Earlier this month, we asked you to share your cable stories, and an impressive number of you did. While many of your stories focused on a lack of competition among cable providers and rising bills, there are plenty of other factors that contribute to this frustrating state of affairs. Public Knowledge is working to solve these problems by proposing a vision of the future of video, with concrete recommendations for how to get there.
Your comments highlight the need for more competition and clearly show that change is vital. Here is a selection of what you had to say:
“I cut the cable last month. Went from $250/month for a UVerse service to $50/month for just Internet only. Now with a free-to-air antenna and my Apple TV together with a few monthly subscriptions I am saving a fortune and getting most of what I want to see.
“I get more than 80 channels free to air – many in HD with a quality better than cable. Add to that my Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu accounts, and I can dial up what I want, and when I want it. The only shame – NHL prevents you from even pay per view to watch your local hockey team play. You can watch out of network games if you pay their annual subscription, but what sense is that? It is time for someone disruptive to come in and shake up this whole industry.”
– Steve, CA
“A couple of years ago, my wife and I started to save for a house. We reviewed our budget and found that we were spending over $150 per month on cable, internet and telephone services through Cox Communications – as well as over $110 in cell phone charges… It wasn’t hard to find ideas on “cutting the cord”, but we didn’t know anyone that had actually gone through with it.
“I did some research and found a device that I could attach to our 2 TVs, signed up for Netflix ($8/month) and Hulu Plus ($8/month) and off we went. It’s been a couple of years now and we hardly miss live TV. In fact, we all love that we can watch an entire season of our favorite shows in about a week. Not to mention the beauty of watching each episode, in order, practically commercial free. This is the way television programming should be! Besides, now we can watch what we want when we want – who could ask for more?”
– Luis, CA
“When Cablevision scrambled basic cable I cut the cord and rely on Roku.
“I do not even have a choice of providers….”
– Theodore, NJ
“The model for providing content needs to change such that you only pay for want you watch….
“If it wasn’t for the DVR I would have dumped cable long ago. However, now that a lot of this content is direct via online sources I might just consider putting that in the closet as well.”
– Austin, WV
“I tried cutting the cord for a while and was very satisfied except for one thing: Live Sports. There was no way for me to watch any NHL hockey except for the NHL’s Game Center, which was pretty useless if you wanted to watch your own team in your own market, and some live internet streams of questionable legality and poor quality.
“In the end, I ended up plugging back into cable for the convenience, but I really wish more professional sports broadcasters would start taking internet streaming into their own hands.”
– Jason, MA
“Before the US I used to live in France. Over there, for only 40 $/month, you get high speed Internet, phone with unlimited free calls to most countries worldwide, and around 200 TV channels from all over the world.
“When I moved to the US I was shocked by the price of those services here. I have never even considered subscribing to cable.”
– Luis, CA
“Gave up on Cable about 2 years ago. Best decision I ever made for my family and wallet. I’m now subscribed to Netflix, Hulu plus, and Amazon Prime for a 1/4th of the cost of traditional TV. Couldn’t be happier.”
– Joaquin, CA
“I’m relatively young (mid-20’s), and my experience has been that few people my age even bothered to get cable when they got their first place (usually an apartment). Given the entertainment that’s available via the internet, there’s barely any point. I certainly don’t miss it.”
– Carter, OH