Penultimate cable-cutting step
#371 Henry, Saturday, 07 July 2018 9:44 PM (Category: General)
(Tags: cable tv cordcutting)

My Cable TV bill has been $104 a month for a year. I think it's too much. I don't get the benefit from this, it's there for Anne. Pretty much everything I want to see is on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or the free Roku channel. We have a Roku device and it's very nice. We used to have a Roku stick, but earlier this year I upgraded to a Roku Ultra, and it's really nice. So nice that the aquarium screensaver gets a lot of play. It's really beautiful.

I have been pushing to cut cable TV. I started signing up for services to test things out. I signed up for Acorn TV, for $5 a month and it gives us more British TV than we can cope with. I started watching a little more TV, like The Great British Bake-Off.

Then I signed up for Sling TV Blue. That's $25 a month. Then I added the DVR capability for an extra $5 a month. Then I added a line-up of news stations, including BBC World News, for an extra $5 a month. We've had this lineup for a few months, while Anne got familiar with it. She knows how to get around things more than me now. She knows where her shows are, how to get to them, how to record the ones that are live-to-air and how to binge-watch the streaming ones. She watched eight seasons of Vera in two weeks. I cannot stand Vera.

Then I bought an antenna for $23. I plugged this into the TV for two months so we could see what local channels we got. We got four PBS channels and the local WAVY-TV for local disasters.

I've been nagging from the sidelines that it's time to cut cable. Anne wanted to wait till the latest series of The Expanse finished, and then we could cut cable. In the meantime, my cable provider jacked up the cost of cable TV an extra $8 a month. That was the final spur. Time to cut the cord.

Today, I removed the cable set-top box, and then pulled the cable card out of my Tivo. I connected the antenna to the Tivo and configured the Tivo for the local channels. That worked nicely. Right now, we are not connected to the cable. On Monday, I'll take the gear back and cancel service. That leaves one day and two nights for Anne to be comfortable with it.

So cable TV will be gone, and I won't be spending $113 a month on it. Instead, I'm paying for some streaming services.

I had to make some hardware purchases to get this far. $100 for a Roku Ultra, and $23 for an antenna. They are one-off costs.

I already had Netflix ($11 a month) and Amazon Prime ($10 a month). To replace cable TV, I added Acorn TV ($5 a month) and Sling TV Blue with DVR and News ($35 a month). So I won't be paying $113 a month for cable, but I will be paying $40 a month for Acorn and Sling. I'll be saving $73 a month, or $876 a year. I'm okay with that. If there are special streaming events, we can sign up for them and still be saving money.

When Game Of Thrones returns to HBO next year or the year after, we will turn on HBO Now for the two months, and then turn it off again when done. While it's turned on, we will pig out on a few other series we want to see.

It's working out well. I am actually watching a little more TV than I used to. That will drop off once the newness factor wears off. But the big thing will be saving money. Especially when the cable company jacks the price up on an annual basis.

I expect that the cost of Internet will start getting jacked up now. But that's okay, I can start shopping for Internet on price if I need to.