Six years ago, my wife and I bought a little fixer-upper outside of Reading. The previous home owners were a couple in their 80’s who spent most of their lives in this home. It appeared as though their source of entertainment was a single television connected to an antenna mounted to the roof.
Being young and reliant on technology, one of the first things I did when we moved in was run cable lines. I contacted Comcast and arranged for them to set us up with phone, internet, and television service.
I recall those first couple of days in our home, sitting in the living room, on lawn chairs, watching PBS courtesy of our roof-mounted antenna. I was thrilled to have modern services a few days later and have had them ever since.
Cable television was an expensive form of mindless entertainment but my wife and I were willing to pay for it. After all, we’d had it most of our lives and couldn’t imagine going without prime-time cable television shows.
Each and every year our pricing increased and I would have to make an unpleasant call to Comcast to work a new deal. Without fail, I would wind up paying a little more for an ‘upgrade’ in service.
Around this time last year, I made the usual call and came away with mixed emotions. I reached the point where I felt we were spending more than we could afford on a service we weren’t taking full advantage of. My wife and I agreed, when the price expired, we would pull the plug on cable television.
The day finally arrived today. I opened up the latest statement from Comcast and sure enough, our pricing had expired. Our bill jumped up a little over $20 per month and I made the call.
In the past, I was always told “You can only upgrade your service for package pricing. I’m sorry but there is nothing we can do if you want to trim services.” It is funny how that policy changes when you call to cancel services.
I spoke with a very friendly customer service rep who did a great job of finding me better deals. As appealing as some of them were, I opted to pull the plug on cable and phone service, keeping only internet. In the end, my wife and I will be saving about $80 per month.
The plan going forward is to become a streaming household. I bumped us up to the next speed tier (going from 20Mbps to 105Mbps) and plan to rely heavily on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Plex Media Server, and a variety of Roku Channels. In addition to those streaming options, I’m going to wire my roof antenna into a splitter (perhaps add an amplifier if needed) and try to use local broadcast television for news and sports.
In an effort to squeak out a little more savings, I ordered a Motorola Surfboard to replace our rented Cable Modem (which will save us $8 per month and pay for itself in under a year). In addition, I ordered a new Apple Airport Extreme to replace our near-vintage Linksys Router and make the most of our new internet speed.
There are a number of shows that we’ll miss on cable television but I think we’ll adjust and be just fine.