The One Reason You Need to Cancel Your Cable TV

Justin Pot 09-11-2015

If you don’t watch sports, paying for cable is a waste of money Considering Canceling Cable? The True Cost of Cutting the Cord When you add everything up, do you really save money by cutting the cord? We do the math involved with cancelling cable in favor of Internet services. Read More . Cord-cutters know this well 4 Real Benefits of Cutting Your Cable Cord In the end, I decided to cut the cable. Abstaining from cable television has a number of advantages. Read More , of course. However, cord-cutting is an over-reported phenomenon.


The bigger trend is people who have never paid for cable, and never will: the cord-nevers. Adweek reports that by 2025 half of Americans won’t pay for cable, and people who have never had cable are a big reason why.

This is often presented as being about money, and that is sometimes a factor: cable TV can easily cost upwards of $100 a month. But cord-nevers aren’t usually skipping cable because they’re cheap, or because they can’t afford it: they’re skipping cable because the Internet is better at video than TV ever was.

If you just want to watch something, right now, cable TV is a crappy way to do it, and cord-nevers know it. Here’s what they have figured out, and what you can learn from them.

TV Channels Are Weird


Humans have a habit of confusing “familiar” with “intuitive”, which is fair enough: once you know how to do something, it feels intuitive.


This is why longtime Mac users think Windows isn’t intuitive, and vice-versa: they haven’t spent years learning how to use the platform, so there’s a lot of things they need to re-learn. People forget that at some point they learned their Mac-specific habits, and unfairly blame the need to learn new ones on Windows.

We all do this, without realizing it. So if you grew up watching cable TV, you probably think it’s the simplest way to watch things: turn on the device, then change channels until you find what you want. But this is only intuitive to you because you know how to do it – because it’s familiar.

To cord-nevers, cable TV isn’t intuitive at all. To start, you can only watch shows when they’re “on” – a concept that seems simple, but only because you learned it at some point.


You need to work out if something you want to watch is “on”, and you need to know what “channel” is broadcasting it. Channels seems intuitive, because you’re used to them, but they’re actually kind of weird, being 24/7 video streams that, unlike online video, only show particular shows at particular times.

Because there are so many channels, and all of them broadcast different things at different times of the day, you need some sort of reference to work out what is on when.

For a long time this meant checking the newspaper, or a dedicated magazine, but most televisions now have a built-in interface you can browse – slowly. These generally include channels that you can’t watch, because you’re not paying for them, and various other bits of irrelevant information you just have to sort through.

YouTuber Hank Green outlined just how frustrating this all is:


Cable Isn’t Intuitive: It’s Insanely Complex

Cable isn’t intuitive: it’s a complex system that you’re used to. Compare this to Netflix or Hulu, where you just search for what you want to watch and then watch it until you run out of episodes, and the idea of watching a “channel” when something is “on” seems unnecessarily complicated. And all of this isn’t even mentioning the Byzantine “bundling” system you need to navigate just to set cable up.

Cable doesn’t just cost more than online video: it’s worse.

Sure, you could set up a DVR to watch shows whenever you want, but that’s just adding even more complexity to an already complex system.

Instead of watching something when it comes out by streaming it directly, you’re recording it from a 24/7 stream to your own hard drive – meaning you’ve now got to program a piece of scheduling software and manage files on a hard drive. I’m not saying it’s rocket science, but it also isn’t intuitive: just familiar.


This isn’t to say Web video isn’t complicated: certain shows are only on certain services, and it can be hard to work out what’s where. Amazon’s video service doesn’t work on Chromecast, for example, and there are tons of other inconsistencies like that.

However, whereas online video is increasingly easier to use, cable seems to be getting more complicated over time. New layers of complexity are bundled on top of an obsolete system.


Personally, every time I visit a hotel I’m amazed at how complicated it is to find anything worthwhile on TV. I usually give up, then fire up my laptop if I feel like watching something – ignoring the big screen across the room.

