About a month ago, we decided to tighten up our budget, and one of the obvious places was cable. A quick once-over of our viewing habits showed our TV spent more time tuned to our Roku box than the cable box anyway, so I cut our plan back to just internet, and we really don’t miss cable at all!
It hasn’t been much of an adjustment for us, mainly because our viewing habits are fairly limited. My son gets an hour or so of television per day, and he doesn’t mind if he’s watching “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” via the PBS Roku Channel or live tv. Likewise, we only get “grown-up” TV time after the little dude is asleep, which means we rarely watched shows live. Most of our viewing habits had shifted to on-demand and binge-watching via Netflix and Amazon Prime, and we were really only catching shows as they aired for big events (like NBC’s super trainwreck live musicals). Plus, we were already paying for Netflix and Amazon Prime on top of our cable, which seemed silly when we realized the most extraneous service was the cable one, not the streaming options.
The one downside is that our house is located in an apparent dead area for over the air transmissions. We can pick up two PBS stations (lucky us!) and sometimes ABC. I plugged our address into AntennaWeb, and determined even with the most powerful antenna option, the best we could get was two ABC affiliates, PBS, something called “Laff”, and the LiveWell network. Somehow, the idea of going through the expense and trouble of roof mounting an antenna to catch old reruns of “Spin City” seemed like a bad idea. Still, our Roku 3 has proven itself to be even more useful, since we were able to find a channel that picked up local NJ12 news, plus we can get Wall Street Journal and CNBC news clips. Best of all, we managed to just squeak in on a limited time deal offering Roku users two months of Hulu+ for free, so we can enjoy most of the new shows we used to watch On Demand.
Our cost savings is nice but not incredibly significant (about $35/month when you net out the added cost of Hulu+). It’s more that we’re finally just paying for what we use, and we’re able to watch more mindfully. Instead of channel surfing, we’re picking shows we really want to see, and there’s plenty between Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu to keep us busy! The decision to cut cable was somewhat impulsive, but it’s become clear it was the right choice for us, and not nearly as difficult as we’d feared.
Have you cut cable? Do you have any tips or thoughts for other cord cutters? Let us know in the comments!