Like many Americans, I woke up one morning and realized that my cable bills were putting a serious crimp in my monthly budget. To be honest, I was making monthly payments toward something I hardly even used. My busy lifestyle rarely allowed me to watch regularly scheduled programs and even when I recorded episodes, I hardly ever went back and watched them.
However, the bill that finally brought me to my senses was one that was $191. Shockingly, I was paying more for my cable television habit than I was for my car payment. I called and had my cable disconnected immediately after and haven’t looked back since.
Just a decade ago I would have had no choices about what to do — I would have been trapped in a cycle of mounting bills. But, with technological advances, people no longer need to choose between saving money and watching their favorite programs. They can cut the proverbial cord and still keep up-to-speed with Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Monday Night Football, and so much more.
However, now we are faced with a dizzying array of platforms and technologies, and many people do not understand what options they have or what it really means to cut the cord.
I know that I didn’t… until Christmas 2014.
On Christmas Day, I opened a green box that read, “Roku – Streaming Stick.” I was flummoxed. What was it? And how could I use it? See, since I had cut the cable cord, I’d started binge-watching Netflix and purchasing my favorite shows from Amazon. And get this; I watched EVERYTHING on my laptop. It wasn’t always easy watching my favorite shows on a 13-inch screen, but I made it happen.
What I didn’t know on Christmas Day was that my new Roku device was literally a game changer. With Roku, I could place my favorite channels – like Netflix, Amazon, and Crackle – right on my home screen to be accessed every time I used the device. With the Netflix channel set up on my Roku, I pay $9.99/month to binge-watch The Avengers, Narcos, and Ozark at my convenience. I typically can download a season of one of my favorite shows for only $19.99 on Amazon, and Crackle lets me stream movies and Crackle Originals for free. I couldn’t be happier!
Although I LOVE my Roku, I don’t want to forget to mention other popular options, such as Amazon Fire or Apple TV, which also allow you to stream content. Roku and Amazon Fire are generally cheaper than Apple TV and TiVo Bolt (but even these devices are cheaper than ongoing cable bills).
Though my Roku device was a gift, I personally would have selected it myself. It’s super easy to use and it has given me no technical difficulties to date. I even convinced my mother to buy one and she loves it! I also have a Smart TV, but it is much slower with streaming than my Roku.
Cutting the cord is a scary proposition for many of us. We frequently have an emotional connection to cable television, even when the bills can cripple us financially. However, technological advances mean that we can now enjoy our favorite programs without paying astronomical prices. Now that I have made the decision to cut the cord and use my Roku, I can tell you that my only regret is that I waited so long!
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