky to live in the middle of nowhere. We have some podunk internet provider…that manages to provide 1,000 mbit service (ends up being ~750 in real-world tests) for $150/mo. No “Comcast bundles everything together at a ‘discount’ so they can pad their numbers to the FCC at your expense” garbage.

Honestly, I could probably drop my internet down to their 50 mbit plan for $70/mo and I wouldn’t notice–but I need the higher speed for some of the business things I do.

Every 5-6 months or so, we’ll change our “Amazon Add-On”. It’s currently Paramount, so we could watch all the Star Trek stuff (we’re all trek nerds), but now that we’re all caught up, we’ll drop Paramount and do a different add-on package until we get caught up with those shows. Every year during hockey finals, I will pay $50 or so to be able to watch the finals. During GoT fever, we had HBO for ~6 months. Binged all the GoT episodes, and then watched the last season, was disappointed, then dropped HBO.

Being able to pick add-ons through Amazon’s platform makes it pretty nice. Watch what you want, when you want, and then cancel.

It does seem like Amazon’s selection of “free shit included with Prime” is shrinking, but there’s still a lot of stuff to keep the family entertained.

Matthew W · May 1, 2023 at 1:34 pm

I have NEVER regretted cutting cable/ dish out of the budget

Steve · May 1, 2023 at 1:39 pm

You really won’t know what package is best until you move in. First trick in chord cutting is to get an antenna and see what you can reliably get for free. If your over the air experience is decent you can forget about getting a streaming package with live tv. Just get the basic streaming service its way cheaper, because you won’t be paying rebroadcast fees for free channels. Plus you can try one at a time at the promo rate until you find the one you want.

kevinH · May 1, 2023 at 2:11 pm

We went the streaming route just before Christmas. I chose Fubotv, they have my local station and my regional sports network. No issues with the service whatsoever, no charge for up 5 users on three screens at any one time. The local channel and local sports network were what sold me. The only drawback is the NHL playoffs are on Turner owned channels after the first round, and there are none on Fubo…but I’m a Bruins fan, so that isn’t a big lose.

Skeptic · May 1, 2023 at 4:25 pm

I have Verizon 5G internet, works off of cell towers. The rate is $50/month. Speeds range from a low of 50 to a high of 300. YouTube TV is my TV choice.

DBM · May 1, 2023 at 4:27 pm

I have been very pleasantly surprised with the T-Mobile Home Internet offering. I’m consistently getting ~300 mbps on Speedtest. $50 per month, no contract. Only catch is you need to be somewhere covered by their 5G network. I am testing it as a replacement for Spectrum.

Also – Have you tested your internet speed with a PC directly attached to the modem? Sometimes a sub-optimal network component can be impacting your speed on other devices. I had to upgrade my parents network because it was old and wouldn’t support anything over 100 mbps.

joe · May 1, 2023 at 5:37 pm

i cut the dish cord about a year ago…living room tv is hooked up to internet, we pay for hulu, already have amazon prime, and my netflix is paid by t-mobile with my phone package…i don’t miss dish at all…been enjoying all the old shows on ota stations like H&I and MeTV…way better tv…using brave browser will block ads on youtube and tubi but only for a couple movies at a time…there are several streaming services, but my goal was not to spend as much on streaming as i was spending on dish tv…in my office it’s all ota, i use cheap rabbit ears i got a wally world and have my old ps3 hooked up to watch dvd’s or blueray…even if streaming goes down, i still have 40-50 chans ota and dvd’s i can watch…i live in the semi country so i have direct line sight internet and the best i can get out here is 100 mb down and 20 up…i can live with it, it’s fast enough to stream and game and surf all at the same time…

Sarin · May 1, 2023 at 5:37 pm

We cut the cord way back in 2014. With a move to Japan and living out in town amongst the locals, it was the only way. When we returned to the States in 2017, we decided against cable as it’s exorbitantly priced for what you receive.

We have a few different “smart” devices. Most recent acquisition is a Samsung TV that is great for cord cutters as JG mentioned. We use paramount+, Hulu and a couple others. Roku sticks work pretty well. Bought mine before Netflix went stupid. Lots of freebies and (important for us) Spanish language programming for my Mother in Law. Any product that gets you free content and the apps you want are worth checking out if you agree with their politics.

Pro Tip:
Use a gift card that has the promo amount loaded and a throwaway email to sign up for a promo of a streaming service like Sling or whomever. If you like it, you can transition to your primary account info. If you don’t like it you can let it ride without the hassle of cancellation and jackassery that occurs when you try to cancel.

