‘Cutting the cord’ not so simple it turns out
If you’ve read my column over the years you’ll know that I’ve continually fawned over the vast variety of choices that are available to watch on television these days. Whether you have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, regular old cable television, Sling TV, HBO Now or one of the other streaming or cable services, there are thousands of shows that are available for the public to watch.
Some of the new services that have entered the market now seem too good to be true, but they are true. Enter the contender (and so-called NetflixKiller) Disney+.
Disney+ is a brand new streaming service just launched that claims to offer nearly every Disney live-action and animated movie that’s been put out since the inception of Disney (save Song of the South, which was deemed too racist, even by 1950s standards to be reissued in the United States) for a mere $6.99 a month and a fast Internet connection.
But that’s not all, for your $6.99 you can get every Marvel movie, a vast variety of Marvel-related shows, and other comics-related programming as well.
But wait, there is EVEN MORE! Like Star Wars movies? Well that’s all on there too, everything from the first film that debuted in 1977 to the years of Star Wars cartoons, and the brand new movies. They are even debuting a brand-new Star Wars live-action show on Disney+
I hope you are still waiting, because there is even more! You can also watch a huge library of National Geographic documentaries and other shows that have aired over the years. Including the entire run of The Simpsons. It sounds too good to be true for television fans, but it’s not, it’s a real thing that is out there and available for consumers.
Some say that this new service, with the low cost and huge entertainment library, will be the “Netflix Killer” and rise to the top of the streaming services. This has so-called “cable cutters” – individuals who have cut the so-called cable cord to just rely on streaming services for entertainment – both salivating from their mouths and wringing their hands in worry.
They’re drooling like myself because it means that there is just that much more great entertainment out there to watch for a low cost. Having the entire Star Wars, Disney and Simpsons library at my fingertips is a really great thought, but it also has be wringing my hands in anxiety as well for a reason. The cost.
One might say “but Jason, it’s only $7 a month, it’s not that expensive.” But it is expensive when you figure in all the services one has to have to get a full picture of what is out there on television. Before the streaming services a person would pay just one cable bill, albeit a high cable bill usually.
Now if you’ve cut the cord, you don’t have to pay a high cable bill, but you’ve got to pay a bunch of smaller bills for the streaming services, as well as the internet bill, to get the full picture. One can be extremely selective and make a choice of just what services they will take, but if you want to watch shows.
So not only are you paying for several services, five or more depending on what you have, you have to keep track of just what ones you have, the times they are billed to your account, as well as the myriad of ways that you cam get into the various accounts.
If you get the old calculator out you’re going to find that you’re paying just as much, if not more money, for all the services you were trying to get away from.
The upshot about the streaming services, however, is all of them have some real gems on it, great shows, or other viewing opportunities on them. But it’s a conundrum as well. Although cutting the cord could be a good thing for your pocketbook, one will have to make the right choices and really do a lot more research into what you may or may not want to watch. Suffice it to say, I will not be subscribing to all the aforementioned streaming services, instead picking one or two, for my viewing pleasure in the future. I cut the cord to save money, and that is what I am going to try to keep doing.
Cutting the cord was once a dream for people to save money on their cable bill, and although it’s a good choice, one has to put more time and thought into it. It could be that we should just go back to reading books, newspapers or playing with the time tested hoop and stick in the street for our entertainment, it would be a lot less confusing and affordable.