Cutting the cable TV bill - the alternative

What small tips and tricks have you found that made a difference in your personal finance life? What great article did you just read? Found a great blog?

Moderator: lvergon

User avatar
Mike Panic
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:10 pm
Location: pa
Contact:

Cutting the cable TV bill - the alternative

Postby Mike Panic » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:42 am

here's a complete list of websites to stream full TV episodes and movies from, legally. Save some money and cut the cable tv bill

http://www.randomn3ss.com/the-complete- ... vies-from/

brad
Posts: 1359
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:05 pm
Contact:

Postby brad » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:16 pm

Great idea but be sure your Internet plan doesn't have bandwidth limits. We had a case up here in Canada where a guy downloaded dozens of movies, watched a lot of TV via the Internet, downloaded hundreds of MP3s, downloaded a bunch of software online, and then got hit with a $50,000 bill from his internet provider because his plan had only a 1 gigabyte-per-month download limit. He passed that limit after he downloaded his first couple of movies!

My current DSL packag has unlimited bandwidth but I've noticed that a lot of the high-speed offerings (like cable) have bandwidth limits. Once you go over your limit for the month you are charged an additional fee per megabyte and it can add up real quickly.
Last edited by brad on Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Mike Panic
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:10 pm
Location: pa
Contact:

Postby Mike Panic » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:22 pm

I think this will become interesting over the next few years. Comcast here in the US is already capping their broadband, although they won't say to what, yet. If you go over, tuff, you pay, they suck and I'm glad I don't have them.

But, what if you are a new parent and staying at home with your new child, or a stay at home parent and you pay for a service like Netflix and bought a Roku to stream to your TV and stream childrens shows all day, every day? That's a legal use of the service. I have Verizon FiOS and that was one of the first things I asked, what's the cap / limit.. I was told NONE!

cmittle
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:43 am
Contact:

Postby cmittle » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:38 pm

Thanks for the link. With this I was able to convince my girlfriend that we can cut the cable. I will be calling tomorrow to make sure there's no bandwidth limitations on our internet, and discuss dropping the cable from the package. The very basic cable service we have is $46/month. This savings in it self should pay our monthly grociery bill. This will also be helpful because I lost my job last Monday and haven't found a new one yet.

TheMightyQuinn
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:52 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Postby TheMightyQuinn » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:31 pm

I know this isn't 100% on topic, but my wife insisted we have cable because the over the air picture was snowy and had ghosting, and she didn't want our child looking at that. I bought a digital converter box (we're in the US) and wow! We went from about a dozen blurry channels to 31 channels with a clear, sharp picture (including a channel for children.) This was enough for my wife to relent and now we save the $30/month on cable. Of course we don't get all the fancy cable channels, but as Mike has pointed out they can be watched online. However we haven't felt the need to do that, since there seems to always be something on when we sit down to watch TV.

Cleverbeans
Moderator
Posts: 793
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:04 pm
Contact:

Postby Cleverbeans » Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:26 pm

Mike Panic wrote:Comcast here in the US is already capping their broadband, although they won't say to what, yet. If you go over, tuff, you pay, they suck and I'm glad I don't have them.


This model will fail. They'll get too many calls from angry people who had someone do a ton of downloading off a leached wireless connection, or college kids who didn't read the contract bailing on the bill when all their roommates take off. The cost of handling the calls, collections and bad word of mouth greatly outweighs the amount they'll gain by charging over-bandwidth fees.

User avatar
Mike Panic
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:10 pm
Location: pa
Contact:

Postby Mike Panic » Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:58 am

Cleverbeans wrote:
Mike Panic wrote:Comcast here in the US is already capping their broadband, although they won't say to what, yet. If you go over, tuff, you pay, they suck and I'm glad I don't have them.


This model will fail. They'll get too many calls from angry people who had someone do a ton of downloading off a leached wireless connection, or college kids who didn't read the contract bailing on the bill when all their roommates take off. The cost of handling the calls, collections and bad word of mouth greatly outweighs the amount they'll gain by charging over-bandwidth fees.


