Cord Cutting 101

We have officially damned the man. By this we mean, cut the cord on cable/satellite. All of it. Bye bye $75 a month tv bill. Bye bye $15 a month XM bill. We cut them both this past week and it feels so liberating. We decided to work towards it this fall with the a) new Apple TV and b) a slowly creeping up of the Directv bill. We started slowly…just trying to see what all we could get for free/over the air. We know we can get the local channels in HD over the air…so done. Then it was our beloved DVR for the shows we do watch. We have skowered the net and found where we can see almost all of them for free. There are a few that we can’t…but we are ok with it. The big hit was ESPN really. That is something you can’t get somewhere else. I left this up to Kevin really. I would be fine of course. I am just looking forward to not watching mindless tv for no real reason. We are already listening to more music and less screen time.

Now I can’t say our start up has been cheap. So chronologically speaking, we first started with a Netflix account and a DVD player with a Netflix streaming app. Works like a charm and we can watch old tv shows we never got into (lost, 24, etc) plus all the movies and HBO series on disc.

Next up was cables to hook the laptop up to the TV…easy enough. Then we could stream Hulu and anything else across. This got annoying because of the need to get up to navigate the laptop.

We also got Hulu plus to get some shows that aren’t on DVD yet(modern family). We can also watch most of the regular Hulu stuff through the app too. This is also available on our iPhones and iPad…just not on apple tv yet…odd I know. This is nice but I don’t know if we will keep it forever…hard to say now. Just to note though, their customer service is great.

Enter Apple TV. $99 and we get a slick new Netflix interface, ability to rent movies, stream our iTunes library through the TV(so any movies we have on there and music), internet radio, photo slideshows, and, as of the 4.2 update, we can air play music and video from our iPhones and iPad…so when toddler is freaking in the kitchen, we can kick on the music without leaving the room. Boom.

Then on Cyber Monday, the deal of the day was a receiver and speaker combo set for $700. We had been wanting some for awhile but holy fuck they were expensive. This was his Christmas present, and it is really nice. Just the music through it makes it for me. I can walk in the door and flip my iPhone to play on the tv and we have dance parties during Landon’s dinner. It makes me happy.

Right before Christmas, we got a flier in the mail from Amazon about a deal on a Roku. That, combined with Amazon gift cards from cashing in credit card points, we got a sweet deal on it and replaced the Directv box in our bedroom. This has mainly existed to allow us to sleep a few extra minutes on weekends by providing endless Blue’s Clues via netflix. I will also have to say that it was nice to watch some of our shows on Hulu plus the other night in bed.

Lastly, Kevin found these bad boys. We have them in the cars and we can just hit play on Pandora and it streams right along…pauses for phone calls…everything. O and we already pay for the data on the phone…so it is “free”. This was the dagger that killed off XM. We were listening to basically 1 station for another bill that was going up and up. So buh bye.

It feels great to get rid of these high priced bastards. Surprisingly, neither company tried to offer us some deal to stay. We were kinda shocked. We were expecting them to give us an introductory rate or something but nothing. They would downgrade our package! O well..c ya fools…we will be over here sucking up all the interwebs….

3 thoughts on “Cord Cutting 101

  • March 18, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Yeah we did this several months back. We started using a mac-mini with Plex and then recently got an AppleTV. Also purchased an HD antenna and roof mounted it (get like 25 HD channels, fox, nbc, abc, cbs, cartoons, etc). That combined with Netflix is all we need. Startup costs was about $200 for HD antenna and Apple TV (mostly purchased on gift cards) and then the $15/mo Netflix (streaming and 2 at a time DVD’s with 1 DVD for the wife and 1 DVD for me…gotta have separate accounts to keep everyone happy).

    In the end, SO worth it. I recommend this setup to everyone!

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