(Editor’s Note: Today’s Guest Blogger is iSchool alumnus Murugan Pandian. He received his Master’s degree in Information Management in 2008. He is a project efficiency expert and recently joined St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse, as a product manager. Murugan wanted to share his experience and his decision here for the benefit of others who may be considering the same step.)
After a decade of being a dedicated cable TV customer, I finally decided to cancel most of my cable service.
After much consideration and a little experimentation, I decided to keep cable for my internet service, but for TV shows, I went with a Hulu Plus and Netflix solution on two Roku boxes, a Sony Blue-Ray player, and two Nintendo Wiis.
In case you’re considering a similar move, here’s how I reached that decision. I recognized that:
- Existing cable customers are not rewarded with the same great offers that are presented to new customers. (After a cable promotion period ends, our bills increase. I can call and negotiate with the cable company, but I don’t come close to getting the same great deal that is offered to new customers.)
- Every time new contract negotiations take place between the TV networks and the cable companies, it costs more than before to keep the same service. (That increase gets added to my monthly bill, and that means I am paying more for the same level of service.)
- There is no a la carte option available. (We’ve had to accept and pay for all the channels, including those we never watched.)
- I had to make my schedule fit the cable company’s program schedule. (Since this inefficiency is alleviated with DVRs and on-demand channels, why not use on-demand as much as possible for non-live programming, I figured.)
During the last two years, I had a premium cable package, but I was curious about all the Over-The-Top (OTT) solutions that were becoming available. These OTT solutions involve video content provided by a third-party service that uses the communication lines of an internet provider service delivered to an end-user device.
I decided to experiment with this concept because I wanted a way to have cartoons in my native language, Tamil, for my children to watch on TV. In addition, I lived in an area where there were not enough Tamilians for the local cable company to add Tamil channels.
- I purchased a tiny Roku box (one of the popular streaming players on the market; models range from about $50 to $100)
- I then subscribed to a Tamil package having a variety of channels (including one that was children’s programming-only, for $14 a month).
Then, I took it a few steps further. After browsing around in the Roku channel store (which offered a variety of free channels and premium channels):
- I added Netflix at $8 a month, to have access to thousands of movies and shows
- I added Hulu Plus at $8 a month, to access some of the many shows currently offered by cable TV.
Throughout all this experimentation, I was still paying for a cable TV package, but I often wondered if my family and I would do just fine with only a Roku with Netflix and Hulu Plus.
The Final Straw
With the notification that my cable service bill was due to increase in two months, I decided to take the plunge.
- I went with a complete OTT solution.
- I also upgraded to a faster internet service to get enough bandwidth my home’s multiple streaming devices.
The other convenience with this setup is that I can access Netflix and Hulu on a variety of mobile devices, plus manage a list of my favorite content right from my cell phone.
It’s now been a month since that cut-the-cord decision.
I’m not going to lie; price was a major factor in pushing me to cancel cable TV after having it for such a long time.
My family originally was concerned that we would miss out on a lot of shows, because this OTT solution is not an exact replica of traditional cable TV. But so far, this plan has offered enough content to keep us all happy.
I haven’t heard a complaint yet from any of my three children. And my wallet is a little heavier.
The end result is that I have no regrets in cutting the cable TV cord!
Do you have questions of comments about doing the same at your house? leave your feedback for Murugan here!