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A Media Mom’s Take on Cord Cutting: Is It Right for Your Family?

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There is a question that has been circulating throughout both my personal and professional life lately…. Is cutting the cable cord the right thing to do!?

At work “Cord Cutting” is akin to a dirty word. The decline in subscribers is not good for the Cable Advertising Business. Our clients buy ad time directly from the cable companies who are losing subscribers by the day! But cable costs are higher than ever and customers are sick of paying a hefty price for subpar service!

As a customer of one of those subpar cable providers, I have often toyed with the idea of jumping ship. There are so many ways to consume content these days! Is it really necessary to be tethered by a cable cord?

As a self proclaimed TV junkie and mom of two TV crazed toddlers I have many factors to consider. I want my kids to have access to their favorite shows and in turn, keep Mommy sane. I also want to easily throw on my favorite mindless program when the kids are asleep!

Although your family will have its own set of considerations, below are some key things to think about!

Do you Watch a Lot of Cable Channels or Broadcast Channels?

Remember when your TV was controlled by an antenna, picking up signals out of the sky? Believe it or not those broadcast signals still exist! If your family watches more broadcast channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW) than cable channels you can cut the cord and still pick up those signals by investing in a $20 broadcast antenna.

How Much Do You Value Your DVR?

My family lives and dies by the DVR so this is a big one for us. My husband and I program our DVR to record our favorite shows and use it as a TV Guide of sorts. Each night when deciding what to view we check out what’s on the DVR and what’s scheduled to record. All of our twins’ favorite shows are on there. I can’t tell you how many times the same old episode of Sesame Street has played in our living room! If we ditched cable, we would have to adjust to life without our DVR.

Do You Have a Smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV or Other Smart Device?

Do you have at least one smart TV in your household? If your TV set was purchased in the last five years it most likely is a smart TV, meaning that it has the capability to connect to the internet, Netflix, Hulu, and multiple TV Aps. If the answer is no, you can easily buy an Amazon Fire Stick, Roku or Apple TV (among others) to make your TV smart. Netflix is king in my household (Hello Moana & Minions on repeat!) All three of our televisions are smart TVs so that we can watch our favorite Netflix shows in every room.

Yes, You Can Still Stream Live TV Without Cable

Live television is not over, even for cord cutters. Services such as DirecTV Now, Hulu, and YouTube TV offer the best of live TV, on-demand and streaming television. Sure, you might be consolidating from 400 channels down to 14 but sometimes it’s nice to keep it simple!

Can You Mooch Off a Parent or Relative?

You might have a smart TV but the monthly subscription to Hulu, Netflix and more adds up! Is there a friend or relative who’s membership you can share? (Thanks Mom!)

How is Your Wi-Fi Signal?

There is nothing that frustrates my husband more than trying to stream a show on Netflix and the Wi-Fi signal dropping. He seriously sees red! Our cable provider’s internet service is just as bad as their cable service. The signal will drop without any explanation making binging our favorite shows a nightmare. Is your cable internet strong enough to support streaming?

Are You Into Live Sports?

There are a few things that are hard to watch without a cable subscription, one being live sports. My Father-in-Law is big into International Soccer. Optimum offers all the games from every country on their premium sports package thus making it the only choice for him. My husband can’t survive football season without all the games. An antenna can get you most of the matchups however you’d be missing games broadcast on ESPN or NFL Network.

Certain Networks & Programs Can’t be Found on Streaming Services

If you are a Walking Dead fan and trying to cut the cord, you will be out of luck. AMC is notorious for keeping their content close to the vest. The only way to watch their shows is through a cable subscription. Nickelodeon content is equally hard to find. My life would get exponentially better if I could play Paw Patrol for my kids On Demand!

What’s Right for Your Family?

Deciding to cut the cord is a difficult decision with many, many factors to consider. Every day technology changes or a new streaming service is announced, complicating the issue. It is a question that millions of Americans are trying to wrap their brains around with no “one size fits all” answer.

Below are a few resources to help you better grasp your options. 

Your ultimate guide to cutting cable and saving money on streaming TV

The Definitive Guide to Cord-Cutting in 2016, Based on Your Habits

How to Stream Live Television Without Paying for Cable

Cord Cutters News

Let me know what you decide as I’m still not sold!

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