Take Me Somewhere Else
I remember when I was a kid and had to go outside – in the rain- to turn the antenna on the side of the house so that my Father could watch “McHale’s Navy” on the black and white “Boob Tube”.
Then came the color television. The picture was still fuzzy, we still had to go outside to turn the antennae, and we still had to walk to the boob tube to change the channel. But, hey! It was in color. Pretty.
Along came remote controls, and cable television. All the channels you could ever want (and some you didn’t know you wanted) all coming through the cable line. There were now cable lines all over the floors and walls. One had to be careful where they were walking or they’d trip. But at least we can rest in bed and watch our cable in color with our broken limbs.
Today we have choices. We here at Bohica2k Studios have done some homework on what will work best for us. We hope this helps someone out there to cut the cord on cable (and save so much money).
To start, we looked at DirectTvNow and SlingTV. Two separate entities offering HDTV cable through your computer, tablet or smart phone.
Here’s what we had to consider…
I needed MSNBC and CNN on the television daily. DirectTVNow has both channels on their $35 (60+ channels) lineup. SlingTV didn’t have MSNBC. I could get it, but it would require that I add a separate package for an additional fee per month.
We also watch HBO here. DirectTVNow nor SlingTV has HBONow as part of their basic package. BUT…(and this is a big but)…DirectTVNow offers HBO for only $5 more per month. SlingTV didn’t have this offer. We are currently paying $19 per month for HBONow as a separate app on the XBox.
Okay…so DirectTVNow has our attention. But how much would we actually save by cutting the cord on the cable? I decided to call Spectrum (formerly Brighthouse) to find out. I checked my bill online. Nothing was broken down. We had the $170 package that includes internet, cable, and phone. We rarely (if ever) use the phone, and I don’t need 80 sports channels when I never watch sports. I’m paying for something that doesn’t interest me. The nice lady on the phone couldn’t tell me how much the internet was as compared to the cable and the phone since we had a “bundle”. She told me to divide $170 into 3 (I came up with $56 and some change) for each service. NOT TO MENTION the $8 charge for each box to receive cable here (we have three tvs) the local fee, the state fee, the FCC fee, and the fees for the phone. We were paying around $237 per month for these services. Way too much.
Here’s what we did:
We took the cable boxes back to the cable company. Asked them to shut the cable off, and the phone. We will keep the internet. Which with the FCC fees and stuff, did come out to be $57. We then came home and signed up online for DirectTVNow. Our package is $35 a month plus $5 a month for HBO (we immediately contacted HBO to cut of the $19 app we already had on the Xbox). So $40 a month for cable tv. No fees, no FCC anything. Just $40. I opted to pay a month in advance because when I did we get a free Amazon Fire TV stick to watch the DirectTVNow on in the bedroom. We already have Apple TV downstairs (Tim can watch DTV through his iPad) and I have Chromecast here in the studio. I’m currently watching MSNBC by using my laptop and streaming through the Chromecast to the tv. The BEST news of all about this transition?? THERE ARE NO COMMERCIALS when I watch MSNBC through the DTV on Chromecast via my laptop. None. I get a stream saying “MSNBC live stream will return shortly”. I checked to see if the DTV was playing the same thing as on cable…and it was. The DTV has about a 20 second lag. But that was it.
The downside to cutting the cord:
I watch “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and then “The Late Late Show with James Corden” religiously every night. If I miss them, I feel like a family pet has died. Neither SlingTV or DTV has CBS on their lineup. Which I found odd. NBC, CBS, Fox and even PBS is there. But not CBS. I DID find out there is a separate CBS app for $5.99 with limited commercials. They weren’t kidding. The commercials are 30 seconds long, and only 2 of them when Colbert takes a station break. MUCH quicker than the commercials on cable tv. So the $5.99 a month is worth it. I can watch past episodes, fast forward, rewind, pause..the works. I have the CBS app on my Xbox lineup where my Netflix, Hulu, AmazonTV, etc live. Perfect!
If your shows don’t show up on the $35 line up on DTV, don’t fret. There’s usually an app for it. Take for instance “Logo”. Tim can’t go a day without watching something on LOGO. There’s an app for that and it fits snuggly on the Xbox. Same thing with OWN, He watches “The Haves and Have Nots” on that channel. He watches “Supernatural” on CW. CW is not a part of the DTV lineup…but there’s an app for that. All of these are free. (LOGO, OWN, CW <—just click on the link to find the app. I made it easy for you) If there’s something else you want, like I said…there should be an app somewhere.
If you WANT sports, no worries, DTV has other packages for you. I just don’t need 80+ channels of sports. So I saved myself some money there. How much money?? Cable used to be $237 a month. Now I get internet for $57, plus the DTV for $40 a month, and CBS for $6. 57+40+6= $103 a month for exactly what I wanted. How much do I save by cutting the cord? 237-103= I save $134 for the very same thing I used to have. The pictures come in crystal HDTV. Tim uses the AppleTV downstairs, I use the Chromecast upstairs, and there’s a new Amazon Fire TV stick coming because I paid $40 in advance.
Note: You don’t HAVE to pay in advance. There’s a 7 day trial period. But we did so we can get the Fire TV for free for the bedroom tv. Even if you don’t have an Apple TV (there’s a promotion for that on DirectTVNow site), they’re usually $149.99 but you can get one free (4th Generation) by paying DTV three months in advance (which would be $120 compared to $149.99. You save $30 there) . The Amazon Fire TV stick is $39.99 on Amazon. And the Chromecast is only $30 right now on Google.
So there. It took me days to convince Tim to just let go of the cable. And we did. We get the same channels, with less commercials, and more freedom. He couldn’t watch a show he missed yesterday unless he DVR’d it. Now he doesn’t need to DVR, he just does a few swipes on his iPad and there it is. The show he missed yesterday. Brilliant! And we’re saving $134 a month in the process?? I’m in love. And we are now in the year 2017 with our television entertainment. =)
We have cut the cord.