So – tired of being a slave to the cable company – or satellite? Believe it or not there is life without cable. Many preparedness-minded folks are frugal and want their hard earned money to go towards more critical items than television. Saving $80-$200 per month can certainly help with adding to food storage or reaching an emergency fund goal.
I made the decision to end cable due to the high cost and so many channels I paid for and never, EVER watched. I have been off of cable for over a year now and rarely have any regrets. Depending on your interests and technological prowess cutting the cable can be easy – or very frustrating. When it comes to getting rid of cable there is always the option of canceling and just staring at the wall, reading a book, or going for a walk. I enjoy watching a good movie or TV show so staring at the wall was not really an option.
Here are my 3 steps for a life without cable:
1. HD Antenna.
The simplest way to get news, TV shows, and movies after cancelling cable service is via the air. Yes – TV stations still broadcast a signal over the airways. An HD antenna will snatch it out of the air and deliver a high quality picture to most any modern television.
HD antenna’s are simple to install and range from very inexpensive(less than $10) to pretty inexpensive(around $50).
My personal choice is the Amplified Outdoor Motorized HD Antenna. I have been using this antenna since cancelling cable and it works great. It is designed to mount on top of a pole. I used a broomstick pounded in the ground to mount it outside my house. A remote control allows the it to be rotated from inside the house incase the signal is weak. This model runs around $38.
HD antenna’s costing as little as $10 can work well. I have upstairs in my bedroom the RCA Indoor HD Antenna. This thing is small with rabbit ears. Performance? Works pretty good for less than $10. I am looking at getting another Amplified Outdoor Motorized HD Antenna and mounting it in my attic. With the increased elevation I should have expanded channel selection.
2. DVD, Blu-Ray, and RedBox.
After adding an HD antenna a DVD or Blu-Ray player will certainly provide a huge library of movies to choose from. Amazon has a massive selection of DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s for well under $10 each. An entertainment library can be built easily.
Movies can be rented for around $1.00 at many rental kiosks located in grocery stores and outside Wal-Marts and pharmacies.
Grab a movie, pop some popcorn, and have a movie night.
3. Streaming Devices & Services: Roku, Fire TV, Netflix, and Hulu.
Most of my entertainment comes from the use of media streaming devices. Basically these devices use the Internet to stream movies and TV shows to a TV. What is pretty important is your Internet speed. If it is too slow the media will not stream well and it will “buffer” often causing a delay.
I own most every type of media streaming device made and would only recommend the Roku and the Amazon Fire TV Stick. The Roku is the best option for most people. They start at around $40 and go up in price from there. I always buy the cheapest ones.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is great if you are an Amazon Prime member due to the thousands of movies that are available to stream. I have been a Prime member for years and love it. There are lots of benefits in addition to the movies and TV shows available for streaming.
Once you have a Roku box and hook it up to your Internet “channels” can be installed. This is a very easy process and there are many channels which allow streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows totally for free. Premium channels such as Netflix, Hulu, and VUDU offer paid streaming services.
Netflix offers access to thousands of movies and TV shows for around $10 per month. It is an incredible bargain.
Hulu offers a paid subscription service at under $8 per month. They provide many current TV shows for watching as well as a decent selection of movies and older TV series. It is well worth the money.
VUDU is a service which you can rent or purchase movies and TV shows online. You do not physically get a disk, rather the media is stored on the Internet. New TV shows are usually available within hours of showing on regular TV. This is the method I use to watch The Walking Dead. I buy the entire season and watch it the day after it airs on cable. TV shows average around $2.99 per episode and movies vary from $4.99 on up.
There is life without cable. An antenna, DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s, and media streaming devices are a great start. Throw in a good book, walk in the park, and more trips to the range and life will be great.
Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration.
Now, where’s that popcorn?