Bonus: cutting the cord

We cut a lot of cords in knitting [I’m pushing the metaphor here a little…], but this post isn’t about knitting. It’s about what some of us do while we knit.

 

Watch TV.

 

I don’t know about where you live, but where I live [Toronto, Canada], cable TV is expensive. I’m embarrassed to say that I was paying the ghastly sum of $130/month for cable — for all the basic channels, tons of stuff I never watched, but was packaged in with the movies + the actual HBO and movies. And that’s about average up here. Until a week ago. We cancelled the whole shebang, and aren’t looking back.

 

I have been talking to a lot of people about this lately, and some have already made the switch, some are thinking about it, and some don’t even know where to begin. I’m not going to make this a long post with all the details, but instead will make this full of pithy links to get you on the right track, if you’d rather spend your money on yarn and needles instead of cable tv.

 

 

Some good articles and forums to get you started:

TechCrunch

Wall Street Journal

Digital Home’s Over The Air forum [for Canadian residents]

TVFool’s forum [US & Canada]

check your own home’s address to see what channels you might receive over the air [US & Canada]

interesting thread for Canadians who want Netflix, Hulu, etc

 

Here’s what we’re watching:

– Netflix [available in the US and Canada] at $8/month

free HD [digital] programming, pulled from the air with an antenna [see the links above for more information about how this works]

– many things on the network and cable channel websites

 

 

Here’s the equipment we chose:

Apple TV [this provides access to Netflix, some sports networks, You Tube and any video, audio and pictures you have on your home computer]

– alternatives to Apple TV include Boxee, Roku, Blu-Ray disc players with advanced features incorporated, many of the gaming consoles like Xbox, and lots of other devices. More are being introduced all the time. The key is what services they offer access to, and if they have a web browser built in or not. [With a web browser in your device, you can watch the stuff the networks make available on the web, but without having to sit at your computer.] We initially wanted the Boxee, but the reviews everywhere said the hardware wasn’t stable and needed rebooting daily, at least. We hear there’s a new Boxee being released…worth watching for.

this rooftop antenna [we tried an indoor antenna and found it almost as functional, but unsightly and a pain in the butt to have underfoot].

– our trusty 7-year-old Tivo Series 2 [the last Tivo model to work with antenna input, luckily!]. When I called to cancel the service [since we were cancelling cable, I didn’t think we’d use it anymore], they offered us a $99/lifetime deal since our Tivo will work just fine with the antenna.  We do love our Tivo, so we were happy they had an option for us. Several commenters tell me that current-model Tivos do work with antenna input so that’s good news!

– a Zinwell digital converter box [necessary if Tivo is to control the incoming channels in order to record it. Without the Tivo in the loop, we wouldn’t have needed this.]

 

What we’re missing:

– stuff on Food Network, Showtime, HBO…

and nothing else! We get all major networks, some weird channels that are antenna only [!] and more than enough to knit by. Much of the stuff we’re missing will eventually be available on Netflix, or can be watched online. There are tons of series on Netflix that I am dying to watch, and it’s all there for me to absorb at my own rate. I could probably spend a year alone in the Anime section!

 

Was the switch easy?

 

Nope. But it wasn’t hard, either. It’s just time consuming, researching your options and narrowing down choices. We’ve experimented with different converter boxes and antennas [though the rooftop antenna is a non-returnable item, so that one is gonna stay] until we got the best possible results.

 

The thing we miss most? The digital clock in our cable box…we have no other clock in the living room. Yeah, we can fix that.

 

I have barely covered the highlights here. I’d recommend you read the first two links and see if this sounds like it’s for you, and then dive into the forums and do your research. Don’t forget to check your postal or zip code for channel availability…no point in doing all this if you’ll only get a channel or two. Good luck!

(186 Posts)

73 thoughts on “Bonus: cutting the cord

    1. Sheeri

      I asked my husband what was blocking him. Because really once you leave the cable companies are BEGGING you to come back, so we could go back at any time and probably pay less than we were paying when we quit.

      His response was that he didn’t want to be one of THOSE people, because we have some friends who are vehement about not having cable. I told him we don’t have to be like that, and he understood. We have some friends who shout from the rooftops that they don’t have cable and love their box and whatnot, and we’re not those kinds of people.

