LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — To cut the cord or not to cut the cord?

With more streaming options available than ever before, that’s the question on the minds of millions of Americans. Many of these options come with a cost, however, and that can make the decision even harder to make.

South Pasadena resident Rob Clyde has subscribed to both satellite and cable. He’s already cut the cord once and now he’s back with cable. But even after spending months doing research, he’s still not sure which way to go.

“The price is not as cheap as you originally thought,” Clyde explained.

“I did the same thing a year ago and now I’m doing it again this year. It’s a really hard decision. I would really love to be 100 percent streaming,” he said.

Still, when it comes down to dollars and cents, Clyde says it gets complicated.

“I thought by going with streaming I could cut my bills maybe in half. There’s Hulu Live, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ … They’re 15 bucks here and 12 bucks there. And I’m not saving that much money by, uh, cutting my cord,” he said.

C-NET Senior Editor Ashley Esqueda says that like Clyde, you have to do your research. Streaming fees can add up and you have to figure out what you absolutely need and what you can live without.

“There are more services than I could possibly list. If you’re subscribing to all of these services, it can sometimes exceed your cable bill,” Esqueda explained.

“One thing people have to really be aware of when they’re about to cord-cut is their local channels. So for example, if I wanted to continue to watch CBS here in L.A., I would have to make sure that the subscription included either a local live TV access, or I would have to subscribe to a service like CBS All Access, and see live TV that way,” Esqueda explained.

You also need to make sure your internet is up to speed to keep your videos streaming. This can also be an additional cost.

Esqueda’s number one piece of advice?

“Be willing to let go of something that you don’t quite love,” she said. “It’s kind of an all you can eat buffet. You don’t want to overeat, but if you put together a sensible plate full of delicious streaming options, you will be satisfied at the end of the day.”

Comments (5)
  1. Len says:

    Save your money. There are unlimited free cable & movie streaming options online. Install a pop-up blocker to block the ads. All you need to do is search. Trial & error. You can find what you’re looking for. Believe me, it’s there. Time & patience is all it takes.

  2. Robert says:

    Len I hope you’re not talking about the illegal streaming services. I wouldn’t do those, get caught, and go to jail and fined. If you’re talking about the legal free options, there are a few and they’re ok. They have older movies, and some shows.

    My advice is to sign up with the ones you see shows and movies you want to see. When the shows dry up, you can always cancel your subscription. For instance if you watch Westworld on HBO. Wait till the season is over, binge watch it and any movies, and cancel the service so you don’t get paid for the next month. Do the same with all the services. When the next season of Westworld is done, start it up again. You can do this with Hulu, Netflix, CBS all access, any of them. If you get Amazon Prime, you get that with it, so that’s a no brainer. I got Disney Plus free with Verizon for a year. When that year is up if there aren’t any shows or movies I want to see, I’ll just stop it until there is something I do want to see.

    As for TV services, you only need one, Hulu or YouTube TV are the two best. Pick the one that has the channels you want and keep it or you can get an antenna and get over the air broadcasts for the main channels and get a DVR or look on YouTube to see how to make one. You can probably repurpose an old computer to do it.

  3. Barry Gross says:

    There is a way to lower your cable or satellite bill significantly without having to cut the cord or go to streaming services. It’s called Billcutterz.com. They are professional negotiators who call your service provider on your behalf to make sure you are getting the lowest rate possible on your monthly bill without changing your plan. They have been doing this for over 10 years and will help you save money without the hassle and haggle of trying to get a lower rate yourself.

  4. Don says:

    Cord cutting became more than money saving to me when I actually did it. I held off because I wanted local network channels including PBS and MSNBC and the streaming options for those were not terrific. Channels either unavailable or programming with commercials that couldn’t be bypassed from cloud DVR options. That’s all changed recently and I’ve subscribed to Youtube-TV because I can get local network stations, MSNBC and an “unlimited storage DVR.” Yes, YTTV has other channels I might find myself watching sort of like I might have watched one or two channels beyond my list above on cable out of their 200+ channels I didn’t watch.

    The DVR option is fantastic beyond what one might imagine at first. No worries about culling to save space–space is unlimited. Nine months before a recording drops off isn’t a worry. Being able to find what I want to see doesn’t require me to remember to set up a new recording if it is a series. Costs? I’m paying about $30 less per month for more useful options and far fewer useless channels. YMMV so check what’s included. Costs aren’t everything however because I won’t go back to limited hardware based DVR.

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