Cut the Cord. It's time!
You're paying for some sort of 'Triple Play' package from your cable provider- but you're finding that you don't watch most of the channels. Your home phone is mostly getting junk calls. And there are so many charges and fees on your bill that your simple plan for $89 a month suddenly became $175!! Heck- how many years have you been paying almost $20 a month for a DVR you're never even going to own? Sound familiar? Time to make a move!
Here's a simplified system to get that phone/ internet/ TV package for a fraction of the cost!
"Dear Cable Company- it's you, not me"
The relationship just isn't working. If your contract is up, it's easy to jump ship. If it's not- your provider should be able to keep you as a customer and downgrade you to what you need. Be persistent! My provider kept trying to upgrade me to a super deluxe internet package for about as much money as I have been spending on my bundle. A little digging and questioning uncovered the fact that I could get 75/75 wifi for a flat $54.99 a month- no taxes.. Done! They kept trying to up-sell me. I held my ground. They've done the math. The first thing they're did was offer me an internet and phone package that had a base price that was $20 more a month than I was paying already. They want you to say "I see. So WITHOUT the bundle, I actually pay more. I guess I better stay where I am then!". NO!!! Don't fall for it. Get out of that abusive relationship.
Home Phone- FREE!
There are several options available to you if you want free telephone service in your home. I chose the OBiTalk box. It's currently $49.99 on Amazon. If you already have a Gmail account, it's super easy to turn on Google voice. Then just follow the simple instructions on the little box and presto- free phone! The ObiTalk connects to your router. Your existing phone system then plugs into the OBiTalk. For us, this meant moving the base of our system into the den. A minor inconvenience. If you want features like E911, you can subscribe to that for a small monthly fee. But the odds are pretty good that you already have a smartphone that offers E911. In fact, you might decide you don't need a home phone at all!
So how do I watch TV now that I'm out on my own?
There are so many options for streaming video content to your television. In fact your TV or BluRay player might already have streaming services built in. We recently bought a Sharp 43" Roku HDTV for our basement entertainment center. It has Netflix, HuluPlus, Showtime, Amazon Prime and many other streaming options built in. As great as that all is- I still prefer my older Apple TV that I've added to it. It's a matter of personal preference. If you're already an Amazon Prime subscriber- make sure you're getting the full benefit of it by logging into Prime TV (which is finally coming later this year to current Apple TV models)! There is a limitless amount of TV to enjoy that you may not realize is included in your subscription. Same goes for Amazon music! But that's another story.
Netflix offers a pretty vast amount of content for a small monthly fee (which is about to creep up in price a little bit). Their licensing arrangements change from time to time, meaning you'll see a great deal of turnover in what's available. Their own award winning content (House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things) justifies the expense. Being able to binge watch AMC series you may have missed is a huge bonus (Breaking Bad, Turn).
You really need to determine what your needs are. It's a slippery slope. If you feel you need to subscribe to too many services to get everything you need- you might be better off staying put! In our case, we already had Netflix and Prime on TOP of our cable bill. We discovered we didn't need cable TV at all. But if you've got a device like Apple TV, then you've got free news via Sky News, Reuters amazing news app and others. You've got weather via the Weather Channel app or Accuweather. You've also got YouTube on your TV! The big question people ask is "What about big live shows like the Oscars on network TV!". Well, as it so happens....
NETWORK TV IS FREE!
I got this 1Byone 50 Mile Amplified HDTV indoor antenna It took some playing around to find the perfect position. It's very directional. Because we're so close to a city, I'm getting CBS and it's substations (lots of old movie and TV channels included here!), NBC, Fox, ABC, WOR, PIX, PBS, and like 700 spanish and korean channels. Keep in mind that each network has "sub channels" for things like BUZZR, ION, etc. In all we're getting about 25 channels.
To find out what you should expect to see over the air, check out www.antennaweb.org. You might discover you need a more omnidirectional antenna or maybe even one that gets mounted outside. But if you're in or near a large city- the odds are pretty good that a simple indoor HD antenna for under $30 will suit you just fine.
But I'll miss my DVR!!
We considered a DVR like this Channel Master DVR+. It records over the air HD TV and requires no subscription. Sadly, it seems to be out of stock. There may be an updated model available. Our needs have been so satisfied with our current streaming situation that we haven't felt the need to investigate lately. It's a cool box because it connects to the internet to give you program guides that look just like your current cable box. It uses the data it receives to help you program recording for your favorite shows. And like you would expect, it can pause live TV, fast forward through commercials, etc.
Tivo offers a subscription free box called the Roamio. It works just like the unit described above. It's pricier, at $399.99 on Amazon. But it has the benefit of actually being available to purchase! This box also includes Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu and more!
It gets better every day!
Each new day seems to bring new and exciting news making it easier and more desirable to cut the cord in favor of streaming entertainment. For example, one of the deal breakers for cord cutters is that lack of free sports options. In fact it's almost safe to say that if you're a big watcher of sports- cord cutting may NOT be in your best interest. But just recently, Amazon announced it will stream Thursday night football on Prime.
Good luck! And feel free to email me with questions. I apologize in advance if I'm slow to answer. You might also catch me via my website's chat box.