Cut the Cord to Cable TV - picture of scissors cutting TV cord

Join the Revolution: Cut the Cord to Cable TV!

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Are you still paying for cable or satellite TV? C’mon man! Where’s your sense of adventure? What are you waiting for? It’s time to ditch the crusty old dude and party with the good looking Chad on the dancefloor! Save some serious skrilla and cut the cord to cable today!

We cut the cord several years ago and haven’t looked back. Cutting the cord to cable was one of the first steps we made to get our financial house in order. We used that extra $100 a month as a launching point to saving more and spending on the things we really want…like travel. Plus, not mindlessly watching so much TV gave us a whole lotta extra time – time we used to start this blog and change our life!

And then, there’s the issue of service. OH. MY. GOD. I would rather watch every episode of Caillou than deal with the total and complete incompetence of cable providers. Been there, done that.

It’s Time to Cut the Cord

Apparently, we aren’t the only people who feel this way. According to NBC News, “The nation’s top nine cable companies lost about 145,000 video subscribers in the third quarter of 2015 — compared to a loss of about 440,000 subscribers in the same quarter of 2014, and a loss of nearly 600,000 subscribers in 3Q 2013.”

Ouch. That’s got to hurt. No wonder most cable companies jack prices up each year and outsource their call centers to Timbuktu.

If you’re someone who’s still holding on to their outdated cable service, seriously dude, it’s time to let go. Cutting the cord to cable and satellite could save you upwards of $800 or more per year. With so many different options these days, you won’t even be sacrificing on quality or content.

Benefits of Cutting the Cord

Honestly, cutting the cord to cable TV opened up a whole new world of possibilities for us. Some of the benefits are obvious, like saving money. Others, not so much. Here are a few:

  • Save money – Why pay $100/month for 3 channels you watch and 197 you don’t? Cut the cord and only pay for the channels you use.
  • More time – Watching less TV gives you more time to pursue other things…productive things, like starting a blog or another side hustle.
  • More freedom – No more dealing with ridiculous cable or satellite contracts.
  • No dish on your house – No more ugly dish on your roof.
  • Watch what you want – Instead of mindless channel surfing, cord cutters actually get a better TV experience. Usually, you have to make a conscious decision about what you want to watch – meaning you tune into the shows you really want to see.
  • No more crappy service – No more sitting on hold for hours and getting transferred 37 times before talking to somebody who can’t help you.
  • Save money – Did I mention yet that it’s waaaaay cheaper?

Equipment for Cord Cutters

Unless you want to go cold turkey, cutting the cord to cable means that you’ll need a few small pieces of equipment to get your entertainment fix. However, these are generally one-time costs that can be recouped within a couple of months of going cable-free.

  • Roku – This bad boy is our most important TV viewing device. It hooks up to your WiFi and allows you to stream about 100 different “channels” – including Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Amazon and more. There are a few different versions that will run you from about $50-$100. We go with the Roku on our TV sets…and it rocks our socks off!
  • Antenna – If you want access to your local TV channels, find yourself a decent antenna. Not only can you watch those channels for free, you can also see them in HD. We’ve used an antenna for years, and it’s pretty rad.
  • DVD Player – You’ve almost certainly got one of these already, but if you don’t, go get one. You can buy a quality DVD Player for under $40 these days. Use it to watch the movies you have, or hit the Redbox once a week for family movie night!
  • DVR Recorder – You don’t need a Tivo subscription or a cable box to record programs. This DVR recorder does that for you with no added expenses.

TV Options for Cord Cutters

When we first cut the cord to cable, our TV viewing options were limited. Now, there are tons of streaming services available. Not only that, some of these services are actually putting out their own awesome original content. Our personal favorites are Netflix and Hulu Plus. But if you love sports, home improvement shows, or cable news, you’ll also want Sling TV.

