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After Stopping Cable TV…Cutting the Cord

Submitted by on January 26, 2012 – 6:13 pmOne Comment

I have decided to “cut the cord,” that is, I have turned in my boxes and cable cards and I no longer have cable.  As I have been focusing on writing about streaming media from online, I wanted to experience what it is like to get rid of my cable bill. What, if anything, would I miss? Would I truly be saving money?  Services like HuluPlus and Netflix cost money too. How much would I save?  To be clear, I am NOT cutting my broadband internet connection, so the cable company is still getting a big chunk of money.

By journaling about my experience, I hope that I can give you an honest look at whether cutting the cord would be right for you.  Each day I hope to have a tip, resource, or how-to, to help you find the shows you want to watch and to choose what devices may be best suited to what you like to watch.

It is difficult to make concrete recommendations about how to switch to a cable-less lifestyle. Everyone has different circumstances, preferences, and resources. You may like to watch different programming than I do. Your internet speeds or access to broadcast TV–NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox– may be limited if you live in a rural community.  Where I can, I will offer alternatives that I find to cover other scenarios than my own.

Because I write about technology, I have access to a number of borrowed network media streamers, players, network TVs, routers and other devices.  The devices that I write about are not high-end and can be readily purchased at major retailers or online.  Nonetheless, it will be a great benefit to be able to compare these devices for you.

Here is my situation…

I have:

  • broadband high speed internet – (at the ridiculously fast speed of 60 to 100 mbps) –Note that I also have a 150 GB monthly cap on my internet with hefty overage fees. This means that while I can stream any kind of content I want, I am financially limited regarding how many TV shows and movies I stream and download.
  • strong reception of local channels using a set-top antenna
  • paid subscriptions to HuluPlus, Netflix, and Amazon Prime (annual subscription)

Your Resources

While you don’t need the ridiculous download speeds I have available, if you do not have fast internet access (above 3Mbps), your only hope will be to occasionally stream video to your computer rather than to your TV, (yes, you can connect your computer to your TV too) and use an antenna for broadcast TV (how 60’s!).  By the way, if you live in a rural area, this summer, DISH is bringing you fast satellite internet, so you may just wait for that.

I have a set-top antenna, but if you really want to get broadcast TV and a set-top antenna doesn’t work for you, there’s always the old roof top antennas.

You don’t have to pay for streaming services.  There are services like Crackle that show TV shows and movies with commercials.  You can connect our computer to your TV or use a TV or device that has an unlimited web browser (coming out later this year). Another option is media server software–Plex, PlayOn with subscriptions starting at about $50 per year–for computers that can stream from network TV websites like CBS and Hulu.com (not the paid Hulu plus). 

TV Shows I Want to Get After Quitting Cable

I watch what my boyfriend considers to be a lot of TV. I like to watch shows weekly and often want to see an episode when it airs or soon thereafter.  The shows range from CBS shows like “The Good Wife,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Survivor,” “Hawaii Five-0” to “Glee” and “American Idol” on Fox.  On occasion, I plan to scout out other popular titles and sports to let you know how you can get them.

This will be a journal and while I’d like to take a methodical approach, the journey may meander.  I’ll be sure to tag the posts well so you can find answers to your question.

Here goes…SNIP!  (***static****)

One Comment »

  • Michael Eyles says:

    I’ve been catching up on watching the HTG Show on TWIT and my favorite show was the one you were on. The whole subject of cutting the cord is one I hope to do sometime. I’m new to all the streaming and other methods available to do this. I’ll be following your attempts with great interest. Good luck, I’m hoping for great success.SNIP! (***static****)Wait, I’m back, I’ll watch you first.

    Thanks, Mike

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