Cableone made me mad and I have had enough. If you are like me, you’ve heard about the television cord-cutting trend but are not sure how it works, so I’m going to tell you what I’ve found out.
The biggest change when you cut the cable cord is that you have to decide what to watch. There’s nothing playing on the TV until you decide what to put on. As near as I can tell, DVRs don’t work with an internet only setup but that’s OK with me. I quickly realized that the shows I was recording can be found online if you are willing to subscribe to a few services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.)
There is a huge amount of content online and it is really easy to find something to watch. I can already tell that I am never going to run out of interesting shows. I like being able to watch a season of shows at whatever pace feels good.
For this to work, you need to be able to connect the internet to your TV. I have an Apple TV device connected to the TV in the living room. Apple TV can connect to the internet via wifi or with an ethernet cable. I use the cable because I think it might be a better/faster connection, and because I had the cable already in place.
The TV in the kitchen has a wireless Roku stick. This is a little thing that looks a lot like a flash drive that plugs into an HDMI port on the TV. It has a cord that plugs into a power outlet. Neither of these devices was that hard to set up. It took a little time to enter passwords and set up channels (Netflix, etc.) on each device, but it was easy to do.
Both of these devices work well and allow you to watch a variety of things. I am currently watching subscription services like Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access, but there and I’ve found a variety of free channels as well. Additionally, you can connect both Apple TV and the Roku to your computer or other smart device and stream from them.
My cable bill is about 1/3 of what it was before. The combined monthly Netflix/Hulu/CBS/HBO fees will be a little more than what I was paying Tivo (my DVR provider). I’m saving money—that hardly ever happens!
The one downside is that we don’t get local/live news. I solved that problem with the WFAA app on my ipad. (WFAA is the ABC channel in Dallas that we watched until Cableone took it away.) We usually watch evening news and this app works for us. I suspect I’ll be able to get more news using other apps… in fact, Nowhere TV might work very well.
I hope this has answered questions for those of you who might have been thinking about doing this yourself.
If you have a TV with a digital tuner, you can get your local stations over the air.
Thank you for sharing this. I’m frustrated with my cable rates and bought Roku 2 and haven’t hooked it up yet. I’m hesitant about not having the local stations as you mentioned. I especially watch our local pbs.
Perhaps this week I’ll break the cable connection!
Becky, we did the same several months ago and love it. You might consider Sling TV.
There is a small fee and you can get a lot of channels you might like–TCM, AMC, Lifetime, History, History 2, HHGTV, etc.
Much of PBS is available to stream including the News Hour, probably an hour delay. The News Hour audio is an hour delayed. All of the current Masterpiece programming is available . ‘Acorn’ has most PBS older series – a treasure. For local news, radio? Thanks for this blog. Always a pleasure.
Our kids cut their cords a year ago. In Canada the CRTC has instructed the cable companies that by March of 2016 they must let customers choose what channels they want bundled, I will be interested to see what is offered. In the meantime we have started to keep track of what channels we actually watch or record, not that many and it appears that most are included the basic HD feed, interesting. Would need to add a couple of soccer channels. I resent paying for 200 channels when we only watch about 12 on a regular basis. If that can’t be changed in March we too will be cutting the cord.
I’m with you! In addition to your streaming sources, I use Acorn which is cheap and has “the best of British tv.”
I’ve made a note about acorn and sling tv. Once I see what I’m missing, it will be easy to add more. Right now I am awash with choices and it’s making me very happy.
So timely! My husband won’t consider Cable and we have a big mountain in our neighborhood that blocks some of the signasl to our antenna. We’ll probably go with Roku. Thanks, Becky!
So glad to read others are not happy with their cable service. I’m going to have to look into some of these other suggestions. Thanks everyone.
We had a big drop in our income about 10 years ago. We decided we could keep the satelite tv or the internet, but not both. We chose the internet. We got a rooftop antenna for the local channels and use netflix and hulu through a smart DVD player that connects to the WIFI. We don’t even want satelite or cable now.
Oh, this is so tempting! I had a big fight with Xfinity/Cablevision a couple of months ago. They provide packages in my list of “upgrade” options (I actually wanted to downgrade but they don’t provide any options for that…) for which I don’t qualify – i.e., they’re only for new customers. I tried to get them to agree that it was wrong to market something to me that I could never purchase but they just kept saying “read the fine print, terms and conditions. As if!
I thought I could significantly drop my rate, but nooooo. It was a nightmare. I was on the phone with at least 3 different people and finally, at the end, said “Don’t change anything because it seems no matter what happens, I’ll be paying more for less.”
So I’m very tempted, because they are a monopoly and I have no choice in an alternate provider or in a reasonable package of what I actually DO watch, to tell them bye bye. Very grateful for the options listed by Becky and the other posters.
However, I have internet, phone and TV. So what do you do… keep phone and internet and drop the TV part (I didn’t see ANY alternatives to the cable companies for Internet access; phone – I guess, when I’m done working, I can drop the phone and just use my wireless phone)? Or what?
Apparently we’re supposed to lobby our representatives to do something about the cable companies being a monopoly and not offering channel choice… but I’m not sure if that’s local, state or Federal. Anyone know?
I’m looking at retirement in the next few years and my cable bill (TV/internet/phone) would be more than 10% of my projected monthly retirement income at today’s prices. Isn’t that crazy? I don’t pay that much for my electric and gas bills combined… and they’re bad enough!
Call and ask if you can get just internet and phone. It can’t hurt to ask.
I dropped my landline years ago and haven’t missed it. My mom, however, has to have a landline for her Life Alert device. That adds about $100 (phone and Life Alert) to her monthly bills, but if she falls, she really does need that button to push.
We cut the cord a few months ago. We bought a $40 HD TV antenna for the regular free programs. We also did buy an Apple TV device. We DO get local news but not Fox News. We really didn’t watch that much on Cable. We do miss the History Channel and a couple of others but its not enough to equal the $60 a month we were spending. (And, some of these programs are on Hulu and other companies. We currently pay $8.56 for one of them.) And, we have found pleasure in doing puzzles at night together or reading or watching old movies. And, we don’t have a land line telephone. We Americans can cut the cord. And, I do remember life without all the electronic gadgets.
When I moved last year, I dropped my cable, and landline, and now only have internet through cable company. I have AppleTV and watch Netflix through that. I get most local channels (except FOX) through my antenna. Really don’t miss cable, and love having the extra $ in my pocket. Do have Netflex and an AppleTV device.