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.
You’re a radical!
Probably so, but I have more time and money to be the radical now!!
We will cut out our satellite bill end of July. Can not wait to save that $65 a month.
Great job. Keep it up. It is the trend now and the cable/satellite companies are felling the heat. You all will see the cash!
Parkey, as you might recall we did the same thing about 3 months ago, however due to our location and perhaps the 1990s antenna we re using, we only get one channel, NBC…and even then its hit and miss.
Do we mind?, not at all. Like you we were spending over $100 a month and we were watching less than 3 hours of tv a week. We can as much HGTV through their website as we can watch, been watching plenty of other shows hooking up the pc to the tv when we feel like it, but the most important part is we are putting our $100+ towards others things, like paying down our debt. Cheers mate!
Yes, I do recall that conversation. More and more content is going to the internet and, I believe, soon we will be watching ala carte!
Great idea! I hate paying cable bills.
I”ll have to research this and see if I can figure it all out. I mostly watch local channels and was given Apple TV as a gift!
Depending on your distance from the signal of the local channels, you should be good. As for AppleTV, if it is the latest one, you are seeing 1080p HD quality. You can rent movies, stream music and pictures, even watch Netflix.
Enjoy and enjoy the savings.
Hey Parkey, it’s been 14 and a half months for our household. I paid DirectTV $140 to get out of my life and I’ve been soooo much happier ever since. I tried the antenna thing, but it just wasn’t worth it… the commercials are garbage. And really, does it occur to anyone else that the television is satan’s easiest doorway into our homes? Without tv, I don’t have to worry about my 12-year-old being turned on by Doritos commercials, my little girl behaving like a boy-crazy fool and being convinced that pre-marital sex is acceptable behavior, and my littliest son being convinced to beg me to buy the latest junk food on the market… which is usually stick yogurt with 46 grams of sugar. I don’t have to get depressed from rape stories on the news or celebrities battling over custody rights, I don’t get to bed too late from being lured into an extra program, and I don’t have to rush my kids to bed to get in front of the tv on time for Desperate Housewives to start. And….. I save a ton of money and am blissfully content because I don’t have to watch a 16-year-old Hannah Montana living beach front in Malibu. If America took all of their tv-viewing time and spent it with their children, or volunteering, or reading their bibles, what a glorious thing it would be. Praise God for no tv!
Okay, I had the same conversation with Parkey too….. months ago!! And I haven’t made the move yet. Seeing these comments has helped me move closer to a decision – also because my cable bill went up again without notice. My fear is; I live alone with not much electronics ability, so how hard is it to set up an antenna and wireless network thru the blue-ray??? I work three jobs / 14 days straight and some nights my relaxation is just vegging in front of a comedy show.. Also, my home alarm is thru my cable connection. I know they have wireless systems now but is the cost difference helping me to save anything?
We cut the cable cord 14 months ago and love it. We put an HD antenna in the attic and spliced it into our home coax network. Works like a charm (after adding a signal power booster in the attic too). All-in-all we do great and the picture quality is superior to cable! Our biggest loss is ESPN but it is really only missed in football season. It is not worth $100 a month anyway.
Great job. To help others, can you expound on the “splicing” and how you went about making that happen?
With my HD Homerun tuner connected to my PC with a decent video card and and power supply with Windows Media Center (WMC) and internet service, my antenna in the attic picks up HD quality shows and the PC records them to the hard drive which can be played on the big HDTV for the family or the small monitor at the PC (dual monitor arrangement). I can record two channels at the same time.The programming of recordings through WMC allows us to watch shows whenever we wish and speed through the commercials. The only monthly bill is internet service (I use DSL) which we need anyway (internet is needed to provide the programming schedule). My only warning: I thought we would watch less TV since we could fast-forward through the commercials, but too many recordings can increase your TV time if you’re not careful.
Parkey, we did this about two years ago to save money when I went back to get my master’s degree. In Phoenix, we get all the major affiliates over the air. With Apple TV and NetFlix, we get more than enough. In addition to saving time, I think we have a better quality of life because we only watch what we really want to see and spend more time talking or doing.
Turned in my cable box this morning! Haven’t figured out an antenna fix yet and am in no hurry. I had been talking about this for a year or so, but I wanted my MSNBC for the election, and then put it off for another year apparently. Did not actually turn it off until this week. YAY! The house is quiet and maybe it will get clean.