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Cutting the wire, part 2: cutting the cable

Discussion in 'Bits & Bytes' started by Susan Addams, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    The original "cutting the wire" refers to the wireless phone revolution where mobile phones had made sufficient inroads that may people decided they could get rid of their wired phones and that their cellphone was sufficient. I continue to maintain a VOIP line mainly because when I go off the job I don't want my customers/employers bothering me on my cell. Many if not most of my friends have cut the wire and have gone completely wireless; their cellphone is their sole telephone contact number.

    Last November I added a PC to my home theater and realized that my main use for cable/satellite type TV was {rimshot} Fox News! I found a streaming source for Fox and realized that I didn't need my cable company for that. I got a second HTPC for my den (where I work) and fired my cable company. Well I cancelled their video feed and I'm saving about $50/month.

    One of my friends saw what I was doing and he too got an HTPC (bought an identical setup to mine) and fired his video provider. He said the additional cost of streaming the services he desired resulted in a net saving for him.

    I've just discovered a third friend has cut the cable and gone 100% streaming, independent of my influence. We high fived each other, who needs cable and satellite providers? :) Eventually I plan to add some paid services but in the mean time my slim video diet does just fine on free video via streaming.

    Have a look at your particular lineup of video channels that you receive? How many of them do you really watch? How many others are being subsidized by your wanting to watch your favorite channels and the rest are along for the ride? Some may lament the disappearance of these low demand channels but not me. I think any channel that can't show a profit by gaining an audience should be shown the door.

    Please tell me, how many of your channel lineup would you keep if you could buy channels a la carte? That's mostly what cutting the cable is all about. You have maybe 3-5 tiers to select from at your cable/satellite provider, additional specialty tiers are available, the leading example being the college- and pro-sports tier. The way that some broadcast networks and cable/satellite networks fight over sports coverage that one probably won't be pretty.

    Never the less, one way or another I think that cutting edge consumers are leading the way into streaming land by cutting the cable, and replacing their cable box with a PC. Personally speaking, I don't miss my expensive cable box one bit. However I was never a glued to the TV type of person anyway, which is why I'm in the first wave of cutting the cable.

    I wonder if this is the beginning of a trend? How far has the cell-only generation degraded the land line business? (And how much of that got stolen by VOIP phones?) In fact it makes me wonder why anybody still has wired lines except for businesses (and many of them are going VOIP considering their IT department can manage their internal phone network).

    Have I got you thinking? How many of you are giving thought to cutting the cable and going a la carte streaming, or already have?
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Only choice I have out in the sticks is Direct TV and skiing will be a favorite pastime in Hades before I would even consider their service.

    As such, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, etc. are the standard in the Biker household.
  3. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    I'm with you on that Biker! Dishes are ugly. Dishes and cable are a waste of money. I too get Amazon Prime Video and when I get around to it I'll be looking at Hulu.

    I wonder if this is another paradigm change. I don't miss cable TV one bit and I'm saving $50/month without them. That can go a long way towards paying for my choice of streaming services.
  4. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    I don't have a cable to cut! Out in this rural area, it's satellite and either Dish or Direct TV. We are on Dish and DVD Netflix. We can get streaming now, but sometimes our WiFi goes down, like yesterday morning when it went down for about four hours. It doesn't happen a lot, but I'd rather not depend on it to watch movies.
  5. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    You also have the choice of satellite Internet. I have a friend who has that. I think it's Starband something... Yes of course it's expensive and has a long latency time.
  6. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Yes, thanks, I knew about that, but for a person who didn't even see a TV until she was 10 or 11 years old, I get along remarkably well without being on the cutting edge of everything. :)
    Susan Addams likes this.
  7. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    LOL! I hear that TV used to be black and white. Photographs too! I guess I missed that. I have to look at everything in color! ;)

