It has been more than a year now that the Jones home has been without cable TV of any kind. Originally we made the choice because of the absurd amount of money that cable/dish/digital TV costs. With a baby on the way, we thought it would be best to put that chunk of money each month somewhere else. My husband did most of the research about how to best go about getting rid of cable, so I can’t take credit for this information.
It is a pretty scary thought. You know, not being able to watch The Food Network whenever you want…missing the next season of Deadliest Catch…and most importantly, having to find somewhere else to watch Alabama football. I’m only partly kidding here. It was with some trepidation that we decided to take the plunge. Now, I am almost ashamed that those thoughts were even in my head. Turns out, I haven’t missed it a bit. (ok, not MUCH anyway)…and it also turns out that you can waste as much time watching 9 channels as you can 900 channels.
If you want to get rid of cable here are some helpful hints. First, get an antenna. We spent about $100–Less than the cost of one month of cable. A quick search online will get you more info about ranges, etc. The antenna will most likely hook in to the system already in place from your cable service. Make sure you call them to cancel as soon as you have your antenna. We get about 9 channels with our antenna. The picture is really clear, but does suffer when it is cloudy, rainy, or windy outside. It is pretty frustrating when the picture keeps cutting in and out but I just remind myself that I’m not paying anything for it and then I find something else to do.
Hubby installed the antenna on the roof, which involved placing a ladder on the roof, outside our second story bathroom, and me holding the ladder while he shimmied up there. The end result looks like the picture below. We just might be able to communicate with aliens as well.
Next, consider other options. My husband has a PlayStation 3 so we have a Netflix subscription through that device. It is $7.99 a month for unlimited use. I like Netflix, but the shows available are not the most current seasons, and the movie selection isn’t the greatest. I can also access Netflix on my Motorola Xoom tablet which came in handy recently when Eli had a long doctor’s appointment. We also have access to Amazon Prime on the PS3 because we have an Amazon Prime account. It costs $79 a year and includes free shipping on many Amazon purchases. The movies and shows on Amazon prime are more current but many of the most current shows still cost an additional fee.
We watch some shows on Hulu by connecting our computer to the TV with an HDMI cable. Hulu has a lot of current sitcoms available for free online. We don’t have Hulu Plus but it is also $7.99.
Another source we use is called showsday.com. I’m a little apprehensive to share this info because I have no idea how it is possible for this site to share so many up-to-date shows for free, but here goes. You do have to sign up for an account but it is free and so far we have had no trouble with it. Sometimes it tells us that it is going to cost 2 credits to view a show…whatever that means. We are completely caught up on The Walking Dead and are currently watching The Newsroom via Showsday.
I would like to say that I watch WAY less TV than I did when we had cable, but that just isn’t the case. We do watch different TV than before. I have a new appreciation for Public Television. I enjoy ‘Atlanta Eats’ that comes on every Saturday morning. We have also gotten in the habit of watching ‘America’s Test Kitchen’ and ‘Cook’s Country’. There are a few travel shows that we have been enjoying as well.
Do I miss being able to pause/rewind/record TV? Not really. If I’m not home to watch something, I miss it. Not that big of a deal…unless we’re talking about Downton Abbey. I made sure we were home every Sunday night so we wouldn’t miss out!
I definitely recommend taking the plunge. At this point, we could definitely fit cable back into the budget, but I just don’t have the desire to spend that much money on something that we have been doing fine without.