The End of Cable (In My House)

I finally did it: I cancelled cable.

This has been a multi-year process. A few years ago we dropped all but the local channels, Discovery, WGN and Versus. We still needed cable for the reception, in particular, and we loved Versus (Tour de France, hockey games) and Discovery. But then Comcast removed Versus from their basic service and Discovery stopped showing good shows.

In addition, we moved. In Hillsboro, where we used to live, Comcast’s Basic coverage cost $10 per month. In our new house, 16 miles away, it costs $21. And in last month’s bill we found out they are raising the rates, less than one year since we signed up here. To say the least I was annoyed. Since I reduced my plan to Basic six years ago, we lost channels and got more lousy programming in exchange for more than double the price.

In that same time period all the local channels went to digital high definition. I started investigating antenna, thinking if we can get the local stuff free we can live without the other programming. [1] My first thought was what happens if I unplug the cable, switch the tv to antenna and searched for local channels?

Lo and behold, we get every one of them, perfect quality, plus a couple of others we either didn’t get or didn’t know about on the cable box!

Now… I have $24 per month to spend on entertainment. Hulu+ maybe? Amazon Prime? Or maybe we wait for the next, great thing that actually gives us compelling content to watch. [2]

[1] This, of course, excludes Mythbusters, which we can’t find when new episodes run anyway. Turns out some old episodes are on Netflix anyway (and more on Amazon Prime!) so we still get our fix when we need one.

[2] Spent some time last night looking at these options. Hulu probably isn’t for us but Amazon Prime is compelling. There is a lot of stuff there that is not available on Netflix Watch Instantly. Plus, free two-day shipping and one free Kindle rental per month.

4 thoughts on “The End of Cable (In My House)

  1. more people need to go through this process to pressure the cable companies… unfortunately most people don’t think about what they are spending and getting in return.

  2. We just canceled too. For quite sometime we had 2 HD boxes and 2 SD boxes for the guest rooms, paying around $140-$160. Last year we got rid of the 2 SD boxes and cut premium channels dropping to a little over $100/month. Within the last 6 months our rates kept going up. 3 days ago, we got a new Apple TV3 and canceled Direct TV, signed up for Hulu+ and Netflix and are paying only $16/month. We several of the original Apple TV’s and can’t believe the difference with the new one. AirPlay and video mirroring is amazing. Now I am going to figure out how to get Amazon Prime on the original Apple TV’s to make use of the content there.

    What HD antenna did you go with? When football season comes around I will difinitly need to know. LOL

    • We were lucky as the towers aren’t that far away. I didn’t have to get one. Instead, my coax cable is enough to act as an antenna.

      Checked out Amazon Prime. Nice selection, just need an app for that. I’m hoping that Apple will announce apps for Apple TV at WWDC in two weeks. That would make me very happy.

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