I’m not alone: for an increasing number of people, the simplest way to settle in for the night and watch something isn’t cable: it’s Netflix, or a similar video service. Learning the complex system that is cable television wouldn’t make watching things easier for them, and that’s why they’re not interested.

This is why I think SlingTV isn’t the future of television TV Channels Are Dead: Why Sling Isn't The Future Of Sports TV Kids don't watch channels; they watch shows. Worse, TV channels have been an obstacle for comprehensive coverage of live sports events. Sling doesn't solve that. Read More : it’s built around channels, and channels are an anachronism. Increasingly people don’t care about channels: they care about shows.

Commercials Are the Worst

You probably don’t love commercials, but you put up with them – despite paying for cable. Netflix doesn’t have commercials Calm Down, Cord Cutters: Those Ads on Netflix Are Just Trailers Is Netflix going to become just like any other TV network, where you have to sit through commercials while watching a television show or movie? Let's sort the fact from fiction. Read More , and when you’re not used to them, commercial interruptions are jarring. Kids who grow up with Netflix won’t have the patience for them.

It seems like even Comcast is aware of this: NBC, its subsidiary, is launching a commercial-free comedy service later this year so you can binge-watch comedy shows like Monty Python, Saturday Night Live, and The Office without ads.


Hulu, a collaboration between several broadcast networks, also offers an ad-free service. Cord-nevers hate commercials, and media companies are starting to figure this out.

Cable Is Terrible Tech With Great Content

It would be crazy to say that cable doesn’t offer anything of value: there are all kinds of shows you can’t watch without it, at least not without waiting. And trying to watch sports without cable is convoluted at best.

However, none of this is because cable television is a good technology: it’s all to do with licensing. Basically, right now, TV channels – with all their unnecessary complexity and mood-killing commercials – are the entities that are paying for the rights to most content.

This is temporary. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are all ramping up their original programming efforts, and HBO Now is already available without cable HBO Now Set to Launch in April, Apple Delays iPad Pro Until September [Tech News Digest] HBO Now is coming soon, Apple delays the iPad Pro, EA closes Maxis, Chromebook battery killers, The Smithsonian bans selfie sticks, and Chappie explores artificial intelligence. Read More . In the longterm, cable TV as we know it will cease to exist, and Web TV will win. In the short term, you can get a much better entertainment experience by ditching cable early, and cord-nevers can show you the way.

Cable sucks, and the younger generation has realized it’s a relic of the past that is no longer necessary. It’s for this reason, and this reason alone, that they’ll never get cable TV, and why you should cancel it sooner rather than later.

Do You Agree That Cable TV Sucks?

Let’s talk more in the comments below.

If you have cable, let me know what you like and don’t like – and ask any questions you might have. If you’re a cord-cutter, talk about what you do and don’t miss. Or, if you’re one of the growing number of cord-nevers, let’s talk about which Internet services you use instead.

I’m personally pretty happy with the PVR I set up to record free broadcast TV How to Watch Live Broadcast TV Using Kodi and NextPVR Watch and record broadcast TV, free of charge, using your PC. It's perfectly legal, and a free Windows program called NextPVR makes the process (relatively) simple. Read More , and the alternative sites for watching shows I’ve found Watch Mystery Science Theatre and Other Classic TV for Free Right Now For every cord cutter. Watch classic TV shows – like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Twilight Zone – or beloved cult classics – like The Weird Al Show and Mystery Science Theatre 3000... Read More , but I’m sure you have other tips to share with the group.

Image Credits: Big pile of cables by Peter Gudella via Shutterstock

Related topics: Hulu, Netflix, Online Video, Television.

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  1. cuckfable
    May 14, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    The problem is that now, "cord cutting" services have become "online cable" services, only worse. Forced commercials, wonky user interfaces, bandwidth and indexing hangups, manipulative forced overlord tech nerd knows what's best using advanced analytics, etc. Hulu down, psvue no local channels, sling overpriced basic cable from the 90's, etc. The market capitalists have taken over and now everything is protected, chopped up, doled out in overpriced chunks, and they call it "freedom." I'm going back to cable now that you can pick your own channels for basic cable at around 20/month, have dvr service, get a viewing guide to see what's coming on later and easily dvr it, no constant updates and downloads. Sure, it'll have a few outages occasionally, but Hulu and psvue are out constantly and have bandwidth impotence.