      We haven’t had cable since October, and we have made it with Netflix only. I think we’ll probably get Hulu+ for a while, we have a Wii and we don’t watch YouTube stuff on it. We only had the very basic cable, so we’re only saving about USD $40 per month, and it wasn’t about the money, it was about blindly paying for something we don’t really use – I figured we could use that money to buy DVDs or rent movies online, if we wanted to.

      It’s very easy, just try it for a month, and tell hubby that the cable company will trip over itself trying to get you back as a customer, so turning it back on in a month isn’t a problem.

  1. Michelle

    As a college student, I am perpetually without cable. While it gets annoying for some shows (anything on BRAVO, anyone?), I can find most things online, at least semi-legally. Although as a US resident, I do get hulu, which you don’t have access to 🙁

  2. Carol

    Or, consider not watching TV at all, and just renting/downloading DVDs while you knit, or listening to spoken word CDs, or get BBC radio on your computer. I couldn’t live without my radio–current affairs/drama/music–and the pictures are always brilliant.

  3. Kristin

    Thanks for the links. About a year & 1/2 ago when we bought our new house we decided to go sans TV as part of our austerity budget, but then we just ended up with….well, no T.V. O.k. so we do have a membership to our local video store, but these links will help us get back into the 21st century!

  4. Ali

    I have been living sans-cable for close to 5 years now. With a good antenna we get most of the shows that we are interested in, without the mind-numbing stuff that I don’t want, but would have watched if it was on (you know the train-wreck shows I mean…). With the conversion to digital over-the-air signals, everything comes in perfectly clear (or sadly not at all). What we don’t get we watch online. It is amazing how many TV networks supply their shows through their website. In the end, I don’t miss cable all that much….

  5. Renee Anne

    We’ve been cableless now for almost three years. We do have a digital antenna (which doesn’t work the greatest but it could be worse). We also have an Apple TV (which we use to it’s fullest extent), access to Hulu, and Netflix (with streaming). We’re not missing too much…

  6. Christi

    Just wanted to clarify that all of the Tivos work with antennas. I have a Series 3 (HD) and have never used anything other than an antenna in the attic. If you look at the specs on the newest Tivos, they all take antennas as an input. Now you can upgrade someday if you need to.

  7. Cate

    We went 20 years without cable – and no over-air television available. We just went back, but only my husband spends much time with it — I’d rather read blogs or listen to NPR and podcasts (knitting, of course). But, our cable came with digital phone and internet connection that all together is around $100 (only 30 more than we were paying for land line and slow internet already). I never missed it while it was gone, except during the Olympics 🙂

  8. Sara L

    We’ve been cable-free since our last housemate moved out more than 10 years ago, and TV-free since the digital switch-over. We recently upgraded to a TV with built-in Netflix input. That plus our trusty DVD player and an $8 Netflix subscription keeps us perfectly happy!

    The worst part: I have to stay away from the up-to-the-minute Doctor Who online plot discussions. 🙁

  9. Cambria Washington

    we did it two years ago (or maybe it was three?..) and while it hurt at first when the youngest no longer had access to Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, we adjusted pretty quickly. Particularly when all television became HD and our free channels had better picture quality than our cable channels, lol. And Netflix helped quite a bit too.

  10. Michelle

    Good for you! I have been without TV for about 4 years and I love it. Occasionally I watch shows and movies on Netflix and Hulu, and buy DVDs to watch on the computer. I love being able to say that I do not own a tv.
    Occasionally when at a friend’s house or with family I get exposed to some regular tv programming and I’m so glad I don’t have it in my home.

  11. Michelle

    Radio is great for knitting too, I find I actually knit faster with radio than with movies because there is no visual distraction.
    The stitcher app for listening to radio on i phone is really great.

  12. Alyson

    Isn’t the clock thing annoying? I think we’ve been without cable for like 6 months and I’ve finally stopped looking for the time in the living room. Might I suggest Friday Night Lights on Netflix if you haven’t already.

    And, I miss my USA shows but I can eventually get them on hulu/netflix and I don’t miss any of the rest of it.

  13. Megan

    I haven’t had cable since I lived in the dorms almost 10 years ago. I actually got rid of our TV, period, in 2008. I’ve not looked back! I love having a TV-less living room where the focus is on us, the cats, and our friends.

  14. kathy

    We went cable free a little over a year ago and love it ! we have indoor digital antennas for networks, access Netflix thru bluray in 2 rooms, Tommy roku box in another(love it) an xbox I also run playon on the computer and access out thru roku or xbox allowing access to free hulu..bit really 90% its Netflix!