Sling TV

The big knock against cutting the cord used to be that you couldn’t watch sports. Welp, that argument is over. Sling TV provides live access to several ESPN channels, HGTV, CNN, The History Channel, and more. They offer a few different packages, so you can pick and choose which channels you want to pay for. Use this link to try Sling TV FREE for 7 days!

Netflix

Netflix is the perfect fit for somebody who likes to binge watch their favorite shows – like me. (I think I blew through Breaking Bad in about 3 weeks.) Plus, if you’re into great original series and documentaries, Netflix is your ticket. With shows like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and Making a Murderer, Netflix is one of the top producers of quality content in the entertainment industry! The rest of their selection is pretty great too. If you have kids, there’s a ridiculous amount of programming available. The pricing is also pretty affordable at $7.99 per month for the Basic package, $9.99 for Standard, and $11.99 per month for premium. And, if you’re a commitment-phobe, you can cancel at any time.

Hulu Plus

If Mama can’t live without staying current on her stories, Hulu Plus is definitely for you. Several shows from ABC, NBC, and Fox are available for replay the day after they air. This totally rules, especially if you prefer not to watch shows as they air or if you missed your favorite show while you were out. Additionally, they’ve got some of our favorite guilty pleasures available for viewing – like MTV’s The Real World and The Challenge, all of the Real Housewives series, and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. We also use Hulu Plus to watch a lot of Rick Steves’ Europe. They’ve also got a pretty large selection of movies available, although we generally use Netflix or Amazon for that. However, I am interested to see some of their new original content, like 11.22.63, coming out soon!

Other Available Options

Even if you don’t have a Roku, there are a lot of other ways to get your TV fix. Here’s a pretty good list of some alternative TV options.

  • Netflix
  • Hulu Plus
  • Amazon Instant Video
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • RedBox Instant
  • VidAngel
  • PlayOn
  • Project Free TV
  • Google Chromecast
  • The Apple TVbox
  • Boxee
  • iTunes
  • Vudu
  • Zune
  • com (for sports streaming)
  • Yahoo Screen
  • Network websites
  • Crackle
  • YouTube

See? All that and no cable contract needed! For the tightwads out there, some of those services on the list are even 100% free to use.

Just Cut It

Right now, minimalism and frugality are in. Jump in, the water is warm. It’s time to order your shows a la carte and not pay for the whole buffet. Join us in the cord cutting revolution! We’ll never go back…and we don’t think you will either.

Do you still pay for cable or satellite service? How do you get your mindless TV fix?

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45 Comments

  1. Amazon fire stick! 🙂 Best thing ever when modified 🙂

  2. I wonder how many people actually truly cut the cord fully. Must cable provides bundle service like high speed internet, so you may cut the TV side f your bill, but often keep the data piece.

    1. You’re right, and Comcast tried that trick with me. They threatened to jack up the cost of my unreliable 20mbs connection to $100 a month, after their special introductory price of $80 a month expired. The ploy obviously was to keeper me hooked to my bloated cable bundle I was barely using for TV because I was already getting better ad-free content via streaming sources. My entire bundle price, which included no premium channels, had ballooned to $165 a month. Other people I know in the Bay Area are paying upwards of $200 a month to Comcast — essentially a car payment.

      But a coworker mentioned a low cost Internet service that uses AT&T fiber optic lines. It turned out to be faster and more reliable than my Comcast connection, and so I was able to give my money-grubbing cable company the boot. Now I stream everything, all of it commercial-free unless I’m watching sports. I switch between my Roku 4, which has fabulous app support, and my Android box running Kodi, a free open source app that opens up the Internet for more advanced streaming.

      Now I find it almost painful to watch cable. You forget how you’re bombarded with ads and cheap, often sleazy programming until you step away from it for a while.

  3. We finally cut the cord back in December and are saving about $90/month which is going straight into our travel fund. Even with HBO Now we can save that kind of money. We get virtually everything we want to watch, we save money & we have more time so it’s a win in my book!

    1. It’s awesome, right? We were paying waaaaaay too much for like 5 channels we actually watched. When we finally made the leap, we just found other stuff to watch that we liked just as much. The only reason we were watching the shows on cable was because that is what was on.