Will · May 1, 2023 at 5:50 pm

We are paying for 500 gbs. I just checked and got 422.08 down and 374.52 up. We are using ATT fiber. It’s not cheap but we get close to the advertised speeds.

Winterborn · May 1, 2023 at 5:57 pm

Hi Dive, we cut cable a few years ago, have a Prime account (we’re up in Alaska so the shipping saving is of course epic) and get so many stations without any issue at all. We run the highest speed that GCI (local internet company) runs and cutting cord and running our phones through them dropped our bill by over 1/2 for DVR’s we never watched and some terrible local tv we never watched.

Highly recommend fastest internet service and a subscription or two that you want. Wife and Daughter do that, I’m usually on the Youtube or something like it. Amazon as well. Never Netflix, ever again.

BobF · May 1, 2023 at 6:24 pm

I’m 5 minutes off I-4 at Hwy 192, east side. Antenna in the attic gets 92 channels minus Spanish, sell something, and religious. PLENTY of channels and excellent picture. Gets even more if I want to include Tampa area channels. Guy several doors down has two antennae pointed in opposite directions so he can get both eastward and westward directions, we being in the middle. Careful aiming eliminated ghosting and his picture is as good as mine.

Home Run box connected to the antenna near the TV end allows an SSD of any size I want to buy (I use a 2T), rubber banded to it with USB as a DVD. On internal network, so it links and shows as selection in the Roku box.

Roku box sitting on the TV stand with so much free stuff the only thing I pay for is Sling, and it has cloud DVD with enough space I don’t need more, but more is $5 a month.

Oh. I lied I also pay $6.xx a month for a package of channels so I can watch professional rodeo on the Cowboy Channel. 🙂

No matter what route you take, I’ll bet you will breathe really fresh air when you cut the cable. Wish I’d done it a LOT sooner, but I was afraid of the change. Hey, at my age, change is usually not good, eh?

I won’t wish you good luck as you are already headed down a road in the right direction.

Joe Blow · May 2, 2023 at 6:19 am

As a malcontent, I really hate evrything media. I am only one person, so I vote with my wallet.
Wifey has a couple hacked and cracked firesticks, we get everything, cost her an afternoon and 30 bucks in bitcoin (THAT was the hardest part she said). Fuck the cable companies, been getting rich off you and me for decades.

oldvet50 · May 2, 2023 at 6:41 am

We cut the cable in 2018 and are streaming with Hulu. We also bought the Tablo so we could record off our outdoor antenna. We are probably saving over $100/mo. now (since we still have to pay for internet and the hulu subscription). We have already binge-watched several old shows (Dallas, Little House, Waltons, etc.) because they do not have ANY woke messages to cram down our throats! The current technology allows we to wallow in the past!

EN2 SS · May 2, 2023 at 5:03 pm

I cut the dish and cable two years ago, use an antenna on the roof aimed at the most transmitting towers 45 miles away, we get a ton of channels for free to not watch. The Samsung and LG TVs provide their own channels, a bunch, to not watch either. An, of course, there is the internet to stream things not worth watching. Xfinity internet comes with a Flex box, with several paid subscription streaming services and all kinds of channels to ignore. Life is good in the ignore zone.
Was paying lots of money for lots of channels not to watch, now they are all free to ignore.

Unknownsailor · May 2, 2023 at 6:47 pm

I am not inclined to give any of the ass holes busy flushing our society down the toilet any money at all, so all I have is 940 mbit down Centurylink fiber @$65/mo. I sail the high seas for content I want.

I used to have Comcast, but I was getting 130/18 with basic cable for $130 a month. When Centurylink came to the neighborhood offering fiber, I switched in a heart beat.

I hate advertisements, too, so I run pi-hole on a Rasberry Pi 3b on my home network, and DNS black hole all advertising and tracking links. I also run ad-blockers on my browsers, so literally I don’t see any ads, anywhere, even on YouTube.

Chumlee · May 14, 2023 at 9:12 am

I have Samsung TV, Pluto, Tubi, and internet/Youtube options on our set that cost nothing. Basic internet is $50.00/ mo. All of the stuff we watched on pay cable are on the the free channels, except current network shows that I have no interest in anyway, which will also be reruns on the free channels in due time.
I can wait for them if I want, still saving $200.00/ month for not having a hundred+ extra channels I pay for that I never watch.

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