July 2, 2013
Three years ago when we moved to Chicago I thought it would be impossible to live without cable TV. Our cable and internet package price made it an easy choice to just keep it simple and keep cable. It was around $80. Within 3 years our cable and internet bill reached $130 (roughly $1500 a year!). Our cable company kept taking away channels and changing the line up and the price kept going up!
We then had a couple stints of weeks at a time with no access to cable or DVR and little help from our cable company. It didn’t make sense to be paying so much for a service that kept going off. It was really getting to me. Half of the time our DVR would freeze and not record a show and we would end up watching shows online anyway.
At the end of June we helped our friends move and they were talking about how they would not be getting cable. Instead they would be using an HD antenna to get their local channels and things like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime to get other shows. This really interested me because up until now I had not heard of HD antennas.
Pretty much immediately when we got home I started researching HD antennas and thinking about which channels we watched the most. First I had to see if I could live without cable. I made this list:
CBS (can pick up with HD antenna or watch shows on CBS.com)
-Under the Dome
NBC (HD antenna, watch online)
-The Walking Dead
Sci-Fi (we pretty much watched a whole season online so no problem)
History Channel (can watch on history channel website)
Those were our main shows, but then just to embarrass myself….
-Teen Moms, other reality shows
Lifetime (lifetime website maybe)
-My Strange Addiction
-My Crazy Obsession
Channels I will miss but can hopefully find a lot of stuff online…
So those were the shows/channels we (I) were most concerned about. I found out most of our shows were on CBS and NBC and a lot of them were offered on the network’s website. I’ve also learned over time (through my husband) that you can get just about any show online somehow.
The next thing I thought about was Live Sports. The sports we watch the most in our household are College Basketball, NFL and NHL. Most of the Big Ten important games are on basic cable so that won’t be too bad, although with the Big Ten Network this might not be true anymore. It seems like more and more games have been on there.
I found that all the NFL playoff games are streamed online on NFL.com and they are also on basic cable. As far as I remember this holds true because most Bears games were on basic cable.
Recently in the last few years we have started watching more hockey. Thanks to my dad who is obsessed with the Blackhawks and with us living in Chicago, it’s exciting. Unfortunately most of these games will not be on basic cable. I found some websites where you can stream live sports and hopefully this works for us or we might be hitting up some sports bars once in awhile. So look out for my future blog on live streaming sports.
So once I figured out we were barely using our cable I decided we should go through with this. It’s not that we can’t afford cable, it’s just that the bill is outrageous and hard to justify. That’s money we could be putting into our savings.
So then it was onto researching which HD antenna to get and if we should purchase a streaming application like Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Instant Video. Check back for all of this in Part 2!