...are cable TV bills really $175/month? That seems crazy to me but I've never been a subscriber so I don't really know. I've always watched games at the bar and only occasionally download TV shows via iTunes.
A Year Without Cable
I was paying 79 dollars a month for the lowest (no HD) package offered by Comcast when I cut it off. That was for TV and Internet though. I'm down to 33 dollars a month for 18 mpbs from AT&T for just internet. $175 for a HD package with HBO seems believable.
If you can cut cable and cut out a bunch of your shows in the process (as opposed to turning around and buying them from iTunes) you can save a nice amount. I redirected my media budget into video games and found I can amuse myself for less. Between Skyrim, Saints Row 3, and Gran Turismo, I could keep myself busy for years I think.
jfc the internet exists there is no reason to pay for cable
it's called THE FUTURE you guys
The hardest part about cutting cable? No BTN2go with Comcast. A close 2nd was NBCSports for hockey playoffs and soccer. Everything else (Mad Men, ESPN, march madness) I could get legally and cheaply. I re-upped for football season, but will probably cancel again soon.
Macbook pro with AV adapter to TV (March Madness, ESPN3)
HD ROKU* player (Netflix, Amazon video, MLS direct kick)
Edited to add: A $15 HD antenna that I put on my deck. I was able to get >30 channels that way. Mostly crap, yes, but all the major networks.
*they're awesome. Get one.
So I would love to quit cable, but I'm locked into paying for it through my HOA dues. However, my cable company recently got sued and we *might* be able to opt out of the cable contract at some point. However, even if I *could* quit cable, my big conern is sports. It seems that the ESPN3 content now:
1. Is blacked out for any event televised on an cable ESPN network. (ESPN / ESPN2 / ESPNU).
2. Requires a logon (which I guess I could get from a family member).
Also, I don't think I've seen Internet-streaming live sports from ABC, NBC, CBS, etc. I know you can get sports from those "alternative" live-streaming sites, but it's not usually very good quality. Any suggestions?
minded lifestyle choice. When we first lived together it was in NYC and we were just so busy that there was no time. Someone gave me an old B&W set and I painted it with paint markers; on the screen I wrote, "It's better in black and white," which for some reason didn't show when we pulled it out of the closet once a week to watch the new Seinfeld (yes, that was the old days). When we moved to SF we just realized we didn't need or want one; if something really clever ever surfaced, you got in on it anyway. I'm glad I watched The Wire straight through, even though I was a basket case for weeks. Now there's Hulu, and Hulu Plus, and I really love that Criterion Collection stuff. I haven't had to miss a Michigan football or basketball game in two years.
I pay for cable because I'm not interested in being that guy going "help meeeeee i need a streeeeeeeeeeeeeaaamm" for like the Eastern Michigan game. I mean, if it's that damn important that you refuse to miss even the least insteresting of Michigan games, I figure just fork it over. Because between baseball, football, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, and NASCAR, pro and college varieties of each (except NASCAR, smart-asses) I'd be buggin' for a lot of damn streams.
That said, if I were not a sports addict I would never have cut the cord because there would never have been a cord. The number of TV shows I follow religiously is zero, and the number of TV shows that I like and can't find on Hulu or on DVD is also zero. The minute I can stop paying for such as the Food Network or whatever, I'll do it. There really are about 10-12 necessary channels, and each one of them is a sports channel.
I live in a dead zone 50 miles from the nearest local channels. I have an amazing Mohu leaf HD amplified antenna that gives me a great picture (about $75). It is far and away the best inside antenna and pulls in stations 60 miles away. The unamplified version was about $35. Available online from Mohu or Amazon.
For internet streaming, I use a Roku box with PlayOn for live tv and videos. The Roku and a lifetime license for PlayOn software were bundled from PlayOn for about $79. Roku is great for Netflix and HuluPlus subscriptions.
Charter internet blocks the ESPN's, BTN and MSNBC so I use www.stream2watch.me to receive the ESPN's and MSNBC on my laptop. There are some irritating ads that can be blocked. (I can connect a cable to the tv if I wish to watch it on tv.) ESPN3 often seems to have the games I'm looking for.
For BTN, I subscribe to CBSSPORTS for the minor sports and on the occasions the BTN is broadcasting, I go to the bar for the football and basketball games I can't find elsewhere. OR I watch the basketball games the next day on MGOVIDEO.
It works pretty well most of the time and I save over $69 a month. A good router greatly improves the resolution and buffering.
PS I have older equipment so it was a bit tricky to find all the pieces and get them working. Those of you with newer or smart tv's will find it very easy.
I cut the cord about two years ago and never looked back. I use my PS3 to get Hulu/ / Netflix. My wife has an Amazon Prime subscription so I also have access to free movies through them on my PS3. My biggest concern was missing MIchigan games but I can honestly say I haven't missed one game yet. I can get some through watchespn.com and the rest through frontrow.eu or network TV. I have a desktop connected to my TV so I can stream everything right to my big screen.
I would recommend anyone considering this to take the leap. It seems crazy to say now, but I thought I couldn't live without cable TV. However now that I look back on it I wonder why I ever had it in the first place. The one obvious caveat is that you need to have a good internet connection. If you are running basic tier DSL, this probably won't work for you, at least very well. The average person will easily save $70+ a month so to bump your internet package should be well within reason.