I did cord-cutting on and off through the 2000s. At the very beginning of the 2000s I was like many people who had all of the channels (all tiers + premiums) on DirecTV for about $100/mo. That seemed like a good deal at the time. Me and my family could watch anything we wanted. We have DirecTV TiVos at the time and could record the direct digital stream and it looked great.
A few things happened shortly after:
First, divorce hit. I had to cut back on costs so I could get through the crap years. That's a temporary thing. You may have a few crap years but you'll eventually recover.
The other things that happened, though:
- I started noticing we were going from dramas and comedies to reality TV.
- The price kept going up.
- What was left of the normal shows were pretty well canned stuff. "Let's pull another can of "comedy" off the shelf for show X. That'll satisfy them." It's mainly: zinger + laugh track.
- Channels that had any sort of theme left that theme for reality TV or reruns. Disney Channel morphed from being interesting and having great old Disney movies to being the Boy Meets World channel and, eventually, standard kid comedies (Suite Life of Zach and somebody nonsense). Other channels morphed from being something that their name implies to being reality TV. MTV? No music. History Channel: ALIENS! Discovery: random reality.
- The cableCard was a PITA to get setup if you had a TiVo (I went back to cable a few times).
- SDV made a lot of sense. The Tuning Adapter made that suck. I had to have this extra, ill-supported box that sometimes worked and sometimes didn't and often needed to be reset. It made the cableCard, which was reliable once you went through the pain of setting it up, unreliable. It just seemed like something you'd have to constantly screw with. "Stable" was if it went 2 weeks without screwing up to where you had to pull the plug to reset it.
- If you didn't go with TiVo + cableCard + Tuning Adapter you were stuck with the cable companies DVR which was always horrible. OnDemand - great concept ruined by horrible menus. This is the cable company's box. It should be a shining example of how they deliver content. It was always stuck 20 years in the past.
Like I said, I sort of went through on-again, off-again with cable TV and 2 years ago cut out cable TV and sold my TiVo. I've recently received specials from the cable company to add TV service to my internet only plan at $20/mo for 2 years. I actually considered it but stopped short because I don't believe it'll be $20/mo for 2 years. I bet, after all of the fees and BS that it'll be $25-40 by the time all is said and done. They even said, explicitly, that the HD DVR is included with this. I simply don't believe them. I've never seen them actually stick to these types of agreements and there's always some vague reason like, "Well, sir, that price doesn't include out $30 in fees.." So, no. The other reasons are that I know that once the 2 years is up that I'll be hit with some ridiculous price of $150/mo just for the basic tier of TV and I'll have to undo everything that's been done. Further, what am I going to watch? The Weather Channel has little to do with the weather. It's mostly reality TV (Storm Stories and other nonsense). If I want to check the weather I may as well stream WeatherNation (which is the weather 24/7) or just check my phone. Discovery, History, etc. have nothing to do with their channel names. Everything is reality nonsense now. What has anyone actually learned from Discovery or the like in any recent times?
The bottom line is that 15+ years ago I saw value in it. Now I see no value - not even $20 of value. It's just not there.