Monday, November 2, 2020

Cutting the Cable

 

I mentioned in Friday's blogpost, we had gotten a Roku device and signed up for YouTube TV in the first step for cutting cable. This is my experience so maybe your mileage will vary..

Sandra had asked:  I would love to get away from cable or at least just have the basics. Any tips would be appreciated.

The basic way to cut cable is to go with an HDMI antenna. The major networks have to offer a free access to their transmission. The antenna will search for television stations in your area for free. The only output is the cost for the antenna. $20 and up depending on the model you get.

We tried this route several years ago as we were mostly watching Netflix at that time $9.99. We're at a fairly high elevation so you think we would be able to pick up tons of signals, but we didn't. One of the Boston news stations would come in sporadically so sometimes someone would have to dance around with the antenna to see if the signal would come in stronger. Himself was a good sport and lost his sports network, but was able to listen to games on the radio or over his computer.

The Eldest then got a job with Charter (now Spectrum) as a customer service rep in their call center. As part of her employee perc, she got Phone, Cable (the uber premium package!), and Internet all for free. Since she was still living here, everything went in her name. 

We still had Netflix, added Amazon Prime Video. While she worked at Spectrum, we got HBO for Game of Thrones and Starz for Outlander. Himself got to have New England Sports Network. I was able to watch Doctor Who on BBC America. Color us very happy. 

 The two cable providers in our area are Spectrum and Verizon FIOS. When we first moved here, we had Charter (Spectrum). Then Verizon came in with FIOS and Himself wanted to switch so we did.(Though the installation was a nightmare as sales oversold the area so there were few technicians to do the install. Ours happened over 3 or 4 nights from 6 PM until 9 PM)  Now that the Eldest was leaving, Himself wanted to go back to FIOS. Since all the wiring had already been done first time around, the install was a breeze. He got the Sports Package, but the channel line up was very limited.

During the Summer months, we move the television from the bedroom to the sun room where there is a cable box. Now that it's too cold to be out in the sun room, the television got moved back to our bedroom. There is no cable box in the bedroom. Hence, getting the Roku so we could watch television without a lot of dancing around with an antenna.

There are lots of free options on Roku with a one time investment for the Roku device, but you still need Internet access.

There's also Tubi TV. Pluto TV (though we weren't impressed), Crackle, Haystack, Filmrise which we haven't checked out. We can also get CW so we can watch Supernatural as we have invested 15 seasons of the show and there are only 3 episodes left for the series finale.

There are paid services to get other channels and movies. Hulu, YouTube TV. Himself decided he wanted YouTube TV as he would be able to get the New England Sports Network.  And the day after we started with YouTube he got a notice that YouTube and NESN weren't able to negotiate a contract so no more NESN. Felt a little bit of bait and switch to me. I'm not sure if Himself will decide to keep or scrap YouTubeTV for something else.

So YouTube TV gives us a better channel line up than Verizon FIOS did., but by the time we finish adding in the other premium channels we are paying for, we're probably not saving money.

Pros to having YouTube TV is being able to watch programs on all our devices besides the television. So I can tune into the news or a movie on the iPad while I clean up in the kitchen or work in the studio without having to use the news station's crappy app. I can watch it live. We'll also be able to watch when we travel provided we have Wi-Fi access. YouTubeTV also allows up to 5 others in the household to have their own account so the girlies can watch, too.

So pay attention to your television viewing. Do you need the premium channels? If you can get by without local news access and premium channels, you could save yourself some $$$.

Since we're new to Roku, if any of you have cut cable and have some $$$ saving tips, they would be greatly appreciated.

16 comments:

  1. Sounds complicated. I just have a Fire TV stick, it works well, so don't need all the packages so many firms are telling me I need! Have a good week! Valerie

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  2. I cut the cable two years ago. I dont miss it cause i watch series and dramas mostly. I have a firestick and subscribe to the extra channels that i want.

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    1. I do like watching the local news and weather. I'm glad YouTubeTV has the Boston ABC affiliate.

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  3. We got a discount on our cable when Husband worked for them (and for some time after until the billing dept caught up to us, lol!) Now they are soaking us :( But it all evens out in the end.......sort of.....I guess.....

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    1. I was sad when the Eldest left Spectrum. Every channel you could think of plus internet and phone. Great percs.

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  4. We also cut cable. We get several over-the-air channels here in the city. After a while we lucked into a free Amazon Prime subscription and got hooked. Then we added Netflix. We tried Acorn, but there just wasn't much there. We like PBS Masterpiece so far and BritBox. I've been surprised by how much was on Tubi and Crackle. I fondly remember the days back when Hulu had a rotating series of free movies *sigh* We still have scads of DVDs we haven't watched lol

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    1. I've been watching stuff on Tubi. Haven't checked out Crackle yet

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  5. Scott wants to buy me two Roku devices. He says the inital $60.00 will be worth the investment. He and I both looked at those antennas that fit where your cable would normally sit. However, we read the reviews and most people said it was a rip off and NOT to even bother, since they didn't work. I have the cheapest cable I can get and I still pay over $140.00 a month and am NOT eligible for Channel 1 (On Demand). Scott says I should be getting ad free tv, since I pay so much to watch it. I am still not ready to cut the cord, but hope to soon.

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    1. The Roku seems to be a good investment for us.

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  6. I have roku and still have direct tv. But I am thinking about getting rid of directV as it is pretty expensive. I don't think an antenna would work well for me, but maybe. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks!

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  7. interesting read ... we have amazon fire stick -..with Hulu, Netflix, Disney, just cancelled Starz because I had finished all the Outlanders and wanted HBO ..and wasn't really finding much else on Starz that I liked. i'm loving HBO. anyway - has your snow melted yet?

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  8. We don't watch very much TV, but one of our sons treated us to a Roku for Christmas and we are very pleased with it.

    All the best Jan

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