I’ve worked in the telecom industry for 15+ years. So I’ve seen the evolution of television consumption first hand. We are all familiar with the standard television delivery through a cable company like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast. You are forced to sign up for a package that includes a bunch of channels you don’t care about and they give you a set-top box that you have to connect to your TV. Even though this set-top box is required to use their service, they make you pay a monthly fee to lease it. It is no wonder that more and more people choose to be a cord cutter.
This use to be the only way to get TV service. Recently there has been a change. More and more streaming services are popping up. Giving you new choices in the way you get your TV shows and movies. One of the first services to disrupt the way we consume video was Netflix.
Netflix has now become a household name for watching video on demand titles. Unfortunately, they don’t offer any of the major broadcasting stations or live TV. That is probably the reason that a large percentage of video customers get Netflix in addition to a traditional service instead of replacing it. I have to admit I fell into this category too. It wasn’t till I became truly frustrated with the traditional offerings in my area that I looked to make a change.
Unfortunately when it comes to TV service you don’t have complete freedom of choice. Normally you will only have one choice from a telco provider such as AT&T or Verizon. This is because they have specified territories that they can be in. Fortunately, you do have a choice between other cable providers. The bad news is in the past, the cable companies haven’t been the best to work with. They have a history of low customer satisfaction scores and I have personally had bad experiences when going with a cable company.
This got me looking at the new streaming services. In the past year, there has been an increase in streaming services that offered traditional broadcast stations and live tv offerings. At the time I started looking DirecTV Now was offering a special. They were giving away an Apple TV 4K when you signed up. Their service was only $30/month so I jumped at the offer. It is also great because I can access the service from my mobile phone, tablet, computer, or from my Apple TV. So I canceled my current TV service with AT&T. I got some bad news when I did this though. Without the bundling pricing, my internet service cost was fairly expensive.
For 50Mbps it was going to cost me over $70/mo. This seemed ridiculous to me as there were other companies offering speeds significantly faster. AT&T in my area was capped at 50Mbps. So I started looking at my options. Even though I have had bad experiences in the past, I started looking at cable companies. I found that Suddenlink offered gig speeds in my area.
Since I was looking to save money I didn’t get the gig speeds but did get their 400Mbps service. This was still cheaper than I was paying for 50Mbps with AT&T. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually got speeds over the advertised 400Mbps. I had just come to expect “up to” instead of getting the actual speeds.
After all, was said and done, I got 8 times the internet speeds and tv service that wasn’t tied to a one-use device for significant cost savings. So far I have no complaints and am loving being a cord cutter. Why didn’t I do this sooner?