No More Cable - The good, bad and ugly

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by brymolmom, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. brymolmom

    brymolmom DIS Veteran

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    I know many on this board have been discussing/thinking about getting rid of cable to cut costs. Well, after considering it for many months, dh and I finally took the plunge almost 3 weeks ago. I thought I would share my experience to help those who are still considering.

    Our 'plan' was to 1) get netflix streamed thru the wii - this was done prior to the end of cable 2) get a PC or Roku box connected to the TV to watch 'full episodes' of some shows (this has still not been done, I thought it would make us hurry to do this when the cable was gone) and 3) get an antenna for the roof to get local stations (this hasn't been done - cuz we still have snow up there, but the antenna is purchased and waiting for spring to actually arrive here in upstate NY to get it installed. For now, we're paying for a couple months of basic from cable) 4) use the library more for videos for the kids.

    As you can see 2 haven't been done even still but I know we'll do them more quickly now that cable's gone vs. waiting for everything to be done before cutting the cord - then we would drag our feet forever.

    So, We disconnected almost 3 weeks ago now....here's my take:
    The good:
    1 - LOVE that we're saving about $50 a month right now (really more - but paying 10 a month for netflix so it isn't all savings), and will save $12 more per month in a couple when the antenna is installed.
    2 - I honestly can say it has been EASIER than I thought it would be. I have watched some shows via internet (connected laptop to the tv).
    3 - Netflix has much more than I ever imagined when I had cable and didn't need to search for stuff. I have a ton of things lined up to watch.
    4- Since I don't do nearly as much mindless channel flipping when nothing's really on - I've been reading a lot more. I've read 4 novels in the last 3 weeks.
    5 - I was worried about the kids complaining. They are 7 and 8 and watched a lot of DISNEY channel and movies on the disney channels on tv. They haven't really even complained. They've watched some GOOD LUCK CHARLIE on Netflix and they've watched some of the movies and shows I got out of the library for them. And they've played a bit more wii and watched youtube more often (some cartoons, etc.).

    The bad:
    1- Ok, this might be a deal breaker for some of you - but likely the only thing I really miss is my DVR. I only watch a handful of shows regularly (survivor, American Idol, Amazing Race, Grey's, Big Bang Theory). And many of them start at 8:00pm. Well, my kids go to bed between 8 and 8:30 and I used to LOVE having it DVR'ing during the bedtime routine so when I was ready to watch at 8:30 - 8:40 I could just start at the beginning and then fast forward thru commercials. It was ideal. Now I have to either just watch the part that hasn't finished yet OR wait for it to be done and watch it off the Internet the next day. I am still getting used to this and I think that when we have a PC or Roku setup it will make this easier as we'll just start watching Wednesday's shows on THursday, etc.
    2 - Tied to the one above, right now and until we get a PC hooked up permanently to our TV, it is a bit of pain to do the whole watching from the Internet thing - have to connect the laptop, find the show, get it going, we've found some shows that 'hang' sometimes during it playing - so we have to fiddle with it.


    I think overall for the bad points, when we have our setup finalized and when we get more used to it - I think they will become more like annoyances and be more minor with time. I am HAPPY we went this direction.

    Good luck to anyone else deciding on this!
     
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  3. rvchat

    rvchat DIS Veteran

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    Hi, i also love the dvr. CAn't we buy a dvr of our own and connect to tv?







     
  4. brymolmom

    brymolmom DIS Veteran

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    I said the same thing and actually thought that it would be possible (even if it involved buying something expensive), but as of yet - we haven't found a way.

    Maybe someone on here knows more than I do....Honestly it's still OK for me at least as most of what I want to watch I can get full episodes from the computer...just way more cumbersome.
     
  5. aclov

    aclov DIS Veteran

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    Been thinking about this and saving the $128 month!
     
  6. Dashzap

    Dashzap DIS Veteran

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    We turned off the cable a few years ago and haven't gotten around to adding netflix yet!

    We spend more time online than we used to.

    We get a couple of channels with set top rabbit ears.

    We haven't found a way to connect our mac laptop to the 10 year old TV.
     
  7. BSil

    BSil Mouseketeer

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    There is a product called elgato http://www.elgato.com/ which makes some items specifically designed for DVR purposes with a pc/mac. I think they are designed around the basis that you have some form of cable, but it might work with antennas too. It seems like they are designed to save you the cost of paying for DVR from the cable company, but I'm sure there are plenty of applications you can use their products for.
     
  8. KandiB47

    KandiB47 <font color=blue>It's kind of grossing me out to i

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    I got rid of my cable last August by default when I moved into a 90 year old house without cable connections.

    I have indoor rabbit ear antennas for our three tv's ($6 for the antennas). They pick up HD channels and everything. I get about ten channels. My new favorite channels are PBS and Create. I also get two music television channels and a weather channel that I have on a lot. There is no difference in the picture from cable HD channels.

    If you have Redbox near by, that is useful for quick movie rentals. I notice we have to plan ahead more because you can't just turn on the tv and have dozens of options anymore.
     
  9. piperdown

    piperdown Mouseketeer

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    We cut the cable about 2 years ago. DH installed an antenna and converter box. Only recently got Netflix, which we love. I use hulu.com for many of the network shows I watch.

    As a side note, we watch a lot more PBS. With the converter box, we get 4 channels of PBS. There is a lot of really great programming, and I would have never taken notice if we hadn't cut the cable.
     
