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To Cut or Not to Cut, that is the question...

Since 2000, the average cable bill has gone from $60 to $105. That’s a 74% increase over the course of 18 years. While cable bills continue to rise at an average of 5% annually, our pay checks do not.

Thanks to high-speed internet, streaming video services and local television stations broadcasting in High Definition (HDTV), viewers finally have an option. People can choose to either “stay connected” (to cable or Satellite) or they can “Cut the Cord" or “Drop the Dish”.

To many Americans this is a “No Brainer.”  A new report by market analyst TDG Research estimates that by 2030, as many as 40% of Americans will have opted to “Cut the Cord.”

Before you dive in head first, there are two major factors to consider. First, do you have a reliable internet service provider delivering the speeds needed to stream video online? Second, how will you receive local programming from stations like WOAI, KENS, KSAT, KABB or one of the many other digital channels that come from San Antonio?

To those in the Hill Country who’ve already done your homework and will soon sharpen those scissors to join the millions who have already “Cut the Cord,” BEC says: “Welcome to the family!”  BEC Fiber offers fast internet connections throughout parts of its service area and is continually expanding to serve more members with speeds that range from 50 Mbps up to a lightning fast 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)!

So you’ve decided to “Cut the Cord.” You’ve got reliable internet and already subscribe to one (or more) of the many streaming video services like Netflix, HULU, Sling etc… An important question is how are you going to receive your local programming?

Once again you have options. You can choose to install an outdoor antenna on your home or property. The benefit is after the initial cost, you’ll be able to watch up to 25 stations from San Antonio in digital HD completely free of charge. After speaking with several residents throughout our service area who have chosen this option, what we’ve learned is that your ability to receive a strong “over the air” signal with an outdoor antenna, all depends on where you live. 

Some are able to receive a strong signal with just a $20 dollar window antenna, others have invested significantly more to get the same signal. If this is an option you’re considering, it may require a little work but it can be done. It all depends on where you live, how patient you are and sometimes how much you’re willing to spend.

If that does not sound like your kind of option, you can choose to receive your local channels through one of the online streaming services that offer them as part of their package. In our area, DirecTV NOW and YouTube-TV are two of the more popular choices. Playstation Vue is the newest entry into this type of streaming and is starting to see more usage in our area.

There is a cost for these services (roughly $40 dollars per month). With that monthly fee (that comes without a contract) you’ll receive all the local channels and as many as 57 additional channels ranging from AMC to USA, and include many popular sports stations as well.

So there you have it, the good the bad, the simple the not-so-simple. Whichever way you decide to go, the choice is yours! And when you think about it, isn’t that why you’d “Cut the Cord” in the first place?

Posted: 11/9/2018 8:50:38 AM
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