On being a no-cable, no-satellite family

2013-07-11 07.43.51

We don’t have cable or satellite, you guys.

I miss live television sometimes, just the comfort it brings me, but I don’t miss having another ridiculous bill.

When we moved, I chose to wait on purchasing cable or satellite until I knew, without a doubt, I could afford it. I’m not sure what this energy inefficient house is going to bring to the table in terms of bills, so it’s best to wait.

In the meantime, we have an HD antenna that picks up two channels, pretty much, and they show the same shows at different times. I can watch Ellen at 6 a.m. and Maury at 8 a.m. or I can watch Ellen at 11 a.m. and Maury a little later. I big pink puffy heart Ellen, but Maury stresses me out. And I get judge various judge shows. And church channels. (I swear, it’s almost like Christmas when the antenna picks up more than three different channel sets.)

But I can’t watch Ellen and Maury and endless judge shows forever, and my kids certainly don’t want to, so this is what we do:

• Use wifi + smart TV – I have a VIZIO LED Smart HDTVand we’re able to use the apps to pull up several subscription services to stream content. I can even check my Facebook news feed, access my Flickr account and utilize several Yahoo! services too.

• Hooked up a Roku 2 Streaming Playeron the other TV – The other TV isn’t a smart TV, so I bought a Roku and I love it. I also have a Blu-ray that will stream, but I had problems with it in the old house, so we’ll stick with the Roku for streaming.

• Subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video. Most people are familiar with Netflix, which is great for all sorts of movies and television series, but it’s not great for new releases or new shows. Hulu Plus is more current and Amazon Instant Video, which I get free with my Prime membership, actually has very, very current episodes.

If you’re considering dialing back your cable/satellite or getting rid of it altogether, you should definitely check these services out. Each has a no obligation free trial program that you should try. Streaming shows and movies isn’t limited to TVs, either; I love being able to pull these services up on my iPad and iPhone too (like, when I’m in the bathtub).

Amazon Prime is, by far, the most beneficial of all of the programs, just because of it’s all-encompassing nature. For $79 a year – which is just $6.58/mo. – you can:

• Instantly watch over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with titles for everyone (way before they hit Netflix)
• Borrow books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
• Get unlimited FREE two-day shipping with no minimum order size — this alone has saved me so much money!

Have you been considering dialing back your cable/satellite package? Have you already downgraded? Do you sit back and wonder what these crazy inventors will think of next (I mean, we didn’t even have the Internet when I was a child; I remember having to get up off of the floor to change the channel back and forth from Nickelodeon to MTV.) Let me know in the comments section!

Disclaimer: I’m an Amazon affiliate, and I’ll make a small fee (at no cost to you) when you sign up for a free trial. That said, I use these products and services daily in my own home and love them. All opinions are mine.

13 thoughts on “On being a no-cable, no-satellite family

  1. July 24, 2013 at 8:23 am

    We’re a no-cable/no-satellite family too, but I just can’t do the Amazon Prime. When I had a trial, their “two-day” shipping was kind of a joke. Sure, it took two days to get here… from whenever they felt like shipping it NOT from when I ordered it which is kind of the impression they give. In my experience, those Prime orders did not get here that much faster than with the regular free shipping. I do miss the access to more current shows, but I’m stubborn, so…

    1. Echo
      July 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      I’m sorry you had a bad experience! I haven’t, yet, thank goodness. Usually when I’m told something will ship in a couple of weeks it will ship early, especially if it’s near Christmas. The only thing that’s NOT shipped early was the lab DVD I needed for class, of course! lol.

  2. July 24, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I’ve thought about cutting the cord a couple of times to save money. My current plan is to get rid of the DVR in my bedroom, but I will run into problems this fall with needing a third tuner to tape.

    The main reason I’ve always held back is because of live sports, but even now there’s an option, at least for the NFL. Owners of PS3s (and PS4s when they come out I’d assume) can purchase the Sunday Ticket. But that doesn’t do anything for my other sports fandoms.

    And I have to disagree with Carol above; I think Amazon Prime is outstanding. I’ve had nothing but great luck with shipping. There’s a distribution center in Richmond, and if whatever I’m ordering is stored there, I generally get it in one day instead of two if I order first thing.

    And if you have Amazon Prime, I have a show recommendation for you. It was on ABC Family and sadly only ran for one season of 18 episodes, but it was easily one of the best shows on TV that you’ve never heard of. Bunheads.
    Ivey recently posted..MST3K, Dragons and Ninja Turtles come to DVDMy Profile

    1. Echo
      July 24, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      I think I saw somewhere that you liked Bunheads. I was surprised about that. Isn’t it a ballet show?

  3. Christina
    July 24, 2013 at 9:00 am

    We don’t have cable or satellite, either. When we bought our house last year, we decided to try life without it. We have a digital antenna, a TiVo box, and subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu Plus. We seem to be doing great without it and definitely don’t miss the $100/month bill.

    1. Echo
      July 24, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      I do miss watching different things, more than I thought I would. I don’t, however, miss having another bill! lol.

  4. July 24, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Currently, we are a no cable/satellite family. When I moved last month and started over, it was best to wait and rebuild slowly. I must admit that I do miss it. I miss being able to watch something besides DVD’s I’ve already seen. However, I don’t have internet there either yet. So, it’s pretty slow going for me. I’m hoping to get the internet installed here soon so that I can at least do Netflix or something else like that.
    Jessica recently posted..DecisionsMy Profile

    1. Echo
      July 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      Good luck with everything, Jess!

  5. Janessa
    July 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    I really want to cancel our satellite and switch to Hulu and Amazon but I don’t know what we would do for sports. Seriously, ESPN is the only thing holding me back, how sad is that! I am really excited about the competition now for satellite/cable alternatives though.

    1. Echo
      July 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      I’ve seen with some Roku boxes, I think, you can subscribe to sports channels. When D and I were married, that’s all that was ever on, so it’s so different now. lol

  6. July 24, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I don’t know if we can cut the cord to Direct TV. Hubby is a big sport fanatic so he needs his shows. My daughter doesn’t watch TV although she has a box in her room and prefers to do Netflix and while I prefer to watch my favorite shows on HuluPlus on my own time and not the late hours they come on TV. Amazon Prime is great and I would recommend it to anyone. I subscribed one Christmas almost 7 years ago and never looked back. Just like you we have a Vizio LED Smart TV in the living room so we get to watch all the apps without having to buy anything else. Wow! Now that I look at everything we subscribe to I’m now thinking we need to cut the cord to something.
    Growing Up Madison recently posted..July 2013 Bluum Toddler Box ReviewMy Profile

    1. Echo
      July 24, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      I love DirecTV! I miss being able to watch Food Network, DIY and things like that (NBC! I don’t get the local affiliate, which is my favorite and that makes me sad). I miss the Today Show! And when The Voice comes back, yikes!

  7. July 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    YES! We haven’t had cable or satellite for over 2 years and honestly don’t miss it. What I love most about Amazon Prime is that it is a ONE TIME charge for the service…yes, the shipping is a nice benefit if I order anything from Amazon but it is not why I chose to become a Prime member…it was all about the streaming!
    Christie Jarvis recently posted..Not MY planMy Profile