Cutting the cord: The trend of ditching the cable box

The average U.S. household pays $231 a year to rent a cable box.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

WASHINGTON — It’s a tough call to make, but more people are cutting the cable cord.

With more options out there, many people think paying for cable isn’t worth it. Options such as Roku and Chromecast, which deliver current TV shows on an actual TV — rather than a computer, and paid services such as Netflix are gaining in popularity.

“I feel like it’s a little pricey, especially when I see that bill every month,” cable-user Brendon Esposito says of costs for the service.

Esposito and his roommates keep their cable subscription for the live sports, he says. But he pays more than $100 a month for his share of the bill.

Many in a random group of people polled in Tenleytown were using the Internet exclusively to get TV and movies. For example, the Carleton family of D.C. has never had cable, and instead pays for Netflix.

“We have three children. I didn’t want to fight over any stations,” says Rita Carleton.

The trend is growing. The latest numbers show that 19 percent of Americans live without cable TV, according to a study by market research firm GfK.

A Wall Street Journal reporter who decided to cut the cord himself found that after purchasing a smart TV streaming device, such as Apple TV or Roku, many networks such as PBS, NBC and ESPN have apps with free shows.

Then he paid for Netflix to get access to movies and an archive of shows.

He goes through the options and details his experience in the WSJ article.

WTOP’s Brennan Haselton outlined just how to cut the cable cord in a series last year.

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