After about 2 years of talking (more like arguing at some times) and negotiating, I finally got Xaver to agree to turn off our Satelitte TV service. We had gotten a bundle, years back, when Verizon had started bundling services. We bundled the max – home phone + cell phone + internet service + DirecTv. At that time, it seemed an affordable and convenient option. As time went on, I discovered a few things:
- We regularly watched the same 10 channels all the time but were paying for 100s of channels each month
- It seemed I never used my home phone but I kept it on because it was needed for the “bundle discount”
- We would have the TV on all the time with just nonsense blaring. We didn't watch with a purpose; it was just noise.
- We would record shows via DVR and then never have time to watch them before the DVR was too full to record newer versions of the shows.
- We were hemorraghing $100s a month in bills – this bundled bill was up to $400 a month at one point! That is a car payment!
It has been about a year since we turned off traditional satelittle phone service. We opted for cable internet and tried to streamline our cell phone bill. But the biggest savings is on the TV service.
We were paying $150 a month for DirecTv.
We now pay the following:
- Netflix = $7.99 per month
- Hulu = $7.99 per month
- Amazon Prime = $79 per year
= average cost of $22.56 per month!!
There are no hidden fees or taxes here — $7.99 means I get billed exactly $7.99 every month. Undoubtedly, Amazon Prime offers the best deal! We pre-paid for the whole year which takes the hassle out of having to pay another monthly bill. Included with Amazon Prime is free shipping for all of your Amazon.com orders – SWEET! We order off of Amazon alot so the free shipping means we are getting back our $79 investment and then some.
We access these services through our XBox Kinect in the family room and Roku in other rooms.
Each of these services has their advantages and disadvantages.
- Some shows and movies on hulu and Netflix are “online” only meaning that we have to watch them on our computer.
- We can't get some of the shows we used to watch regulalry, like all of my Real Housewives shows.
- Some shows have to be purchased in order to view them.
- You can't channel flip – at least not in the traditional way. You can “surf” the channels on Hulu but it takes a while — it isn't just one click of a button
- Sometimes they have commercials, especially the newer shows on Hulu.
- Sometimes they play the same two commercials for an entire show – argh! You can't fast forward through commercials.
- If the internet goes out, you don't have TV.
- Many of the shows we don't get on these 3 services can be watched online, like the Real Housewives of Orange County on Bravo.com.
- You can purchase shows that you want to watch sooner than they will be available on DVD, such as we purchased Breaking Bad for about $20 through the XBox 360.
- Exclusive shows and channels, like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix can't be found elsewhere and the Netflix-only shows have such depth of character – it's like watching a 13 hour movie!
- We deliberatley watch TV – it is not on for the sake of being on. If we need to get up in the middle of a show, we just turn it off and it picks right back up where we left off when we select to watch that show again.
- Shows we never had a chance to enjoy, like “How I Met Your Mother”, can now we be watched whenever we want to.
- More channels and shows are being added all the time.
- The kids can watch kids' shows – they have “Netflix for kids”.
- The shows that are watched are shown in the queue – so you can know what is being watched in the household.
- We're saving hundreds of dollars a year!
So, do you think you might want to change the way you watch TV forever? I can't see us going back to pay $100s per month or having to watch TV when THEY tell us to. We watch it when WE want to and HOW we want to! I love that.
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