Television viewers cutting the cord

WICHITA, Kansas – As technology changes the way we connect with the world, it’s also changing the way we watch television.

The days of being chained to your TV at a certain time for a certain show are disappearing and the way you get those shows is changing, thanks to a variety of online TV options that have some of you cutting the cord.

More people are turning to the internet for their TV programming.

The idea is that it can save you money, but after you pay for services like Hulu and Netflix, among others, does it really save you any cash?

KSN followed one Wichita couple as they cut the cord to find out.

Click image to calculate your savings (or costs).
Click image to calculate your savings (or costs).

“I did the bundle. I had the cable the internet and the phone,” explains Courtney Colquhoun. She and her fiance Michael Wade agreed to let us follow along as they ditched their cable box and opted for online options as their television source.

“The price of course only lasts what, six months? And we were up to approximately $200 a month,” says Courtney.

When we met, they already had a Netflix account and were getting ready to connect a Roku system.

“Let me know how that goes! That’s what I’ve gotten a lot,” laughs Courtney.

A teacher and former maintenance worker, the couple is getting married this summer.

“It just was ridiculous to pay $200 a month for that when you can do most of it on a computer now. So when we moved from Derby to up here we decided that we were just gonna keep the internet,” says Courtney.

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But not having used a Roku before, both Courtney and Michael were curious to know if they’d still have access to all the programming and the DVR they’re accustomed to.

“You pay for the unit itself,” says her fiance Michael. “That one was $50. And my understanding is you get free channels and you can subscribe to channel packages that come along with it.”

“We’re going in head first. We thought it’s gotta be better than what we have which is nothing,” says Courtney.

So they went to Wal-Mart and paid $50 for a Roku 2 and brought it home.

“Alrighty lets see what this thing does,” says Michael.

After less than ten mintues to get their Roku up and running, Courtney and Michael start looking over what all is available to them.

So far Courtney says, “This is better, yeah. It’s much easier. Oh look! You can get screen savers!”

“It just was ridiculous to pay $200 a month for that when you can do most of it on a computer now.”

“It just was ridiculous to pay $200 a month for that when you can do most of it on a computer now.”

– Courtney Colquhoun

We gave the couple two weeks to get used to their new source of television, so they could find out if there were any drawbacks.

Two weeks later we returned and find the couple says they’re glad they made the switch, both saying its convenience and ease of use is a big plus. 

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 “You have such a variety to choose from and so many of them are free, like A&E and Lifetime, so you just pick the series you want to watch,” explains Courtney. “It’s similar to Netflix or Hulu but it’s all right there based on the channel.”

They’ve also found a couple drawbacks. The first is a lack of access to primetime network programming. There’s no access to shows on NBC, ABC or CBS. The second: they also say they’re missing a few other channels.

“TBS and stuff like that we don’t have that at all. And I realize how much I watch those channels. Like you just want to throw on “Law and Order” or something and we don’t have those,” mentions Courtney.

To deal with those issues, Courtney and Michael plan on getting a set of rabbit ears and starting a Hulu account. It is another online TV option that costs nearly $8.00 a month.

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“Last I knew Hulu Plus was the day after new episodes so it would be the day after but we DVR’d so much stuff we very rarely watched the day of anyway,” she says.

They say they haven’t missed their DVR and no longer even have a need for it.

Just take a look at their savings:

“This is our bill from August it came out to $180.49,” Courtney shows us.

That included their cable service, DVR, phone and internet.

But now the couple just pays for internet each month and that’s just $50.39.

Add on the cost for Netflix and future Hulu services, they’re saving nearly $120 a month.

Their one time Roku and rabbit ear cost are more than covered by just one month’s savings.

And right now Michael and Courtney have a lot of places for the rest of the savings to go.

“Um, we have a wedding in less than ten weeks!” laughs Courtney.

Despite the sacrifices and differences, Michael and Courtney say they’ll be sticking with their new TV normal.

“I haven’t missed it at all. Like not one bit,” says Courtney.

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