Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cutting the cord: TV without cable

I’ve previously mentioned that a few months ago John and I decided to cancel our cable.  
We were spending almost $200/month (including internet), and a good portion of the services that we were paying for (On Demand, for example) never even worked!  
And that's just way too much money to pay for something we don't even care about.

The worst part? They are the only cable provider option where we live!  
So, we decided that it was time to save some cash and cut the cord.  
And that’s what we did!

Although we aren’t paying for cable, we have found many ways to keep up with our favorite shows without missing a beat. Here are some of the cost effective workarounds that we have found.


1) iTunes

iTunes has a been a great way to watch our favorite TV shows (and holler, for no commercials!).  Although you have to pay for each episode ($1.99-$2.99), most shows do not air more than once a week, which accumulates to a monthly total of about $12/month.





2) HuluPlus

We also started a HuluPlus account, which is pretty similar to Netflix; it airs shows a few days (some the day) after they air on television.  HuluPlus is only $7.99/month, and this is the way that I watch the majority of my currently-airing TV shows.





3) Netflix

John and I were subscribers to Netflix ($10.99/month) even before we cancelled our cable, but now that we have cut the cord we are using it more and more.  There are also shows that are specific to Netflix only (House of Cards, for example).





4) Streaming on Websites

A lot of TV stations have episodes that can be streamed for free (others require you to log in with your cable provider; so, if you cut the cord, this won’t be an option – unless you have a neighbor who has cable and doesn’t mind divulging their log-on information!).





5) TV Station Subscriptions

If a TV station doesn’t allow you to stream, they often allow you to pay a small monthly fee to subscribe to the station.  For example, John and I enjoy watching Survivor (quality television, I know), which airs on CBS.  We signed up for CBS All Access ($4.99/month) which allows us to watch all television shows and depending on your location, you can also stream them live.  

And for all those Game of Thrones Lovers: fear not! HBO GO also offers subscriptions for $10.99/month... with the first month free (I believe you need Apple TV to stream it though)! 
You better believe this was non-negotiable for John!





6) Apple TV

Apple TV (a one-time purchase cost of $65 - just marked down from $99) is great because it allows you to stream your HuluPlus, iTunes, Netflix, etc. directly to your TV.  

There are also a number of live TV options that are available (live news from a number of networks such as CBS, CNN, Fox, ABC, etc.).  Apple TV also allows you to stream shows from your phone, computer, or iPad onto your TV.





7) HDMI Cord

Before John and I bought Apple TV, we would connect an HDMI cord (about $15) from his computer to the TV.  This way, we were able to stream what was on his computer onto the large television.  

Not surprisingly, this was really cramping my blogging style since I insist on using his computer when I blog (which is why we moved to Apple TV – priorities, y’all).





8) TV Antenna

Now, this may seem super medieval to some people, but this is actually how I watched the Bachelor all season long before we figured out how to navigate alternative TV providers.  One of my TVs has a built in antenna that provides all basic television station (CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, etc., and a bunch of stations in Spanish).  

It's completely free, and a great option if you are able to make the time to watch your show when it actually airs.  You can also buy antennas for relatively cheap from Best Buy (about $30)... let me tell you, they have come a very long way – so don’t worry about it junking up your TV area!




9) Amazon Instant Video
Already have Amazon Prime? Guess What! You also have Amazon Instant Video!




John and I have never been big TV watchers (or, at least the kind that need to watch shows the moment they air), so if you are super into being the first to watch things, then these may not be your best options.

I honestly can’t imagine us getting cable again – there are just way too many workarounds, and I think we would be hard pressed to find a show that isn’t available through some sort of alternative method.

What are your tips for TV without cable?!

32 comments :

  1. I lived without cable for two years with hulu and netflix and HBO go and I loved it. The ONLY reason I have it now is my apartment complex combines internet +TV into rent so I don't have a choice. But I can't remember the last time I turned on live tv LOL

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  2. We got a Kindle fire stick a few weeks ago and just from that alone it seems like it would be so easy to get rid of cable (for me), my husband watches a toooon of sports so I think for that reason alone we would probably never switch, but maybe one day.

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  3. This is such a great post!! Jameson and I have seriously considered getting rid of ours but we always go back to the sports issue. Do you have any suggestions for that? Or do you just go out to sports bars to watch games?? Miss y'all!!!!

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  4. There are great tips! We might be cutting our cable soon and these will be so helpful!

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  5. I quickly clicked on this post when I saw the title in my BlogLovin feed because we've been playing with this idea for months! I'd be totally fine using just Netflix and then figuring out a way to watch my beloved Bachelor/ette, but my husband would lose his mind with his 10 zillion sports channels. I can't seem to find a way around this! Arg. Your post is so thorough though and definitely gives me a few more options to consider.

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  6. I did the same thing recently! Netflix and Amazon Prime keeps me occupied just fine!

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  7. So glad to see this, it's something I've seriously been contemplating too because it just dosen't seem like we hardly use it for what we pay for it. Plus I find myself watching most of what I want on Hulu or Netflix already as it is, now I just have to convince my husband . . .