    Oh, Allene, give me your address and I'll have some cable sent to you... I hope they sell it on Amazon! ;) ;) ;)
  8. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    LOL! That reminds me of a complaint that a local woman made to my ISP, which is a local company. She was having a hissy fit because her neighbor had cable, and the ISP had refused to provide it for her. I'm not sure where she was, but you don't get cable outside a good-sized town or city in these parts. This is wild, rugged countryside. There's a mountain between us and town and the entire countryside is like a roller coaster. Then we live a mile down a side road and an eighth of a mile up the side of a big hill. Oh, yes, the woman was so upset that she offered to pay for the cable and install it herself! ISP said it would be way too expensive. I can die peacefully without cable. ;)
  9. dsl987

    dsl987 Member

    I keep thinking about cutting the cable, but have just been too lazy to do it. I like car and motorcycle racing which is available in some streaming packages. Apart from that I like all the NatGeo, Discovery, Science etc channels.
    We currently have Spectrum which used to be Time Warner. Under TSC you could call up every 12 months and threaten to quit and they would magically give you a lower price. Spectrum apparently doesn't do that, so I thinking about cutting back when I move in 3 months. The land line is now basically useless, so that's probably going away, and I can probably live with a basic cable package and some streaming options.

  10. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    My cable is free. It has almost all the channels except the premium type such as HBO, Showtime, and a few others, etc. As for those premium channels, I can for a cost either add them to my cable with the accompanying normal individual subscription fees or add them through piggyback via services such Amazon Prime. They would then be viewed online through my 32-inch computer monitor.
  11. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    Allene, I sure understand that! I have friends in your same situation, they live in beautiful pristine mountains. They're 30 minutes from a major interstate but might as well be 100 years from civilization. They've been running crappy some kind of I don't know what getting 4 Mbps down, and just got one of the satellite Internet providers just because they had interruptions lasting hours, sometimes days. I don't know what their future plans are? Keep both? Pick one?

    It truly sucks if you are both rural and on the north side of a big hill or a mountain. If you can't see 23,500 equatorial you are SOL!

    Dsl987, I wouldn't have started this topic if I weren't a total proponent of cutting the cable and stream it, baby! :) (Woo hoo!!!) ;) I'm on a collision course with my career going totally independent. At the present time my VOIP forwards to my cell after X rings so my customer (I'm contract labor) has that number, not my cell. When my job goes away I think I'll dump the VOIP since I won't need ... mmm ... a phone condom? ;) The day my customers don't need to phone me that VOIP is getting dumped. My house cordless system supports two (yes two!) cells and with the VOIP cut I can still answer my cell (and he can answer his, if I let him live here) ;) and place outbound calls from 5 handsets in my condo. And I have great Internet: 100 Mbps down! A lady with an Internet business needs lots of down! And up too! ;) Hmm...

    And yes, I too use the "I'm leaving" ploy. Sure as ... well you know ... when the bill ups Suzy calls "customer retention" and threatens a disconnect. They always come across. They are such whores! When you get down to the brass tacks all you need is an Internet connection. Nothing else matters. (Good Metallica song!) When you tell them you don't need TV there isn't anything to discuss. When you tell them you don't need VOIP there isn't anything to discuss. From the beginning to now the end you need (1) a cell, and (2) some flavor of Internet. Nothing else matters. Nothing.

    I am very lucky to live in a major city with good Internet! If I cut the contract job I am very much considering moving to a different major city. One without snow! :)
  12. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    Hey Arc, I presume you are aware, TVs are cheep, cheep, cheep! I got my 75" for couple thou a few years back, and now they're 700-ish. Now with my Sonos 5.1 I have a knock you on your ass home theater system! Budget $1K for the TV + HTPC, and about $1,800 for the 5.1 (if you want the best). Even better, I have a Sonos sound bar in my den (where I work most days from home, I telecommute) laptop in lap, feet on coffee table, and I have Sonos Play 1s stereo in bedroom, and OMFG when I turn on whole house party mode this place really rocks! Not that I let guests upstairs except, well, you know. ;) ... I have a spare guest bedroom suite for my BFFs and for people who get stuck in DUI mode (who won't get invited next time).

    Even better, I have the whole shebang on voice control via Echo Dots and one Echo Show. "Alexa, show me front door." "Alexa, play Metallica Load in bedroom." "Alexa, where is my stuff?"

