It has been some weeks now that we cut the cable. Our heads haven’t exploded yet, which is a good thing (I did not rule that out from happening). As a matter of fact we’ve hardly noticed.
No, we no longer get The walking dead but we’ll survive (as I’m sure will they). We no longer get the Daily Show nor the Larry Wilmore show which, given that this is election season, is probably a good thing. As entertaining as these shows are, they’re also somewhat depressing.
Here is what we do still get, and how we get it after we cut the cable:
What may come as a surprise to some is that with a good-ol’ roof- mounted antenna (and even some indoor ones) you can get lots of TV and lots of it in HD. We installed a roof mounted antenna as we tried the leaf antenna indoors and got disappointing results. The main problem being that broadcast towers are situated all around us. We have no walls facing toward the major cluster of towers and thus get limited reception on the leaf. The roof antenna can be pointed in 360 degrees and even comes with a little remote that allows you turns it.
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Before you install your antenna and turn on the tube, you’ll first need to know where your channels are broadcast from. In order to find our the channels I used tvfool.com.
All you need now is a compass (did you know your iPhone has one) and you can direct your antenna in the right direction.
So that takes care of regular TV. Mrs MI10 gets all the Mystery and Masterpiece Theater on PBS she wants, we get all the late night shows and much much more.
Besides regular TV we have two streaming devices. We mostly use the Apple TV for Netflix and movies and we also have the Amazon Fire TV stick. The Fire TV stick also provides Netflix (separate subscription). The nice thing about the Fire TV Stick is that in combination with Amazon Prime you get a lot of programming for free.
You’re TV will need an available USB port to work with the Fire TV stick whereas the e Apple TV connects via HDMI. What I don’t like about the Fire TV Stick is that I can’t program our Logitec Harmony remote to operate it. The Apple TV does work fine with our universal remote.
Both the Fire TV Stick and Apple TV allow for apps that directly connect you to some of the networks. These apps will allow you to stream episodes of your favorites shows (with commercials) sometime as soon as the day after they were originally broadcast.
As for streaming services we use Netflix and Amazon Prime. There is some overlap in “free” shows although Amazon Prime seems to have an exclusive contract with HBO (lots of earlier seasons of their big hits available for free). Amazon Prime also lets you buy episodes or entire seasons of some of your favorite shows. We have not had to resort (yet) to buying content, other than movies on iTunes.
So there you have it. This is what life looks like for us after we cut the cable. We still watch too much TV, we’re missing a few shows but are just fine with it. Here is what we use:
HD antenna $37.99
Used for: all major networks, weather and alerts.
Pros: remarkable good reception and excellent HD, cheap
Cons: although it has a remote to turn the antenna there is no feedback as to where it is pointing.
Apple TV (older version $99, 32GB $149.00 64GB $199.00)
used for: Netflix, iTunes movie purchases and rentals
Programmable on our universal remote.
Latest and greatest movies available through Itunes.
Apps for many of the major network channels.
Cons: Pricey: the ones we have are older and were $99. I don’t see why you would pay double for 64GB, especially when used for streaming.
Fire TV stick $39.99
Used for: mostly additional programming not available on Netflix.
Con: does not work with our Universal Remote.
We only use Netflix as our paid service at $9.99 a month.
Disclaimer: we did not physically cut the cable. We only dropped all TV services. We still depend on our cable company for internet connectivity. Time will tell how that plays out when everyone starts to “cut the cable”.
Let me know below if you’ve cut the cable are considering to do so. Love to hear from you.
Good luck reaching your financial goals