Cutting the Cable Cord

by Jodifur on December 17, 2013

I’m going to start this post off by admitting something right of the bat, I watch a lot of TV.  An extraordinary amount of TV.  So much TV my best friend frequently asks, how do you find time to watch all this TV?  It is how I relax in the evening.  I watch good TV and bad TV.  And I love television.

It is with a heavy heart that Doug and I decided to cancel cable.  He would have done it years ago, him watching virtually no TV.  We are are a weird match that way.  But he slowly came around when he decided that he didn’t care anymore if he watched football, and I came around when I decided you know what, I really, really hate FIOS.

I know, everyone else loves it, but we have had nothing but problems since the MINUTE we installed it.  They lied to us about how much our monthly bill would be, to the point my very calm husband was SCREAMING at them on the phone.  And then we have run through two multi room dvrs in two years.  That product is a piece of crap.  It doesn’t work half the time.  It doesn’t actually pause and let you pick up in another room.  The shows don’t record, you can’t get anything on demand to actually PLAY, and the service is ASTRONOMICALLY EXPENSIVE.  When Doug told me what we paid a month for a service that didn’t work half the time, that was when I came around.  If I’m watching everything on aps on my ipad anyway, why not just suck it up and go streaming only.

Doug and I are financially FINE but we are not at the point where we can just throw money out the window.  And that is really what it feels like I am doing every month when I pay my cable bill.  And when I look at what I can save in a year, I’m already planning a vacation with that money.

So that is what we are doing.  The questions are, netflix or hulu or both?  Roku box or apple tv?  And how exactly do you get rabbit ears on the roof so you can still get local channels?  And really, really, do I have to give up my dvr?  Because when I look at a tivo box AND roku AND netflix AND hulu I might as well still be paying for cable.  Do I need a tivo if I’m just going to watch Scandal on Hulu?  How can I not live tweet Scandal?  Shut up, you do it too.

{ 14 comments }

meeshie December 17, 2013 at 8:01 pm

The only reason we have yet to cut the cord is my husband’s love of the business channel. I haven’t figured out how to stream that without delays yet. If I figure that one out.. cable is gone.

As to what to get? Depends on what you want it for. Do you mind waiting weeks for a TV show? ;)
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Beth @ TheAngelForever December 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Nice timing on this. TechyDad has written many posts about almost cutting our cable. This morning he was telling me about HomeWorx HW-150PVR). Basically it is a DVR with no fee like Tivo. It allows you to record basic channels and play them back. We have been so close to ditching cable (TWC no FIOS here), but have not done it quite yet. We love our Roku with Netflix and also watch some items from Prime. I had Hulu Plus free for a year and did not like the interface at the time. Good luck making your decision.
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victoria December 17, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Definitely Netflix via Roku (unless you already have a Wii-U/PS4/XBoxOne. Watch Scandal using the ABC app on the iPad.

Rabbit ears (or the thin boxes that are also sold) don’t always work. So if they do, that covers live tweeting Scandal for you.
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Kelly December 18, 2013 at 6:21 am

We cut cable earlier this year. We got a roku and pay for Netflix & Hulu. We have a thin antenna thing that picks up 2 of our local channels – CBS & ABC. I use it primarily to watch CBS shows because all the other network shows I watch are on Hulu. The kids & I picked up the new system and have had no problem finding content. The husband has struggled a bit but is coming around slowly. I don’t miss cable (or the bill) at all.

Kirsten December 18, 2013 at 7:40 am

I’ll 3rd the Roku with Hulu+ and Netflix. We also have a service called USTVNow that gives us ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, PBS, My9, A&E, Animal Planet, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, ESPN, FX, Fox News, History, Lifetime, National Geographic, Nickelodeon, Spike, Syfy, TBS, TNT, USA for $29/month It’s a little awkward for us because we’re on the west coast and the channels come from PA, but it comes with an online DVR that you can watch all content from TV via Roku, online, or even mobile phones….

