How I Cut the Cable and Replaced Cable TV for a fraction of the cost.
There are three things most of us hate; the IRS, Insurance Companies, and Cable TV bill. Well, I just canceled cable TV, and I’m loving every minute of it. I was stuck in the Comcast package of a home phone, cable TV with all of the movie channels with 2 DVRs, and the internet. I was paying about $275 per month, for a home phone I have not used in years, a ton of cable channels I did not watch, and the internet. I would sit down to watch a very little TV during the week, but I usually had the TV on for background atmosphere. I would watch some movie channels on the weekends.
I am saving $2,400 per year by getting rid of cable TV, and here is how I did it.
During the week, we would mostly watch local news, local sports, and a cable news channel, and music videos. But we did not sit down and actively watch; it was mostly background noise. During the weekends when we did finally sit down and watch TV, we mostly watched Netflix or Amazon Prime.
So every month, I would see the $275 charge on my credit card and just be mad at how much it cost for stuff I do not use. I started watching a lot of YouTube this year, and I realized a lot of things I watch on cable TV is also live on YouTube. I can get cable news live streaming and music videos on YouTube for free. So I started researching to see if I could basically replace cable TV and here is what I found.
First, in the old days before we had cable TV, we all had the rabbit ears antenna on top of the TV or an ugly antenna on the roof or a hidden attic antenna that supplied our TV for free. When I moved to my house in 2001, it was 26 miles from downtown Chicago, and the external antenna provided had a very poor reception; however, this has all changed. When TV went digital, the signal became much stronger. So I got on YouTube and started researching it. Now you can get HD local TV reception from as far as 50+ miles away with a simple, inexpensive HD antenna. So I purchased an attic HD antenna for only $26.00 on Amazon, one made by GE, and installed it in my attic. And I now get over 50+ local channels, and the important channels are in HD, and the picture is awesome.
Secondly, you do not need a smart TV to do all of this, because you can now buy inexpensive equipment like Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Xbox, and many others. All you need is a TV with an HDMI port, and you can make all of this work.
I purchased Amazon Fire TV for $80.00, I have a smart TV, but it is limited to the number of apps I can download and install. Plus, the Fire TV buffers so I do not get the annoying buffering when watching streaming video on my smart TV. In addition, when I watch cable news with YouTube on my smart TV, it is not in high resolution. However, the Fire TV does allow me to stream cable news from YouTube in HD.
So with a one-time purchase of an HD attic antenna for $26, Amazon Fire TV for $80, and $40 worth of new cable, I am lowering my cable bill from $275 per month to now only having internet service at $75 per month. And this amounts to a $200 per month savings or $2,400 per year for spending $146. I am not including the cost of Amazon Prime for $99 a year or Netflix for $12 per month because I was already subscribing to them, and will keep them.
So now, I have movies, and TV shows on demand from Netflix and Amazon Prime, free local channels from an HD antenna, most cable TV channels have their own app. So you will continue to get just about any cable channel you watch with a smart TV or Amazon Fire or Google Chromecast, and cable news live streaming from YouTube. So basically, I get just about everything with no cable TV subscription.
Here are a couple of issues I had to solve.
One, I love to watch Ray Donovan on Showtime.
Normally, Showtime can be added to my Amazon Prime for $12 per month with no contract. So I will add Showtime for the Ray Donovan series and cancel when the season is over. So I will have it for 3 or 4 months.
Problem number two is a little more complicated, watching live sports. You can watch sports with apps like ESPN on Fire TV or other devices, but it will not play live games unless you have a cable subscription. Most of what I wanted to watch is now on my local TV but not everything.
The solution is to add an online cable like Sling TV or Directv Now. Sling TV for $25 per month will cover all of the sports channels, so your bill will go to a $100 per month if you want all the sports. Either way, I am saving thousands per year!!
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