Zeroing In on Cord Cutters

A recent survey by Morgan Stanley found that one in 10 pay-TV subscribers have definite plans to “cut the cord” sometime in 2014 year, reinforcing something most of us already know: Americans are getting fed up with the ever-escalating cost of cable and satellite TV subscription packages and seeking alternate ways to watch their favorite shows.

Winegard, which has been making TV antennas for 60 years, examines the cord cutting phenomenon in the infographic below. In addition to providing facts and figures, it shows would-be cord cutters how to get programming without a cable or satellite subscription and offers up a down-and-dirty tutorial on how to choose the right antenna for your location.

dnoonie's picture

I cut the cord in February.

Replaced with:
Netflix on BD
VUDU for one show
Will buy some TV shows I really like on BD and DVD or those not available on Netflix

Why did I cut? In order of importance.
1. Not watching because of lifestyle. My work is seasonal. I work long hours for months at a time traditional TV viewing even with a DVR is not practical. I found I was watching 50% of the TV shows I watched on BD or DVD anyway so why not watch the rest that way.
2. Cost. I wasn't watching so why pay.
3. Quality. BD is higher quality. Some shows really benefit from BD viewing/listening.

MatthewWeflen's picture

We cut the cord in July 2009 (though of course most cord cutters still end up paying the same monopoly for broadband access). Our reasons were:
1. Price (more than $80 per month)
2. Wanting to watch less TV, or at least do it with more intention and forethought
3. Hatred of the raw deal cable monopolies perpetuate (e.g. no "a la carte" programming)

We use OTA (40%), Netflix (20%), free Hulu (40%), and Amazon Prime (negligible). Blu-Ray is typically only for movies.

I miss White Sox games. We get about 50 OTA out of 162. Otherwise, I'm pretty cool with it. We save lots of money, watch a bit less TV, watch higher quality TV as a rule (because shows are the result of research, not just surfing), and watch more local PBS/news programming. The video quality is definitely quite a bit better better OTA than cable, but lower on Hulu. Netflix looks about as good as cable IMHO.

The only thing that would even have me considering going back, short of winning the lottery, would be true a la carte package building. I'd be happy to pay $3-$5 per channel for a select few (Local Cable Sports, Science, NatGeo, HGTV, Discovery, A&E, etc.). I expect this to be an option at around the same time that hell freezes over.

mdm08033's picture

I phased in the switch over. I started streaming with a smart Blu-ray player. Then I converted to voice over IP telephone service. Then I bought a TiVo Premiere when they offered $10 per month for the over the air DVR/programming guide fee. Next came a roof top uhf/vhf antenna. The last piece of the puzzle was better streaming via a Roku 2xs. Between Netflix, Amazon Prime, over the air, Red Box and the public library we have more content than hours. A special tip of the hat to AMC, Amazon and Roku for allowing me to watch a la carte shows Like Mad Men and The Killing by subscription the day after they are "Broadcast." Yes I miss live sports but the NHL and MLB throw me an occasional, stunning looking, uncompressed bone over the air game. My teaser rate from Comcast internet only service has crept up but, I just got a two year Verizon offer for $30 per month internet only. Either Comcast competes or I switch internet service providers.

remixedcat's picture

Cord cutter since 2007! been using Netflix, Hulu, MGO, and various other services since then.

I got 10 computers, 5 phones, and two Rokus.

FinanceBuzz's picture

I recently resubscribed to Netflix streaming so I go back and watch some show I heard so many people talking about..."The Walking Dead." It was a far cheaper way to catch up than going and buying past season Blu-rays. Now I have expanded to other series. The quality for TV is pretty good and I can stream on my iPod Touch on the treadmills at the gym (they have a iPod interface on the mounted TV monitors). Most new shows can be found in some fashion for streaming. But here is the deal breaker - live sports.

In the fall, I am a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE college football fan. I am at games almost every weekend, but I still watch many live games. ESPN streaming is not even close to a substitute here. Also, I follow Formula 1 racing and I am not aware of any way to stream this (live is not as big a deal since most races run at odd hours in the US). Until there is a reasonable replacement for this type of content that can be experienced on the big screen, cord cutting won't happen for me.

Thompsoe85's picture

I cut the cord years ago. I found that I didn't have the time to watch even the shows from broadcast TV. I have a TiVo and Apple TV. The TiVo captures more than enough from broadcast TV. We also use Netflix, Apple streaming and a bit of Amazon Prime. The Blu-Ray is seldom used.

boulderskies's picture

I cut the Cable about 4 months ago and would never, ever go back. I now watch maybe three shows OTA, stream Netflix, Amazon Prime and (believe it or not), YouTube. And I bought a TiVo OTA model allowing DVR capability.
The reasons:
* Shitty content.
* Monthly cost.
* Too many channels with nothing on.
The benefits:
* Superior OTA picture compared to Cable.
* Selective viewing based on MY taste and schedule.
* Monthly savings.

Also, for those seriously considering OTA, offers a tool to estimate what your specific antenna reception will be at your address. This will help you decide which antenna to buy. To not include this information somewhere in the Wineguard graphic is a big gaff...