We love Consumer Reports. An important part of any capitalist democracy is freedom of the press. Without freedom of the press, large corporations would find it even easier to take advantage of their customers. Make no mistake about it…Consumer Reports is a vital publication for us all and we highly encourage every American to either donate to Consumer Reports or engage a yearly subscription. At StreamWise Solutions, formerly freeTVee, we are All Access Members of Consumer Reports because we believe in their mission.
Now, just because you love something does not mean it is always correct. In this case we would like to address the latest cover story from Consumer Reports. The title should give away why we are so interested in the article: The Cord-Cutting Decision Is Tougher These Days. Here’s What You Need to Know. We encourage you to read the article but we want to help clarify some items.
First, the article correctly points out that the decision to cut the cord is “more difficult than it was just a year ago.” This is a true statement and it is the reason that StreamWise Solutions exists. The wide variety of services and consumer electronics makes it difficult to sort through the truth and fiction about cord cutting. In fact, it is so difficult that even Consumer Reports can sometimes get it wrong.
So what errors did Consumer Reports make in its article? We can’t call them errors, per-se, but we can call them incomplete facts. Let’s start with their dissection of Pay TV vs Streaming. See the graphic below to see where we see the need for further explanation.
Now, take a look at the real apples to apples comparison for all cord cutting options.
As we have said, we love Consumer Reports. However, cord cutting is often too complicated to understand for journalists, analysts and others, no matter how good their intentions. For example, you don’t need Amazon Prime Video. Its nice to have but your first priority should be to use Amazon Prime for 2 day delivery on millions of products. Also, as you can see from the graphic above, if you have Amazon Prime when you have cable you will also have it when you cut the cord.
Chances are you also have Netflix. You pay for it through your cable subscription every month. Yes, it does cost more when you go to a cord cutting lifestyle but its small in comparison to what you will save over the long run.
Now, take a look at Hulu. The reason most people get Hulu is to watch shows from broadcast stations the next day. They do this when they do not have a way to record broadcast TV. With an HD Antenna, you can record more shows than you can get on Hulu. Admittedly, Hulu does have its own programming. If you are desperate to watch Handmaids Tale then wait until all the episodes are released, get Hulu for a month and binge watch them. Then just cancel. Its that easy.
The article fails to take into consideration all the free options that are available to cord cutters. From Pluto to Western Classics, you will find a broad selection of free content. In fact, we have several customers that have an antenna and a single subscription to Hallmark for $5.99 per month. That is their TV bill every month…$5.99. These customers don’t care about sports channels or science channels or news channels. They just want ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX and Hallmark movies. This is the key to understanding cord cutting. Pay for what you want and only what you want.
Now Consumer Reports does make an excellent point towards the end of the article. They say, “The old world of TV entertainment was easy for people to understand, but the lack of choice was frustrating. The new world is complicated but ultimately has much more to offer.” At StreamWise Solutions we have tested more antennas, routers, modems, DVRs and streaming media players than everyone, including Consumer Reports. We have tested them in countless combinations. All this testing means that when you hire us you know you are getting the best possible cord cutting solution.