If your cable bill is $100 or more a month, there's an easy way to lower it. Consumer investigator Robin Taylor shows us how and finds out if the savings is worth it.
This money-saving move isn't for everyone, especially if you have to watch something right away. But with patience, along with a streaming device and the internet, you can significantly lower your bill.
Don Signor and his teenage son, J.D., agreed to be our testers. Signor canceled his cable and then installed a Roku, a streaming device we got at Best Buy for $80. It hooks up to your TV the same way a cable box would allowing you to play content over the
"I like it. I thought it was a pretty slick design," said Signor, of the Regent Square section of Pittsburgh.
The Roku allows you to stream your favorite TV shows and movies on demand. All you need is a high speed internet connection.
"The signal's been great. We haven't had any trouble with it," said Signor, who hasn't had the signal drop out or stop while it was buffering.
You can still watch live TV, off the air, as long as you have a good HD antenna, but you can't record shows, and there's often a delay between the time a show airs and when it's available for streaming.
"Some shows are available the next day. Others are available on a
two to three week delay," said Signor.
Roku provides free access to hundreds of channels, along with pay services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, which each cost $8 a month. Hulu Plus has the most primetime content, with fewer commercials than traditional TV.
And there's an advantage to that, because you can watch episode after episode of a series, or even a whole season at a time.
"I like to get hooked on one show and watch it all the way through," said J.D. Signor, who is in 8th grade.
Don Signor bill went from $159 a month for cable to just $16 a month for Netflix and Hulu Plus.
"If you're cutting your cable bill because you don't watch a lot of TV, or you don't need to watch it right when it's being broadcast, then it's a great way to save money," said Don Signor.
But the Roku definitely isn't for everyone. You can't watch premium channels, like HBO, unless you have a cable subscription. And, much of your primetime content is delayed.
"If you don't want cable, it's a good substitute," said
In my opinion, the Roku is best suited for someone who doesn't watch a lot of TV or need as many choices as cable provides.
Don Signor, it was the perfect cost-cutting option. He cut his bill by more than a hundred dollars a month, and now he doesn't have to pay for a cable box each month either.