I am part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade and have been compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.
We used to be the typical household with a wired home phone, a satellite subscription, cable internet, and access to lots of TV we never watched – which included a crazy price tag to go with it all.
Then we cut the cord. The wired home phone was replaced my an internet based service and mobile phones, the satellite to TV cord got the nix because that bill was atrocious and we never watched half the stuff that was playing anyway (even with the DVR), the cable internet remains for business use due to working at home, however, a lot of my online browsing is done via mobile devices.
Apparently I’m not alone. Americans who no longer subscribe to cable or satellite TV have increased 44 percent in the past four years to 7.6 million households, according to an Experian Marketing Services report.
So what do we do now?
Don’t get me wrong, we still watch TV and catch our favorite shows, but it is no longer the focus of every single day. We watch them when we can, and limit how much is watched in a single day/week. The things we utilize the most for this are Netflix and Amazon Prime. We can access Netflix on any of our mobile devices, including a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Since the specific shows I decide to watch can be accessed at anytime, anywhere, I no longer feel like as a family we are tied to the TV, and I can always pick up on a series at any time, even if a few days or weeks have gone by since I last watched.
With the fall TV season set to debut soon, here are tips and questions to help you decide if it’s time to tune out cable or satellite TV in your own home:
- Determine what TV shows you watch. If your list is small, Google Play and iTunes sell individual TV episodes for $1.99 to $2.99. Season passes are available at a discount rate.
- Hulu Plus and Netflix offer monthly subscriptions that begin at $7.99, and you can watch HD shows on all of your devices including your computer, tablet or smartphone.
- Are you already a subscriber to at least one of the above mentioned monthly subscription sites? Then you may be interested in purchasing a streaming media player such as a Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire, which allows you access to thousands of channels, subscriptions services, convenient ways to rent or buy movies, watch on demand shows and play games.
- Are you always on-the-go and can’t watch your shows when they initially air? Being able to stream them wherever you are from a tablet or smartphone with an inexpensive subscription may be a more efficient way to see your favorite story lines.
- Do you watch a variety of comedies, dramas and sporting events on a wide range of channels? While alternatives are available, it may be better to keep your cable or satellite service to ensure you can continue to watch everything you want.
As I mentioned before, I’m a huge lover of Netflix and Amazon prime. With Netflix I can pretty much watch anywhere I want to kill some time. You simply download the app on your mobile device (or use the desktop version), and you are set.
What I REALLY love about using Netflix is that you can set up different users, this way what shows I like to watch stay on my list, and the kids have their own set of shows that are age restricted.
Another great feature is that no matter what device you last watched on, it will remember exactly where you left off so you can just start watching and not waste time trying to find where you were!
Although Netflix doesn’t currently offer any sort of parental lock feature (I’ve suggested it to them), if you are concerned about your kids watching too much or going into the wrong account, it may be a good idea to set up a parental contract with them. You can create the contract together and agree on the terms, such as which shows would be appropriate for them to watch and how much they are allowed to do so.