  4. Dropped to very basic $10/month cable last month, which saves us $99/month. One thing we’re finding is that without the DVR on all of the time (we were recording a lot of stuff), we’re seem to be saving on electricity as well as cable.

  5. My husband and I never signed up for cable and I remember my parents thinking we were nuts at first – but with the internet you really don’t need cable at all! They’ve since come around on the idea too.

    1. Yep, it is definitely a changing world. Luckily for the cable companies, they own a lot of the internet service available. Otherwise, they’d be sure to go the way of the phone book.

  6. We cut the cord more than 2 years ago. Even after paying for Rokus for our 2 TVs and the in-laws’ 2 TVs, we’ve still saved around $3,000. All of which went into savings. Woot!

    We already tended to watch shows the day after they aired, so it wasn’t a big deal to use Hulu. And my husband has found a lot of great content on YouTube (yeah, I was surprised too). And of course, Netflix is near and dear to us.

    We’re home all day and watch a lot of TV because of it. So if we can cut the cord, most people definitely can. (I say “most” because there are shows you’ll have to wait a long time for — and I know a lot of sports fans hold out for cable/satellite packages.)

    1. Nice….and that is just one more way sports costs people far more money than they are worth (IMO) 😉

  7. The biggest issue in our minds right now is not being able to find Fox News if we cut the cable. Has anyone found a way to get that channel?

    1. There is a Fox News Channel app on Roku. I don’t think it live streams the actual channel, but you can watch clips and several different shows in their entirety.

  8. We’ve been without TV for 5 years almost. No streaming services either. It’s amazing how much ppl spend on their cable subscription every month.

  9. I cut the cord so long ago, I can barely remember what it feels like to pay so much each month for cable. Netflix is amazing, even though they\’re raising the price a whole $1/month and I\’ll have to pay $9/month instead of $8.

    It\’s always a rude shock when I watch TV at someone else\’s home and see how many commercials they have to sit through for any content. It seems like it gets worse and worse every year.

    1. Right! I didn’t even mention the benefit of very few commercials. There are some commercials with Hulu Plus, but far fewer than on actual TV. You can watch an hour long show in like 40 mins. Boom! Another time/sanity saver!

  10. I just bought a Roku 2 a couple months ago but my hubby still watches cable all the time bcz he loves his golf & is addicted to channel flipping. He tried channel flipping on the Roku but it took too long for the channels to load & got frustrated! Lol! I’m not a TV watcher myself so I’m trying to break him in slowly. I find I get a ton of stuff done after supper bcz that’s my most productive time of day. Thanks Greg too for sharing what antenna you use. We have a place in Arizona for the winter & our home is in Canada so I’ve been wanting to get an antenna for each place but didn’t know what to buy. Would like to see if we can get some local news & maybe convince hubs to ditch cable for good.

    1. No problem Leona. That antenna is a good indoor antenna with a reach of like 25-40 miles, depending on conditions. I tried several indoor ones, and the Terk was by far the best. If you need a long range antenna, I’d suggest getting one of the larger outside ones.

    2. Streaming is not for channel surfing. If you need to surf, stick with cable. But if you’re more interested in affordable quality viewing with few or no commercial interruptions, streaming is for you. You can sort of stream and channel surf if you hook up more than one streaming device and change the input source on your TV. I have three streaming boxes connected. Yes, I love to stream; each device supports different apps.

  11. I will eventually cut the cord, but I’m waiting for a better alternative for sports to come out. From what I hear sling is good, but I know something better will come out.

    1. I haven’t tried sling yet. You can pay for upgrades to your favorite sports if you’d like. The MLB, NBA, and NHL networks are all available. Unfortunately, NFL Sunday Ticket is not.