  2. SixyTwofer
    December 15, 2016 at 5:42 am

    The problem as I see it is that online TV is slowly becoming like cable. Netflix is reducing its library and focusing more on original productions like "Stranger Things". Increased competition in the marketplace (e.g. from HBO Now) will mean the day will come where you need to subscribe to 10+ services just to get a decent range, which will reduce any cost-saving advantage. Then some cable company will come along and bundle them together and you'll be stuck with these assholes forever.

    Plus, Netflix could become a repeat of Enron much sooner than anyone thinks. Enron was massively popular and enjoyed an overinflated stock price despite their negative cash flow. Netflix is in the exact same situation. It needs to reconsider how it funds it original series. Estimates showed that the average viewer completed an entire season in just 5 days. That means they demand a new season faster than they otherwise would. And yet, Netflix borrows money to fund these shows over a many years basis. Which means they are piling up their debt to an obscene level.

    Not to sound like a fear mongeror, but Netflix needs to change something to survive. I love Netflix and all their original series but I fear for how long they can continue. Being popular and making lots of money doesn't ensure success.

  3. Jim Willis
    November 17, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Whilst in England I saw the BBC - they have it right. On demand pick anything you want, you can search by title or topic. No PVR needs to be set to record and commercial free.

    Clare that with the BBC America or BBC Canada - unwatchable and full of ads.

    I would subscribe to BBC UK the same as Netflix if they had it available here.

    • Justin Pot
      November 17, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      In England, the government forces everyone to pay for th BBC if they own a TV. I'm not sure you could get Americans on board with that system...

      • cuckfable
        May 14, 2018 at 8:35 pm

        Everyone pays for PBS in America.

  4. Eric
    November 17, 2015 at 12:57 am

    How about compiling a list of websites that people can watch tv for free. I like The Walking Dead but if you don't have a cable subscription you can't watch it on their website. Many other cable channels are like that too, kinda makes it hard to cut the cord.

    • Justin Pot
      November 17, 2015 at 1:44 am

      You can get a lot of The Walking Dead on Netflix I believe, but if you're looking for piracy we can't help you.

  5. Yoni
    November 16, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Cut the Cords on POTS using VOIP almost 10 years ago. With Vonage/Sunrocket/Grand Central (Google acquisition aka Google Voice).
    Had HSI since about 99 bought modems outright.
    I was a beta tester for Hulu back in 05' or 06'. Now Hulu is barely tolerable with 1-2 Rx (Big Pharma) and unregulated volumes on Commercial when your constantly changing volume up/down because audio on commercials blares at what seems to be 20-25% louder than shows. Used to get basic cable because it was same price either way till they added $1.50 for brodcast TV. Even then never watched any thing on basic Cable.

  6. Howard
    November 16, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Now that I use Netflix and internet tv. Comcast now wants more money$$ for internet service a month.

  7. Anonymous
    November 13, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    I still have cable and supplement with Kodi, Netflix and Amazon Prime. I would cut the cable if I thought my wife could navigate TV on other than cable. Unfortunately, there is no chance of that. I hardly ever watch live TV because of the commercial, so I DVR a lot or binge on the other services.

  8. Fik of Borg
    November 13, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Online TV is way better... but not with the meager 1Mb bandwidth of Venezuela's socialist ISP (8Mb tops in a few areas, half a Mb in others). It doesn't help that we only get permission from the government to spend a meager $300 annually per person.

  9. Anonymous
    November 13, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Very interesting article. People are tend to watch online rather on traditional TV. I myself use PureVPN to unblock entertainment sites and watch it on my laptop for instance Netflix.

  10. VW
    November 12, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Still have cable. Watch either On Demand or DVR shows. Have Roku and Netflix, too. Just want to watch, when I want to watch... Rent DVDs, too. (We also watch sports here a lot.) So for now, still worth it to have cable.

