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The true cost of cord cutting, what it really costs to watch cable TV online

The landscape of cable TV has changed remarkably quickly over the last number of years. From once having a near monopoly on at home entertainment, to being considered an expensive and antiquated option, the days of terrestrial TV are numbered; much to the fear and loathing of the cable TV companies themselves! Apart from the delightful convenience of on demand entertainment, which allows you to watch cable TV online entirely at your leisure, users have flocked to online options mostly on the basis of a quick cost calculation. Gone are the days of expensive cable TV packages that come with a myriad of bundled and mostly unnecessary channels. Now, users can select from a steadily increasing range of on demand video services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. However, as the saying goes: let the buyer beware! Once you take the plunge and finally ‘cut the cable’ there are a number of hidden costs you should take into account.

Choose your provider carefully

One of the first tasks you will face when cutting the cord is what online cable TV provider you will choose to replace your terrestrial provider. The market is becoming incredibly crowded these days, and not all providers are created equal. With that in mind, you should take your time choosing your new provider. Thankfully most providers offer a free trial period as a promotion to new customers. These are a great way to weigh up your options amongst the providers out there. When it comes to actually choosing and sticking with a provider, you should consider not only the monthly (or yearly) cost you will incur, but also the content on offer. You might also end up having to combine a number of subscriptions to have access to all the content you had through your old cable TV subscription. This is definitely something that cord cutters should bear in mind as the total cost can often take new customers by surprise!

Hardware options

Another significant aspect to cutting the cable that you should consider concerns what device you hope to use to watch cable TV online. Once you’ve shipped the old cable TV box back from whence it came, you need to ensure you have a TV cable of receiving a wi-fi signal or streaming content otherwise you will be confined to watching your chosen TV show on a laptop or mobile device. Most Smart TVs come with built in functionality for this these days, with certain models even having native Netflix or Amazon Prime apps ready to go. If you don’t have a compatible advice, you will need to factor in the cost of upgrading your TV completely or giving it online functionality by buying a device such as an Amazon Fire Stick or a Google Chromecast. If you do need to make such an upgrade, this is a significant cost that should be considered by all would be cord-cutters.