We Cut the Cable Cord

For the past six months Hasani and I have been discussing whether should cancel our Dish Network and nix cable altogether. Well, we did just that, we are officially cable free as of 2/9/12. Don't get me wrong we love TV and watching our favorite TV shows together or a part is weekly/nightly must in our household. But, because there's always a but right. 

Bah Bye, dust collector 

There's a few reasons why we decided to end our relationship with cable. We no longer watched very much 'live' TV, I'll explain more further in the post. We had over 120 channels, but we hardly found anything to watch on the channels. We got tired of all the re-runs, most stations would play the same 3-4 episodes over and over again. Yes, I'm talking about you Food Network, DIY Network and so on. Out of the 120 Channels, we maybe watched 15 of them and only we then didn't have excessive repeats. We also experienced frequent outages with our provider. Hasani got tired of being the designated cable 'troubleshooter' in the house. We also got annoyed when our DVR would record a show / movie and we'd watch it and it parts of the show failed to record! 
The last draw for me came 2/5/12 Sunday evening, when our DVR failed to record my show Downton Abbey. How dare they! So the next morning I added up the costs we where paying for cable. Our 120 channels cost $ 24.99, but of course there were additional fees that increased our total to $ 40.00 per month. Not bad considering I have family and friends who play double that amount monthly. However, when I looked at the yearly dollar amount, the total is $ 480.00. We are paying $ 480.00 yearly for a service we almost never watch. I'm so over paying for stuff we don't need or don't use. 

So now comes the questions. 

What did our Tween say?

When we told broke the news to Tabari about being a cable free family, he was a little bummed. He loves watching Nick and Disney. But he can't watch TV during the school week anyways. In the end two days of the week of not being able to watch new episodes Phineas & Ferb is not a huge deal. He can still watch the show, more on that below. 

Are we going to be a TV Free household? Are we still going to watch TV?

Before I cut the cable cord, I did some research on DTV.gov. I wasn't sure if we'd need to buy a converter box to watch free TV ( ABC, NBC, Fox etc ) turns out that only applies to analog TV's and since the two TVs we own are newer we don't have to buy anything extra to watch the free channels. On Wednesday night 2/8/12, Hasani unplugged our DVR, plugged our TV directly into the cable wall outlet and did a scan, and 20 free channels appeared. Most of our new channels are in HD and I can already see a big improvement in the quality (we didn't have HD before, that was an additional cable fee, of course) I noticed a few channels seem glitchy, but they're not channels I normally would watch, so that's OK. Oh another cool thing is this American Girl, now gets to watch the Canadian TV show  Steven And Chris! I never got to watch it before, now I do for free :)

Remember when I mentioned we don't watch much live TV? That's because most { 80% } of our TV viewing is watched though the Roku player. Hasani's dad gave him this great little device as a birthday present a few years back. I think we've had the Roku Player about 2 1/2 years. I call it the gift that keeps on giving. For those of you that haven't heard of a Roku, its a device that steams TV, Movies, Music and lots of other content into your TV using its built in WiFi. So you need to have Internet to use the device. You subscribe to different channels, some are a small monthly fees and some are free, just depends. The Roku only costs one time, when you buy the device that's it no monthly service fees. I hated the annoying service fee, we payed each month on DVR - that failed to record. It plugs in super easy just like your DVD player. 

We subscribe to several channels and only pay for two. We subscribe to Netflix instant ( I love Netflix, been a loyal customer forever, like 5+ years) and Hulu. Netflix costs us $ 15.98 for unlimited streaming and 1 Dvd at home at a time. You can also watch Netflix instant on your computer or even your phone. We pay $ 7.99 monthly for Hulu,  we watch movies and TV shows. You can also watch Hulu online for free! We also subscribe to these free channels: Flixster { for movie previews, I also have the app on my phone } Crackle, and Pandora. I love listening to my favorite music channels on Pandora. If we want to rent movies, we visit Redbox or rent a movie on Amazon.com. The Amazon rentals stream right though our Roku player and most new releases cost $3.99 or $ 4.99 for HD and are available to view for 24 hours. The cost much cheaper than pay-per-view and quicker than going to Blockbuster, which is pretty much extinct where I live in Sacramento. 

At home we have the movie 'Something Borrowed' to watch this weekend. 

How Netflix Instant appears on our TV screen. There are thousands & thousands of movies and TV Shows to watch at any time. 

Our channel lineup on the Roku Player 

So now that we've cut the cord officially, I guess you can say we've weaned ourselves off of cable thanks to the Roku player. I'm so glad were getting rid of the bulky DVR from Dish network, which is a good thing because we don't have to stress about it fitting in our bookcases we are building soon (since the DVR is deep) 

Now were only spending $ 287ish bucks a year on TV versus paying over $ 480.00 a year on cable alone. Oh, we are considering paying additional $ 79.00 a year to become Amazon Prime members. Because we'll be able to watch over 15,000 TV shows w/our Roku and get free 2 day shipping and have access to a whole bunch of books for my kindle. So if we decide to get Amazon Prime, I'll let you know if its worth it { or too similar to Netflix } most of the content needs to be different for it to be a go. It feels so good to save money on smoothing that no longer works for our household. 

Do you have a cable? Love it, Hate? Are you considering cutting the cable cord like we have? 

Any questions about our decision to quit cable?

Bonus question: Do you watch Downton Abbey? I'm hooked, I watched the 1st series (as the Brits call them)  on Netflix instant , it was good! I'm currently watching series two on PBS, I still have one more Episode to watch.