I know what you are thinking. You’ll leave cable and save a lot of money. This simply isn’t true. You might save a little money, but cable companies are working very hard to make sure that if you leave them, you are really still paying about the same amount of money. I know, I know, you are spending $150 on your cable bill right now. How can I say you are not going to save money!
Right now the for most homes the only high speed service that will cut it running a Roku box or an AppleTV or other set top box is supplied by Cable. Believe me, in my area I’ve spent the last year trying to find a good alternative. If you go with a DSL service or other High Speed service you are going to find that they are going piping High Speed Internet into your house at a fraction of what cable does. This is fine if you only have one television, but if you have anyone in your house playing the Xbox 360 or the PS3 on their next generation incarnations, you are going to have slow downs.
My cable company, like most cable companies, got wise to this fact this year. They know that data is what you want. With over 5 million people leaving CableTV to watch online, Cable companies have begun to charge for, not just the service, but the amount of data flowing into your house. My Cable company sells a base package of 150 Gigabytes per month. This is find if you are just surfing the web, but if you start playing games online, and you’re watching Set-top boxes, you are going to run over. Now I have to pay for more gigabytes. To be honest my cable company is pretty reasonable. They charge $10 for every 50 gigs over the base price. They also have packages where you can buy more upfront for cheaper. This is far better than the nightmare rates that some cable companies are running for the data flowing into your home.
I have 4 tvs going. Two of those tvs run Xbox 360 and PS3, and the other 2 are running set-top boxes like the Roku 3 and Roku 1. Right now I come in at between 250 and 350 gigs per month. I pay more for this. When you figure in the cost of premium non-free channels like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon, I’m paying about what I was paying with Cable.
I know what you are thinking. You’ll just use a free service by hooking up your computer to the tv and downloading movies from what we’ll say are “stinky” sites. You might be able to do this, but you will battle viruses, and those sties will change monthly. You will spend more time looking for a working version of the show you are watching than you will actually watching anything. It’s not worth it either.
If you are thinking of living cabletv, do it because you want a NEW type of entertainment in your home. Do it because you want the control over what and how you watch. It won’t be cheaper, but it will be far far better.