365 Challenge: Day 312 – Cable

Cable: a service I use (or may no longer use) to watch television and surf the internet


Last night, I received two communications from the building management company who maintains the co-op apartments where I live. In the first, they noted the monthly maintenance costs were to increase by ~10% to cover some unexpected shortfalls. It’s aggravating, but I will not go into that now. (I kinda wish Ryder could rant about that one… as you know he would!) In the second, they let us know that our cable provider was unwilling to negotiate on the monthly cable costs for our building, and there could be another increase. In full disclosure, I don’t mind saying how much I pay for cable as it’s probably not all that far off from anyone else. For internet and a single television cable DVR box with a few additional channels (not much) above basic, the monthly bill is $205. I don’t even have telephone service with it! In the past, we watched a lot more shows, so it wasn’t too big of a deal, but now it’s just getting absurd. So… I found myself a little project this week: alternative options to my current cable package.

Verizon Fios is also in my building, so I will call them to see what better deals I can get, then ask my cable provider to beat it if they want me to stay as a customer. However, I’m also investigating another alternative and thought I’d throw it out there to see if anyone had experience, opinions or suggestions… We already have Netflix and AppleTV, which is where we tend to watch most of our shows or movies. We watch basic cable stations for current season TV shows, including PBS, FOX, CBS, ABC, NBC, TVLAND, Discovery, BUZZR, COZI, MeTV, FX, and POP. That’s all – we hardly ever watch anything else. Most of the stations have apps to watch through AppleTV or to watch on an iDevice, but you’d have to purchase each subscription to watch current season episodes. There is also purchasing an antenna to get most of these stations, but then you’d have to be home to watch the show when it airs, or buy the DVR to record for about $250.

The alternative, which seems to be a promising idea, is to get an antenna and skip the DVR for watching many of those stations. In lieu of a DVR, I could add a Hulu monthly subscription for about $10 per month and watch current episodes the day after they actually air (really not a big deal, we sometimes wait days to get to them if busy). After 2 years, the cost of Hulu would exceed buying the DVR, but you get a lot more things with Hulu. I’ll be doing my research this week with a goal of contacting all the companies next week to find the best plan and try to reduce the $205 monthly cost of basic TV and cable. I’m not even going to comment in detail on the rising costs, as I’d just be venting which I’ve already done here at home. Between operational costs, actor/actress salaries, insurance and lawsuits, it’s just going to keep increasing. I also know that paying this much is a lot less than going to the theatre or the movies all the time, so I totally get the picture.

My main concern is that I believe I’m paying twice as much as I probably need for the services and products I actually use. I don’t watch 150 channels… just 8 to 10 of them. I don’t spend hours a day watching TV either, maybe 1 or 2 hours each night. In the end, I think this is the right path. Anyone have thoughts on Hulu, the antenna solution to watch broadcast television or any other alternative options?


About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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  1. I don’t have any comment on Hulu as we don’t get that up here in Canada but I am sorry the rates are going up. You’re paying the same amount as we do, more or less. I like your idea about getting a quote from Fios and then seeing if the cable company will match it. Negotiations are always a good way to go. A tip: skip the entry level customer service and request to talk with an upper level manager. Go straight to the top! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. $205 dollars a month makes me vomit. I haven’t had cable in years. I pay for internet only and watch Netflix and Amazon Prime and HBO Go. The TV we just bought has a digital antenna built in so if we want to tune in to watch local TV we can but our previous TV, we had to buy one. It’s pretty worth it though considering the amount of time we actually watch local. As for the DVR cost, that seems awfully expensive! Does it have a lot of space? I guess it all depends on how much you watch TV on the daily basis in comparison to what you are willing to spend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vomit, that’s a good word reaction. 🙂

      A few online articles recommended that DVR with the broadcast antenna solution. I’m sure I could find it cheaper. I hadn’t looked at Amazon Prime… I wonder if I can get the local network current tv episodes on there. Thx for the input!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think Hulu is the only one that provides current TV episodes. Honestly for what you pay for cable, you can get Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and internet and still pay less and it encompasses everything enough that you wouldn’t even need a DVR cause they’re always online. Plus the added benefit of little to no commercials!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahaha! I could negotiate your internet prices too if you’d like ;). I currently only pay $30 a month for mine but the usual cost is $72 for the speed I pay for.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well I just looked on the FiOS website. If you cut the cable cord and buy their $40 a month plan, subscribe to Hulu, you’d be set. You won’t need more than 100 mbps for the set up you have. Its moooore than enough in the speed dept! Between that, Netflix and Amazon Prime, you’re only looking at around $70 bucks a month. And you can add any additional subscriptions and still be less than your cable bill.

