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Am I still saving money by streaming? Yes. Yes I am.

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I first cut the cord in 2011. At the time, I was saving $65/month by cutting cable. Yes, I had to buy some equipment for streaming, but that up front investment was paid for by the savings within the first two or three months. That meant that first year, I saved about $650. That was over a decade ago. If I were to cut the cord today, would I save that much? Would I save anything at all? I feel that I would, but I haven't run the numbers. Until now. There are a couple of ways looking at this. I'm going to look at a scenario where I've been a cable TV user for some time, and comparing the cost to switching to streaming. And, since I'm not a gamer, I'm going to consider an Internet speed that is sufficient for streaming, but may not suffice for heavy gaming. I'm a Comcast/Xfinity customer, and I'm using their plans to check this. Currently, a plan with 50 mbps service with 125 cable channels, including local channels, is $109/month plus tax. Oh, the broadcas

Netflix troubles

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Netflix announced this week that their subscribers grew by 8.3 million in the 4th quarter . The company on Thursday forecast an increase of 2.5 million subscribers in the current quarter, compared with four million a year earlier. It also slightly missed its subscriber estimate for the fourth quarter, adding 8.3 million subscribers instead of the projected 8.5 million. Netflix stock fell 20% in after-hours trading, while shares of its main streaming rival, Walt Disney Co. , were down 3.4%. It's not so much the increase in subscribers, but that the increase isn't enough to satisfy the stock gurus. Netflix revenue went up 16%, to $7.71-billion. That's a lot of money, but not enough for some people. And, their stock fell 20% because of that. Think about if your income went up 16% in three months, and people were disappointed in you. But, that's how things work in business. Netflix offers a lot of content that people like. A lot of people like it, and spend over $2-billi

DirecTV Stream price increase

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This past year, Hulu, Netflix, Frndly.TV, and other services have raised their prices. Now, DirecTV Stream, the most expensive of the live streaming services, is raising prices on most plans this week. According to a notice on their Website, the prices for service will go up tomorrow on most plans, but not on their cheapest plan. That plan remains at $70/month. The bigger plans, though, go up $5-$10. For grandfathered plans, the increases will be $4-$10. DIRECTV Stream packages (Current) Monthly price increase amount Minimum service ENTERTAINMENT No increase CHOICE $5 ULTIMATE $10 PREMIER $10 This is not unexpected. Prices increase because that's what prices do. Or have done to them. Bottom line is it costs more. How do you deal with this? What can you do about it? Well, there are several ways to go. One way is to just put up with it.

TV antennae and distance

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If you're a cord cutter, or thinking of becoming one, an option you should consider is getting a TV antenna. Most people in the USA live close enough to at least one broadcast tower and could pick up TV signals over the air. That's free. A long time ago, when I was just a wee lad, that was the only way to watch TV. We had a TV antenna pointed toward the TV towers in Savannah, and we'd watch the stations from that city. It was the closest place that had TV signals. Next closest was Jacksonville, Florida. Or maybe Charleston, South Carolina. But we usually watched Savannah stations. And we used an antenna because that's how you watched TV. Later, a company ran cable in our area, and we eventually switched over in order to watch the newer channels that were available beyond the Big Three networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC. Fox and CW came much later. Cable became big. Really big. It made Ted Turner millions, and Braves fans out of many people across the country. It was the part

A new TV?

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I wrote a few months back that if you have a smart TV, but it's not a Roku TV, Fire TV, or Android/Google TV, then you should consider getting a streaming device and using that instead . I stand by that recommendation. Let me lay out the case again. Most TVs today are smart TVs. Not all, but most. The obvious differences of resolution, color, all the things that matter to you, those are the most important things to consider. The smarts inside the TV are not quite as important. There are four major streaming platforms: Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android/Google TV. Any other platform, at least now, are lesser platforms. Don't even consider using a device on another platform. Of those four major streaming platforms, all but Apple TV can be found built in to some smart TVs. When it's time to get a TV, it doesn't matter if it's a smart TV or not. All that matters is that you are happy with the picture and the price. If the new TV is one of the Big Three platforms,

The more things change...

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There are two main ways to stream content: live and on-demand. You probably already knew that. If not, you just never took the time to think about it. But, it's really obvious once you ever do think about it. In the old days, you could only watch something as it became available. A new episode of I Love Lucy or Star Trek or Cheers would be watched when the network aired it. Or you might watch the baseball game of the week as it happened. That was how you could watch TV. Eventually, VCRs came available and you could record your soap operas for watching later. That meant there were two ways to watch TV. Now, you're streaming. And, you can watch TV in one of those two ways. If you have a live streaming service, you can watch the latest episode of NCIS when it airs. This is like the traditional way of watching TV. If you have an on-demand service, you can watch last night's Grey's Anatomy or This Is Us , same as if you had recorded it. Think about that for a minute. In

Saving more money when streaming

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I cut the cord to save money. When I first looked into streaming, I decided I would not drop cable if I couldn't save money. I spent a year keeping a record of what I watched, and then calculated how much I would have spent if I had streamed instead of watched with cable. And after a year, the numbers showed I wouldn't have saved any money. But it was close. So, the next year, I did it again. And that time, it turns out I would have saved money, so I cut the cord. That should show that my primary goal in cutting the cord was to save money. I'm not suggesting that's the only reason that should be considered in cutting the cord, but it was a requirement of mine. I'm all about saving money. So, if there's a way to save more money, I'm all in. The main thing I can do -- and you, too -- to save money is to not pay for anything more than I need to. I'll subscribe to Hulu, Discovery+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, Paramount+, AMC+, and ot