We did the unthinkable about six months ago: We got rid of cable. Yes, I was an admitted crap tv watcher. 16 & pregnant, Toddlers and Tiaras, Kardashians, you name it, they were all on my roster. I lived in fear of someone seeing my DVR full of my guilty pleasure filled junk. I knew I was killing brain cells with my TV watching so when John flipped out over the cable bill one month and declared, “That’s it, we are shutting off cable!” I shrugged my shoulders and was like, “Ehhh, alright.” Before we cut the cord, we poured over the internet looking for options to still get our must see shows so we wouldn’t be completely living under a rock.
We have a few shows that we can’t live without, such as:
CBS Sunday Morning. Our entire family sits down to watch this show every Sunday morning and we all yell out, “The sun show is on!” when we hear the opening credits. Even Miles shushes us during this show. It’s the sweetest show on TV, PERIOD.
Modern Family: This is self explanatory. Who DOESN’T love this show?
Happy Endings: We adore this show for it’s smart and sharp dialogue and it’s 80′s pop culture references for the 30-something crowd. We have to pause this show so we can laugh and not miss anything.
Runner ups include: Shark Tank, Parenthood and of course Sesame Street for the kiddos.
So the first thing we did was get a Roku Player so we could at least watch Netflix ($9 a month), Hulu Plus ($8 a month) and some other random free channels on there.
Oh and yes, we paid for a Hulu Plus account in addition to our Netflix account. It’s $8 a month and totally worth it to see all most of your free network shows. I have it all programed to tell me when a new show is on and it helps me find other shows I like. This is how we discovered the great show, Breaking Pointe, about ballet dancers. BONUS: If you lose your remote, there’s an app on your iphone that turns your phone into a remote control. That’s been a life saver many times, especially when Joss pulled the “OK” button off the remote rendering it useless.
I hear some of you saying, “Yea, yea, everybody knows about Roku, but I want to be able to watch LIVE tv, sports (I’m guessing) and the news.” No worries! There’s a fix for that too!
Serendipitously my work Mac started acting wonky, so I bought a new Mac and put my old one in the kitchen. Then we bought this little EyeTV device plus an antennae that discreetly hides behind the computer and WHAMMO-we have tv! It’s amazing! You only get the “farmer 5″ of the standard networks, but hey, that’s the majority of the shows we watch, including our most important show, CBS Sunday morning, so we are THRILLED! Plus we got to watch The Olympics on it. Oh and you can RECORD your shows just like DVR and it has a program guide. AWESOMENESS!!!
So here’s the Eye TV thingy we got to hook up to our computer to get local tv. It’s very small and discreet. Much nicer than a big cable box. (Granted, this isn’t cable, but you know what I mean.)
This $7 Digital Antenna works just fine and is paper thin. You have to have one of these in order for EyeTV to work.
Here’s John trying it out for the first time. So crazy to see a commercial for Sears pop up on your computer screen.
We did buy faster internet from our internet provider for $46 a month, but that’s been weird. John has been checking and we are only getting the faster internet sporadically. (We have to call the cable company about that…) But regardless of whatever speed we happen to be getting at any given moment, we rarely have an issue.
I did purchase a subscription to Mad Men (~$30.00 for a season pass) when John first cut off our cable to get me by. That’s actually been a great deal because I only had to wait till the next day to watch it and I like to watch those when I edit.
Most households have a major ESPN watching scenario going on and I know of no way around this. So this solution will probably only work for artsy fartsy families like ours. (How I managed to find two husbands in my lifetime who hate sports just might be my greatest achievement.) I have a friend who lives in Ohio, but they still want to watch IU games. Local TV doesn’t show that, so they have to have cable for that purpose alone. So yea, this solution doesn’t work for everybody.
There is also a this sketchy website I have been able to catch all sorts of shows on for free, like The Big C, Breaking Bad and HBO’s Girls. You didn’t hear that from me though…
We have an ipad and we watch a lot of our netflix and hulu options on there. So having that helps, as you can see in the photo below.
So in all am I watching less tv? Um, who knows. Am I more mindful about the shows I watch? ABSOLUTELY, and that’s been a great life changer. Oh and even after buying all this stuff, we are still coming out ahead financially by not paying for cable. (Plus, our home is now Kardashian and 16 & Pregnant free, which I think John is THRILLED about.) We would love to get an Apple TV down the road so we can have more options of watching TV shows up stairs in our TV room instead of hunched around our kitchen iMac. So that’s down the road. Oh and Miles didn’t even bat an eye lash about all of these changes. Netflix pretty much covers any everything Miles wants to watch. Of course, Disney shows are out, but amazingly, Miles hasn’t missed any of that.
I will be honest and admit that I was pretty twitchy without cable for the first few weeks. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. However, it’s amazing how much you just don’t miss stuff if it’s not in your face. Too bad I don’t feel the same about 3 Musketeers bars.