  15. Mary

    We live in a spot where there is no cable and the new digital signal doesn’t make it either–we’d never been too big on TV to start with, so not missing much. I can read and knit simple things, but when I have to pay more attention there is Netflix, (not streaming–our internet, while no longer dial-up, is too slow), books-on-tape, audible, and other DVD’s and books on CD from the public library. If I have a riveting book-on-tape, it’s amazing how much knitting i can crank out!

  16. Amy

    We cut the cord years ago and haven’t looked back. Netflix and online episodes fill my hubby’s need for TV and an occasional movie for me.

    But I really enjoy podcasts, books on cd of hubby reading to me from a book from the library , and podiobooks.com. (My two fave podiobooks are Shadowmagic and Quartershare) To me listening and knitting are better than watching and knitting!

  17. Elisabeth

    I’m prone to watching TV series all in one fell swoop, over a couple weeks, so I love the DVD collection at my public library!

  18. Julie

    We just cancelled our dish network service. With Netflix and our antenna, we have more than enough. (Loving all 264 episodes of Frasier now!)

    How ironic that it gets posted here in the same week.

    Good for you for making the switch.

  19. Anna

    We don’t have a television, and haven’t gotten around to getting Netflix yet. We keep talking about it. Maybe sometime next year we’ll finally bother. But I’m so used to not having a TV that it feels very strange to visit people’s homes when they just have the TV going for background noise.

    1. Anya

      I completely agree– I find that in someone’s house with the TV on for background noise, I have a hard time concentrating on the conversation because I’m distracted by the TV, since I’m so unused to it. We have no TV access– just DVD’s for the kids to watch, and some for ourselves– and I don’t miss it. With three kids, I particularly like that they don’t bug us for the stuff advertised on commercials because they never see the commercials. Good for keeping things (relatively) simple. 🙂

  20. Mariannem

    I am a huge cord cutting supporter. However, I want to correct one error in this post. Newer Tivos still work with antenna inputs. I have a TiVo Premiere HD from 2010 and I use it with a rooftop antenna as the source. It also gets Netflix and Hulu Plus.

  21. Heather

    If you are into films (particularly older ones) it might be worth checking out your local library too. Our library (medium sized village in the UK) has quite a reasonable selection, and for a small charge they will get you any DVD held by any of the other libraries in our county. It costs between about £2 and £3.50 to rent (approx $3 – $5 USD I think), but for that you get to have it for a week. Excellent if like me you sit down to watch a film and then the phone rings 🙂 or for when you want to watch all the DVD extras 🙂

    Also to echo what someone earlier said, podcasts are excellent, I subscribe to a whole load of interesting BBC radio programmes, and I’m sure there will be good Canadian ones too.

  22. Mary Shue

    I LOVE my Apple TV. I use it for Netflix and podcasts the most. I have a basic (unadvertised) cable subscription that runs less than $20/month from comcast. My HP computer is hooked up to my tv (nice 37 inch monitor). It has a tv receiver and dvr in the computer plus I can watch anything thats on the internet web websites.
    Thats it- 20 for cable 8 for netflix and I have more than I can watch available. If you can’t break the cable connection-take a look at how much you watch that is on basic cable and see if your cable company offers a really low unadvertised rate. My two cents. m

  23. Kris

    Amy, we’ve *never* had cable in this house. Couldn’t (actually wouldn’t) afford the channels we wanted and didn’t want all the dross that came with them either. But we now have a similar system to yours.

    If you like netflix and you want a good laugh, watch “Red Dwarf”, a 1980s/90s BBC sci-fi comedy.

    Enjoy!

  24. Jennifer

    Dumped the cable when my kids were little. Too many darn commercials and values that weren’t mine. I listen to knitting podcasts while knitting!

  25. MarieAnge

    We’ve been without tv reception for the past 5 years now. We cancelled cable because we couldn’t afford it anymore and discovered that our tv is too old to handle the digital signal. So we’ve turned to the wonderful DVD collection at our local library and the internet for weekly episodes of shows we enjoy watching.
    We have an xbox networked with our computer and access a lot through it. Can also play music directly from our computer or insert a cd and hit start.
    The only thing I missed when we cancelled cable was the news, then I discovered that my favorite newscast was available online in either a stream or uploaded as a recording for later viewing.
    Do we miss TV?
    At first we missed the food station shows, but once their programming went down the tubes (no more Bourdain) we figured out that was the only show we really missed. But our library is amazing, they got the boxed sets!
    So for anyone tired of paying inflated prices for cable, go for it! It’s worth the money saved each month.

