Below we have laid out our specific step by step plan to quit cable, with the actual products we are using today, in this cable free world.
Our monthly cable cost was about $110 per month. What’s crazy about this is we really didnt’ even have any special bells and whistles in our cable. This included one HD DVR receiver, basic cable channels, and a small sports channel add on package.
We determined we had a rather broad set of content needs.
- Having access to the local channels was a necessity (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX)
- ESPN was a deal breaker for me.
- CNN was a nice to have
- Access to streaming content was a definite
Because of our diverse set of content needs, I thought building our new content strategy was going to be complicated and very expensive. I was pleasantly surprised to determine that there was an easy and cost-effective solution that met almost all of our content needs!
- We purchased a HD antenna to gain access to local broadcast channels. This was a one-time cost, but provided us crystal clear HD access to local networks with NO recurring subscription costs. In the next step, we provide details of the actual antenna we purchased.
- We decided to subscribe to Sling TV for our basic cable needs. At $20 a month, Sling TV provided access to ESPN, ESPN2, CNN, HGTV, TBS, Food Network, and half dozen other channels. While certain channels weren’t part of the package (CNBC, E!, A&E), this solved for most of our basic cable needs. It also provides some flexibility, as there are additional packages (sports, news) that you can add-on for $5 a month
- Netflix. Netflix’s streaming capabilities, content library and affordable monthly cost, made Netflix a main staple of our strategy. With so many movies and TV series available on their platform, we could watch Netflix for years and still have a ton of stuff we hadn’t watched yet!
- Amazon Instant Video. Because we were already Amazon Prime members, we got access to Amazon Instant Video’s content library for free! While its not as “premiere” as Netflix, they have a ton of content and we view them as a “mini Netflix.”
Not including the Amazon Prime subscription (which we had alrady paid for), our total monthly cost for all this content is $29 ($20 for Sling TV and $9 for Netflix)!
For those that don’t consider themselves “Do It Yourself” people, this step causes the most anxiety. To gain access to local HD broadcasts, you need some type of HD antenna. A really simple way to do this is to just purchase a set top antenna, like the Mohu Leaf Paper-Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna – Made in USA, and plug it directly into the back of your TV. If you just need to get access for one TV, this is an easy, cost-effective solution.
We went with the Antennas Direct C2-V-CJM ClearStream 2-V Long Range UHF/VHF Indoor/Outdoor DTV Antenna with 20-Inch Mount. While it has a higher price point, it was the right solution for us to easily connect our entire home to watch, free local HD channels. We placed the antenna in our attic and ran one coaxial cable from the antenna to our old cable junction box (where the cable line from the street connected to our house) and we immediately had HD signal in every room where we had an existing TV!
This is the last major step in the process. All of the content we’re looking to access (except for the local channels) needs a device to stream the video through. There are several on the market today and most provide the same basic capabilities.
We actually purchased two Fire TV Stick devices for our streaming. We actually got one for free, as Sling TV was offering an incentive program if you signed up for a three month subscription to their service! This little device packs enough of a punch to stream our Netflix, ESPN, Sling TV, etc…
That’s it! If you can navigate through these five steps your well on your way to freedom from the cable cord!
The last thing we did was measure how much money we were saving per month. Our old monthly cable bill was ~$110 and our new monthly content bill was $29, for a savings of $81 per month! While we did have about $220 in one-time costs, we were able to pay those off in less than three months with our monthly savings of $81!
It’s time for action. Pull the trigger!
You read thru all the steps, did some additional research, and are ready to go. You can do this!
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