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Old 09-20-2016, 01:31 AM
 
9,065 posts, read 9,221,268 times
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Cable TV companies try to advertise themselves as inherently "frugal living" compared to the cost of going to live sports events, live music, or even movie theaters for a family once a week. The argument is that the sports fan is never going to be happy watching Netflix, and most people would find just Netflix a limiting viewing experience.

In December 2015 the FCC finally lifted the so called "integration ban" which has been in place since July 2007. This is the regulation that requires the cable company to use so called CableCARDs in their equipment that decodes digital signals.

As a point of reference, my cable company charges $60/$70/$80/month for the first three years for so called "basic cable" and $40/$50/$60/month for 50 Mbps internet and $80/$90/$1000/month for both of them together. But they sneak in about $20/month in so called "fees", and another $15 a month for a TiVo box with a hookup for single TV, a 6 tuner DVR, a CableCARD slot and the ability to stream to a single tablet or television equipped with Amazon Fire.

A new company that is trying to take advantage of the end of the FCC "integration band" is now offering TV for about $75 a month that you can add to internet. The argument is that most people don't really want SlingTV's $20 slim package, but they want the full lineup, and a nice box with DVR capabilities, and good customer service.
https://layer3tv.com/
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Two Rivers, WI
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It always blows me away when I hear people actually paying to watch TV. Kind of a sign that they either have too much money, or nothing else to do. Everyone I know went back to antenna TV.
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:42 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,718,901 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRlaura View Post
Kind of a sign that they either have too much money, or nothing else to do. Everyone I know went back to antenna TV.
How about neither?
Consider another option: lack of channels.
I get three with an antenna.
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:03 PM
 
1,237 posts, read 1,780,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRlaura View Post
It always blows me away when I hear people actually paying to watch TV.

You're paying for your local Library through your taxes. It should have a good collection of DVD's with new releases coming out monthly. Sure, using an antenna will get you free TV, and you can compliment it with a simple DVD player.


I simply translate English to French when someone asks me my service provider... "Why, it's Bibliotheque, a very high end and classy company"....


Or you can translate it to Welsh, in which case your SP would be "Llyfrgell"


"Llyfrgell? I never heard of that company, how much does it cost?"

One could choose whether or not to answer this...
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
16,736 posts, read 20,470,484 times
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I went to the PBS.org website a couple days ago, because I quit Amazon Prime and Netflix, thinking I could watch the latest episodes for free like I used to. WRONG! Even PBS is requiring a paid pass to watch the shows now. They call it a donation, but it's required. Crazy.

Everything is an add-on subscription. Like Amazon Prime. Anything I wanted to watch was an additional fee. Even old movies. And if you want to watch anything worth watching, like the Outlander series, or Vikings, etc., you have to pay an add-on subscription fee.

Frustrating. And when the TV signals went digital, it was the kiss of death to free TV in apartment living.

So, now I watch movies on Youtube that people upload illegally LOL. It's the best free option out there.

The DVDs from my library never work right. I gave up on them.
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:27 PM
 
Location: The World
3,012 posts, read 1,810,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRlaura View Post
It always blows me away when I hear people actually paying to watch TV. Kind of a sign that they either have too much money, or nothing else to do. Everyone I know went back to antenna TV.
I don't know. In some ways, I think cable can be a decent part of a frugal lifestyle. I pay for cable, Netflix, Hulu and UFC Fight Pass (my husband and I are big UFC fans, and you get to watch a ton of fights for free).

My cable bill is $150 a month, but that includes high-speed internet (which I have to have for my work) and a home phone. I pay around $10 a month each for Netflix, Hulu and Fight Pass.

It was actually a few dollars cheaper to get cable, internet and a phone than to skip the phone (which we barely use but that I'm kind of happy we have, now that we have it), so we won't count that. My bill isn't broken down very well since it's a bundled package, but let's say the cable is 1/2 of the monthly cable bill. That's $75. Add the other three services, and that equals approximately $105 a month, or around $3.50 a day.

I have never been a huge TV watcher, but my husband is. If we did not have TV options, he would be very bored. For a while, I did not pay for Netflix, Hulu or Fight Pass, and he was always looking to rent Redbox movies or "go find something to do" (read: something that would cost more than $3.50 and definitely more than the $1 a day we were saving by not paying for those services) because he was bored.

Of course it's not a necessity, but since we can afford it, I think it's worth it. To me, it's comparable to buying unnecessary snacks and sodas for the house. Sure, you can live off of protein and veggies, and extra "snacks" and "drinks" are definitely a "want" and not a "need." In fact, it can be argued that snacks, soda *and* TV aren't necessarily very good for you. However, from a "frugal living" aspect and not a "health" aspect, if you're going to buy them anyway, you're way better off buying them at the grocery store and keeping them in the house vs. going out to get them all the time at 2-3x the price or more.