  26. JoAnnaSpring

    We moved into this house 4 years ago and we’ve never brought a TV into it. We also don’t have broadband internet, but we are able to access hulu and espn3 for basketball. We have the DVD version of netflix too.

    We love it! It’s so great that when a TV show we’re watching is over we have to do something to make the next one come one – it’s not just there waiting for us.

    Visiting people with TVs is really odd for us and we find it difficult to reintegrate.

    2-3 times a year we also have digital detox where we turn off the computer for an entire week.

  27. Beth Collins

    We got rid of cable TV and now have a Roku box. We stream Hulu.com and Netflix and, as we have an Amazon Prime account ($79/year) we get lots on Amazon. We are in Maine, USA. And we have never been sitting around wishing that we had cable TV. We don’t have a local news and weather channel, but we get that from the internet, with comments from users. We also don’t watch sports, but on Roku there are lots of specialty networks, and I’m sure sports is one of them. We just watched all the episodes of The Elephant Princess, a show out of Australia; you just can’t get stuff like that on cable.

  28. Genevieve O'Shea

    I cut cable almost 3 years ago. I stll get over the air channels on my 1995 TV because I but a digital converter. I have more PBS channels than before and I couldn’t be happier!

  29. coryy

    I’m not sure where you guys live–here, ONLY the cable companies sell internet access, and you pay a premium (up to $100 MORE a month), if you buy internet access without the TV package. No tv sounds like a doable thing….And recently due to budgets and moving I lived without it for a year with 3 kids. But we barely got by with a portable wi-fi hotspot, which was not enough for my son to use streaming videos for his required chemistry homework. So paying the cable monster it is. I’m glad it works for you, but just be aware that sometimes it comes across as “holier than thou”, and a little bit like bragging.

    1. Amy

      Coryy, the way you’re being price gouged for what is becoming an essential service (internet access, in your case) is exactly what I’m protesting against by cancelling my cable account. (We’re in Toronto, and are able to get our internet access from the phone company, so it’s separate from TV, though they offer internet as well.)

      The motivation behind my post is, honestly, relief. I’ve been so tired of paying so much money just because I didn’t have any other options (and didn’t want to give up the TV I enjoy), so now that there ARE options, I just wanted to share.

  30. megan

    congrats on cutting the cable.
    It’s hard to do at first.
    We did it last year and the only thing I miss is HGTV, DIYtv and the Food network too.
    Though we still pay too much for cable Internets.

  31. Karina

    When the world went ‘digital’ last fall, we lost all but 4 channels, CBC, Global, TVO and CBCF. We tend to download or borrow the programs we want to see and watch them when we want to see them. As we’d already been doing that by last fall, it hasn’t made much of a difference to us, and we haven’t yet been inspired to get a digital converter box to see yet more stuff that would make our brains bleed out our ears….

  32. plumbum

    We ditched our TV about ten years ago when we found that a) we weren’t watching enough to merit the expense (the British TV licensing system) and b) developed a growing awareness that we did not want our lives to be governed by external schedules.

    There are a very few things that we catch up on via the BBC’s excellent iPlayer service (Dr Who, Horizon…) and we are currently working our way through the entire back catalogue of Star Trek on DVD (mind numbing, but ‘im indoors likes it)via the laptop in bed in lieu of bedtime reading. Overall though – we do not miss the idiot box, and would never have another.

    I have music albums, radio and audio books for when I knit and spin, but do sometimes watch a film on the BBC’s iPlayer while I knit.

  33. kelly-ann (on ravelry)

    My husband could have written this post! We cut off cable a few weeks ago and are still trying to find our way. I can believe all of the research he has done to set things up, but I think he finally finished last night. He is recording tv shows on the computer and streaming them to our tv (that helps with not having the dvr anymore). We have the Wii, Playstation, and Roku – think we have it all covered now. I honestly don’t miss cable. We watch the main channels anyway and just kept cable for the dvr purpose.

  34. Erin

    We just did this. We’re using Roku as our primary connection to Amazon TV, Hulu Plus, and Netflix because the interface is nice and it way outperforms our wifi-connected BD/DVD. I miss SHO and HBO too, and when Dexter and True Blood come back I’m going to shell out the dollars for them but in the long run it’s a small price to pay for entertainment independence 🙂 Welcome to the cord cutting party, Amy!