I'm not 100% sure it will fail, but they may lose business. Comcast and others will blame the end user for not securing their wifi access, even though it's often the end user's hardware and they should be virtually free to do with it whatever they'd like to. Ironically, you'd be surprised how many of these companies really do want their money when you don't pay them. A friend of mine just went through a horrible experience, his fault, but still. 7 years ago he lived in NYC and ran up a $700 cell bill, don't know how, but he did. Long story short, he neglected to pay it and last month he got a call from his bank stating he was over-drafted by more than $1k and his account was frozen. All they could do was tell him there was a court order to do so. Short version of the story is, his old cell company sold his debt (probably for pennies on the dollar) to a law firm who specializes in getting money back. They used the legal system to get all $700 + $500 in fees and expenses. My friend didn't have that much in his bank account so they actually over-drafted it and then the bank slapped him w/ an over-draft fee. In the end, he got it all figured out, but his $700 oops ended up costing him nearly double when it caught up.

Besides just the "bad" kids who download everything, more and more things eat up bandwidth. I use the video feature of iChat on my mac on a regular basis, a friend of mine pays for Vonage, VoIP phone service, several of my friends run Skype because it's cheaper to talk to people in other countries, most all Linux distro's (which are usually very large files) are available free for download, and coders often download several of them and / or patch kits on a regular basis. Hell the Mac updates I just downloaded last night were nearly 200mb in size.

We now live in an age where nearly everything is digital and / or going digital. These stupid caps need to be set free. Consumerist did an article a few months ago on how the cost to a cell provider is no different if you send 1 text message a month or 10k, yet the pricing difference is huge.

User avatar
kmull
Posts: 513
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:20 am
Location: Birmingham, AL
Contact:

Postby kmull » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:56 pm

The kicker with kicking cable is you can't watch sports on most of those sites.
<a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NoDebtPlan/~6/1"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/NoDebtPlan.1.gif" alt="No Debt Plan"></a>

cmittle
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:43 am
Contact:

Postby cmittle » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:01 am

kmull wrote:The kicker with kicking cable is you can't watch sports on most of those sites.


That doesn't bother me at all, I never was able to maintain interest in sports for more than a couple of years. On the plus side spring is coming and weather that allows me to be outside for several hours in an afternoon/night will be here soon. Hurray for my garage!

alypius
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:18 am
Contact:

Postby alypius » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:54 am

kmull wrote:The kicker with kicking cable is you can't watch sports on most of those sites.



My wife is a tennis nut. Grand slams is what keeps us from going cable-free.

User avatar
kmull
Posts: 513
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:20 am
Location: Birmingham, AL
Contact:

Postby kmull » Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:25 am

College sports is my thing. Football especially. If I could just pay for 10 channels max, and pick which ones... I'd be so happy. Alas...
<a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NoDebtPlan/~6/1"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/NoDebtPlan.1.gif" alt="No Debt Plan"></a>

User avatar
Dylan
Site Admin
Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:19 am
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Postby Dylan » Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:10 pm

We cut cable almost two years ago and watch most of our shows online. Our original plan was to get a rooftop antenna just so I could get live sports, but now I just walk down the street to the pub if I really need to watch something, which is not that often. My bar tab has never even come close the cable costs. I have also taken to listening to games on the radio.

I know it's not the same as being able to watch from home, but any time we think about restoring cable or buying an antenna (and installing it), we keep coming up with higher priority things to spend our money on.

User avatar
jdroth
Site Admin
Posts: 948
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:58 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Postby jdroth » Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:18 pm

I have an article about this topic going live Thursday morning, and will link to Mike's fantastic list!

User avatar
Mike Panic
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:10 pm
Location: pa
Contact:

Postby Mike Panic » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:26 am

Glad it worked out J.D.! Here's a follow up article on how to stream Netflix and Hulu to your tv if you have a Mac: http://www.randomn3ss.com/use-understud ... -on-a-mac/

graphicgeek
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:25 am
Location: Central New York
Contact:

Postby graphicgeek » Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:34 pm

Mike, let me know if Understudy keeps working. I know that Hulu is making Boxee pull Hulu integration from their code.


Return to “Tips, Tricks, Links, Pointers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot]