Monday, January 12, 2009

De-Cabled (almost) - The Plan - Posted by Chris

In an effort to cut our monthly bills, Lisa and I have begun researching our options in reducing our cable bill or de-cabling. Where does this idea come from? In part from Jeff MacArthur's blog, Decabled and also thanks to our cable company's ever increasing prices.

Our experiment, if we go forward, won't completely cut cable from our home. Where we live, the cost of Internet access from DSL or Cable is roughly the same. Additionally we will need some kind of local television access which is necessary for general news and weather alerts (sorry but nothing beats Jerry Hodak telling us exactly where the bad weather is headed.) I realize that I can get broadcast television channels from an antenna, however with the digital television transition just around the corner, we would need several converter boxes as we don't own any digital televisions.

Here's where we stand right now. We currently get Internet access, digital cable tv and home telephone from our cable provider, Comcast. We are considering dropping home telephone and reducing our digital cable to limited basic cable (i.e. only local channels); Internet access would remain unchanged. This change would save us about $72 per month or $864 per year.

The obvious question is, how would we replace the services that we are losing. Well, our home telephone would be replaced by cell phones (which we already pay for) and possibly Skype. As for television, we would still have network channels, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and PBS and most of the remaining shows that we would no longer receive are available via the Internet. The key population in our household that would be most affected is under the age of six. The loss of channels like Noggin, Disney and Nickelodeon would most likely cause some initial strife, however since our kids are young I'm sure they will easily adjust if we provide other options.

If we move forward with our plan, I'll post more details regarding our efforts and how our plan is working.
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