Cancel Cable Painlessly

We all know it is imperative to get control of our spending. Removing unnecessary expenses is one of the easiest way to take control of our finances. 

What does Cable TV offer us that we are willing to pay for? A convenient way to watch shows that entertain us. But is it really all it's cracked up to be? How many times have you found yourself just watching TV instead of being productive with your time? How many hours do we waste watching ads? In a single hour of TV, we are bombarded with ads and waste about 17 minutes of our lives. 

The solution is to cut out the unnecessary expense and take control of our time. With the advances in internet speeds and streaming services it is possible to not only part ways with cable, but possibly improve our entertainment value. 

1. Use a Roku 2 XS device.  It has free content and has subscriptions available as well. It has access to Netflix, Hulu Plus, MLB, NFL, NBA HBO, and more. One really cool feature is the ability to stream music from Pandora. It even includes a remote control with a motion sensor to play games.

Requirements: High Speed Wireless internet, HDMI cable, TV with HDMI input

Average time to Savings after cancelling cable: 2 months

2. Use an Apple TV device. It allows one to have access to YouTube, Netflix, iTunes, MLB, etc. It interfaces well to newer Macs running Mountain Lion through the use of AirPlay Mirroring which would allow free Hulu to be played. It comes with a nice remote and the best interface in its class. If you don't have a Mac, it will prove to have limited free content compared to the Roku. 

Requirements: High Speed Wireless internet, HDMI cable, TV with HDMI input

Average time to Savings after cancelling cable: 2-3 months

3. This is what I consider to be the best option and provides the most freedom. Personally, I have hooked up an old desktop computer to my TV. You can connect a remote peripheral to increase ease of use. The quality out to my 1080p Tv is great and I don't run into the content restriction experienced by the Roku and apple TV. Lots of channels out there put their episodes on their websites and this is a great way to stream them. It is not as convenient, but I'm willing to deal with it. You will need a PC with a wireless network card, and a video card capable of outputting to your TV. The Acer RL-70 is a nice PC for the money that people have used at the center of their home theatres and it includes a wireless keyboard and mouse. 

Requirements: Vary based on setup. Typical: Hi-Speed Internet Access, Internet Browser, HDMI Cable, TV with HDMI Input

Average time to Savings after cancelling cable: 6-8 months

I hope this article helps anyone out there trying to get control of their expenses while still staying entertained. Leave any comments if you found these tips helpful or have any better suggestions.