Antenna + Roku HD + Netflix = $90 Savings Per Month

I hate bills.  I also hate paying for things I can get for free. I was at Thomas’ house last year just hanging out. We were watching a movie on his Roku box, and I realized that the little box was giving him everything that I watch on TV except for local channels. That was the beginning of my quest to get rid of my cable bill.

At first I searched the web and found that all you need is an antenna to pick up local television stations. I could remember back to my childhood, and how we had an antenna that was pointed toward Indianapolis so we would get about 10 channels; that is all that we needed.

I did my research and found a tutorial on how to build an antenna on YouTube …

I placed this antenna in my attic. (my wife said that I was not allowed to put it outside due to its appearance). I hooked this up to my LCD HD TV, and I was able to get 18 channels on a good day and 9 channels on a bad day.  I didn’t get the Indianapolis channels, so I did some more research and found the Federal Communications Commission Website. The FCC website has a great interactive map that allows you to look for antennas in your region. I was able to see my location in relationship to all of the antennas nearest me. If I was closer to a large city, my home-made antenna would have been great. Unfortunately I had to try something different, but after trying other configurations I decided to get a professional installer to place a large antenna on my roof.

Once installed, I was able to get 24-31 channels from 5 different cities in my region. The most surprising thing was that the reception was better than the paid stations I’d had in the past, and shows were displaying in HD. I had to pay extra for the HD from my previous television provider.

That same weekend I bought a Roku HD to be able to get Netflix on the same television that is attached to the antenna (see Roku review from Dan from the past).  With this configuration we now have all of the shows that we used to watch from our previous television provider but with much less cost. We were paying $100 dollars a month for television. Now we are paying $7.99 a month for Netflix. The cost of the Roku was $79.99 and the cost of the antenna was $700 installed. That was initially a big investment back in May 2011.

It has been 8 months of no bills for television for a $800 savings; my initial investment is now paid off. At this point I have the same programming for $7.99 a month. I love saving $90 dollars a month! Also we now only watch what we really want to watch, and we don’t channel surf like we did in the past.

Going old school with a new school twist. Thanks Roku, Netflix and my antenna installation guy!


Categories: How to Do It Yourself!

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5 replies

  1. Yep, been doing that myself at home for a while in FL.  Aint it grand not to have to pay a cable bill?

  2. Now THAT’S clever, Matthew!  I’m old enough to remember when we used to have an adjustable aerial on our rural home to pick up distant Chicago.  Interesting way to repurpose an old idea for a modern application.

  3. I’m doing the same thing. Bought a new-to-me house a few years back, which had one of those old, large, outdoor antennas in the attic. Hooked up an HD decoder to it, and pulled in about 20 channels. Now the cable bill is just the internet bill. I miss a handful of stations (Discovery, History, and Comedy Central), but not enough to offset the cost savings.

    The annoying thing is that the local cable monopoly (the only company that runs broadband lines to my street) understands this dynamic and charges a fairly high price for an internet-only subscription with reasonable bandwidth. I save only about $20/month after factoring my Netflix subscription.

  4. I have cable internet ($51/month for 6 mbps download speed) and an Amazon Prime membership ($79/year). There’s enough shows on Amazon and the free side of Hulu to keep me occupied. Once in a while, I’ll go to a network site and watch a show there.

    I don’t get any local TV stations, but oh well…I never was into watching the local news.

    Now, I do wish the various sports networks would embrace streaming games to a greater extent. There’s a fair selection on, but they don’t have everything. I’m not going to subscribe to cable or satellite TV, regardless, because it’s just too expensive.

    When I moved in 2008, I never considered a land line for phone, either. I tried a few options, but ultimately settled on Callcentric. I pay $2/month plus a couple of cents per call for a phone number I can re-route to my laptop, cell phone, and office phone. This flexibility allows me to leave my cell phone on a cheap $25/month plan. If I ever ditch my current cell provider, I can re-route the Callcentric number to the next one without having to worry about porting the old phone number.

    • does full season streams for $120, plus another $40 for postseason. NBA does season streaming for $109 or $169, depending on if you want to watch games from 5 teams or all 30. NHL gives you the year for $169. NFL is a bit of an odd duck concerning live streaming, a bit complicated to go into here, but if you’re willing to suffer a bit of a delay in watching the game (a couple hours for Sunday, Thursday, and Saturday games; 24 hours for Monday games), you can go with the NFL Game Rewind plan, which lets you watch any game you want. Can’t quote pricing since it goes down as the season goes by, but it’s comparable to the other sports.

      The streaming services have blackouts and other restrictions, but these are easily circumvented via VPN and similar services, and even if you factor the cost of those in, it’s cheaper than cable just for sports. This is especially true if you’re just a one/two-sport fan.