My Adventure in Cord Cutting
Cord cutting is a term used to by people who have discontinued their traditional broadcast cable TV or satellite TV service, usually switching to an on-demand internet based stream service such as Netflix. On the surface most people are motivated primarily by money. The savings can be substantial with most people paying something north of $100 per month by the time you add in specialty channels, set-top boxes and PVR’s, compared to under $10 per month for a streaming service like Netflix. But there are other hidden benefits that only became obvious to me after I had cut the cord.
It wasn’t easy, first I had to convince myself it was a good idea and worth doing, then I had to convince my wife, three kids, and a dog it was a good idea. The dog bought in right away, my wife bought in based on the cost savings, the three kids threaten to call 911 claiming their father had gone delusional. I was able to convince them to try it for three months with the understanding that we would just unplug the cable not cancel the service. We held weekly meetings to see how everybody was coping and by the end of the second month everybody, even the dog, had been successfully weaned off of cable TV.
Traditional TV provided by cable or satellite is based on a broadcast model. This is where your favorite show is usually broadcast once a week on a pre-determined channel, at a pre-determined time. If the pre-determined time doesn’t fit your schedule, no problem you can “PVR it”. Over time your PVR begins to build-up a small library of shows you can watch whenever you want. In contrast an internet streaming service is based on an on-demand model. This is where you have access to a library of full seasons of shows which are available for you to watch as much as you want whenever you want.
The reason I describe these two vastly different formats is to illustrate the above mentioned hidden benefit is that I now consume my content with intention. Rather than watching whatever is being broadcast at me I now intentionally consume shows and movies at my convenience. As a result I actually consume more entertainment content but in a far more efficient manner.
Simple money solution – I saved time and money by cutting the cord.