How Much Money Will Cutting the Cord on Your Cable Service Really Save You?

Cutting the cord and making the switch to streaming can lead to big savings.
Cutting the cord and making the switch to streaming can lead to big savings.
simpson33/iStock via Getty Images Plus

If you're thinking about cutting the cord on pay TV this year, you're in good company: it's estimated that about a quarter of all Americans could do away with traditional cable by 2022. But just how much money can you save by changing your TV-watching habits? Reviewed recently broke it down.

The average cable or satellite user spends a little over $100 a month on their TV bill, which means canceling their service could save them over $1200 annually. But many pay TV defectors will likely be looking for an alternative way to watch their favorite programs. Assuming you're one of the 83 percent of consumers who pays for both TV and internet, switching to a web-based service shouldn't be too expensive. An Amazon Prime plan costs $119 a year, a standard Netflix subscription (HD and two screens at once) costs $156, and a basic Hulu plan costs $72. Even if you spring for all three choices, you'll still only be paying $347 annually, saving you about $853 if you're a former cable subscriber.

Web-based streaming isn't the only option cord-cutters have. If you can't part with your favorite network programs, you can purchase an OTA antenna for about $50. Watching cable shows without dealing with a cable company is also a possibility. Sling TV offers a Blue service, which includes access to live channels like FX, Comedy Central, HGTV, Food Network, and Bravo through a cloud-based DVR for just $30 month. If you wanted to try all the options above, it would still only cost you about $757 a year, which is $443 less than cable or satellite alone.

No matter what you're looking for, there's likely a service or device out there that complements your viewing tastes. Here are even more cable alternatives to get you started.

[h/t Reviewed]

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Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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What Movie Do You Want to Watch? This Website Analyzes Film Critic Reviews to Help You Choose

She's smiling because it only took her two minutes to choose a movie.
She's smiling because it only took her two minutes to choose a movie.
Rowan Jordan/iStock via Getty Images

Much like sommeliers can detect subtle notes of who-knows-what in a sip of wine, film critics are fantastic at identifying influences and drawing parallels between movies. Cinetrii is a handy website that crowdsources all that movie knowledge to help you find your next favorite film.

Basically, you enter the name of a movie you enjoyed in the search bar, and the site will show you a node graph with film recommendations splintering off the search query. Click on one, and you’ll see a quote from a critic (or critics) who referenced the films together. This way, you get a list of recommendations based on different aspects of the movie, and you get to decide for yourself what you’d like to see more of.

If, for example, you were blown away by the special effects in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, you might like Doctor Strange; according to Variety, it boasts “a staggering visual effects innovation, in which the building-bending seen in Christopher Nolan’s Inception is taken to an extreme that would blow even M.C. Escher’s mind.” If what the Chicago Tribune calls an “elegant brain-bender” quality appealed to you more, The Matrix might be a perfect fit.

Films above your search query were released before the movie you typed in, while films below came out after it. The shorter the line, the more closely the films are related, as calculated by the website’s algorithm. And, as Lifehacker points out, that algorithm doesn’t give any special treatment to massive Hollywood blockbusters, so Cinetrii is an especially great way to find hidden gems. Because it shows you the critics' actual quotes, you’re not left to wonder why a certain film landed on the recommendations list—which can’t always be said for “Watch next” lists on streaming services.

You can explore Cinetrii here.

[h/t Lifehacker]