By April 27, 2015 Read More →

GeekeryView: Cutting the Cable

 

 dragon 

                               

Cutting Cable

writer, Michael J. Mangano

If my home is my castle, then of course my TV remote is my scepter,  instantaneous command of entertainment at my fingertips! But how much am I willing to pay for all this? Well, this GeekeryView reporter was tired of the two-headed beast of cable/satellite burning a hole in my wallet, so I cut the cable.

I know it sounds scary, but it wasn’t bad at all, and you don’t need to possess a PHD to get set-up.

First, I knew I wanted my local channels, so I installed an HD antenna, which I am telling you, it’s not your daddy’s rabbit ears. You can get amazingly clear reception, and get all your local channels for free! (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CW, and much more.)

The antenna is easy to install, with the cost between $50 to $100. You don’t need a 10-foot pole on your roof anymore, it’s small enough to hang on the side of your home. Now, not having a DVR can be a pain, but this is where internet streaming comes in and becomes the White Knight over the cable/satellite options. You still need internet and it can run you between $30 to $60 a month, depending on what speed you need. My bill is $50 a month. Now with steaming boxes, technology that attaches to your TV like Roku ($50 hardware), you can watch Big Bang Theory, or most of the popular shows, anytime you want.

With Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Sling TV and Netflix, which are subscription services, you can customize your viewing entertainment.

roku

For this TV geek, Hulu ($8 month), and Netflix ($9 month), along with the HD antenna, I covered most of my viewing needs. My geek queen/girlfriend needed her HGTV, Food Network, and other channels, all which we were able to get with Sling TV, a service from Dish ($20 month). Sling TV channels are: A&E, ABC Family, AMC, CNN, ESPN, History, TBS, TNT, Lifetime, HGTV, Food Network, plus a few more. You can also add HBO, sports, and kid’s programming for $5 a month for each package.

 

Now, I wish I could say we lived in our castle happily ever after, but this setup has some flaws and is not for everyone. One big issue is watching local sports. Some sports, like football and baseball, can be watched with an antenna, but not all.  You can purchase an MLB streaming package, but for now you can only watch out-of -market games, meaning Giants and A’s games are blacked out. You will have to visit your favorite watering hole if you want to see most games, which works for us. Some sources are saying with NFL dropping the blackout restriction, MLB in not too far behind and by next year we should be able to stream any game, anywhere.

I won’t lie, the journey for this geek reporter had some challenges to endure, mainly in my viewing TV habits, but saving more than $1800 a year was well worth it, and it seems there are many who are starting to think this way.  Just last year 1.4  million U.S  TV homes cut the cord, bringing the total to an estimated 3.8 million homes cutting the cord, willing to cast the stone to the Goliath’s of cable/satellite. And the village rejoiced.

Here are some links to information about the technology I spoke about in this story.

www.roku.com

www.antennasdirect.com

www.hulu.com

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About the Author:

Always up for trying something new. Obsessed with coffee. Loves to sleep. Bring on the rain, and a bottle of Wonky & Wry's Honey Braggot Ale.