Cable companies and satellite television providers call it a myth, but cord cutting is a reality. What is cord cutting? Cord cutting is when someone cancels their cable or satellite television service for alternative sources. Most cord cutters rely on receiving over-the-air television broadcasts with an antenna and online streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. Some just settle for a good book.
In an attempt to cut household expenses, my wife and I have decided to join the trend of cutting the cord. Since upgrading to a high definition (HD) television last year, we have been considering making the switch from cable to over-the-air broadcasts and on-demand internet streaming services. We have enjoyed our AT&T Uverse cable service for a little over 2 years, but we decided to make a change. Why make the switch? Cost is a big issue. We pay approximately $100 per month for our cable television service and we do not subscribe to any premium or movie channels.
We plan to replace cable television with a variety of new and older technologies. The device we will use the most is our Roku streaming device. This device allows us to stream Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and many other movie and television sources from the web to our television. Roku devices range in price from $59 to $99 (a one time charge). We subscribe to Netflix (mostly for movies and older seasons of television shows) and Hulu Plus (mostly for current seasons of network television shows) for $7.99 per month for each service. We also have an Amazon Prime account that gives us access to their library of free movies and television shows. The Roku's user interface is very easy to use.
In addition to online streaming, we will use an antenna to watch local network television channels. We are considering purchasing an exterior antenna, but have seen really good reviews of the Leaf Plus Amplified Indoor HDTV antenna. For only $59.00 on Amazon, it is worth trying out before buying something that will need to be attached to the roof. We would also like to use a DVR with our live television broadcasts. We are currently considering using Windows Media Center that is built into Windows 7 or a new hardware device called Simple.TV. Using Windows Media Center will require the purchase of a Television tuner card for my existing PC. Simple.TV lets users record basic cable and HD over-the-air TV signals, then stream them over the Internet to apps the company has built for the iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac, or Roku. The company has also just built an HTML5 web app that will let users connect on devices that it hasn’t yet built apps for — like Android tablets, for instance.
We will save over $1,000 per year on cable television costs. This does not factor in some upfront costs for hardware (antenna, cable, dvr device, and probably a new television for our bedroom). We plan to try different services and hardware to see what works for us. I will post updates periodically on what works and what does not..stay tuned.