Saturday, June 18, 2011

Netflix vs. Cable - Cutting the Cord

Yahoo! has an interesting article up regarding the number of people who are cutting back or cutting off cable after purchasing Netflix.  It seems that purchasers of Netflix are at least twice as likely to cut back on cable as those without Netflix.  This is what my wife and I did, and we think it is a great way to save money.

Here's how it happened for us.  When we moved into our apartment two years ago, we were given a great move in special for internet and basic cable.  After a year, the cost jumped over $40/month.  However, because the picture quality and reliability was much better with cable than the old-fashioned rabbit ears, and because we really liked TBS (think Conan O'Brien) and WGN (my wife is a Chicago-area native), we stuck with the cable for another 10 months.  In retrospect, this was a really bad idea.

Finally, approximately 2 months ago, after discussing Netflix for some time, our cable company moved TBS to the premium channels.  At that point, we were paying about $65/month for over-the-air channels, WGN, and some home shopping networks.  It simply was not worth the cost, when we could get Netflix (with movies by mail) for $10/month, and internet for $25/month, thus saving us $30/month.

So 2 months ago, we made the switch, and we could not be happier.  In addition to having $30 extra each month (that's $360/year!!), we now have access to more programing than we ever could have dreamed.  I have seen all the movies I missed over the last few years, plus have caught up on almost all of the premium cable programing that we didn't even have access to when we had cable!

A word of warning: We have the slowest speed of internet offered by the local cable company.  Our cable company tried (and continues to try) to sell us on a faster speed for the internet.  I admit I don't play games on the internet, and I don't do much other than read websites.  However, my wife and I have found the slower speed does not affect our Netflix or HULU (another great source for free tv) streaming, especially the streaming done through the Wii.  Anything that involves pictures can be a little slower, but overall, the slightly slower speed is rarely noticeable, and even when it is, it is well worth the $20 or so we save each month by using the slowest speed.

My advice: Cut the cable cord.  It is not worth the cost.