    • Justin Pot
      November 13, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      You pay a lot for entertainment, but if you use it all regularly it might be worth it for you!

  11. Karl
    November 12, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    I canceled cable long ago. Couldn't stand the commercials, poor service and low quality programming.

  12. Peter
    November 12, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Exactly the point I've been making: it's not just about the money, it's about the quality of the content. I'm a baby boomer who cut the cord when I discovered that the movies, documentaries, and shows I enjoy are readily available on the internet via Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and other streaming sites for a fraction of the price of even a basic cable subscription.

    Even better, this inexpensive or free streaming content is ad-free or ad-limited. To have a show frequently interrupted by obnoxious commercials ruins the viewing for me, and so I'm willing to pay a little extra to be rid of the completely (i.e., Hulu ad-free).

    For about $90 less than I paid for my Comcast cable bundle, I now have access to huge libraries of great viewing content on-demand, all playable through my Roku 4, Kodi box, or iPad (great for waits at auto dealerships and hospital stays). Sling TV gives me access to sports programming, and, with all its commercials, serves to remind me of one of the main reasons I left cable in the first place.

    • Justin Pot
      November 13, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      I think more and more people are going to realize this, but in the short term the "ease of use" of cable is keeping a mass of people static. At some point this is going to change

  13. Anonymous
    November 11, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    I'm surprised that no one is really bringing up broadcast TV (OTA) as a supplement. I'm a cord-never. I use all streaming for a great TV experience, but when it comes to the weakness of sports or brand new episodes, most people are able to get TV over the air. I actually have better TV quality than my friends with cable, too. I get all my live sports in HD and for free every month. Then use Netflix for the general TV or movie entertainment. I'm hours away from any major city and I receive these OTA:

    NBC, ABC, FOX, CW, PBS, CBS, and many more. So I get to watch NFL, the PGA Tour, the ATP, the NHL, the NBA, cycling, extreme sports, etc. Plus I get to keep current with my favorite shows if I decide I can stand the commercials that particular day.

    My antenna setup cost me approximately $125 one time. No equipment in the house. My total monthly media expenditure is $12.00 per month.

    • Justin Pot
      November 13, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      I have an antenna set up with a homemade DVR, and I love it, but man: I need to figure out how to get better reception.

  14. alsingingteacher
    November 11, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    The ONLY reason I have cable (16 channels I almost never watch) is because it actually costs about 40% more to just have internet.

    • Justin Pot
      November 11, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Make sure you review this every year, because they'll tell you that during the first-year deal but it's usually not true long term. There are exceptions, of course, just keep this in mind.

    • Scott
      April 25, 2019 at 2:40 am

      Some people also get the minimalist package to get local channels (and their subchannels)when they are out of range of OTA digital (even with amplified outdoor antenna)...an expense, but not too high if that is what you want/need.

  15. Anonymous
    November 11, 2015 at 5:08 am

    I gave up on TV a long time ago, 10 years ago I started streaming content to my PC.
    I move to Colombia so watching anything in English was next to never.
    Back then I used VLC to stream now I just use XBMC Kodi for the past 6 years.
    I just add 3MU files and just watch any channel or movie at any time.
    Internet has no caps here, I pay for phone, internet and cable is $75.00 US
    I get 10 mbps unlimited access, my average 9.42 mbps down 3.34 mbps up stream.
    I go back to US and I see how limited everything is, I do not miss it.
    My total billing in the US for cable & internet in Miami $85.00 plus Hulu and amazon prime
    was $45.00.
    and it was only 5 mbps at most, com-cast told me it was 10 mbps.
    So do I miss cable no, do I watch what I like yes.
    XBMC is all that I need, and the cable is just for my wife.

  16. Anonymous
    November 10, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    I do not have cable tv, and cut the cord about 4 years back. I do have Netflix and enjoy the freedom to watch what I want when I want.