    There is a reason that Amazon appears in my user title. (Major announcement coming tonight. Stay tuned to Planet Suzy. Hm... That has a nice sound. I wonder if the domain is available...)
  13. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    I am smiling at our different perspectives. I'm 1 hour 45 minutes south of I-90 and 150 miles or so east of the same road on the way to Seattle. (We go down state roads to the Columbia River, then connect to I-90. Boise is about 5.5-6 hrs southeast of us if we take a shortcut down winding two-way roads, rather than going north to get on I-90, then connecting to other roads. We have been living on the north side of the mountain for over 15 years and counting. I don't miss living in big cities at all.

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  14. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    Allene, I understand. I've just made a major financial coup today and I may be selling my condo and looking at my last look of Chicago in my rear view mirror before summer! It all depends on if my stock market instincts are right. I'll have a signal in 2-3 months. In any case my contract job is going well (for my employer/customer) which means not so well for me (because I am expensive) so I may find myself unemployed anyway. Property values are up and I've owned my condo for several years so I'd probably turn a nice penny on the condo too. Without the contract job I can do my thing from anywhere!

    I'm thinking of heading to more moderate climes, but not at the cost of giving up my Internet. Remember that all my career alternatives require a good Internet connection. If you have good Internet then the rest (VOIP phone, streaming) are there for you!

    Allene you are very fortunate to live out your senior years in such a nice place!
    Allene likes this.
  15. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    In re-readiing my comment above I didn't explain the situation adequately. I should have said my project is going well, as in nearing completion. Good for the company, not so good for contractors and consultants. We are expedable labor. If your company labor demands fluctuate one way to handle that is to hire contractors/consultants for labor peak demands and then we get fluxed when the project is over. I live frugally and my car is 10 years old (yet well maintained and low mileage). I dress casual except for a few hot outfits for special dates, and you know how many miles you can get off of one black dress if you pick the right one. But no Louboutin shoes for Suzy. Meh, I don't like their styles anyway. Stylish athletic shoes work for me. The dress code in my workplace (when I'm not telecommuting) is just dress neatly. The guys wear jeans, T-shirts, athletic shoes. Managerial types often dress better but not on Friday. :) What's amusing is that the secretaries dress better than the techie people! I hear it's like that at Apple too.

    I'm thinking coastal SoCal, where snow is just a vacation photograph. Admittedly I haven't got the cost of housing problem solved. I'd like to live in a beach city but suspect the closest I'd get to a beach is another picture of sand to go with my picture of snow. Maybe I could get a place within bike distance of the beach. I've been there but I never priced living there. I did some of my school there. There is of course one good reason to move there: weather.

    100-200 Mbps Internet is easily available. With my HTPC setup I can pick and choose which channels I want, and I can get VOIP phone either from my provider or a la carte via many VOIP providers at varying prices. Or I can just skip the VOIP and pair my cell with my cordless system.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  16. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Louboutin shoes would kill me. I wore heels when I was younger, but the heels weren't that high back in the day.

    Coastal SoCal has an awful lot of weather problems--mudslides, wildfires, earthquakes.
  17. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Also has a "snowflake" problem. :D
    Allene likes this.
  18. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    And you have snow. And the Southeast has tornadoes and hurricanes. And by the way most forests I've heard of have chronic forest fires. That's how the forest clears itself for new trees. I attended a good part of my college education at various University of California campuses. That's why I have a lot of Cali friends.
  19. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Yes, that's a huge problem there. Around here it's not a problem outside the university towns. My state celebrated Columbus Day in October, with one exception: the town on the other side of the mountain was the only one in the state to formally adopt the PC variation.
  20. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    Why do we even have Columbus day? Cristóbal Colón didn't discover America. Even the Norsemen who found the New World (by skirting the ice pack, to (ahem) Greenland and points south, didn't discover America. It was the ancestors of that stupid Cristóbal Colón claimed were Indians who discovered America when crossing the Bering Strait and/or ice bridges between NE Asia and NW North America who discovered America. Stupid Columbus thought he had discovered India!!!

    I don't know why people still call Native Americans "Indians." That is so politically incorrect! :p
    Allene likes this.

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