  10. SandrA9810

    SandrA9810 DIS Veteran

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    That's what Tivo is for. You can find them cheap on Ebay, and I've found them at Blockbuster stores that were closing on sale for 20% off (about $140). Not exactly sure how it all works, but it's a DVR box that isn't connected through cable.

    Now if you sign up for Hulu Plus, you can watch shows after they're done airing, and older episodes.
     
  11. KandiB47

    KandiB47 <font color=blue>It's kind of grossing me out to i

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    I'll have to look into the Tivo thing for my antenna.
     
  12. brymolmom

    brymolmom DIS Veteran

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    Yes - we thought so too, but I do not actually think it's possible (at least with my research so far). We have a Tivo from awhile ago leftover from some satellite plan we had at one time. I am told that you need cable to be the tuner for it or something along those lines.

    Now I believe we could watch something off of Tivo...but as for recording new current programs....Anyone have any other information if this would actually be possible?
     
  13. usnuzuloose

    usnuzuloose Loosing Boo Boo

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    I love my roku box. I get Hulu Plus and Netflix.Plus it has many other channels as well.
     
  14. HunnyPots

    HunnyPots DIS Veteran<br><font color=purple>The Tag Fairy is

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    We went from Dish to streaming TV via Roku last month and I have not missed it at all! Like you, I'm doing a lot less channel surfing and watching any pointless show just to be watching. It really made me think about the stuff I was spending so much time watching. Why on earth was I spending several hours a week watching people dig through old junk or taking their stuff to a pawn shop??? And why did I care about total strangers trying to buy or sell their home? :confused3
    Anyway, I love the choices on Netflix and a few things on Hulu, but mostly I LOVE that I am saving over $1000 a year! :goodvibes
     
  15. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    A Tivo will work if you pay the subscription fee of about $12.95 per month per box. The newer Tivos also have wireless built in to watch Netflix or HuluPlus.

    We just got a Roku and LOVE it.

    Dawn
     
  16. pixiewings71

    pixiewings71 <marquee><font color=deeppink>Sweet!!! Totally!!!!

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    Ok we got rid of cable (mostly) in July 2010, we kept only the smallest cable package available, this actually SAVED us $2 per month because we were keeping our high speed internet thru Comcast. At our house the ONLY high speed internet available is thru Comcast, no Verizon, no AT&T, no anything BUT Comcast...no clue why, a friend a block away has plenty of option but where we are it's only Comcast. So, we wanted to keep the high speed internet, disconnected our cable box and took it to the office, dropped it off and disconnected, the lady was trying to get us to keep cable "I can offer you what you have for only $99 a month if you keep it" no thanks.... "I can offer a deal of basic basic cable, it's only the local channels and the Discovery channel but it will actually save you $2 compared to the internet only plan" so we did that. :) Came home, hooked the cable to the computer (desktop) and we now use our Windows Media Center as our DVR!!!!!! Yup, FREE DVR! The downside is that you can only record 1 show at a time but that's OK, we don't watch a lot of overlapping shows anyway. :) We have Netflix, we can watch it thru the desktop, laptop, netbook (but it's super slow this way) or the Wii, we generally use the Wii but we've used the desktop a time or two. We love Netflix!! And we use the Redbox a lot as well. :)
    Do I miss cable? Sure, but it will be a while before we get it back, even if I get a job offer this month we will pay off bills before we get the cable back. :)
     
  17. msmama

    msmama DIS Veteran

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    I'm curious - when you called to cancel the cable did they just cancel it for you or did they try to "make you an offer you couldn't refuse."

    I figure once I do try to cancel, I may end up having it for another year with a good deal, lol.
     
  18. DisneyMomma81

    DisneyMomma81 DIS Veteran

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    I'm interested in cutting the *cable* cord ~ we'd need a converter box to get channels with an antenna - how do I purchase one for a good price?
     
  19. Jaden'smommy

    Jaden'smommy Mouseketeer

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    i also cancelled our cable plan, just have internet. we dont miss it at all. we get about 5 reg channels free,idk why but we do. the only channel i actually watch is NY1. My 7 year old son doesnt watch tv during the week, he plays with his wii or watches movies through netflicks. im saving about 75 bucks a month.
     
  20. SandrA9810

    SandrA9810 DIS Veteran

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    You can get one on Ebay for about $30, or at the store for about $60.

    My aunt's died (Apex brand) just after moving into her new house. The power supply was broken, and seemed to be a common occurrence with that brand. ALL the stores were sold out of Digital boxes, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and was told it was a manufacturer issue.

    We finally headed over to Radioshack and bought one for $60. It just says "digital stream" on the front of the box, but it worked a million times better than the old box. My aunt was able to pick up channels she hadn't seen since she moved (only 2 miles away), and she didn't have to turn the antenna every time she changed the channel. She was miffed that the old box only lasted less than 2 years, but she's happy with the new one.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Digital-Stream-...144?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c1a879bc8

    Having a good antenna is key too.
     
  21. whois figment

    whois figment Mouseketeer

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    For those of you missing your dvr and are using a computer to watch tv you can buy a usb or internal tv tuner for your laptop. Most of the tuners come with dvr software but if not just google free pvr software. There are several out there that work well and are free so you have no subscribtion cost.
     

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