Ready to cancel your cable television?

Ever find yourself turning on your television and then continuing what you were looking at online?  Notice maybe, that your television seems to be on more for the sound of it on, that to actually watch it?  Or how about those wonderful times when you look through the listings guide to find that out of 300+ channels; there is nothing on that you would be interested in watching!

I recently began wondering to myself just how different could life really be without cable television? At first, it was a very scary thought.  For myself and my eight year old daughter (a completely “indoors“ kind of girl),  I was paying around $160.00 monthly to pay for my combined bill for internet and cable.  All the while,  spending most of my viewing time online. 

So, I took the plunge, cancelled my cable subscription, and waited until “blackout” day arrived. 

In the meantime, I upgraded my internet subscription to include more gigs for streaming. This part was confusing for me since I was not aware of just how much bandwidth streaming or downloading can take over time. But this step is very important! If you have a 50 or 60 gig plan each month, it will not be enough to cover anywhere near the usage of an average family.

 In the end I went with 190 gigs per month (for which I pay $48.48 so I am already saving over $100 per month)

There are many alternatives to cable now and I can share some of the basic information I picked up as I made my final decision.  There are some internet television options such as Hulu that you could look into.  There is of course Netflix, which has the nice feature of setting your video quality. Good quality uses .3 gigs per hour, set to best quality uses up to  2 gigs per hour.  Basically on good quality setting, you can stream up to 90 hours of viewing for about 30 gigs.  That is quite a lot of viewing for their famous $8 per month.

There is also the option of purchasing a roku box.  There are a couple different types, and an ascending price scale, but I have seen them advertised for as low as $60.  A roku is basically a streaming tool for your television.  They seem to fit most tv’s, have built in wifi for your television to stream from and best of all, you pay a one time price for the box and no monthly subscription fee.  I cannot offer you an opinion of the quality or reliability of these boxes as I have not used one.  I can say that most reviews I have read have been very positive.

Admittedly, the first few days were strange for us. But once we had Netflix connected to the tv through the Wii, and found ourselves a few favored sites to stream our programming, it started getting easier.  We have not yet tried to find something good to watch and failed, there is ALWAYS something, somewhere to watch.

I found the hardest thing to get used to is forgetting the mental tv guide listing we all have in the back of our minds.  We had our favorite shows that we loved to watch each week at that certain time. The day and time arrives and we reach for the remote and then remember there is no more cable. 

So, yes,  it takes a little bit of getting used to, the kids may grump for a little while, and you may endure some strange looks from family and friends who say “what do you mean you don’t have cable?”, but you will definitely save money, time and  frustration.  Not to mention, having the luxury of watching whatever you want,   whenever you want.  The nice icing on the cake for me is the $1300.00 per year that can finally be spent somewhere more useful! 

Think about it........ is it time for you too?