  35. Cindy Holben

    I plan to cut my cables ties when the US election season rolls around. Those adds are manipulative and relentless. It is almost impossible to escape them and the same adds play over and over and over.

    How I enevy you Canadaians your short election season.

    I plan to listen to more podcasts. When I’ve saved the money from cable fees I’ll buy an iPad and use it to watch my news.

  36. Darlene in North GA

    About 5 years ago, I found that I could no longer afford the fees for the cable. We missed a lot of the A&E, Animal Planet, Biography and History channels that we watched.

    We (myself & 3 kids) soon found other things to do. We have videos we own and also borrow from the library to watch. Like others suggested we found Hulu (non-premium is still free), Netflix and other sources to watch. (Google “free TV” and you’ll find a bunch that are free to watch. I recently Googled “Star Trek Next Generation free” and found a site where I’ve been watching the entire 7 seasons for free.

    For the radio, I use Pandora.com. It’s also free, though there is a premium use also.

    This fits my budget MUCH better. And since I’ve been unemployed for the last 18 months, free is the only way I can go.

    Now that the kids are gone, will I go back to cable/satellite when I get a job? Probably not. I just don’t watch tv enough to justify the expense. And I found when visiting my daughter at Christmas, that with 300 channels, there was STILL “nothing to watch” as so many of the channels are duplicates. YMMV

  37. Amy P

    For those in the US, be aware that very basic broadcast channels are available thru cable providers for a small fee (I think around $10/month). This availability is federally mandated as a part of the cable act from the 90’s, but is *never* advertised. If you can’t find an antenna that’s right for you (or like us, are too lazy to try) this is can be a good option.

  38. Tracy

    We are cutting the directv and switching to netflix at the end of the month. The savings is well worth the one or two shows I’d miss. The main thing we watch is Disney Jr and Nick Jr. We can get those shows on netflix though. A lot of the cable shows also stream new episodes through their websites. Since we don’t watch sports and don’t care about seeing shows the day they come out, it’s a huge savings!

  39. Anne Dixon-Mahatoo

    We made the leap in August when CRTC mandated the switch to digital. With a digital antenna, Apple TV and streaming to our Mac’s, alls good in our world. Not to mention downloadable audio books from our library.

  40. Pam

    I see I’m in good company! I’ve never lived in a house with cable, though I’ll admit I enjoy it on vacation, and we watch some ESPN at my mother-in-law’s. Even though we get our internet through the cable company, it’s still cheaper. We do buy videos of stuff we love – which you can do a lot of, for the price of cable.

    Enjoy!

  41. janita

    Congrats!
    I have never had cable and for many years didn’t even have a tv!
    i find that I prefer watching tv series on DVD so I don’t have to wait for next week! I too get a lot of dvd’s at the library. Also I am lucky to get 3 PBS digital channels!

    knit on, j

  42. Toni

    We did the same thing about 6 months ago! Pretty much everything I watch now is either on Netflix (through our XBox), or streaming from iTunes or the channel’s website by hooking my laptop directly up to the TV.

    We, too, primarily miss the clock, and not much else.

  43. Susan

    OK, children of the airwaves…I grew up BEFORE TV. We had the first one on the block. My parents would invite folks over ONE time a week and watch a variety show, and serve refreshments. I was allowed 30 minutes a week TV. When my daughter came along in the mid 70’s kids were GLUED to tv. I bought a portable and kept it in the hall closet. Brought it out when something good (good FOR her) was on, and put it back. What in the world did we do????? Had CONVERSATIONS, LISTENED TO MUSIC, READ BOOKS, PLAYED BOARD GAMES….guess what? WE STILL DO. Knit to Mozart, or the Beatles, or ..who is popular now??..or whatever else appeals to you. My mom and her sisters did their needlework and GOSSIPPED altho they called it “catching up”.

  44. Kim_n21

    In my next place, I’d love to try going without cable, but I keep getting hung up on the sports issue. I like sports- they’re prime knitting time for me, besides- but thus far I am unaware of any method for getting my football over the internet (this is more of an issue with college football than NFL, since NFL is mostly on broadcast, but the main college team I follow is usually on ESPN or another cable station). My baseball, too, but I kind of like listening to baseball on the radio, so I wouldn’t mind not seeing that as much as I mind football (I know football is also on the radio, but it’s kind of not the same). If I could solve that problem, I’d probably be pretty much all set, although I’d miss the Food Network quite a bit. I think most everything else I watch is available streaming, though.

