I say we cancel the cable
I get this text out of the blue on Monday. I’ve mentioned the idea from time to time to my wife, but nothing recent. As far as I can tell, I haven’t been playing my cord-cutting podcast I listen to, CordKillers, around her recently. “What brought this thought on?” I ask her. “The bill lol. I like maybe 3 shows enough to care if I can’t watch them. That doesn’t justify 119 a month bill”.
So we finally cancel our DirectTV service. No more DVR’d shows, no live TV, no more shows.
Well, not exactly.
Thinking back other than the most recent episode of Archer, I haven’t watched any live “traditional” TV in weeks. And even that Archer episode I could have watched via the app, on our DirectTV NOW service, or any number of other ways. Everything “TV” I watch is either on an App (with or without authentication… more on that later) via Apps that have their own services (HBO, Netflix, Hulu), or just free video services (YouTube, Twitch, CW app). And that doesn’t include all the podcasts, YouTube video, and other media content I consume.
The rest of the family isn’t far off from my video watching. As mentioned above, Mrs Tasel has a few shows, but again the most of the video watching is via apps like Netflix, HBO, Food Network app, etc. And for the ones she does watch live, every single one was available via an app. My daughter doesn’t even use a wide range of apps. She is locked in to just YouTube or Netflix… and that’s it. So with the approval to cancel, we took the plunge.
The process of canceling was fairly straightforward. Actually I expected a lot more push-back, but the guy on the phone asked his questions, and was completely understanding. I’ve heard stories of them straining to retain you by offering lower plans and options to keep you. My differing experience could be due to DirectTV not having any internet bundles, or other things to offset the cost. Or perhaps it could be that they already have an online strategy in place. Or maybe it’s just a sign of the changing times where companies are realizing they have less to offer in a world filled with all this online video content. Either way, except for having to wait while things were entered, it was fairly painless.
Everything canceled and square away. Bill was current so no fees there, and we were well outside our original contract. So now what? Sit back and continue on right? I expected that we wouldn’t have to do much since we weren’t watching stuff on the “real TV” anyway. That wasn’t the case though.
Beside the obvious getting together the cable boxes, and going on the roof to get the dish, we found that a lot of our “online watching” was linked to our traditional TV subscription. I did do my research before hand, and with our DirectTV Now subscription we could sign use our apps (With FoodNetwork being the one exception). If you are cutting the cord yourself, you’ll want to check that too. Every one of the “online TV streaming companies” have a different amount of apps and channels they both offer, offer on demand, and have the apps you can sign into with. One your set there, then there is the actual act of singing into everything again was quite annoying. Each of our devices have for years been set, and all that needed changed.
AppleTV makes it a little easier with their global sign in… or would have if DirectTV NOW was one of the options. So back into the old “go to the website and sign in” method of setting it up. How I forgot how much I prefer the single sign on. One thing I was surprised while signing in at was the Disney Apps. I signed into one, and all the other ones automatically (after a few moments) used the log in. That was nice. But every other app I needed to sign in.
Once everything was in place, there wasn’t much we needed to do. Our lives moved on, and our viewing habits have yet to change. With us canceling our DirectTV service, we still have plenty of video to watch. We even have “Live TV” since we watch what Brian brushwood calls “Waterfall TV”. For those times when you just need noise in the background that you pay half of your attention to.
Which is why the title of this is posed as a question. Even though we have “cut the cord” we still watch as many TV shows as before. We even still have “Live TV” via an (what I can only describe as) Internet TV Cable company. We currently have DirectTV NOW, but there is a swarm of them to choose from if you need your background/live TV itch scratched: PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. Each have their own pros and cons, but all basically are replacing your traditional cable needs. I’ve “cut the cord” but I still have basically a TV subscription. Just in a different delivery service.
Is the idea of cord cutting thumbing your nose up at traditional companies? If so then when Satellite TV came out that was Cord Cutting. Is it watching content form nontraditional companies? If so when all those small cable channels coming out were part of that. I supposed if you ask that question to random people you are going to get different answers.
Either way this is now a new adventure we are on, and hope to bring you along with me. I hope in the future to explain some of the pitfalls, and joys of being a cord cutter. If you have questions about the cord cutting process, ideas, or suggestions, please let me know below in the comments.