Ditching the Cable Monster: Why We Haven’t Looked Back!

Halloween scream - Fun pic!!How many people do you know would be completely lost without their tether to the cable box or DVR?  I mean, totally distraught if they were to disconnect their cable TV and quit cold-turkey without so much as Netflix or Hulu to get them through their days?  Utterly out-of-their-minds, full-goose-bozo hysterical!? It’s like digital heroin!

Case in point, I have one friend who pays for all the digital cable tiers, movie channels, sports packages as well as the highest-level of internet access possible, and home phone service. Pardon the crudeness, but he is literally Comcast’s B**ch! His bill is like a house payment, man!  That’s seriously out-of-control crazy!

My husband Chad and I were talking about this “addiction” one evening as we surfed through our 400+ digital channels and still couldn’t find anything we wanted to watch.  Hmmm…This was happening more often as time progressed.  So, we started tracking how many times we found nothing to satisfy our TV cravings; thus, begrudgingly opting to watch something from our own stash of movie or TV series DVDs, all the while complaining that there was nothing good on!

Programming on the majority of stations offered by Comcast (or Dish, or Direct TV, for that matter), in our humble opinions, had become so poor overall that even with that many alternatives we got Bupkiss!!  Nada!  Zilch!  No Joy in TV Land!!!  We were paying $203 per month for this? (Yes, I said $203 per month!)  Thank God it included high-speed internet or I would have really felt ripped off!

We had to ask ourselves, at what point does cable cease to be necessary and turn into a giant, vortex of squandered cash flow?  We got our answer in a most unexpected way.  Camping! (OK…We have a motor home, so maybe it should be called “glamping!”  We don’t do that whole sleeping on the ground thing anymore!)

So, over the past summer, Chad & I did quite a bit of travelling in the rig.  In mimagesCA97DX4Sost cases, we got the basic network channels: ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS – all with at least one other HD channel that accompanied it with alternative programming (i.e. Me-TV, Create, Justice Network, etc.)

Depending on the area of the country we visited, more channels became available, like ION, FOX TV, and C&W (each with two or more digital channels), etc.  Of course, there were the plethora of local religious fare and home-shopping channels, too – which we could luckily program the remote to skip over.

Cue that enlightened moment of TRUTH!!  Guess what?  Those 400+ channels and the DVR were suddenly passé; besides, we found out via our tracking chart that we only watched maybe 12 channels with any real frequency.  Was it really time to cut the cord?  Could we really do this?

imagesCA7P27MXIn August 2014, after yet another discussion of the high cost of cable and the limited number of channels worth watching, the answer was finally “YES! Yes, we can!” Both of us ran to the car and headed for Camping World where we had seen a fairly inexpensive but decent HDTV over-the-air antenna from Winegard…I think it cost us $45 (you can get them cheaper now).

When we got home, we hooked it up to the main TV, did a channel sweep and found 27 channels, of whichonly 8 we skipped over.   That was it! Still had our NBC Affiliate, KHQ channel 6 for the NBC Nightly News fix and all major networks with additional channels included.

Who knew there would be TV shows on the main network channels we would actually like? These channels had been lost in the shuffle of the 400+.  We immediately disconnected all the cable boxes, packed them up with the remotes and the DVR and stood in line for over an hour to tell Comcast we were breaking up with them…sort of.  High-Speed Internet is still intact, so we are completely off the grid!

I must admit, it has been quite liberating!  I watched my first episode of Nova in probably 5 years!!  It was amazing!  I actually felt smarter!  I have always loathed reality TV and am convinced that good programming has been left for dead in the wake of things like “Say Yes to Keeping Up with the Real Honey-Boo-Boo Apprentices of New Jersey!” OY!

Don’t you think its high-time we take back the possession of our collective brain cells and demand quality programs from our networks again!  When you’re being paid a year’s worth of my salary per episode to write, then by God, come up with something compelling and worth watching!  (Don’t get me started on that! That’s another blog post altogether!!)

Our decision wasn’t because we couldn’t afford it any longer; rather, we refused to waste the money.  Transitioning was actually pretty painless, since there are quite a few HD channels out there…And honey, they’re free!!

By the way, we did not pull the plug on the utility monster known as Comcast only to pick up Dish or Netflix.  We have our high-speed internet and the HD antenna; that’s it.  We don’t stream TV.  We watch what is on-air, when it airs.  If we miss it, we miss it.  It’s called having a life again!  We have not looked back with any regret whatsoever!

Just so you know…the Comcast bill has gone from $203 to $71.

Money well spentnot-spent, if you ask me!

 

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