Way back in December I came across an article on the New York Times website that talked about how one family broke free from the shackles of traditional cable service providers. It really is an interesting story so if you have a few minutes at the office or during the afternoon, you should click on that link and read the piece in its entirety. However, for a very brief summation of what the writer wound up with, here it is in his own words:
I disconnected everything, threw it to the side and canceled the cable months ago. Instead, now I have a Mac Mini, wireless mouse and a Microsoft Xbox hooked up to my television.
The article talks about how the guy had all of these gadgets – a DVD player, a special remote control, the AppleTV service (which was a major bomb), a gaming system, a cable box, etc. You know the drill because chances are that you have some or all of these peripherals (and more). Then the guy broke free of the confines that are put on us by our cable television services and he created his own entertainment center using other distribution formats.
For example, for movies this guy uses a streaming service from Netflix. For television shows he uses Hulu, Boxee, iTunes and Joost. I don’t know how he manages to watch certain cable programming (how does he get FOX News or CNN or HGTV, etc?), but the fact that this guy was able to disconnect from the cable company is impressive.
Think about that in terms of real dollars from your own wallet. My roommates and I spend about $130 each month on cable and internet plus I spend an additional $35 each month on the cable-fueled telephone. That’s $165 each month to the cable company – an absolutely unbelievable $1,980 per year! That’s ludicrous!
Now how much more do you spend on digital distribution services like Netflix or Blockbuster or cable on demand, etc? The costs begin to add up.
I think it’s great that the guy from this article was able to completely disconnect himself from this system. Somewhere in the article he suggests that he’s paying a total of $40 per month now for his internet and Netflix service. Over the course of a year that’s $480 or a savings of $1,500 each year. Each year!
That’s a lot of money! And it’s got me thinking about how I might be able to disconnect from the cable company once I purchase a home of my own one of these days…