    Cable frustrated me because it forced me to buy packages that had only one channel I watched.

  17. Anonymous
    November 10, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    If you own a TiVo, you simply turn on the TV and any show you've asked TiVo to find and record, without knowing which channel, day or time it played or is going to play, is recorded and ready to watch at my convenience. Currently I have over one hundred shows I want to see, ready and waiting for me. I never search live cable for a show. Of course I've been doing this for 15 years and younger folks haven't had the opportunity to learn about the easy interface to the TiVo search algorithms. You never have to ask yourself "what do I want to watch now?". You simply tell TiVo when you hear about a show you want to see and it finds it, records it for you and it's available when you want to watch TV.

    • Justin Pot
      November 10, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      That sounds a lot nicer than the boxes the cable companies give you, at least.

    • Anonymous
      November 11, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      It is great, but that service from TiVo costs even more money every month on top of your cable bill.

  18. Anonymous
    November 10, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Unfortunately, cable is a necessary evil. Right now I'm paying $186/mo for my bundled services and if I wanted to only have internet I would be paying no less than $80.00/mo as none of the other independent services are in my area. A lot of these online subscriptions require you to sign on with your cable credentials so that makes it necessary to also have cable. There's really no cutting the cord if you actually love TV and I do loves me some TV. Roku sucks...it's for old people. We had it and there was never anything good on there that we couldn't watch on netflx or Amazon. We ended up returning it. So if you are paying just for internet and netflix, amazon prime and hulu non commercial service you are already paying the full freight of a bundled cable bill so the money justification doesn't work here. Cable continues to be a necessary evil until internet --- the SAME internet we all access at the same place, becomes more affordable and that does not look like that's ever going to happen, especially under the present regime.

  19. Anonymous
    November 10, 2015 at 1:21 am

    Still using cable for a number of reasons:
    1) bundled with internet, cell and telephone I reduced the cost of cable by about 40.00 a month. As well, our provider has smaller, cheaper cable packages (more a la carte than traditional cable) lso we get less of what we don't want and more of what we do.
    2) a lot of online subscription services are not available or are restricted here in Canada
    - Netflix in Canada is a different experience
    3) as mentioned, local programming is a problem: some shows are not streamed on the net
    4) the major USA networks do not allow Canadians to use their websites to stream. Same issue with most of the 'specialty" networks. If a Canadian network does not carry the show, streaming on the web is not an option. There are "workarounds" for this issue, but, legally they are at best 'grey' and represent more time, energy and money than I care to expend.
    5) as mentioned, sports sucks on the internet. None of the local sports teams live-stream and all major league sports are still tied to cable.
    6) with three tablets, three computers and a couple of smart phones competing for bandwidth, streaming can be an "interesting" experience in our house!

    • Justin Pot
      November 10, 2015 at 5:01 am

      You make some good points, but for hockey at least Gamecenter in Canada gives you access to all games. I may or not know this because I may or may not use a Canadian VPN to possibly maybe bypass the occasional maybe blackout.


      • Anonymous
        November 10, 2015 at 3:50 pm

        Gamecenter in Canada does NOT give you access to all games. You cannot access games that are on cable broadcast in your area. That's part of the deal with the people that own the broadcast rights. YEs, you can work around it with a VPN, but that's breaking the law, right?

  20. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Wish I could watch on my pc but my att dsl only works at .3mbps...

    • Anonymous
      November 10, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      And this is the biggest issue with online media distribution - lack of bandwidth in certain regions that is good enough to comfortably stream. Once high speed internet has propagated to more places and people, then old school cable and satellite companies will be very scared about losing customers to streaming online outlets.

  21. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    @Justin there are solutions...

    Netflix and Amazon and Hulu are great subscription services. Low to no commercials and low fee for yesterday's episodes. Downside though is you can not watch live or have to wait sometimes for the episode to be released, the content bubble that is great for finding similar does not allow for discovery of other shows that you might not have even heard about by flipping, channel guide, or commercial preview.

