I have delayed writing this for a few weeks now, but I cut the cable on cable one month ago this week. My delay was really to see what the impact was as a result of our decision. Here are the facts – my cable bill was $100 a month (after they raised it again without warning), the alternative total cost was $150, annual savings will be $1200, we are all still alive, and I have really not missed anything.
Really, I had enough. Like most people, I have and love my HDTV. Honestly, I am not sure how I lived without the HD quality before it was available. We had TV at our disposal. With some 250+ channels we could be watching anything at any time.
So I started researching alternatives last fall. I found that you can mount a HD antenna and pick up all the over the air channels that are within your reach. Those that broadcast in HD will be received in HD. Additionally, I was trying to decide if I should invest in a AppleTV box. My mind was made up last fall, but I delayed the change due to the death of, and subsequent book on, Steve Jobs. Thinking that Apple may have some alternative to what I was about to do, I delayed my action. Everything was put back in motion when Apple failed to give a solid alternative in their February announcement. I did, however, get the AppleTV. The cost of the AppleTV, since it was not necessarily a part of the solution, is not included in the $150 investment.
Concerned about my investment and change, I made sure I could return the antenna if things did not work out. My son and I gave it a try. With him standing on the deck and me scanning the available antenna channels, I could see that there were 65 channels in my area that could be found. Not every channel was showing up. Several days later, I mounted the antenna on the house and most, if not all, of those 65 channels came in. Some were Korean, some Spanish, some shopping, some radio – 65 channels!
The first Monday of this past month I called my satellite provider and canceled. They were very inquisitive as to why I wold make such a decision and offered to cut my monthly expense. Since that had not offered to do that over the last four years, I said “no thanks”. Today we have no satellite or cable TV.
Honestly, my son is going through withdrawal. I think he is counting the days until he can graduate high school, get a job, move to his own place, and have ESPN reconnected. My wife misses some of her shows, but she has found many of them on Netflix or the internet. Additionally, she has found some new shows that she is now hooked on. For me, the loss of continuous news, weather, and sports have been noticed but far from missed.
Once I found it would work, I bought a splitter to allow the signal to be split to three TV’s. That may have caused an issue. It seems that one of the TV’s will not pick up a weak signal after they come through the splitter. After trying to adjust the antenna, I have lost a few channels on that one TV. I need to re-adjust the antenna or I may be required to invest in another, separate, antenna for that one TV. That may cost a little more, but I am still way, way, way under that $1200 annual charge to watch a screen that shoves commercials at me several times an hour.
It does work! you may want to give it a try.