"Hi. I need to cancel my cable."
"Hi. I need to cancel my cable."
Those words gave me more joy than I am willing to admit. Year after year of switching services, getting promotions, monthly price increases, questionable charges, boxes, and customer service calls were finally coming to an end. My family has survived cutting cable, and I am here to share how we did it.
First, you need to understand that there is a learning curve. I researched to the end of the internet to figure out what was going to work best for our family. Some people get rid of cable to have less TV time in the home, we were more for the cost reduction in our monthly expenses. We are saving....$100 a month. Yes, $1200 a year. And we are still watching TV. Let me also preface this by saying, I have no clue what I am talking about. There is a very good chance that I will get some sort of techy lingo wrong in this post. So, slow your horses tech police. I am just sharing my average joe experience with these thingy-ma-bobs.
Step 1: Determine if you have a Smart TV or need a streaming device.
(If you have a Smart TV, you need to just stop what you are doing right now and cancel cable. It will be so easy for you!) If you don't, you will need to purchase a streaming device. (Examples: Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire....just to name a few)
I can hear you now, "How do I know if I have a Smart TV?"-----If your TV can access the internet/apps, it is a smart TV.
If you are like me, and have plain ol' TVs, the above devices are for you. We opted for a Roku Stick, ($39), for two of our tvs, and an apple TV ($69) for the basement. The roku stick plugs into an HDMI port in the back of your TV, and viola, you have a smart TV. It is very easy to hook up and has step by step instructions. The apple TV is practically the same, but it has a little box with a cord that hooks to the back of your TV instead. I like the apple TV because of the option to mirror what you are watching from an apple device, onto your TV with the click of a button. On the downside, it does not allow you to watch Sling TV through an app, and that is frustrating. So, I like them both equally, for different reasons. Hence, the reason we have both. I do not know much about the Chromecast stick, Amazon Fire Stick, or the many other options, but I know that these all do practically the same things.
Step 2: Decide which services you would like to utilize on your streaming stick.
(These are paid apps that you access from your streaming device) They all have free trials, so try them all!
Here again, options. Let me break them down.
Sling TV- $20/month for popular cable channels, including: They also offer to pay for, or discount streaming sticks with different promotions. We got a free ROKU for pre-paying for 3 months of Sling. There are no contracts. You can cancel at any time.
Amazon Prime Video- If you have an amazon prime membership, you already have access to Amazon Prime Video. TONS of shows and movies available through an app, for free....with your membership. If you are unfamiliar with amazon prime, they have the following features:Memberships are $99/year.
Hulu- Hulu is primarily popular for their current season TV shows. You see, Netflix gets their material from last season. Hulu uses current season content, with limited or no commercials. They are just a couple episodes behind. So, if you don't want to wait and see your seasonal episodes next season, Hulu might be for you. They have plans starting at $7.99/mo with limited commercials.
Netflix- Basically, my favorite thing ever. I am a new netflixer. Let me tell you, I am SOLD. It is a black hole of unlimited content. TONS of movies and TV series. The plan we have is $9.99/mo and it is worth every penny. It is a season behind on shows, but that doesn't bother me one bit. Oh-AND NO COMMERCIALS!
So, out of what I explained to you, we have Netflix, Prime TV, and Sling TV. I tried HULU, but most of the current shows I am watching, I can access through the network apps for free. So, there is not much value for me in current seasons. Remember, all of these services are Apps on your streaming device, so you can search for network's apps to add and use. A lot of networks have free apps that you can use to see the current episodes of your favorite shows. Some of them require you to log in with a cable password, and CBS charges, but there are also some free ones to access.
Let me also remind you about air channels.
So, where we live, we can access about 20 local channels on our TV over the air. We bought an antenna to get a stronger signal all over the house, but I don't think it is necessary. We just didn't know what we needed. We have all of the local news channels, PBS, etc. It is great. Just remember, this could vary where you live.
BUT BUT BUT.....WHAT ABOUT SPORTS??
Do you think my husband would agree to cut cable and not be able to watch sports? We are able to access any game that is on local channels and ESPN and ESPN 2 (via Sling TV). There is zero shortage of sports around here. (sarcastic "yay") lol
So, what do you do again?
Iknow it all sounds complicated, but it is SO easy once you are used to it! My 3 year old understands a lot of it! Let me break it down for you again. We have 2 ROKU sticks and an apple TV. (One ROKU was free from the Sling TV promo). We are currently paying for SLING TV, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. We were spending $130/mo for cable only, and now we are spending $30/mo. (I don't include Amazon Prime because we have that anyway). We purchased about $110 in equipment and that will be taken care of by one month of no cable bill. It is also forever, or until we decide to do something else. No contracts, no moving fees, no cancellation fees, no random charges.
I am so glad we made the switch, and I wish we would have done it before now. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Do you have cable? Which services do you prefer? Is there something I am missing and you think readers need to know? Please let us know!
The above images are from the above company sites and are not my own.