Jacquie | @After_Words December 18, 2013 at 8:12 am

When we cut cable, we cut just the premium stations and kept our cable box and local affiliates–this still saved us $100/month (and I can watch Scandal live–although I think I’ve only actually done this once).

We have a Roku and we get everything we need on Netflix and Hulu+ (both of which have a monthly fee) or Amazon Instant Video (which does not have a fee–I have prime so I get a lot of programming that way and sometimes we buy shows/movies).

Let me know if you have questions!
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susan @ suddenlysusan.com December 18, 2013 at 8:18 am

I have hulu+ and Netflix. We have an apple TV to play the “web only” Hulu shows on the TV. I dont know anything about Roku. We got an antenna to pick up a few local news stations and are more than happy. Cut the cord!!!! Go for it!!!!
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Dennis McDonald December 18, 2013 at 9:08 am

Wow this resonates, especially the frustration with how they lie about prices (see “Comcast Must Die” http://www.ddmcd.com/die.html). I don’t care about TV so much as movies and documentaries so I’m happy with Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon Prime. So much is available streaming via these sources (e.g., imported movies, documentary series, Nova, PBS and BBC series, etc.) that not having TIVO style recording is not a problem for me.

Michelle December 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Who would you use for internet then? I called last year to see about cutting the cord but with how much the internet costs it didn’t seem like i’d be saving more than about $30/month which is not nothing, but for the convenience it still seemed worth it to me. Granted our FIOS works great and we don’t have any premium channels but still….I would be completely happy with only streaming if I could find the necessary internet at a fraction of the cost.

Kristen December 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm

we did it a year ago and I can say, we don’t even notice, except on Super Bowl Sunday (make friends and go there). Apple TV is a must because you can watch everything on your tv then. We have Netflix and had Hulu Plus. Hulu Plus was basically everything you could get on (insert network).com. We dumped that. Amazon prime streaming fills in the holes from Netflix. If Michael is watching YouTube minecraft videos, he can watch all of that on the tv with Apple TV. The only problem is with network shows, you can’t get behind. They only have 6 episodes. Thus, I haven’t seen Revenge, Scandal or Once Upon a Time this season. Annoying. Derek says you can always pay $1.99 to itunes, which is cheaper than $80 a month for cable. lol

Rich Lindsey December 20, 2013 at 4:44 am

You will very likely be able to access the ESPN player with HMA . The only way you might not be able to is if you need a cable subscription or satellite package to link up to the ESPN player to watch.
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Laura December 26, 2013 at 11:00 am

I am interested in doing this but it seems very convoluted to have a Roku (or Apple TV-or do they do the same thing?), Hulu Plus, Netflix, etc. I will never be able to keep track of what’s on where. Plus, my husband wants to be able to watch sports live so I think that pretty much makes us cable-dependent.

MargieK December 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm

We dropped cable over a year ago. A few months ago we switched our ISP from the local phone service to the cable service because we could get faster speed from them at roughly the same price. We also have an antenna and get a handful of “local” stations, including CBS, Fox, ABC, and PBS (plus a bunch of Spanish-speaking and religious stations we don’t watch). This means we can watch most NFL games, just not the occasional Thursday night game (on NFLN), Sunday night game (on NBC), or Monday night (ESPN). We aren’t that into other sports, but if we can get 3 out of the 4 major broadcast networks via antenna, I think most live sports junkies would probably do fine with an antenna, unless they live in a mountain canyon or way out in the boondocks (which is what cable was originally intended for).

We have been watching a lot of shows on the computer via Hulu and occasionally Netflix, and are about to upgrade to Hulu-Plus, as our new internet-ready wide-screen TV won’t show “regular” Hulu. It displays Netflix, though, and most of what we were watching via Hulu was the Colbert Report and the Daily Show, so if we can watch those on the TV instead of the (much smaller) computer screen, it may be worth it.

April December 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm

I cut the cable cord last week and so far, we have not missed it. I already subscribed to Amazon Prime and Netflix, so I added HuluPlus, and I’ve just ordered a Roku. The benefit, as I understand it, is it lets you search through all those platforms at once. But I’ll let you know once I’m up and running.
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