    HBO Go/Now and other channels rolling their own al'la cart service is great if you only watch a few channels. Once you add up though $10 per channel times 5 channels and you quickly have the same cost of cable. Even if the cable company themselves went al'la cart it would end up cost the consumer more than a "packaged service"

    Since the late 90's networks have been looking at finding alt revenue streams to not only stay afloat but to afford the cost of producing, writing, special effects, and cost of actors. One way was to introduce product placements after the production of a show so they can charge and change a product as needed. This was show down as people were in uproar about possible placements in older shows would disconnect the audience (New cereal box in an episode of "I love lucy")
    Although. They have been using more products in the background of current shows more with name brands instead of black marking them out to get some revenue. (Hint look at the cigarette carton in every episode of big bang theory and then wonder who smokes menthols) We want to see them use actual products and be a small part of that show, but also refuse to have some brands or items.
    Why not take a page from overseas ? BBC takes the tv taxes and uses that to produce not as many different shows but tries and produce a higher quality of the few shows they do have. Instead of the big networks having repeated channels they could slim down the network to the base essential of what they are offering. Then the networks could offer themselves as a package (most channels are disconnected from their own parent network online resulting in a confusing can not catch up to the current episode, only showing highlights even though this is a sister network thing)
    Or they could take a page from the asian market. Products are featured and promoted in the season naturally. So LG phone would sponsor and everyone would use a LG phone in the show, Kia supplied the cars, clothing by x company. This would be done with a contract stating x many episodes for x length at x seasons. So the only commercials you would see would be a preroll and sometimes a mid roll.
    Where as we have an increasing commercial segment breaks that went from two to three and now four or five for a 30min show.

    Cable cutting is nice and has its advantages... at the same time with all the providers serving a min speed that is decent enough to watch Netflix at the cheapest plan, the cable companies are looking to that market segment for more revenue. http://www.slashgear.com/comcast-to-subscribers-pay-extra-or-face-300gb-data-cap-02401038/

    6 / 12 the cable companies are going to fight for their revenue streams on top of the revenue from the networks.

  22. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Haven't paid for cable tv service since 2001. internet only since.

  23. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    I cut the cord years ago and it was all about money. We were paying over $100 for a bazillion channels that all sucked. Right now I am subscribed to Netflix and Hulu. There is so much stuff to watch between those 2 that you'll never be left bored. If you buy the Roku boxes, there are tons of free movie and TV services like Crackle and others. We typically do not stray from Netflix and Hulu though. Maybe the occasional Amazon Prime or other source.

    But once you cut cable and get used to the on-demand, instant streaming, commercial free TV service, going back to cable is just a nightmare. I travel for work and I ended up picking up a Amazon Fire TV stick just to have something to watch in the hotel.

    Cable companies are pricing themselves out of business. They got greedy. I swear cable shows are 50% commercials now. Which is ridiculous. You are paying for content, not commercials. If you want to show me commercials (that they sell ad space and pocket the cash) then I should get the cable channels for FREE. If you want me to pay $100 for the service, then it should be commercial free. Honestly I would pick up cable again if it was $50 and commercial free, which seems about in line with the current offerings.

  24. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    I've never had TV service. I grew up on antenna-only and in 20 years of adult life I've never bothered with TV at all. I can get the weather or local-ish news from the internet and I don't care about sport. I don't see the value in paying hundreds of dollars a month for TV services. I can't imagine a modestly tech-savvy young adult looking at how traditional TV services work and thinking that it's a good option for service.

    • Justin Pot
      November 9, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      A lot of people feel the same way as you, I think.

  25. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    My biggest problem with this is that I am not going to run a bunch of cables across the floor from my laptop to my TV to make this work. AND I'm not going to spend big bucks if that's what it takes to do it wirelessly without very good assurances it will work and work well !

    Finally I must be able to use my laptop as I regularly use it while doing this also.

    Now tell me how easy this is ?

