Should You Cut the Cord?

Use Slate’s calculator to see if dropping cable TV and paying for streaming services will really save you money.

With the announcement of Sling TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, it’s become clear: The era of cord cutting is here to stay. The new service will provide consumers who’d rather not pay for cable TV with live streaming of ESPN, TNT, TBS, CNN, and some other cable channels for $20 a month. Together with two other services that will launch this year, PlayStation Vue and HBO streaming, Sling TV will expand the universe of à la carte digital-media consumption beyond Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. But how many of these services can you subscribe to before you’re paying more than you would with cable? To answer that question, Slate brings you this calculator:

1. How much is your cable plan with TV and Internet?

Enter the cost of the plan you would get if you had both basic cable and Internet. Default: Time Warner’s 200-channel, 50 mpbs “Preferred TV” package’s 12-month promotional cost, $89.99.

$ per month

2. How much is your cable plan with just Internet?

Enter the cost of the plan you would get if your household depended more on the Internet for streaming. Default: Time Warner’s 50 mbps “Extreme” Internet plan’s 12-month promotional cost, $34.99.

$ per month

To plug in the rest of your personal data and compute your equation, check out Slate.com.