Ditching Cable ~ Part 3

In Part 1 I wrote about the high cost of our current cable/internet/phone bundle. In Part 2 I described how you can use a simple and inexpensive digital antenna to replace your local channels. Now I’ll explain how we will replace the other cable channels we watch that are not local channels, as well as the DVR function, movies, music channels, and more.

TiVo has been making DVR’s for quite some time. But they have recently taken a logical step and reinvented themselves. They now function as a DVR and as a hub for digital programming. They do it through their newest boxes, called TiVo Premiere and TiVo Premiere XL. Click on the link to go to their site to get details on the product and service. This is going to cost a little money (key word = little) but $20/mo is far less than the cost of cable, which charges me a high monthly for their service and a monthly for the use of their DVR box. There would be a one-time cost for the better TiVo Premiere XL box, but the simpler TiVo Premiere box is free with a two year contract.

The biggest reason we will be investing in the TiVo service, though, is not for the DVR function alone, it is because we can access all sorts of digital programming right through the TiVo box. You can connect to Netflix and hulu right from TiVo, making it a very convenient way for us to get all the TV shows, movies, music channels, and more as TiVo continues to add entertainment programming to their service. There is a little overlap, but Netflix is largely a movie digital warehouse, and hulu is a TV show repository. Their service will cost about $8/mo each.

You don’t need TiVo to use Netflix and hulu. They were designed for internet streaming, to watch on the computer. But then people figured out how to connect their computer to the TV so they could watch the Netflix and hulu content on their TV’s. TiVo simply makes that process seamless for you, and adds the DVR functionality. (Obviously, you need to have internet access for this, but who doesn’t have that!) And that’s why we’re going with TiVo.

So, our final setup will be the digital antenna for the local programming, TiVo, Netflix, and hulu. The total cost for all of this, apart from the minimal one time costs, will be $20/mo for the TiVo box and service, $8/mo for Netflix, and $8/mo for hulu. A grand total of $36/mo, as opposed to the $110/mo we are paying now. That’s a $75/mo savings = $900/year!

Like Megan and Mike, we’ll be laughing all the way to the bank!

If this has been helpful, please share or “Like.” 🙂

11 thoughts on “Ditching Cable ~ Part 3”

  1. Way cool. Hubby and I talked about this last night and decided that we like our lives without television at all. So things will remain the same here. Enjoy laughing all the way to the bank. This is going to eventually put the cable companies out of business. That's a good thing. Just saying.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug to you and Princess Gail. 🙂

    1. Sandee~

      Wow. You mean you don't watch TV at home at all?! Now THAT's way cool!

      It's not like we watch it all the time. We don't have it on right now as I type this. We do have other interests, lots of them. And maybe that's why paying an arm and a leg just doesn't add up for us.

      I don't know if the cable companies will go out of business, but I do think they will have to rethink what they charge for their services. Alternate ways of viewing might overtake the traditional in remarkably few years.

    1. Hi, Mike~

      Yes, I use free hulu also, and it's good. But hulu Plus, their new subscription product, adds enough extra value for us to pay them a little money. $8/mo seems reasonable, especially compared to what the cable/satellite companies charge.

  2. This was interesting to read. My daughter and son-in-law ditched cable too and do the things you wrote about. I don't see myself and husband ditching ours anytime soon (maybe land line) but if we do I know where to find good advice. Thanks for the informative post.

    1. Hi, Elaine~

      Yeah, if you both have cells, a land line is probably superfluous. We use a land line just for our fax machine, and I'm starting to wonder if that technology shouldn't be dropped as well. We scan most of our official stuff and email them as pdf's.

  3. When I was in college, the guys at my boyfriend's fraternity house figured out how to rig the cable box with a metal serving spoon to get the Playboy Channel for free. They charged people to come in and watch, and grossed enough in admission to cover the monthly utility bills. Things sure have come a long way.

    1. Linda~

      That's funny! I remember the days! It used to be much easier to get around the cable scrambler! I also remember using a cable splitter to carry the same signal to different tv's, and we got away with it without additional charge. Nowadays, everything has to go through a cable box on each TV set, and it's really a computer inside the box, and the cable companies know exactly what you're getting/using and what you're not.

  4. So get this. We don't have cable … the only ones in America? I actually have the digital converter and rabbit ears ha ha! AND… my mom will tape things with a vcr at her house and bring them over to mine so we can watch on the weekends together. Recently my vcr broke and now I can't find one anywhere that isn't over a hundred dollars with a DVD included in the machine. The thrift store didn't have any either. Sigh. So I covet your setup. Can you record the next Tony Bourdain show for me?

  5. LOL Katherine!

    You just might be the lowest tech person in the country! 😀

    Then again, you have a really cool blog, so I guess you're high tech after all!

    So I've learned that TV is not the highest thing on your priority list, and that you love cooking (or at least you love Tony Bourdain! LOL)

    You don't have to covet. I'm trying to simplify things to get closer to YOUR setup. At least the antenna part. I'm drawing the line at VCR players, though! Hey, I might have an old 8-track player somewhere that I'll sell you for $100. 😉

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