5 On Your Side

Rising cable costs entice customers to other options

Posted April 21, 2014
Updated April 22, 2014

With cable costs rising 6 percent a year, it could cost consumers $200 a month, something Adam Fletcher can’t afford.

"For the amount of things that we would want to watch, that we could get with the cable, it just was out of our price range," he said.

Consumer Reports advises customers such as Fletcher to consider investing in a digital antenna.

It only costs between $8 and $80, and local stations can be accessed for free. They don’t work in all homes, so make sure it can be returned if there’s a problem.

Testers say one model worth trying is RCA’s digital antenna for $32.

Streaming video services can also fill in the gaps.

Fletcher streams movies from Netflix and picks up about 30 local stations with digital rabbit ear antennas for about $20 a month.

For those not ready to give up cable or satellite television, providers have various offers to keep customers. So, it is possible to negotiate a lower-priced plan.


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  • Trusting Apr 30, 2014

    About a year ago I quit TWC. Does not matter what company or price I went back to the old convertor box and antenna. I love the old shows I can get plus still get original 5, 7, 9, and 11. I love PBS anyway so no brainer for me to stop that expense of TWC. I spent about 30 on box I think and 60 on antenna. I am well please with channels I get. No hubby or kids so no big deal for me. I think it would be worth for a family to go whole hog and get one for each tv in house. Too many other things to do than look at tv all day and I am tortured by a computer all day at work so I do not have one of those things in my house.

  • Jeff DeWitt Apr 28, 2014
    user avatar

    About two years ago I built a home theater PC with a TV tuner card. With that hooked up in place of a cable box I get Netflix, YouTube and (free) Hulu on my big screen along with over the air TV through an antenna. Most people have no idea all the cool stuff that's on YouTube, it's not just cute kittens anymore!

  • Return of... Apr 28, 2014

    I either download torrents or I have found a few websites that will stream TV in real time. Im able to watch just about any sporting event I want. I cant jusify paying for internet AND cable TV when I have found a way to watch everything on my computer. Why pay for something twice?

  • scottwinberry Apr 25, 2014

    dropped cable years ago. time warner even wants to charge you 5.99 a month to rent their modem which anyone can buy on ebay for 10.00 or less. I use project free tv to watch all the shows on any channel for free. theres no need for it and just like blockbuster, the companies are going to have to start lowering prices to keep customers or go under.

  • Nicolle Leney Apr 25, 2014
    user avatar

    I wouldn't mind so much paying for cable if I actually had a DVR that didn't decide randomly not to record. And because I don't have an HD-TV, if I try to exachange it, I'm probably going to get something even older.

  • James Kirby Apr 25, 2014
    user avatar

    TWC is a bunch of crooks. What they charge is ridiculous and their customer service is about the worst I have ever dealt with. They're terrible

  • Kyle Clarkson Apr 25, 2014
    user avatar

    TWC started charging me a REMOTE CONTROL fee. A fee just to be able to use the supplied remote control. Yes, that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Apr 23, 2014

    I'm still surprised by how many people simply can't imagine giving up cable. That's why they can keep increasing the prices. I haven't had cable for about 7 years. When I first got DVR I thought it was going to help me be less attached to the TV. Something to do when my favorite show is on, no big deal, it's recording. But it only made it worse. I watched so much more TV. When I dropped it, it saved me $1500 the 1st year.

  • Peter Mescher Apr 23, 2014
    user avatar

    With TWC now charging around $30/mo for broadcast stations, you can't go wrong giving an antenna a try.

  • 68_dodge_polara Apr 23, 2014

    Who can afford cable these days? Dumped ours for Netflix and an antenna years ago.