  45. Kim_n21

    @Susan- I see your point (although I think you could have said it in a less judgmental manner), but at the same time, when I hang out and watch tv with my parents (pretty much daily, since we live together), we are *also* catching up and having conversations and interacting with each other while watching the television show. It often sparks conversation topics, both about what’s on the screen and about other things in our lives. So, watching television can be an equally interactive experience as the other things you mentioned (which are *also* things my family likes to do).

  46. Cherie

    We did the same at the beginning of the year. Miss Food Network and a lot of the sports (college in particular), but the clock most of all!

  47. Katie @ Yarn Love

    I love this topic! We have a similar set up – we pull HD channels via an internal HD antennae (less set-up) and use Netflix and Amazon Prime to fill in the gaps.

    When we first signed up for Netflix our tv/dvd expense dropped dramatically. We were no longer paying for films we would only watch once or twice.

    We’re also avid Amazon shoppers so the free Prime TV content there is a lovely bonus. I save so much money on shipping alone by being a Prime member (& avoiding having to fill out orders to hit the “free shipping” amount)that we will continue to use that service.

    Another bonus from moving away from watching shows when they’re on tv to Netflix/Prime is we spend less time in front of the tv. Wednesdays and weekends are tv/movie days in our household (when our Netflix vids arrive) and the other nights are spent with knitting, books, household chores, etc. We watch what we want, when we want and don’t get sucked into watching additional content because it’s easy. I like that.

  48. Kathryn

    I have done the same thing…for a few years now. I use Hulu Plus ($7.99/mo) and Netflix ($7.99/mo) and I use an HD indoor antenna to catch channels over the air.
    When watching Hulu, Netflix, etc from my computer, I hook my puter to my HD TV using a monitor cable. My TV becomes a big monitor.

    1. Nikol

      Us, too–but we skipped the antenna (we’re really rural and it’s really windy here) and watch network programing on hulu. We now spend $16 a month vs $90 and only miss a few shows, which eventually come to netflix. We thought we’d be renting a lot of TV from amazon, but there’s already so much to watch that the stuff we miss ends up on netflix before you know it.

  49. Deborah

    We sort of cut the cord last month. We rarely watch much TV any more anyway. Our cable bill just kept going up, and the quality went down. After a couple of years of spotty employment, we decided that 200 channels for $80/month was too expensive. TV antenna reception is a challenge in our area, so we just dropped to the basic cable for $20.

  50. guinevere

    I haven’t had cable in over 10 years, and haven’t missed it. Between Netflix and the internet, I have no need to spend all that yarn money for cable! 🙂

    1. arianna

      I’m right there with you, Guinevere. I think I paid for a year of basic cable when I got my first apartment after college, but then I realized things like DVDs and later Vongo (and even later, Netflix) were really all I needed! I could watch “on demand” and *never* had a problem feeling behind at workplace water cooler discussions. Plus, the time I feel I save by not watching 10+ minutes of commercials for every half hour of show is SO worth any detriments, like not always being able to watch the latest movie or show. 🙂

  51. BeckyinVT

    This was an easy decision for me – for years I’ve lived in areas where cable isn’t an option. No cable companies provide service to our house.

    I have the HD broadcast and Netflix on disc. Soon we’ll hook our TV to our computer and start streaming from the internet. Thanks for the links with more information about that!

  52. Seanna Lea

    My husband and I have only had ultra basic cable (about $8 a month to get normal network stations to come in nice without an antenna) and Netflix for over a year now. I miss things like the puppy bowl during the super bowl and food network, but in all honesty I’m relieved to not have access to them. I watched so much more television when I had access to all of those extra stations.

  53. Amy C

    We ditched the cable and went netflix for over a yr now and haven’t looked back. Cable was getting ridiculously expensive and there wasn’t anything to watch. Very happy. (and richer)

  54. Kacey

    We did this last January and haven’t missed it much. My husband purchased aan add on for our computer which lets us record live over the air TV, it then can be synced with the xbox to be watched on the “big” living room tv. It is great. I “record” some knitting shows off of public tv this way.

