LOS ANGELES — Cord cutters are really passionate in their zeal to lower entertainment costs.
So this week, they didn't take kindly when I suggested that with so many streaming entertainment options and more to come, if we signed up for many of them, we could end up spending just as much as we do with cable.
That podcast and post produced a flurry of tweets, comments and e-mails, so today, some more thoughts, and rebuttal time to the critics.
In a nutshell, folks hated the headline, that cutting the cord could cost more than cable.
“Cord cutters save money,” wrote Ed Jimenez from Sacramento. “It’s a fact.”
For most cord cutters, of course they do. They ditch their sky-high cable subscription, subscribe to Netflix, Amazon and maybe add Hulu, and they’re saving at least $100 a month from cable.
But with all the new subscription services that are announced all the time, do the math. Just this week new services featuring Warner Bros. cartoons and BBC dramas were revealed, and a new, higher priced live version of Hulu is coming soon. YouTube is offering a cable alternative, YouTube TV, in the spring for $35 monthly and DirectTV recently offered a similar service.
Sign up for a bunch of these, add Filmstruck, the classic movie subscription service from Turner Classic Movies, CBS All Access, HBO Now, Showtime and you get the idea, you could end up paying more for cable.
In my initial report, I factored in the cost of high-speed Internet, because without a good, strong signal, there’s no streaming. I pay $50 monthly for high-speed.
“A reach” suggested John Gladding on Twitter, because I'd be paying it anyway.
The Internet “is essentially now a utility,” added Brandon Girod.
Luke Bouma, who runs the Cordcuttersnews.com website, posed a question: “Ask yourself if you had cable TV, would you cancel internet? So can you really count that as a CC cost?”
I invited Bouma to join me on Facebook Live for a lively debate on cord cutting. How much savings would we really see if we started adding all the new services?
"You don't need to add them all," he said, because so many of them have similar programming. Just pick the ones that serve your needs, he added.
For the record, I love streaming services, and spend most evenings happily watching YouTube Red or Hulu via Apple TV.
And I’m with Brenda Mann, who posted a Facebook comment about the cutting the cord movement:
"At least we can pick what we want to see instead of having cable pick choices.”
Finally, Joshua Lieberthal pointed out a dirty little secret about what could happen to cord cutters when they ditch their TV. The Internet provider sometimes raises the rates on high-speed, and will offer slower service as well.
“You will pay far more for Internet if you are streaming video,” he writes.
For instance, Comcast charges $34.99 for internet with 10 MBPS (slower-speed) service, or $39.99 with TV channels and faster 25 MBPS service. “I for one have cable but don't use it because my streaming services just work better," he adds. "I keep cable because it keeps my internet bill down.”
What’s your take on cutting the cord? Please join me on the conversation on Twitter, where I’m @jeffersongraham, and subscribe to the daily #TalkingTech podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.