Cutting the cord to Cable/Satelite TV Parts 1-3

Part 1

I can remember back in the 80's when cable finally reached our house! I was so excited to have more than 5 channels! Now I am excited about not having cable.  Getting here was not easy though.

2015, I started thinking about getting rid of some of my cable channels. I called Cox and realized that they have quite the racket going on. I was put in a bundle package.  What is a bundle package? Well it is a marketing tool that cons a consumer into thinking they are getting a great deal. It hooks you in to buying services or channels you don't really need to save money. We all know that you aren't saving anything. Oh, they show a big credit but they just mark up the price and then treat their customers like complete idiots. I have to have a home phone and high speed internet for work so I can't cut it off completely. During 2015, I talked A LOT about how I needed to just get rid of cable. I had a good job so the extra $120 a month didn't seem to impossible. Then in 2016, I left that job and went back to not making less money.  In January 2016, I contacted Cox and told them that I wanted to cut my cable off. They were going to cut it off on the bill date which was in 3 weeks. This would give me time to purchase more antennas and Rokus. A few hours after I got off the phone, my cable was shut off. I had just spent 2 hours on the phone making arrangements and Cox wasn't even able to follow their own instructions. I had a party that evening and figured I probably would need television so back on the phone I went to get it turned back on. It only took another hour for them to reconnect my cable but then they said, I had to call back the next day to cancel it again. Just to make sure the people who shut me off wouldn't screw up again.

Well as you can tell, I never called back because I just got busy and was still too use to having cable. By October 2016, I started to stop watching cable and use my Roku more or my smart TV. I really enjoy older show so I can find them on Netflix or the internet. I can use my Chrome cast on any of my TVs to stream movies from my lap top!

I got serious in February of 2017. I started disconnecting the cable boxes from the TVs so it wasn't available for me to use. I was sort of surprised how easy it was to just use the antenna or Roku. There are so many channels on a Roku!  The antenna gives me access to most of the local channels.

So how do you start to cut your cable costs.

First:, if you are a sports fanatic, there currently isn't a free solution for you to view most sports at home. This actually is another way of keeping you connected to your cable or other paid option. I believe this will change in the future.

Second: Having cable, you are being told what you can and can not watch. This isn't always a bad thing for those who have a hard time making decisions. Not having a cable, leaves you 100% responsible in finding something you want to watch. The list of movies, tv shows, and documentaries is endless depending on which way you go. Learning how to search and find shows can take some time, energy and work on your part.

Some people just use an antenna. This is a good option for some. I am struggling with getting channels on my tv so I am still working on finding a better antenna option.

If you currently have cable here are the first steps.

Make a list of all the shows and every channel you watch for two weeks. You will be suprised at how few channels you actually watch.

After two weeks, purchase a Roku for your TV and disconnect the cable box. See which channels you can get on the Roku for free.

Most paid options give you a FREE week so you might want to check those out.

The most talked about paid option is www.Sling.com Here you can get a limited number of channels for less than $25/month. They have sport options but I was told that they black out the Royals games. I have not confirmed that yet!

So to wrap it up! First you must be ready to take control of your TV choices! Next, make a list of all the shows and channels you watch for two weeks. Then, get a Roku for one of your TVs and try to just use the options on there, to watch TV. Many paid options come with a FREE week. You might want to give that a try.

Until next month! Good Luck!

Part 2

So did you take a couple weeks to analyze your television watching habits?

Now, if you don't have a smart tv then you need to purchase a Roku. They start at $30 and go up from there. I have the all different types. I even had to get one with RCA cables since the tv didn't have the other connection.

You also need to purchase an antenna to see which local channels you can get. I am sure there is a local business that would help you install the pretty inexpensive antenna.

Some might just want to cut the cord and hope for the best but getting rid of cable can be hard to adjust to. As I said, you are now in charge of what you watch.

Antenna

The two paid services that I recommend is, Netflix $7.99 for 1 screen, $9.99 for 2 screens and $11.99 for 4 screens and Amizon Prime which is $99/year pr $10.99 a month. It depends on what you like to watch though. Some would recommend HULU.  $7.99 with commericals and $11.00 commercial free.

Most everyone will want to purchase a digital antenna. This sounds fancy but there are a few different types. The most popular one cost $10 to $70 and connects directly to your tv. Your location in Topeka will determine which local channels you can receive. 

 

If you want to get fancier you can install or have someone come and install an outside antenna that conncets to all your tvs. This is a bit more complicated but worth the money in the long run!  

My friend Araon Koker with Electronic Life (Formally KAV and Home Connections) in Topeka and can help with all your antenna plus other electronical needs! For more information and pricing give them a call. 785-232-5966 (store) 785-221-0325 (cell)

I will be honest, the only time I have used my antenna is to watch SNL. I am basically now just using the ROKU. 

Once you get your ROKU you will want to go online and get a ROKU account. If you have more than one television, you will probably end up with more than one ROKU. You will use the one account to register all your ROKUs.

www.roku.com

My Account

Create Account

Once logged in go to My Account and you scroll down to see, My Linked Devices.

Click Link a Device

Type in the code that you see on your television screen.

Description or Name should be which room/tv the Roku is in. 

Now you are ready to use your ROKU.

You can add channels from the website or the ROKU. I find using the website easier.

On the website go to The Channel Store

Some channels require a monthly or annual fee so you will want to pay attention to that.  You can always remove a channel later, if you decide you don't want it.

So, if you have decided to go this far, take this time to shop and find the station that you want to install.

Once you have selected them, you then have to install them on each Roku by updating them. 

Part 3

Now you need to figure out just how much television you want. If you are fine with the antenna, then you are done. If you still want a little more here are the options available.

SLING is pretty cool. You still have to pay but it is affordable and you can get quite a few of your favorite channels.

NETFLIX is probably the most common and many people pay for Amazon Prime and have no clue how many free movies are available.

HULU has a lot of television shows.

Tons of FREE options on your ROKU.

Do you think you feel comfortable enough to call your cable company and cut the cord? 

When you contact your cable company they will offer you a special deal, it is up to you if you want to take it. I did not. I asked them to stop my cable on the next billing cycle date. Once they confirm that this will happen, ask to be transfered to billing. Once transfered, ask the represenative to check and see what your file says. Tell them you cancelled cable and it is supposed to be disconnected on whatever date the first person told you. They will review your file to make sure that your cable will not be disconnected immediately. Both times I cancelled my cable the first person told me it would be in two weeks but my file said immediately. This is just to double check if they actually did it correctly. Then you can ask billing if they can tell you what your next bill will be. Their answer will probably be, no but we actually contacted them to just verify that your subscription cancellation date is correct.

 

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