Cutting cable, but at what cost?

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(CNN) - How much do you pay for cable TV? You may love your must-watch TV shows, movies, sports, and news channels.

But do you love the ever-rising costs to watch them?

If you could get rid of your cable and still watch most, if not all of your of your programs for a fraction of the cost, would you?

Millions of cable "cord cutters" are doing it.

But as CNN's Shannon Travis reports, it may be easy and cheap to do, but there are headaches to cutting the cord.


The olden days of free TV.

Watching shows like "I Love Lucy,"

Or a man make a loving offer to his wife in The Honeymooners:

"One of these days, Alice. One of these days - pow! Right in the keister"

Then along came cable.

With options and channels.

Showing fascinating Americans doing fascinating things on shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

"Blitsey's tearing up my pants, mama! "

But also rising costs:

Analysts say:

Expect the average pay-TV bill to hit $123 per month by 2015.

$200 by 2020.

What if.

You could cut your cable?

Serena Appiah in suburban Washington is among the millions of "cord cutters" now watching TV and movies via the internet.

Plenty of options.

Plenty of providers: Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Google Play, i-Tunes, HBO Go.

Use your smart TV's, smart phones, computers, or tablets.

As little as six-to-eight dollars a month.

A few dollars per show.

A few more for movies, with free options, too.

The hookup, relatively easy:

With a streaming device or an HD antenna costing less than $100, each.

Watch when you want to.

And viewers are.

"I'm sorry Mr. President, but I will not do that"

Netflix's political thriller, "House of Cards" recently earned three Emmys, the first, ever, for an internet-only show.

Analysts estimate one to two million homes "cut the cord" each year.

Serena Appiah, "Cord Cutter": I wanted to save money.

Serena still pays for internet and those content providers.

But without cable:

Serena Appiah, "Cord Cutter": We're saving about $80 a month.

There are challenges: Costs per provider, per show or movie add up.

And you have to search, maybe wait, for shows meaning.
Via Skype Russ Crupnik Senior Vice Pres., The NPD Group: You're gonna spend a lot more time, and you may not save as much money as you want.

Technical problems?

You could be on your own.

Getting news.

This is CNN!

Is hard.

Psyched for the big sports game?

Kwasi Appiah, Serena's husband: You have to go and look for it. it's not there for you
Cable companies say they offer a better value.

Brian Dietz, Vice Pres., National Cable & Telecommunications Assoc.: The video streaming services provide a small sampling of the video that's available through cable.

Provides live sports, live news, public affairs coverage, also tons of programming for entertainment and lifestyle, lots of free movies and video on demand.

As for Serena.

Serena Appiah, "Cord Cutter": I don't want to pay you for channels and cable that I don't need, if you want to save money, this is an option.

Now if you are thinking of cutting your cable cord, and switching to internet streaming, experts and converts recommend:

Knowing what options are available.

Looking into the content and service providers.

And easing your way into it, before you completely cut your cable.

In Washington, I’m Shannon Travis.