        Liked by 2 people

      • That’s exactly what I was thinking. Spectrum who I am with now is $45 for internet alone, but it’s 200 whereas Fios is $40 and 100 speed… maybe spectrum will lower to not lose me as a customer at all. 🙂

        with amazon prime, do you still need to pay for amazon prime video? That’s the part I’m looking at now to see what those costs/differences may be, oh Queen of Everything!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nope. If you pay for Amazon Prime, Video is included. And yes, if you call Spectrum and tell them what your competition is offering, its a high possibility they will lower your price because they don’t want to lose you. I pit Spectrum against ATT all the time hence my $30 buck a month internet, hahahaha

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well you live in NYC and pay more than me. We have internet(100) home phone and every cable channel they offer. We have two DVR boxes and to regular cable boxes plus their modem. Our monthly charge is 178.00 and it’s with Spectrum but we live in Country Bumpkin upstate NY! Lol I think Nel has the right idea!! She is brilliant!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Our city has its own cable company so we have them for cable and internet. We can get phone from them too if we want but right now we have our phone through Verizon (we can’t get Fios – go figure). We pay $138 a month for basic plus cable which includes almost every channel both in regular and in HD except the movie stations like HBO, etc. We have 3 HD cable boxes and 2 regular cable boxes. We also have Apple TV through which we watch Netflx. There is also a free program called WatchTVEverywhere.com where you can access current TV programs through your computer. Our cable company is part of that so I could access the programs on my laptop and stream them to our TV. You may want to check that out too. During football season we buy RedZone through the cable company but that is the only extra we pay for, although they do have what they call Video on Demand, which includes some movies we could rent. Personally, I rarely watch TV.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Our town has its own garbage company and we get our water from wells that we have around the city so we are pretty independent. I like the fact of supporting the local community, although it is possible for people in the city to get Dish or Comcast or whatever other company they want to use for cable providers so it is not forced upon us.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. In my last apartment, I had an antenna for basic cable, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime (prime doesn’t get much use for movies/TV but we like the 2 day shipping and it’s included). In the apartment I’m in now, they offer basic cable so I don’t have the antenna but I still have the three services. I never miss anything I want to see. If I miss it live, Hulu normally has it. If Hulu doesn’t, I wait a while and Netflix or Amazon eventually has it. If that doesn’t work, I miss the show. But it normally isn’t an issue. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cable and satellite are both terribly expensive and now with stream services splitting everything up its hard to choose just one with them all offering different exclusive shows (Hulu, Netflix, HBO, crave, etc…) THERE’S SO MANY OF THEM! I still have satelite, but if I could figure out how to get my football games and Food Network on something else I could save so much money…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m probably not the best person to comment here because cable to me is a huge rip off. We’ve been on antenna for the last 10 years and use Netflix and Amazon for streaming occasionally. Local channels and PBS are really all we need and free. I’d suggest that because it saves money, but it’s personal preference. Everything just seems to be so expensive anymore. I do miss Food Network and the Smithsonian channel though. 💗 I think mainly, my biggest issue is that going back to cable would cost more and take everyone in the house away from their reading too. Just my thoughts. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. well, as i’m no longer in the U.S, cable bills are no longer in my to-pay utility list. here i think we do have – in case i want to subscribe to other channels, but my kids like the ones we have and out of the hundreds, they only watch three channels, so, no cables to worry about.

    and by the way, J, i nominated your blog for the awesome blogger award – i’d love to hear your answers if you have time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My cable, phone, and internet is around $126.00. That’s the highest it’s been for us in years. Our cable provider changed last year and that’s when it went up. Previously it was about $115.00. I continually fussed to keep it at that rate. Now I saw on the current bill that rates are increasing yet again. Cable has been a dilemma for us for years. It’s the internet that forces us to keep it since we have a bundle, and our cable provider has the best internet service. I’m fed up with the increases though since we only watch a handful of the miriad of channels too.

    Liked by 1 person

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