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  8. These are such great tips – I didn’t realize until reading that there really are good ways to get away with not having cable and still enjoying all you want! I think if I were in your shoes and that was the only cable provider available, I would probably do the same thing!

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  9. AMEN Sista!! These are great tips and cutting this bill was the best thing ever!

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  10. I think about doing this - some of my co-workers have but I am too scared right now, lol! We are paying over $200 and are only home for a few hours a night. It is ridic.

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  11. I agree! Except I was the person that wanted to watch it immediately or so I thought I was. I haven't missed it yet! I didn't realize that Apple TV had gone down...maybe we'll give my parents back theirs now :)

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  12. I would LOVE to do this! What a great way to save so much money. Nick however cannot stand to lose his precious NHL channel ;)

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  13. Yes yes yes! We spent the first year of our marriage with no cable cause we weren't going to pay $80-100 a month. But now we bit the bullet so we could watch sports but I don't know if we'll keep it past summer. It's SUCH an expense! And it doesn't even come with DVR- so we keep Hulu Plus & Netflix anyway! Silly, huh?!

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  14. You're so brave to cut the cord! Unfortunately, in Canada we don't have access to a lot of those services (ie, Hulu) so I don't think I would be able to do it :( Come on, Canada! Get on board with this!!

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  15. More & more people are doing this. The prices are outrageous for cable... but sadly, we still pay it - sigh.

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  16. The TV antenna one made me laugh. We have the same TV that hubby bought when he was 18, which makes it 26 years old, so it's not HD or wide screen and we only just upgraded to On Demand a month ago! LOL! 200 dollars a month is a LOT of money I don't blame you for downgrading. We don't have all the channel options, we pay 30.00 pounds sterling but our internet is separate at another 50.00 a month... x

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  17. Great tips!! We're thinking about not getting cable (it's free with our appt) when we move into a house but I LOVE watching TV but Stephen doesn't. I think getting a smart TV so I can use all the tools you suggested would be a great compromise lol Thanks for all the tips!

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  18. My roommates and I decided to get rid of cable for this year and I'm so glad we did! Luckily Ryan has Directv so when I'm in Charlotte I have all the channels. At my other apt, we bought an Apple TV and it has been amazing. We use other people's Netflix, HuluPlus, and ABC logins. It's amazing!!

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  19. LOVE this! We are this close to cutting the cord as well, as I feel like it's an overpriced ridiculous expense. We spend most of our time watching Netlflix anyway. Congrats!!! :-D

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  20. I used to have the same problem with our On Demand, it didn't update itself for like months and even with the old stuff nothing was actually there! I love Netflix, it's great if you wanna pick a series and watch it all the way through. I don't like how it doesn't have some of the movie you would think it would have though.

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  21. We have been thinking about dropping cable as well. This is a really helpful list!

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  22. This is really helpful, as I was literally having a conversation about getting rid of my cable earlier this week. It's ridiculously expensive, especially when there are so many other cost-effective alternatives!

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  23. I've been meaning to write a similar post for sometime now. We cancelled cable about a year and a half ago. Best decision ever. Currently we have Apple TV and stream through Hulu or Netflix. Honestly, I think TV subscriptions are our further. However, I do miss HGTV.

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  24. We're using a combo of hulu/netflix/hbo go on Roku I find that it covers everything we watch. Cable just seems so expensive. Just caught up on game of thrones, watched the entire series to date over that last week. So intense! Congrats on cutting the cord! :)

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  25. I went without cable for the past few years and really only missed Bravo. But now that I live somewhere where my only option is Comcast/Xfinity, the price between cable and internet versus just internet was so similar that I splurged on myself ha. I've gotta say I'm sucked in for now, but Netflix and the other options online are so fantastic it's really just excess with cable. Good for y'all in cutting the cord!

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  26. This is amazing! And genius! How much do you think you're saving by cutting the cord?

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  27. We really need to cut the cord because it's just too expensive, but I am fearful of loosing Bravo and ABC Family. I need my Housewives and Pretty Little Liars haha

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  28. Joe and I are planning on living without cable once we are in our house, we have a Smart TV that has Netflix and Hulu on it already and we have a PS3 which has a movie rental app called Cinema Now so we can certainly get by without cable, we love Netflix!

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  29. We are looking into living without cable in one month. I'm already freaking (I need my morning and evening news) but I have researched and found out that it is indeed possible. Also, your post just convinced me. I'm tired of $125 a month. I want to save some $$$.

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  30. Our cable is part of our associate fee, thank goodness because it can be pricey! We have the Apple TV too and use it daily - I love it!

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  31. We so need to do this... I just found something in the mail that shows that our cable bill is going up $25 next month... it's SO RIDICULOUS... and I DON'T EVEN WATCH TV. I think it will be really hard to convince my husband to do it - but good lord, it's stupid expensive for as little as we use it. Ugh.

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  32. We did this last year and the only reason we got cable back was because of football season. I told DG when our promotion runs out, we won't be doing this again. We have a Roku, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. We can survive. :) xo

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