Couple Money

Cheaper Cable TV Alternatives

Find alternatives to cable TV

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Our Cable Price Increases

As we received our cable bill the other week, we saw an extra sheet was included. Time Warner was informing us that due to infrastructure costs, there were going to higher prices with our future bills.  The good news is that I noticed that the increases were pretty small and they stated they would still honor promotional deals until they expired.

It still got me thinking, though, about what we would do if cable television got too expensive and we canceled it. Could we find a comparable substitute for our entertainment needs? I decided to look into and see what was out there.

Cable Companies

Time Warner Cable's Advertised Deals

After we announced a few months back that TWC gave us a bad deal, we called customer service and asked to cancel our service. We were then given a much more competitive deal and were able to get internet and cable TV at a much more reasonable price. Until the promotion ends, we'll probably keep the service and we'll re-evaluate it when it is over.

I went ahead and checked TWC's prices in our area to get an idea of what they're offering. If you have Time Warner in your area, please check to see your local deals and offers. It may be higher or lower that what I found online.

The good thing I've noticed with Time Warner Cable is that the two times we've needed a technician to come in, they were scheduled promptly. If anyone has Comcast deals, could you please share the current rates? I'll include them in the post with the next update along with a hat tip.

Satellite TV

DirecTV

I've never had satellite service growing up because of the location of my family's town house. We couldn't get a signal. I've asked others how they feel about their service and it's as wide ranging as people who use cable companies. DirecTV is a big company in satellite, so I have to include them with the comparisons. Here are the DirecTV deals in our area right now:

If you're a DirecTV customer, can you share your feedback on their customer service?

dish Network

I don't really know there difference between them and DirecTv, so I'm relying on your experiences to make this a rounded out review. The prices I got are from dish Network's own page, please check to make sure you get the current deals and rates.

If you're a dish Network customer, can you share your feedback on their customer service too?

Online/Offline Options

Netflix's Deals

A very popular choice for people who are looking for cable alternatives  is Netflix. We received a Netflix trial a few months back and fell in love with the service. The trial gave us 2 DVDs at a time with unlimited streaming. Once it was over we went ahead and switched it to 1 DVD and unlimited streaming. We use the PS3 and my laptop to watch our movies and I have to say the service has been great.

Unlike Hulu, Netflix doesn't include ads on their streaming videos. The DVDs do have some ads, but you can just get your food ready while they run. While I don't consider it a huge disadvantage, some of the movies and shows I want to watch on Netflix aren't available streaming.

Hulu's Deals

With the Plus, members can get subscription service with the full current season of many TV shows, access to to content on their electronics such as computers, iPod Touch, and TV. Hulu offers less ads for their shows, but they are still included with a paid subscription.

Thoughts on Cable Bills

If we did dump our cable, I think having Netflix and the free version of Hulu would cover all the big highlights. We're loving the documentaries and old shows on Netflix and most of the shows we really love are on Hulu.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Have you noticed increase in your cable bill? Was it a reasonable change or was it ridiculously high? Have you downgraded the cable and/or internet to improve your cash flow for either building some savings or paying off your debts?

If you're off cable, what differences have you've noticed with your schedule? Are you enjoying or do you feel like you're missing out? Do you use Netflix or Hulu? Do you think they're viable alternatives?

Photo Credit: Wonderlane

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