My husband loves soda, and I can either watch out for sales and buy 4 12-packs for $10 and pay about $0.28 a can, or I can argue that it's an unnecessary expense and then see him spend anywhere from $0.50 to $1.79 per drink. I can say that Little Debbie cakes are an unnecessary expense, or I can spend $1.50 for a box with 8-12 snacks ($0.13-$0.19 each) vs. spending $0.50 to $0.99 each. Those are my husband's vices. As far as mine go, it's more about beer and wine. Once again, definitely a "want" and not a "need," but I can spend $5-$7 on a decent bottle of wine that will yield me 3-4 glasses, or I can pay $5-7 per glass at a restaurant or bar. I can buy a 24-pack of beer for $16.99 and pay $0.71 a beer, or I can go to a bar and pay $2-3+ each.

In the same vein, I can pay $3.50 a day and ensure there is ample entertainment in the house, which keeps my husband at-home and happy. If there weren't any TV options, he'd be looking to go somewhere where there was. Along with that comes added food prices, drink prices, gas, etc.

Obviously, our "wants" are different from everyone else's. TV, snacks, soft drinks, beer, wine, etc. are "wants" here, and yes, even though it's an unnecessary expense, it saves us money on things we'd spend cash on anyway. If we were in a situation where we could not afford these things, we would not buy them. We've been in that situation before and didn't. However, every family is different, and sometimes budgeting for unnecessary wants can actually help you save money vs. "putting your foot down" in your budget and then blowing 2-3x as much on the same things anyway.
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:17 AM
 
9,065 posts, read 9,221,268 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkmax View Post
Of course it's not a necessity, but since we can afford it, I think it's worth it.
Economists don't really divide expenditures into necessities and luxuries. Although we all recognize that you can't live without air, food and water and you need sanitation and protection from the elements, almost everything else in the economy can't be divided into two categories.

You said: My cable bill is $150 a month, but that includes high-speed internet (which I have to have for my work) and a home phone. Our bill is $158 for the same thing (including 50 Mbps internet).

My parents are in their 80's and they like their home phone. Their cell plans are for emergency use only and cost $15 apiece for 300 minutes, but would cost $30 apiece for unlimited use. So there is no cost savings by eliminating the phone.

We get basically no antenna reception outside of local news, PBS, and some standard definition channels that play old TV shows . So we couldn't even watch football without cable.

So I am curious how this layer3 television is going to work. As I said they are not envisioning using the internet to lower monthly bills, but to (in theory) offer much better service (and customer service) for a similar amount of money.

It will inherently have to cost more since you will still have to buy internet from your local cable company.

The CEO is not under any illusions that they could grow to be the new COMCAST. It's a premium service and they are looking to catch at least a million subscribers.

You might argue that I posted this entry under the wrong topic, but I think some people consider quality home entertainment fundamental to frugal living.

Of course, a lot of these ideas are related to age. A young person might be willing to watch a movie on a 3.5" screen just as long as they get out of the house.
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:41 AM
 
Location: The World
3,012 posts, read 1,810,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
Economists don't really divide expenditures into necessities and luxuries. Although we all recognize that you can't live without air, food and water and you need sanitation and protection from the elements, almost everything else in the economy can't be divided into two categories.
This is true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
You might argue that I posted this entry under the wrong topic, but I think some people consider quality home entertainment fundamental to frugal living
I think you're right. We have tried having the bare minimum at home....sometimes out of necessity and sometimes because we were trying to keep to a certain budget. Since it has been an option for us, yes, ensuring that we have quality entertainment and foods and drinks that we prefer at home is cheaper than "skimping" on these things and then going elsewhere to get them.

As for the Layer 3 TV...it's pretty interesting. Our $150/mo cable/internet/phone package does not include DVR. It's pretty rare that we miss it, but every now and then, we do wish that we had it. It's definitely something to look into, right? I just wonder how much my internet bill would be without the bundled package so that I could qualify for this.

Also, since internet is required for the service, I wonder if it would slow down internet service for other things?
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:45 AM
 
4,783 posts, read 4,665,088 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRlaura View Post
It always blows me away when I hear people actually paying to watch TV. Kind of a sign that they either have too much money, or nothing else to do. Everyone I know went back to antenna TV.
I don't have cable but I also only get 3 or 4 channels.

I don't like Netflix anymore. I do not like the focus on almost entirely their own content now.

I've thought about Sling TV (reviews seem too mixed) and Playstation Vue (do not like that my area is $10 more/month than other areas) but I still teeter.

Too much money? Maybe that's what people care to spend their money on rather than other things. Do you know how boring it is to work nights and then try to stay up all night, alone, with nothing to do and no where to go because you are trying to stay on your sleep schedule? I am so glad I have access to some cable channels through my parents' cable subscription. I want to watch hockey and baseball and tennis---it is costly to go to these events regularly. Can you tell I still think about getting cable back regularly?
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:01 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
17,994 posts, read 17,150,498 times
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I pay about $90/month for cable that I barely even watch because it comes with the internet package. If I drop cable, the internet bill goes up. Also, without cable I would get about two channels. I need internet and there is only one company in town so there is no choice.

Frugal would be the ability to get cheap internet without being required to bundle tv with it.
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