    • Anonymous
      November 9, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      Super Easy. Just buy a $50 Roku box for all of your streaming/TV services. It has a remote and more "channels" (Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, Youtube, SyFy, History, Amazon, GoogleTV, etc) than you can ever watch. It runs separate of any other device, so you can use your laptop, tablet, and phone as you normally would without interrupting your TV service.

      You plug in the Roku via HDMI and sign in to your accounts and enjoy.

      • Anonymous
        November 9, 2015 at 11:05 pm

        For best connection speed, my router and cable modem are under my TV. So I've exchanged a coax for an internet cable. With a relatively inexpensive Roku, your laptop isn't needed.

    • Justin Pot
      November 9, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      There are so many different solutions, Howard, in your case I think Chromecast is the best option. Personally I have a dedicated computer hooked up to my TV.

    • Justin Pot
      November 9, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      But I'm not saying this is easy, there's a learning curve for sure. All I mean to say is that there's a learning curve to cable as well.

    • Peter
      November 12, 2015 at 9:30 am

      It's extremely easy if you buy a streaming device like a Roku, which connects wirelessly or wired to your router (your choice). You end up with fewer wires than with cable, and you enjoy the freedom of being able to place your TV anywhere there's an electrical outlet.

    • Peter
      November 12, 2015 at 9:37 am

      To answer the second part of your question, you can purchase a good streaming device for less than $100, and easily run other wireless devices, like a laptop, tablet, or smartphone at the same time. With services like Amazon and Netflix, you can even log on from more than one device simultaneously.

  26. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    The ONLY thing that's keeping us from cutting (our very basic package) cable is access to the only local channel to us for weather and news. The tower is 50 miles away, but 60+ mile antennas we've used can't pick them up. They don't stream online either. Other than that, there aren't many shows we watch on cable; most of what we do is online.

    • Justin Pot
      November 9, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      Whoa, that sucks, have you tried outdoor antennas at all or just indoor ones?

      • Anonymous
        November 9, 2015 at 3:42 pm

        Only indoor/attic. My next step would be to mount one on the outside to see if that works.

        We don't care for the outdoor, pole-mounted type as we'd have to make sure it won't fall. We get gusty winds in Oklahoma, and we don't want to have wires everywhere or to deal with property damage.

        • Justin Pot
          November 9, 2015 at 5:50 pm

          Yeah I could see that, that sucks. Hopefully in time there will be more local content on the web for you.

        • Anonymous
          November 9, 2015 at 6:43 pm

          I was referring to documentaries which are copyright free,such as the ones found here://www.makeuseof.com/tag/moviesfoundonline/

    • Peter
      November 12, 2015 at 9:42 am

      Weather and news is readily available via free apps that run on your Roku, Amazon Fire, or other streaming device. Local news may be a problem, but otherwise there are far more news options available online. Cable is limited in comparison.

  27. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    I don't watch TV during the week,and PVR content for weekend viewing. With TPP about to be adopted, YouTubers will be SOL. No more posting of interesting documentaries.

    • Justin Pot
      November 9, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      If by YouTubers you mean freebooters, sure, but people making their own content aren't going to have any problems.

  28. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    I cut the cord about a year ago, and my cable bill went from $130/month (cable/Internet/phone) to around $44 ($34 for Internet, $9.99 + taxes for BasicTalk phone).
    Will have to renegotiate when my year of $34 Internet is up (complained about paying $65 for 15/5 when New York City customers were getting 100/25 for $40); by then maybe Wheeler and the FCC will convince Time Warner that there's no such thing as "different markets."

    • Justin Pot
      November 9, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      Keep fighting the good fight!

  29. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Excellent post.
    I've cut the cord. I also thought of MUO's concerns about ad-based revenue, but paying for TV/ video content is cheaper for me than paying for cable TV service. It would be great if paying for Internet access also paid for content, but I can't imagine how.
    A side issue. I visited my son in Chattanooga this weekend, a city with gigabit internet. The Wifi at the Hampton Inn was so slow, I used LTE on my phone. Had I connected a laptop to stream anything, I doubt it would've been a good experience.

