Cutting the cord from traditional cable or satellite television and pocketing the extra money every month is an eye-opening idea. However, one major hurdle exists that often derails cord cutters and budget minded individuals-not all traditional television alternatives are free.
The sting of higher cable prices is being felt across the country, and the average cable bill is expected to eclipse the $120 mark next year, according to Yahoo Homes. With options that include Netflix, Hulu, and even Amazon Instant Video, there are a lot of ways to trim the entertainment budget. However, a lot of those services come with a monthly subscription.
According to Variety, pay TV subscriptions have fallen by a miniscule amount. However, a savvy technology company and a major provider looking for an in-road could reap major rewards by forging a partnership that could actually save consumers some cash.
According to USA Today, Apple and Comcast are in talks to do just that. Comcast could become an option on Apple TV, which would become the first real content provider to make a major shift into Internet based television. Of course, the cost of any type of service would be the major barrier, but if a deal gets Apple TV into homes and those homes tuned into Comcast services at a reasonable price everybody is a winner. This partnership could be months away or years away.
In addition, the streaming war is being backed by Aereo TV, which allows users to stream broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and more) right to their desktop, laptop, or television for a monthly fee. The company is slowly rolling out nationwide, and could soon be an option in several cities. The cost of traditional wired service might be increasing, but all those monthly subscriptions also tend to add up quickly.
While $8 here and $8 there does not seem like a ton of cash, a trio of Hulu, Netflix, and Aereo will set you back around $25 per month. If those services are supplemented with an iTunes, Comcast, Google Play, or other account for any “can’t wait for it” show, the total monthly cost could outweigh the price of a cable subscription before too long.
Cutting the cord might seem like a dream come true, and while the technology exists to get a tone of free or low cost programming, cable providers have another card up their sleeves-many of them double as broadband providers. That means that a move to streaming high-definition video would likely produce capped data plans for consumers, which would again result in a higher monthly cost. This isn’t a problem that was not created overnight, and it will not be solved overnight either.