Fire the cable company

You heard me…FIRE the cable company. I am a firm believer that your money should work for you not against you. I feel the same way about companies that you hire to provide a service. Let me state that I was not compensated for this post in any way. These opinions are my own and this is the experience that I have had and wanted to share with you.

We were spending over a hundred dollar a month to watch TV. It seamed that every time that we received a bill it would have some mysterious surcharge that increased the bill. Stop the insanity. We have had enough. All the cable boxes were returned and the service was turned off.

As I write this post we are 1+ month without having any cable TV service. When we first took the jump i was a cable TV junky. I was a firm follower of ANY reality TV show. So many that i could not watch them all in one evening so I would DVR them (record and watch it later when I wanted). So there was a bit of withdraw. I no longer know what is happening with the reality TV families that i was so engaged in. Now I don’t really care. That energy and attention can go else where.

Don’t get me wrong i still watch TV. But it happens a bit differently. Let me introduce you to Roku. Pretty neat little box. It allows us to stream movies / TV from the internet from websites like Hulu and Netflix. We purchased a Roku2 for under a hundred dollars. After a two months we will have already recouped our cost.

Hulu Plus= regular TV. Usually available the day after the show airs. There are limited comercials. There are no different plan levels. Once you susbscribe and pay you can stream unlimited content.

Netflix = Movies, TV series that were released on DVD. There are different subscription levels that offer different things (streaming only or streaming and DVD or DVD only).

We own several gaming consoles (Xbox, Playstation) that will allow us to stream movies but they often the parent company (Microsoft, Sony) require a monthly fee to utilize their service to do this. Roku does not. Once you purchase the unit there are no monthly service charges and no lifetime service fee (remembering the long gone TIVO product).

What about local stations? We discovered a solution for that too. We spent about $60 on a digital antenna so we could get local stations. Well after about 4 hours of scanning, moving the antenna and rescanning I could not get all the local stations (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS) at the same time and definitely they would not come in clear. In my desperation and probably lack of understanding I attached the TV directly to the wall. Nothing bad could happen right? The next scan I ran I had all the local channels, HD local channels and on weekends some movie channels. We did not even have movie channels when we had cable service. WOW I felt pretty smart. I figured it out on my own!!! Huge accomplishment for someone who can barely work the tv remote 🙂

The down side…

  • We had to increase our internet download amount. Streaming TV/Movies takes up a majority of our internet use.
  • You can only use one Roku per TV.
  • Not all stations are available in Hulu
  • Not all tv series are released on DVD.

Over all we increased our internet plan (additional $20) and purchased a Hulu plus subscription ($11.99). We are seeing savings around $60 a month.

There are some things to point out also. Our Internet Service Provide (ISP) is the same company that provided cable TV service. I beleive that because we used to purchase cable and did not completely disconnect service they did not turn off the digital TV feed. Or maybe they don’t have that level of control I am not sure.

Over all I wish that we would have done this months ago. I really do not miss cable as long as we have local channels (mostly for the news and evening shows). Today we are still debating if we want to keep our Hulu Plus subscription.

Let me know your thoughts.

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