    • Justin Pot
      November 9, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Never judge a city's infrastructure by hotel WiFi, especially a chain hotel. I bet they have some kind of national contact that prevents them from using the local gigabit.

      As someone who recently moved to a house wired with fibre, I can tell you it's much better. "Buffering" has become a distant memory.

      • Anonymous
        November 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm

        Of course not- I wish I had Chattanooga's internet service where I live. Your mention of using your laptop to stream in hotels brought my very recent experience to mind. Hotel Wifi is notoriously poor &/or expensive.

        • Justin Pot
          November 9, 2015 at 3:21 pm

          Ah! I misunderstood what you were getting at.

          You're right, hotel WiFi is frequently awful and there's not much you can do about that. In those cases, I play a game on my laptop usually.

        • Anonymous
          November 9, 2015 at 4:32 pm

          I know it sounds terribly last century, but a subscription to a film rental (as in mail, discs) solves this problem neatly. Just slip a few CDs into your briefcase before you travel, and there you are: watch what you want when you want, in stages or all in one go - and it's all private too!

        • Justin Pot
          November 9, 2015 at 5:52 pm

          Good point! Redbox is a good option while traveling too, they're everywhere and you can return a disk from one state in another without any problems.

    • Anonymous
      November 9, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      My company installs Hotel high speed networks and can tell you 2 things: I've never had one with gigabit internet. Typically they only have 100-200mbps. They also severely CAP data rates per device to about 1mbps. When we do the math, the "per room" bandwidth is typically 512kbps or less. Pretty bad when I have a 1gigabit fiber connection into my home.

  30. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Some types of content is not available on the Internet.

    Streaming is hit and miss when using Linux. See MUO's recent "The Current State of Video Streaming Services on Linux" article.

    "Cord-nevers hate commercials, and media companies are starting to figure this out."
    Why can't MUP figure it out? Why is it desirable, even commendable, for "code-cutters" and "code-nevers" to avoid commercials but MUO users are strongly discouraged from using adblockers? Does it depend on whose ox is being gored?

    • Justin Pot
      November 9, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      Netflix and HBO aren't goring oxes: they're paying content providers with revenue directly. If adblock cost $10 a month and gave a bunch of that money to people who made content, I don't think anyone would be complaining about it.

    • Anonymous
      November 9, 2015 at 11:07 pm

      Ed Zachary!

  31. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Been trying to get my wife to cut cable for a while now. But she watches a lot of those HGTV and DIY shows, along with some of the programming on TLC and other affiliates so the struggle is going to be a long one. Were it not for her TV shows, the only thing we'd have from Time Warner would be Internet Service.

    • Justin Pot
      November 9, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      HGTV has a really great YouTube channel. I know it's not the same, but look into it.

    • Anonymous
      November 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      The good thing about the Roku boxes is that you can create your own channels out of any streaming service. They are called "Private Channels". You can find lots of "Private" streaming channels for the Roku by a quick search. There is an actual HGTV channel on the Roku but mostly just streams from the website. Another solution would be to do the "SlingTV" route, where it is $20 a month and gives you access to several popular channels. SlingTV requires a Roku or other supporting streaming box. $20 is better than $100. Add Netflix and Hulu and you are looking at $40 a month.

    • Peter
      November 12, 2015 at 9:49 am

      HGTV is also part of the $20 Sling TV package, which is a good bridge solution if you want access to sports and the ESPN app.

    • Peter
      November 12, 2015 at 9:53 am

      Furthermore, Roku Channels offers a ton of DIY apps for free, really an amazing variety, far better than anything on cable. You can customize your menu so that all the DIY is in one place, easy for your wife to find.

  32. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    As with anything that tries to break the old way of doing anything, true WebTV will be locked up in courts for a long time to come. Look at the Amazon vs publishers, Tesla vs dealers, Uber/Lyft vs taxis. Because these groups haven't done anything new in a long time, they try to protect the old way of doing things by taking everyone to court.

    • Justin Pot
      November 9, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Yeah it's not going to be quick sadly, but happily there's a lot of great content out there without cable right now