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How to Save Money on Your TV Provider

Educate Yourself on Your Options to Save Money on TV

Before we did something about it, our monthly cable bill was almost $150 and that did not include any premium channels.  We were paying monthly fees for each DVR and for HD and we had horrible customer service and billing complaints.  We finally became fed up and canceled our service.  Then we looked at our options and were able to save over 50% on our new setup.  We're not going to recommend you pick what we did, but we do have ideas to help you save when choosing your TV providers.

Ways to Lower Your Television Costs:

  • First of all, find all the providers available in your area.  Look at the cable companies, fiber optic providers (like U-Verse), satellite providers (like Dish and DirecTV), and online providers (like Hulu and Netflix).
  • Next, compare their prices and packages.  Make sure you look at the long term monthly cost rather than the promotional rates that they usually offer for the first 3 to 6 months.
  • Now, decide what you really need and which package works for you.  For example, we only needed basic channels, but we also needed 2 DVRs so we could manage all the HD TVs in our house and could record enough shows at the same time during primetime.  If you only need a really basic plan and only have 1 or 2 TVs, a satellite plan is probably the cheapest.  If you have a TV in every room of your house, cable may be the cheapest.  If you don't watch a lot of TV you may be able to use an online subscription service like Hulu where you can watch episodes from almost all networks when you choose.  You can get a service like that for around $10 per month.  Add netflix streaming service for another $8 and you have TV and movies for only $18 a month!
  • Check the package rates.  Most companies, especially cable companies and U-Verse, give you packages that bundle television with phone, mobile phone and Internet.  You can get reduced rates and save money doing this, but don't buy things you don't need because they are in a package.  We would recommend getting rid off your land line or switching to a carrier like Vonage for $10 a month, which would save you more money than a bundle.
  • If you choose a provider that makes you buy your set top boxes and DVRs, look on craigslist and ebay to find used equipment at a fraction of their price.
  • Note that online services like Netflix and Hulu (there are many others) can be used anywhere. Most new TVs and DVD players have them installed or installable directly on them.  You can also install their free apps on any smartphone, iPad or computer and watch them while at home or on the road.
  • Some of the providers (such as Dish) offer a streaming service directly from your DVR so that you can watch anything from your DVR or live TV through an app on your smartphone, iPad or PC.
  • Premium channels are tempting, but resist the urge.  No single premium network covers all the movies and series you want, whereas all of those movies and series will be available on Netflix in the not too distant future.
  • Overall, search, compare and be flexible.  More importantly, don't buy things you don't need.
  • Visit our entire list of ways to save money for many more ideas.

See Also:  Money Saving Tips