No Cable, No Satellite... No Problem - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

No Cable, No Satellite... No Problem

(Toledo News Now) -

They're called the "cord killers." Two guys whose podcast urges consumers to sever their ties to a satellite service or cable provider. And more and more people, it seems, are listening. 

But who are they?

"Most of the people who are dropping cable and switching to watching tv on the internet are folks who A: want to save a little money and B:  aren't necessarily as picky about the kinds 
of things they want to watch," said Tom Merritt who co-hosts the "Cord Killers" podcast from Los Angeles.

An average cable or satellite bill in America runs between 80 and 120 dollars, according to several studies. 

"Our cable before the internet was about 90 dollars a month," said one ohio viewer who has since "cut the cord."

Greg Gillen, a young husband and father put it simply: "It's not really worth it for us to pay for cable."

So what are these cord killers watching?

Many start with a digital antenna to watch local stations over the air for free. 

Then, to get the rest of their programming they attach a small device that streams content using an internet connection. The best part? They can watch it on that big flat screen just
like with cable - but with fewer (or no) commercials.

The hookup is simple, and several devices provide the same service. Think Roku or Apple TV. 
You plug them in and connect to your TV with an HDMI cord. They'll run you between $50-$100. 

That's a one time fee for a little box and then you're done with equipment costs. The devices come equipped with apps like Netflix or Hulu Plus... that then use your internet wi-fi
to stream content to your TV.

"Thousands of movies and television shows-- there is a lot of content for people to get into without using cable," according to Kenny Wanemacher of the Appliance Center in Maumee. 

The streaming apps, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video are among the most popular -- cost only about $8 a month. That's a far cry from an average cable or satellite bill. 

However, cable companies like Buckeye in Toledo see what's happening. They say they're trying to offer packages to fit the customer's needs. Brad Mefferd, Buckeye's Chief Administrative
Officer says, "we recognize the price of cable's gone up. But for a couple of bucks a day it's still a heckuva value."

Cable's prices go up as the costs programmers charge them go up. Cable companies look for ways to add value to their product. For Buckeye, that includes something called "TV Everywhere."

TV Everywhere is to take the cable subscription, put it on any device, a tablet, a mobile phone, a laptop, wherever you are," explains Mr. Mefferd.  Buckeye offers 43 channels that will travel everywhere with you. 

Cutting the cord likely isn't for you if you're a live cable sports or news fan... streaming services don't have those. And the TV shows you watch via streaming are going to be dated at least by 1 day. That led Kenny Wanemacher, a former cord cutter, back to cable, but he admits "if you can live with that netflix content you know that's a huge 70 bucks saved right there."

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