With this article in hand (and linked below for your enjoyment)(!), I now not only severely cost cutting my cord cutting activities, but am looking for other more cost effective activities-in other words hobbies-during this prolonged pandemic.
I have been streaming for about a decade now. My laptop only was used for streaming during most of this time period. During that time I limit it to just viewing some selected tv show that I missed the night or even week before. I decided to bypass traditional paid tv services (cable) and stick with Streaming as the years passed. It was limited to a few hours a night. And my own OTA broadcast viewing time was limited as well to a few choice shows for many years as well. That is until the Pandemic hit and my own lifestyle became more of a cramped submerged version of what it was before.
Streaming costs definitely went up noticeably since March 2020. My AT&T DSL service has been discontinued and the new and even older streaming services are morphing into something else entirely at an accelerating rate as well. I don’t like the direction these trends are going. Plus I cannot really afford these by product expenses anymore. So I must change as well. The pandemic should end at a distant point in time. When that will be is still anyone’s guess. I already put some personal plans in place until that time arrives. My overall time in front of the tube is now being taken up by more productive activities. If I cannot produce something tangible and needed at the end of the activity period, it will be dubbed a waste of time. I decided to keep CBS All Access/Paramount Plus annual subscription for another year and give up on Peacock TV as I don’t really watch it anymore. The “freebies” can stay for now. Even though I don’t like being data mined to death anymore. I don’t like to go over my skimpy data limit too.
My sewing machines, soon-to-be-purchased laser printer, and other homebound e-machinery does not pull me down the money digital rabbit hole like the Streaming process is now doing each and every month. And at the end of the day I feel I accomplish something rather than just passing the time zonked out in front of the tube when I work on real tangible products. I am putting real noticeable healthy limits on my waking hours now. And healthier eating habits back into my life is a natural add on.
Don’t get me wrong. Streaming (and Roku) has a real place in my life still. Just not top billing.
Cutting down on boob tube time is working put just fine. The Internet monthly present bill which has just arrived is now hovering to where is supposed to be at normal levels.
So things are now where they're supposed to be at pre-Pandemic time and expected cost. A more sane balance in my life!
To answer your original question, it depends on what it is you want.
Here's an article I forward to people who ask how much it costs to "cut the cord": https://www.consumerreports.org/streaming-video-services/how-to-replace-cable-tv-for-only-25-dollars...
If one can get an affordable internet plan with actual data plan, then streaming is the way to go. Often times people still want to watch a particular show they had with cable and subscribe to services such as hulu, sling, etc that still allows them to get the show but still have to pay subscription. $50 is better than $200 cable bill so they are happy to save.
As you really start learning streaming, you can even eliminate those services by finding alternate shows to watch. You can place ad-blockers at router to limit/eliminate ads on free channels. You can even use your phone's casting ability to make your roku into a casting device (chromecast substitute) simply using your router's wifi network capability (dont even need to have internet service for this). There are many free and legal web streaming sites out there. (of course you need your cell phone data plan for this)
Nothing is as easy as just flicking through the cable tv guide, but most of it is just junk anyways. Streaming is truly "on-demand" tv watching. There is absolutely no tv show or movie that a cord-cutter cannot stream to their tv that a cable/satellite customer can. Try to support the smaller businesses (if any still exist) but help starve the big telecommunications which really do rake over their customers.
Of course I agree it is better to just turn off the tv and be productive. But who wants to do that.