Cutting the Cable and Joining Netflix

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Well, to be honest, I never had cable to start with anyways, so I guess this post doesn't make any sense.

But for those of you who actually have cable, making the choice to switch to Netflix is a brilliant idea.

I have officially joined the Netflix band wagon as well but haven't started paying yet because you get to have a free trial for one month.  Netflix costs $7.99 a month.  For $7.99 a month, you can watch Netflix on your computer and on two viewing options.  I chose to be able to watch Netflix on my iPhone/iPad and my Blueray DVD player.  For a little more, you can add more viewing options as well.  Compare that $7.99 to $20 to $65 a month with a large cable provider like Telus for the first six months.  After that, you're on your own and the price is even more expensive.

I remember paying over $120 for both cable television and Internet so believe me, I was quite relieved to not have to pay for cable television anymore, especially since I watch no television now, except for the occasional How I Met your Mother episodes.

So Who's Joined the Netflix Bandwagon?

Cutting the Cable and Joining NetflixAccording to a recent survey done by Price Water House Cooper in June, Netflix is the number one alternative to cable television, with 41 percent of the people polled to be using Netflix for television shows and movies.  After Netflix, comes satellite television and then Amazon Prime with 26 percent and 18 percent respectively.

So a lot of people have joined the Netflix bandwagon.  I assume that some people are using cable television and also subscribing to Netflix in addition to acquire more programming options.

How to Cut Cable and Join Netflix

If you need a “how to” on cutting your cable and joining Netflix, here's an easy read from Yahoo on joining Netflix.  It's really quite easy, if I can do it, you definitely can (and I am very technologically challenged- it took me a long time to realize that I just needed an HDMI cable to connect from my Blueray DVD player to the television instead of using both an HDMI cable and the yellow, red, and white round cables that I was accustomed to using).

Another way to enjoy increased programming is getting an VPN so that you have access to Netflix from the United States (which is infinitely times better, though I must say that Canada has improved dramatically from when it first started).  You can check out the Canada.com article on how to set up a VPN in order to get U.S. Netflix.  How it works is that it tricks your computer into thinking that the Internet it is using is based out of a different country– like the United States for example.

The Achilles Heel of Streaming Television

One of the only (and probably largest reasons) reasons why you may not want to cut your cable television and join Netflix is if you regularly watch live sports on cable.  Unfortunately Netflix doesn't have live sports programming.  One way to get past this hurdle is to hang out with your friends at their place.  More socializing and less money spent on cable, what's not to like about that?  Obviously I am being a little facetious but you get the point, I suppose.  If you want to read a great post from Mark at My Own Advisor about his reasoning for sticking with cable, check out his post in defense of cable television.

Related: Save $750+ on Shaw Cable by Being a (Starving) Student

In addition, you'll also miss local broadcasting, but personally I catch up on all things local via Twitter and also through the free newspapers so ubiquitous throughout the city.

It's all about Compromising

Like all things in life, it is all about compromising.  You get to save a substantial amount of money on television programming and movies, but you sacrifice seeing the latest, newest episode and any live sports or local programming.

Related: How to Avoid Frugal Fatigue as a Couple

Personally it wasn't much of an issue.  I didn't have to compromise much because I was used to not having any cable television anyways.  I only use Netflix when I have people over, as I don't have too much time to spend on television myself.

Readers, have you cut the fat (cable) and made the switch to Netflix?  What are your thoughts?

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Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

7 Comments

  1. Liquid on November 14, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I should look into getting Netflix too, especially since I don’t have cable in the first place like you previously. I think the market of online streaming will only get bigger with better services. Yup eventually I’ll probably jump on the bandwagon too 🙂 Nextflix and Youtube combined have recently grown to account for 50% of all internet traffic now. That’s crazy how popular the two online video services are 😀 Speaking of traffic, the only concern I have right now is with the ISP’s bandwidth limits. For example with Telus’ internet 15 package, you’re only allowed 150 GB of data every month. They put you in the next package higher if you go over the limit. If you watch Netflix too often, especially the HD shows, and the upcoming Ultra HD shows filmed in 4096 by 2160 pixels, and watching it on a Samsung 4K UHD TV, then it’s very easy to hit the bandwidth cap 😕 Not a big deal for most people if they don’t watch a lot of TV though 🙂



  2. My Own Advisor on November 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Good post…and thanks for the mention.

    Yeah, when more live sports come online, and they will via paywalls, I’ll be ditching cable.

    I would have to increase my download, upload and data limits though, but I suspect the savings will be (eventually) about $40 or so a month. Not trivial.

    I guess I’ll get to watch some hockey games tonight while doing my Weekend Reading roundup though 🙂

    Mark



  3. Phil on November 15, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Never had cable, and well, movies I have an exchange set up with friends where we pass along bought ones… I have always just used free airwave TV, and up until they switched from analog to digital, it worked, but conveniently last year while strolling the internet I came across a blog that linked me to Shaw’s LTSS program, and hooked up a dish for free that replaces my lost over wave channels – please note 5 year deal, with NO monthly fees!. Now at least I get free TV again (basic channels, but that works for us). As to Netflix or streaming, in my neck of the woods, I am on Xplorenet, with a 900Mhz receiver because of trees on my property, so they are not really an option… Oh, well, free TV & low internet costs, I’ll bank the rest for now, besides, I’m outdoors 50% of the time anyways :)- Cheers.



  4. dojo on November 15, 2013 at 9:24 am

    MIL is using the cable, so we didn’t ditch it yet (thought it’s pretty inexpensive here anyway). If it was for me and husband we’d clearly have no problem living without it.



  5. Mau on November 15, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I cut the cable a year ago and I love it! I access Netflix and a bunch of other streaming options through my Roku. I love that little box! And while I don’t watch sports, apparently you can subscribe to sports stations on it as well.

    I use a VPN so that I have access to American and Canadian content (and surprisingly, Canadian’s not that bad – sometimes we get access to stuff before the Americans do). With my VPN I was also able to register for Hulu, so I get access to new many tv shows the day after they air.

    The other thing I did was build my own HD TV antenna out of cardboard and aluminum foil. It gives me access to PBS and more importantly, CTV, meaning I still get to watch Big Bang Theory and local news.



  6. Mark Cline on November 15, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Great post!

    I also am sans-Cable. There are 3 things I’ve noticed about this when I talk to others:

    1) Like you said, no news or sports. News, you have other ways to get (have watched the last 2 US elections via Internet– my political views learn more left, so I enjoy watching the Fox News coverage. Challenge my thinking, you know). Sports, CBC has the Toronto Games (which would be my main diet of sports, and thats available from CBC website), and TSN has the world juniors (which can stream online as well), or I head to a friends house and watch there. More social (but more effort).

    2) Cost Savings. Definitely! Easy calculation there.

    3) The most surprising is people say “Oh, I couldn’t cancel. I’d miss !” And granted that is the case. When we go to a hotel I miss the constant snacking on watching 2 hours of nothing and just flipping. “OH, look how they redid that deck!” But I don’t miss having that distraction at home.

    The one side effect is that our kids are surprised when they go to their grandparents and say “I want to watch Wonder Woman, the one where they go to Germany to rescue Col. Steve Major.” and I have to explain that they don’t have all the TV shows out there.

    Although they also miss out on the steady diet of commercials. 🙂

    Apologies for the length!



  7. Cassie @ Coupons Canada on November 19, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Welcome to the Netflix club! I got rid of cable awhile ago and I don’t miss it one bit. Netflix and Hulu are all I need! Although my husband does complain about missing live hockey games…



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