RT Cunningham


Cord Cutting in the Extreme - News and Entertainment without Cable TV

child and TV - cord cutting Whether the cable TV companies like it or not, cord cutting is a reality. Those who haven’t cut the cord are paying way too much for too little. Those who have are happier than they’ve ever been.

Welcome to my world. I haven’t watched broadcast or cable television in years, since well before I moved to the Philippines. My wife, Josie, watches cable TV but it isn’t anything like cable TV in the United States. It costs less than 600 pesos ($15.00 USD) a month and it’s usually tuned to one of three channels.

“Cord Cutting” isn’t the Correct Term

It’s what the entertainment industry, and the pundits, call it but it’s not really correct. They’re talking about a virtual cord, connected to cable television services. You still need a cord of some kind unless you can afford the outrageous data services from the telecommunication services.

Americans are being taken to the cleaners when it comes to home entertainment. The TechHive article on cord cutting explains it far better than I can. Reading the comments on the article is just as interesting.

$100 to $200 (and higher) is ridiculous. And how many channels do you actually watch? Is the convenience worth it?

Cutting Costs

If I ignore the less than $15 USD than Josie spends on cable TV, my costs are way lower. My Internet bill is 2750 pesos (around $59 USD). It’s DSL and includes the cost of the land line I never use and the VAT (value added tax). I pay for no extra services. Still, my total remains under $75 USD per month and it’s been that way for most of the last 10 years.

If you consider inflation, I’m paying less now than I was paying in 2006. As soon as fiber services move into my area, I’ll be paying even less. My mobile phone service is already cheap (under 300 pesos per month, less than $6.50 USD).

I’m on a fixed income and a fixed budget. It makes me happy when I can keep my entertainment and communication costs under $100 USD per month, especially when it includes my Internet service.

Watching Television is Painful

If you think American television includes way too many commercial advertisements, you’ll change your mind if you experience Filipino television. I can’t watch anything on cable TV here without wanting to rip my eyes out.

I have other means for getting the entertainment I want, be it movies or television series. Even so, I spend very little time entertaining myself with anything other than reading. Google and Yahoo News are enough to keep me informed.

Before I retired, I rarely looked at a television screen. I think I spent the last five years in America watching purely over-the-air broadcast TV. So, in essence, I was cord cutting well before it became an industry term. I couldn’t help it. I worked 12-hour days and winding down didn’t include being inundated with nonsense.

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By RT Cunningham
September 10, 2016
Entertainment and Recreation