We finally did it – we GOT RID OF CABLE TV! The cord is cut! The last year has really had us thinking, do we need cable? But alas, we were stuck in a contract and it wasn’t worth us breaking it. Our contract ended in early December, and after quickly realizing that if we wanted to continue with the bundle service we had, we would have to pay around $60 more a month for the EXACT service/equipment – we didn’t hesitate to cancel cable TV.
Yay! Cable-free and we have an extra $60 in our pocket each month. Take it we have been subscribing to Netflix, Hulu, Feeln and Amazon Prime (try free for 30 days) for the last few years – so I don’t count that as additional money that we are spending. So now that we’ve been without cable for a month, what do we think? For the most part, we love it. BUT that said, we have learned several things that we just didn’t think about or know before we cut the cord.
5 Things To Know Before You Get Rid of Cable TV
1. Buy a Clock!
So, what we didn’t think about as we were packing up our old cable tv boxes was that we relied on the clock on the box way more than we realized. It’s bright and you can see the clock from across the room and in the dark. We liked it so much, we bought 1 for our bedroom and another for our family room.
Here is the clock we ended up purchasing on Amazon. Yes, it’s an alarm clock. Yes, it’s bigger than normal – but believe me, you want something that you can easily read from across the room.
2. Buy an HD Antenna
Today’s antennas are nothing like the antennas of yesterdays! There is no tilting a huge antenna various ways to get channels. We bought 2 flat antennas (though if we want WFAA, channel 8 here in Dallas with an antenna, we do need to purchase a UHF antenna — not a big deal though!). We are able to pick up around 20 channels – and it’s all digital so the picture is just as good as you would have with a cable tv box.
Here are the 2 antennas we purchased. I had bought 1 on Amazon and then another was an impulse purchase at Best Buy. Both work great!
This is the Homeworx HW110AN Super Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna ($7.78). The reception is fine with this antenna. Remember that where you place the antenna will also determine your reception. We had this on our family room TV and everything was fine and dandy. I purchased the RCA HDTV antenna ($15.78) below and since it’s a cleaner design put it in the family room. When I moved the Homeworx antenna to our bedroom, I am not getting all of the channels — it’s due to the location of the television/antenna. The family room has 3 large windows that our TV is next to. We just have 1 bedroom window, and the TVs isn’t close to it.
I do like that it’s a nice slick design! I will say that if you are missing local channels – you may need to purchase a UHF antenna. This is something we haven’t done yet since there is only one main local channel that we don’t get.
Heads up DALLAS – FT. WORTH people – if you are trying to get WFAA ABC Channel 8 on your antenna but having problems, you may need to buy a UHF antenna. (Think rabbit ears.)
3. Network Television is JUST as Bad as Cable TV
So with cable tv, when we did watch TV – it was mostly HGTV, Food Network or Discovery Channel (or Sprout, Disney Channel or Nick JR.) While yes, occasionally there was something questionable – overall on those channels the shows were family friendly. Fast forward to network TV — oy vey.
From TMZ talking about a man with two male parts to Divorce Court where they are discussing threesomes… I have had to turn the TV channel way more than I ever expected. (I will say, I love PBS programming. During the morning and afternoon hours, they offer plenty of kids programming.)
4. Amazon Fire TV is Amazing
We have smart TVs, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, xBox 360 and an xBox One. Of all of these smart streaming devices, Amazon Fire TV (read our Amazon Fire TV review) outranks them all. Why? For some reason we get WAY less lag when streaming video from Amazon Fire TV. This is true with not only Amazon Prime, but Netflix as well. Second, TETRIS. Sorry, but I love Tetris and don’t tell the kids but I lay in bed and play this stupid game way too much when I really should be sleeping. Yes kids, no screens in the bedroom – except mom and dad’s (which we really should get rid of, because sleep…)
5. Dish Sling TV
While yes, we are loving not having to pay for cable – I will say after hearing the announcement of Sling TV – I am in! For $20 a month – Dish Network, the satellite provider is offering a service called Sling TV. What is Sling TV? For $20 a month yes, twenty dollars you get access to a lineup of cable tv networks that includes TNT, TBS, CNN, Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, the Disney Channel, ESPN, and ESPN2. The service launches first quarter 2014.
I was able to demo Sling TV by Dish Network at CES 2015 this year. I have to say, the interface is slick. I was able to choose the channel I wanted to watch, it displayed the show. While the options were limited, it’s only $20 a month – you can’t expect everything cable provided you! Here is a demo of Sling TV:
- Amazon Fire TV (read our Amazon Fire TV review)
- Amazon Fire TV Stick
- Google Nexus Player
- LG Smart TVs
- Mac / OS X
- Roku set-top boxes
- Roku Streaming Stick
- Roku TV
- Windows PC
- Xbox One
So there are 5 things we’ve learned since cutting the cable cord. Are we glad we did it, yes! Are there things we miss? Kind of but thankfully Pioneer Woman is on Netflix!
5 Things To Know Before You Get Rid of Cable TV originally posted on Digital Mom blog on January 15, 2015.