French West Indian

December 20th, 2012 at 11:32 AM ^

...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.


December 20th, 2012 at 11:49 AM ^

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. 


December 20th, 2012 at 1:23 PM ^

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.

My setup:

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.

S FL Wolverine

December 20th, 2012 at 1:22 PM ^

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?

Maximinus Thrax

December 20th, 2012 at 4:41 PM ^

I cut the cord just after the Sugar Bowl.I was already paying for Netflix, and watching that more than I was watching whatever was on Direct TV.  Needless to say, what I have missed the most has been College Football and Detroit Tigers baseball.  I guess that is really all that I have missed.  The only game I was unable to watch at all was Nebraska.  Other games I either watched at a friend's house, at a hotel, or else I went in to my office for a few hours and impressed my boss at the same time by completing some little task over halftime. ND, OSU, and one or two others I was able to watch over the antenna.


If you are looking to create a little room in your monthly budget, cutting the cord is one of the best ways to do it.  I dont find myself watching programs (any given Thursday night NFL or NCAAF football game for instance, or Sunday Night Baseball, or Jersey Shore) just because they are on.  I did wish I could have watched Rich Rod in his bowl game the other night though.  I watch more movies and read many, many more books at night now.  I would say it is definitely an improvement.


I did call Charter last August though to see about upping my cable package for the cfb season.  I was immediately offered some sports package for around $15/month in addition to the $20 or so base package.  It sounded great, until the salesman and I mutually discovered that it did not include BTN, ESPN or ESPN 2, or FS Detroit.  THe package with all of these channels included would have approached $90/month.  Until there is some sort of meaningful a la carte option offered for these channels, I honestly do not think I will give them another penny of my money.




December 21st, 2012 at 6:31 PM ^

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. 


December 21st, 2012 at 10:53 PM ^

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.


December 27th, 2012 at 11:50 PM ^

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 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.


January 1st, 2013 at 1:23 AM ^

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 and the rest through 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.