  55. Lisa

    I went cable-free a few years ago and haven’t looked back. (Pretty much after Firefly went off the air… there just wasn’t enough I wanted to watch on TV any more to justify the expense.) For stuff where I don’t want to wait for Netflix, or don’t want to watch on my PC, I download from iTunes (e.g. Dr. Who, Sherlock, etc). It’s still way cheaper than cable. My little stereo with iPod dock has a video out jack that I was able to connect to my old-school (non-digital) TV with a $5 cable, so now I can watch video content from my iPod on my TV! Eventually I’ll upgrade my TV to digital so I can watch streaming content off my computer with AppleTV or something similar, but for now I am delighted with my setup!

  56. Jessica Powers

    Love this! I didn’t have cable living in Seattle and after a while gave away my tv and just used dvds on my laptop. Now we’ve got a mega tv at home and a new blu-ray home theatre system, making us all ready for the NZ winter and our dvd habits. I find that the free tv we do get is barely worthwhile and could probably be condensed into around 4 hours each week!

  57. Katie in CA

    We went to our cable company and told them we couldn’t afford it anymore. They gave us the basic cable (no box basic) essentially for free, with our internet. We use Netflix via a roku box and a VoIP phone. So glad we did. I do not miss the commercials for my son. Much less asking for everything.

  58. Jackie C

    I haven’t had cable in over 15 yrs, and don’t miss it a bit. With Netflix and Hulu, there are plenty of options to knit by (no antenna reception in my rural area). For a few shows that I really don’t want to wait for (Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead), I’ll buy a season pass on Amazon, and get the show the day after it airs, which is fine by me.

    Another plus is that my kids have grown up without being bombarded by advertising. Sure, they hear about things from friends and are attracted by the characters they’ve seen on Netflix when choosing cereals, etc., but on the whole I think they make better choices about what to spend their own money on, and about what they ask me to buy for them.

  59. Eleanor

    I cut the cord last summer because I thought it was irresponsible to be paying $100/mo for my 12 yr old son to hypnotize himself in front of the boob tube. We subscribed to MLB radio and listened to our faraway home team every night in August & September. We watched the football games we couldn’t live without by streaming them on the computer – not exactly HD, but free. We watched all sorts of TV archives on hulu and Netflix. Mothers of my children’s friends are rumored to have used my bold move as a bargaining chip in their own households: “Mrs. Dixon cut off the cable, and I can too!” Then in February the Comcast guy came by and offered me a deal I couldn’t refuse – long story short, now we have cable again….but now we’re living without caller id!

  60. Sandy

    In our last two homes, we didn’t have the cable option…rural living in Eastern Ontario! Our choices were between the two satellite companies. The prices kept going up without any comparable improvement in programming. When Netflix arrived in Canada, I signed up immediately. I really enjoyed it, although was disappointed that the viewing options weren’t as good as I was hearing about from American friends.

    Now I realize how spoiled for choice I was. Last summer, my husband was transferred to Budapest. There is only one option here for service providers and we had to significantly upgrade in order to get any English channels. I think we have three. However, because it took us several months to get it hooked up, we hardly turn the television on. Turns out, we don’t miss it. Go figure.

  61. Joan

    Sing it, Sister! We cut cable over a year and a half ago and haven’t missed it. Thank God Colbert and Jon Stewart are on Hulu!

    We also have Netflix and Hulu plus subscriptions and AppleTV. Our made-for-the-great-outdoors antenna lives in our attic because I couldn’t handle how the thing looked on the roof. We get fairly good reception unless there’s a thunderstorm or strong winds.

    I’m thrilled we cut the cord because I hated paying over $100 a month for TV that used to be free when I was a kid. It’s like paying for bottled water…drives me crazy!

    If anyone is thinking about cutting cable, consider buying an antenna and AppleTV or one of the alternatives first and see what kind of over-the-air reception you get, what shows you really miss. It takes a little bit to get set up, but ditching the cable bill leaves more money for yarn

  62. Ellen

    During a recent move I was so ready to cut the cable until I realized it was the best option for internet which my daughter must have for school. Can someone explain to me how they get decent internet without cable?

  63. Birgit

    LOVE LOVE LOVE This article!

    I cut my cable when I moved in March and actually didnt watch TV since before Christmas. And I AM STILL ALIVE! Yes indeed! It didnt hurt, it wasnt weird… I am watching Netflix without commercials or interruptions, get my news online and am MUCH happier!

Comments are closed.