Over the last decade or so, the way we watch television has changed dramatically. Gone are the days of “appointment TV,” when people sat down once a week, at the same time, to watch the latest episode of their favorite program. Instead, we have binge-watching, with audiences viewing entire seasons at a time over the course of a weekend, starting and stopping whenever they want.
Likewise, the way we communicate has shifted as well. Your cell phone handles nearly all of your interaction with others through calls, texts, IMs and more. Meanwhile, most of what comes through on your landline is from telemarketers. If you’re like me, the only time you use your home phone is to dial your mobile if it gets lost.
All of which raises the question: Why have cable or landline at all anymore? Why not go the cord-cutting route, as millions of Americans already have? If you’re still on the fence about relying on internet and cell service exclusively, here are a few ways it might benefit you:
Many communications companies bundle everything together in a single package: cell phone, cable, Internet, and landline. It’s supposed to be cheaper to get it all for one low price.In reality, though, you’re paying for a lot of extra things you simply won’t use.
When you have cable, you get access to hundreds, even thousands of channels. But chances are, you only watch a handful of them. Then, if you want to watch the shows that are on, say, HBO or Showtime, you need to pay an additional fee on top of that.
The average American spends roughly $100 per month just for cable. Subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu, on the other hand, cost closer to $10-15 per month apiece. Even if you pay for all three, it’s still less than half of what cable costs, and offers you a plethora of content that you can’t get from regular television.
Your phone presents a similar situation. How much do you currently pay per month for your landline? And how often do you actually use it? Is it worth the money? If you eliminated the package deal and instead only paid for cell service and Internet, you could save hundreds of dollars every year—or more!
When you watch something on cable or network TV, every program starts and ends at a specific time. If you’re not there, or show up late, you miss it. You can always set your DVR to record programs while you’re out, but then you have to worry about how much space you have left in the system, and whether or not you have to delete one thing to make room for something else.
Many cable subscriptions do offer an On Demand service, where you can start watching a program or movie at will. However, they expire within a few weeks. If you can’t find time to watch the movie you want before it expires, you’re out of luck. Or if you fall a few episodes behind on your favorite TV show, it can be hard to catch up with what’s going on.
Online streaming, on the other hand, gives you the freedom to watch whatever show you want, whenever you want, often without expiration dates, or at least for a longer period of time. Thus you can start from the beginning of a show and watch all the way up to the most recent episode in your own time.
Bigger and Better
When online streaming first began, you could only view shows on your computer screen. It was smaller, less comfortable, and the picture and sound weren’t as good broadcast TV. Now, though, most entertainment systems and Blu-Ray players connect to the internet, allowing you to stream Netflix, Amazon, and all the other online programs directly to your television. That way, even after cutting the cord, you can enjoy all your shows and movies in HD and surround sound.
Cord cutting for your phone is more convenient as well. With your smartphone, you can receive calls, texts, e-mails, social media messages, and virtually any other form of communication all in one place. You don’t have to worry about missing an important call because you’re out of the house, and you can easily ignore numbers you don’t recognize or don’t want to speak to. A landline doesn’t offer that kind of portability or convenience. As long as you have a cell, there’s virtually no reason to keep your home phone around at all.
Maybe you’re still not ready to cut the cord on cable and landline just yet. That’s fine; it’s your home and your phone and cable. But make sure you know what’s out there, and what your options are, so you can make the choice that’s right for your lifestyle.