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We Cut the Cord. Should You?

April 09, 2020
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About six months ago, Elaine and Scott noticed that over the past couple of years, they had added one TV and movie service after another, and the price was beginning to really add up. It was time to re-evaluate all the services that were being used by Elaine, Scott and Ben.

Here is what we were using:

  • DirecTV Satellite service for live TV for Elaine and Scott at home
  • DirecTV Now (renamed ATT TV Now) for live TV at the office
  • Spectrum TV for live TV for Ben
  • NFL Sunday Ticket through DirectTV to see all the NFL games in the Fall
  • Netflix Streaming
  • Netflix mailing 2 DVDs at a time
  • Prime Video (comes with an Amazon Prime membership)
  • Hulu with no commercials for replays of TV shows
  • Disney Plus for classic Disney movies, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and original content
  • Apple TV (free for the first year with a new phone)

These services got added over time and the cost of these services has been steadily climbing over the past few years. The cost really started to add up.

Was it time to cut back or optimize?

Scott started evaluating different options, starting with streaming services for live TV. Popular services include YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, ATT TV Now and Sling TV.

After a thorough evaluation we decided to drop DirectTV Satellite at home and drop ATT TV Now at work. We replaced these with YouTube TV for the following reasons:

  • The cost is only $49.99/month
  • Up to 6 different user accounts
  • 3 simultaneous users
  • Unlimited DVR capacity
  • Can use it on any device that has internet access
  • Includes over 70 channels, including local channels for our area

We kept Hulu with no commercials, Prime Video, Disney Plus and Apple TV.

With the money we saved, we added CBS All Access to get popular series like the latest Star Trek shows. We can order NFL Sunday Ticket as a separate package on its own during the fall for NFL football games.

How to make it all work together?

We wanted a user interface and remote control that is easy to use to run all this on our TV.

After another thorough evaluation, we selected the Roku Ultra. The list price is $100, but it sometimes goes on sale for $80. We bought three, one for each TV in our house and one for our office.

It provides the following benefits:

  • A user interface to move between all the services (the password is input only once and is saved for each service)
  • A search function that looks across all the services to see where content for specific movies or TV shows can be found and then plays directly within the hosting service.
  • A remote control that is easy to use, turns the TV on and off, controls the volume, has mute control and has headphones to redirect the sound from the TV.
  • Scott loves that there is a Green Bay Packers channel!
      

  
Another benefit of this setup is the Roku Ultra can be hardwired to your home router or be wirelessly connected. The wireless connection allows the TV and Roku Ultra to be placed anywhere in the home, without having to run physical wires to each TV location.

We happily cut the cord!

We have been using the new setup for more than 3 months, love it and find it much better.

We find that we now have much more content available to us that is easier to find.

The difference in cost for all the services saves us over $3,000/year.

If you decide to try this, we recommend you have a relatively fast internet service at your home since, all the content is now coming through the internet. Our service at home is from Comcast and has worked without any problems for the past few months.

We began by buying a Roku Ultra and signing up for YouTube TV, which is a very small investment to test the new setup. If you have questions on this, feel free to give Scott a call. He likes this kind of technical stuff as well as saving people money.

With everyone spending more time at home, it might be time for you to give this a try to increase your entertainment options and possibly save money.
 

Elaine, Scott and Linda