Adventures In Cord Cutting And Cord Shaving

Cable Freedom

Cable Freedom

We have been trying to cut our Cable bill to a more manageable amount. But what to leave out. We have our favorite channels which all seem to be in the upper tier, and that is without the Premium channels, like HBO. Pricey.

There are several possibilities that we have come up with. We are finally out from under our contract and can do what we want. We have already peeled away the phone service from the triple play. Comcast responded by jacking up our overall rate by taking away any promotional pricing. This only makes us angry and more determined to cut out more things.

We have determined that we can get almost all the programming we like by using Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. However this leaves out the live network channels for the news and other things. So our best options in that case are to keep a bare bones cable package for the networks, or we get an HD Antenna to pull in Over The Air signals.

We have tried the Mohu Leaf Plus Antenna with the 50 mile range and got 31 channels. Other than the network channels, most of these are very local junk channels with little real content other than moldy oldies like “I Dream Of Genie”. Now I love that show, but stuff that old is rediculous. The signal is also not that good with stuff cutting out, since we are about 50+ miles from Portland. There is little point in getting a more powerful antenna, because it doesn’t seem to add much for us in our location. So we will likely have to settle for the bare bones Cable package.

But even that is not optimum, since it doesn’t have the Weather Channel or Northwest Cable News. And I have found no alternatives for those. I keep looking.

I have found some wonderful resources from Disable My Cable and Cord Cutters News. There is advice on how to, reviews of equipment, and where to find content you like from non-Cable sources, like OTA and Netflix. This is where I learned about different Antennas and online channels.

Other places we can cut costs are by buying some of our own equipment. I am currently testing the TiVo box, which eliminates the need to rent a cable box. Yes there is a monthly fee, but it is cheaper than Comcast. Another thing that makes it attractive is that Comcast will take away our fancy Cable box if we downgrade to bare bones Basic cable and give us a box that does not have a DVR. Such lovely people.

A TiVo is a DVR, so we can still record if we go that route. One other really cool feature is that it pulls in listings for some streaming content from basic channel like Netflix, etc. so all I have to do is make a search of a show I want and I find where it is, whether that is on Comcast, Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. Not too shabby. We do like it, and so far, think we will keep it. We may or may not get a satellite TiVo box in time. This will give us the opportunity to peel away more service from Comcast.

The other service we have been testing out is Sling. This is a streaming channel from Dish Network that gives some of the basic popular channels, like ESPN, CNN, HGTV, and Disney for a really cheap price $20). Plus there are a few addon packages for more sports, kids, and news. They are supposed to be getting AMC, which I believe will bring with it BBC America (Dr Who). The drawbacks are that it doesn’t have the main broadcast channels, nor can you record or view on more than one device. Plus, I have a lot of buffering on the channels, but I think this us my equipment and not the service. Still, my opinion of the service, so far is positive.

We have been considering cutting out Comcasts modem and eliminating that rental, too. But this may not be wise as I would get less tech support if I have problems in the future. I have all but eliminated this option.

So now, if we keep the TiVo and Sling and use my Roku or TiVo for streaming, and

So if we decide to keep the equipment and the Sling on top of the other streaming services we already have and peel our cable back to the bare bones Basic Cable, we well still nearly cut our bill in half and retain almost everything we like to watch. I still won’t have the Weather Channel, but I think I can cope.

The image is from Pixabay with License: CC0 Public Domain
http://pixabay.com/en/consumer-society-watch-tv-lazy-tv-386661/

I’m sharing with Frugal Friday Link Party.