When we originally got cable we were paying around $129 a month. That was including cable, internet, and phone. With, HBO and Starz I might add. Life was great! Until… the “promotional”period expired and we were stuck with a bill that was $200. I know everyone says it, “I have a bunch of channels and nothing is ever on!”. Well this was true! We were paying for a ton of channels and most of the time nothing was on them or we just weren’t watching them. I knew I didn’t want to pay that kind of money anymore but I didn’t know what route to take. There are a lot of streaming devices available, streaming services, and other products that make cutting cable easier, so just wanted to write about what is working for us after just a week of cutting the cord.
When I first thought about cutting cable I ventured to Facebook to ask everyone what they were using. Quite a few people responded and from that I was able to form my own plan of action. My first step was visiting a website that was suggested called Untangle TV. This website lets you put in your current location, billing information, and any streaming services you already possess, like Netflix. It then ask you what channels are important to you so that it can match you up with what services will work best. The website is great because it will point you towards the best way to save money but also enjoy television at a lower cost. UnTangle TV helped a lot in seeing that we weren’t crazy and that we were for sure paying way more in cable than we needed.
My next step was purchasing an Amazon Firestick. I only bought one at first to try it out but it was super easy to install and navigate. Once I purchased the first Firestick I signed up for free trials with Playstation Vue and Hulu. Playstation Vue is awesome! Despite the name you do not need to own a Playstation to use it. It allows you to watch live television and On Demand as if you had cable. Not only that but they also offer the option to record your favorites shows just like if you had a DVR. They offer 4 different packages ranging from $30 to $65 a month, with the option of adding on additional channels, such as HBO. The package we chose, Core Slim, offers all of the channels I watch, PLUS all of the sports channel Desmond watches which would have a been a deal breaker otherwise. The only downside to Playstation Vue is that it does not offer broadcast channels live, like ABC or FOX.
Insert the Mohu Leaf. The Mohu Leaf is a HD antenna that you hook to your television to get those broadcast channels that you are missing per any streaming services. Playstation Vue and other services offer these broadcast channels On Demand but if you’re like me there may be certain things you prefer to watch live such as The Oscars or Scandal. They are inexpensive and you can visit their website to insert your zip code and it will show you what channels you can receive in your area according to which antenna you purchase.
SO a rundown of what we have:
2 Amazon Firesticks at $40 each Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player
2 Mohu Leaf 30’s at $30 each Mohu Leaf 30 TV Antenna
1 Playstation Vue Account at $35 a month
Netflix at $9.99 (something we had before cutting the cord)
With all of these items we are able to watch television just as if we had cable but without the high cost.
Just a few pointers that I learned on my “cutting the cord journey”.
Any streaming service uses internet. With cable it is easy and quick to turn to what you want when you want. Internet speeds don’t always allow the fast movement that cable does. Sometimes there is buffering and reloading but it’s not something that happens a lot and just takes getting used to.
Someone you know probably has cable. I say this because there is more than likely going to be a channel you watch but don’t get with a streaming service, hence HBO or Showtime. If you know someone who has these channels or cable you can easily download an app, sign in with their account (if they allow) and watch these for free without paying additional. No point in you both paying right?
There are so many streaming options and they all offer free trials. Try before you buy! Most streaming services offer a week trial period which is a good amount of time to test out the service and make sure it’s something that will work for you and that you are ok paying for. I did a trial with Hulu, Direct TVNOW, and Playstation Vue. These trials helped me to see that Playstation Vue would be best, Hulu did not have enough content, and Direct TVNOW did not have the quality I was looking for. I even took advantage of the free trials while we still had cable to make sure that we were making a good decision before cutting the cable completely.
Hope this post helps you get closer to saving some coins if you are looking to cut cable. Happy Streaming!