    2. The primary advantage of Sling is that it gives you access to Watch ESPN, which is far better than ESPN on cable since you have far more viewing choices. All streams are in HD. With Sling you also have access to TNT and TBS — baseball and basketball. But for Sunday NFL football, you have to find alternatives. They’re out there, and many of them are completely legal, but you have to know where to look. The Internet is your friend; use it to open the world of streaming beyond the standard entertainment providers.

  12. Yeah, your service had to be god awful if you would have rather watched every episode of Calliou…the thought of that alone makes me want to cry, lol!

  13. Almost on the verge of making the plunge. Just looking for good internet alternatives since most of the ISP’s in the area are promoted with bundles. Maybe I can just ask my current provider to give me the new customer internet only rate. I’ll threaten to go to the competitor!

    1. Yep. That’s what we did. Unbundle it. It should probably run you about $35/month.

  14. I would rather watch every episode of Caillou than deal with Cable- OMG, things I will never say. Uggh Caillou!

    1. Hahaha! The sad part is…thanks for my son who used to be obsessed with that little boy for years, I’ve seen every episode of that ridiculous show!

  15. We cut the cord over a year ago and we’re never going back. We currently have Chromecast but I’d love to start using Roku.

  16. Mindless TV fix? Lol. We have cable but I only find time to watch it on Friday night, and yes, there\’s this one program I enjoy watching almost daily (30 mins long) but I know my usage doesn\’t justify the cable bill in any way. I totally agree, though, that cable is an unnecessary expense and a wonderful way to waste time and retard your progress towards your goals in life 🙂

  17. I think cutting the cord is a great transition. I think people are more upset about the high prices and inconsistent charges than anything. That’s why you see so many people promoting Sling these days ($20/month, no change in pricing) even though it’s technically no different than cable (and is even owned by a cable/satellite company!). It’s nice to see the industry changing.

    1. Yes, I knew I was being overcharged, but just as aggravating, I was being charged for access to programs fraught with commercials. I cut the cord nearly a year ago and still do subscribe to Sling, solely for sports access, but will probably cancel my subscription when March Madness ends. I’ve found enough alternatives in Kodi addons to satisfy my sports appetite, and with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Kodi, all my movie and TV viewing is add free. Total cost of that: about $20 a month. I don’t include Amazon in my video budget since I was a Prime member well before the advent of Prime streaming services. Kodi is open source, free to anyone who takes the trouble to learn it.

      1. Leona Werezak says:

        Thanks for the heads up about Kodi, Peter. I haven’t heard of it but I’ll have to look into it.

  18. We have an antennae and Hulu. From over $100 to $7.99/mo. I miss Hallmark & HGTV, but wasn’t willing to pay that much for 2 channels. Our internet cuts in & out a lot, but it just stops me from watching TV. I can watch my 2 shows per week and I’m good.

    1. Have you looked into Sling TV? It costs $20 per month and includes HGTV as part of their package! I haven’t tried them out yet, but I’ve started reading more reviews on Sling. Like you, I miss watching HGTV.

  19. Norma Jean Stone says:

    This sounds good, but I’m an older person, who is not tech savvy. I really need to save money,but all this sounds complicated. Do I need equipment for each room? I tend to use the T. V. as a radio. I walk around rather than stay in place while the T.V. is on and I walk from room to room where other T.V.’s are on. How do I solve all these problems? I also enjoy TNT and Hallmark. How do I get these ? Is there one whole house hook up of some kind?

  20. The only thing that those who are looking to cut the cable cord forget to think about is – the rising cost of internet access and the simultaneous continued implementation of data caps across the board – every provider. Data is the gold of the future. The only “weapon” you have is shopping around regularly.

  21. Ryan Phillips says:

    PlayStation Vue is the way to go. I get all the great channels that people actually watch for $45 a month. You can’t beat it. I just made a one time payment for$40 to get red zone for the year. You can’t beat that either. Best channel for watching NFL on Sundays. No commercial breaks. Come on. You also have DVR type of on demand. It keeps up with all my shows. Greatest TV service ever. I paid $220 a month for TV and Internet now I pay $120.

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