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Cut the Cord and Leave Cable Behind for Good

Cable is expensive, because of that our family has gone from periods of no cable, to basic cable, to cheap Dish packages, and now DirectTV. Satellite cable seems cheap but the usually either have poor signal that goes out whenever it rains (Dish) or only offer discounts for the first year and hold you to a 2 year contract so they can squeeze every nickle and dime from you pocket (DirectTV).

We didn’t have any trouble cancelling our Dish Network service when we moved here, so we didn’t really think to much to read every detail of our agreement with DirectTV. We signed up last year right before the babies were born because we knew that I was going to be spending a lot of time nursing the twins and I wanted to be able to have something to watch. The signal from DirectTV has been pretty good compared to Dish, but be forewarned if you do decide to sign up you are signing a deal with the devil. If you need to cancel your service for any reason, they will charge you a HUGE cancellation fee. (from what I’ve seen it looks like $480 if cancelled in the first year, and $240 if cancelled in the second).

With our upcoming move, we’ve decided to cut the cord (and our losses) with cable for good. When I first heard people talking about using the internet for TV I looked at them like they were crazy. But in the past year several pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place to make this a reality for people who don’t want a ugly PC and a million wires in their living room.

Our Tools:

  • HD TV  (if using an analog TV you will need a digital converter for local channels)
  • High Speed Internet Connection
  • Wireless Router
  • ROKU streaming player
  • Subscription to hulu plus and amazon prime for streaming content
Some HDTV’s are being made with streaming applications ready to go, so you may not need a streaming player. You could also use a gaming device like a PS3 or a blue ray player that is internet ready too. I really like the ROKU because it is affordable and the applications appear to be easy to use and ready to go. We plan to have a ROKU for each of our TVs.
For our local channels we will be using digital antenna. antennaweb.com and http://www.dtv.gov/ are two good websites that allow you to find out what local channels you can receive by entering your address. Depending on the type of tv you have, you may need a digital converter box or an antenna. These websites can help you determine what you will need.
So who is with me? Are you ready to cut the cord and ditch cable for good? I sure am! If you’ve already left cable in the dust, leave a comment below and tell us what your set up is! 
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About Jamie

Jamie is a creative-techie mom, raising three boys under three (twins!) with her husband in Pennsylvania. Jamie now writes at The Red Robinson, www.theredrobinson.com

Comments

  1. While it is appealing to think about stickin’ it to the man (in our case, DirectTV), I really enjoy the simplicity of what we have. I turn on the TV and it works. Every time. I don’t have to wait for it to download or get a connection, it just works.

    My husband has been able to get really good service from DirectTV. He researches our situation before he calls customer service and haggles with them until he gets the right answer/price from them.

    Our biggest reason for not cutting the cord at this point is that we don’t have reliable enough Internet to make it work.

  2. We have been cable-free for about two years (my hubby thinks a little more, I can’t really remember? Maybe 2 1/2 years?). We have a gigantic TV hooked up to a desktop computer, so the mouse is the remote.

    It is super simple. We have netflix, hulu, and a couple of TV channels in our favorites bar, and anyone can pull up anything they want to watch any time. We’re actually a little spoiled — I don’t know what we would do if we had to actually watch what was ON instead of picking!

    We have cable internet (when we dropped the cable TV we just broke up our bundle and kept the net), which is crazy fast and reliable. We would have that, anyway, because I work from home, so that isn’t an extra expense.

    I can’t imagine us going back.

  3. I have not paid for cable in my entire adult life. It was part of my rent in college and most of grad-school, but I’ve mostly watched the internet regardless! One thing to consider before the Roku is to look into Sony’s BluRay/DVD player. I bought one for my husband for his birthday and he loves it. It will play Hulu+, AmazonPrime, Netflix streaming, Pandora and about twenty more options. It has reduced our clutter (fewer boxes to plug in and worry about!), too.

  4. We used to be directv subscribers, but we couldn’t keep it when we moved. When the price after the first year got to be too much, we called to talk to them- they offered us a $120 immediate credit ($20/mo for the next 6 months) plus a $20 per month reduction, leaving our bill close to what it was when we first signed up. They said to keep calling back every 6 months to reinstate the credit! Maybe give them a call and try that?

  5. Michelle says:

    My friend, Jess, pointed me to your blog after I posted about saying good-bye to cable. So can you give me any feedback on how it’s been going for you? What are your monthly fees now compared to cable?

  6. EmilyHafer says:

    We decided to go cable free maybe like  6 months ago (give or take a a month). We get our internet and tv from the same provider (comcast) so they said that basic cable would just be like $6 more from our internet and if we cancelled tv all together the internet would be more than that. So, we decided to keep the basic cable with our internet since it was cheaper and then get a subscription to netflix. We have loved it. We have had no trouble with loading programs with our Roku except maybe like 2 times and that was during a bad bad storm. We have never had a period of time where we cannot find anything to watch. We love documentaries and random movies so we always have something to watch if we want to just sit down and loaf around. It also has some great kids shows and movies to watch as well. 

  7. TonyaWorkman says:

    I haven’t paid for cable (DirectTV) in over 8 years. I have relied on antenna and a converter box (which I love the converter box. I can get soo many stations with it that I couldn’t get with just an antenna and the picture is clear.) i have recently moved and my roommate has an HDTV and Sony Bluray player. We currently have Hulu+, but use to have Netflix and loved it much better, just had to cut back on bills until I can find a job then Netflix will be reinstated 🙂 It def is cheaper to do it this way.

  8. JamieRobinson says:

    I haven’t had any problems with the Roku cutting out during storms yet. We used to do basic cable too, but were paying $20 for channels we could get for free. I am now planning on getting a leaf antenna to replace my other one because its on the fritz. 

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