View Full Version : Cutting the cable/satellite cable

Larry Browning
01-25-2016, 3:32 PM
I have been intrigued for several years now about dropping cable/satellite TV but I continue to run into stumbling block that prevent me form doing it.
I currently have DirecTV with 2 "satellite" receivers in the bedrooms. We also have 2 Rokus with a Netflix and Amazon Prime memberships. We have the basic plan with one of the sports packages added on. I don't remember the exact amount we are paying each month, but I think it approaches $100 a month. We also have Cox for internet and land line phone I think that is also approaching $100 a month. I am rapidly approaching retirement and my income is going to drop significantly, so I am looking to find ways to cut expenses.
Here is my list of stumbling blocks. (That I can think of off the top of my head)

1) Live Sports (this is probably my biggest issue)
I Know I can get "some" events via OTA and others through ESPN if I sign up for Sling TV. Through satellite we receive Fox Sports Southwest which carry my beloved Texas Rangers that I watch most every game on through baseball season, I have not found any way of replacing this. MLB.com is not an option here due to the Rangers are always blacked out. Also, I know I would miss quite a bit of college football, basketball and even baseball.

2) Real time TV guide showing what is on TV right now and in the future. Currently this is pretty hassle free and the wife says she just can't live without it. There is no such thing for OTA and from what I have seen Sling TV's version of the guide is almost unusable. I realize that the guide will become less needed if we go to mostly streaming TV, but this is still an issue.

3) Hassle factor. With Cable or Satellite we can just turn on the TV and stuff starts playing. So if you just want some background noise it is one button push away. Not so with streaming services. Also, with multiple services like OTA, Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, there is the process of switching between these services, and each one have a different interface and then trying to figure out which service carries that one particular show. etc... I could expand on this a bit more, but I think you get the idea.

4) SWMBO is now retired and likes to have the TV on different afternoon stuff geared for women, like the judge shows and Real housewives, pretty much stuff that I have the leave the room for, cause I can't stand them, but she sort of feels the same way about live sports, so it evens out.

5) I think Sling TV is not all what it is cracked up to be either. My understanding is that you can only watch it on one TV at a time, so if we wanted to watch TV in 2 different rooms, we would have to have 2 accounts. Might as well keep Satellite.

6) It just seems that even with cutting the cable, you have to watch out for things adding up. Ten dollars for this service, 20 for that, oh, gotta buy a new gizmo to get that feature. Pretty soon you are back where you started with paying too much for TV.

Does anyone have a way to get by some of these roadblocks?

I know that on some of this stuff I am just going have to get over it, and decide I have to change my attitude in order to switch over. I have to decide if being able to watch every Rangers game is really worth what I have to pay to do it.

Jim Koepke
01-25-2016, 4:02 PM
Does anyone have a way to get by some of these roadblocks?

I know your road all too well. SWMBO wants to watch a lot of programs I think of as trash. I mean really, who wants to watch brides buying a wedding dress that makes the father paying for it squirm. She can not survive much more than a day if she is deprived of TV.

There is very little on TV that appeals to me. Most of the time I listen to music out in the shop. Since radio reception is rather limited in my location it is my own broadcast via an iPod and a low wattage FM transmitter.


Lee Schierer
01-25-2016, 4:19 PM
Since you have Directv satellite, they are offering a nice bundle price with AT&T cell phones and perhaps a land line. Our DSL via verizon land line is about half what cable charges for internet access.

David Masters
01-25-2016, 4:19 PM
With the exception of live sports on the cable channels, a newer Tivo device might work for you. In the last two years, Tivo has done a good job integrating various streaming services with OTA programming. The Tivo service costs $15 a month, and you would still have to pay separately for each streaming service, but you can search for a program or movie and Tivo will search the local broadcast schedule and all streaming services it supports. Each Tivo requires a separate subscription, additional Tivo's are at a minor discount. Another option is to use Tivo Mini's for which there is no subscription cost, but steals a tuner when watching live TV through them. The Mini's steal the tuner only when needed, and the OTA model Tivo has 4 tuners.

We were paying nearly $100 a month for Direct TV and with all fees added (Tivo subscription, Netflix, and Amazon Prime), we are down to $32 a month, but we would pay for Netflix and Amazon Prime even if we had cable.

After all that, I would recommend you stay with Direct TV and negotiate a better price. When I cancelled Direct TV, I was offered a $30 no contract plan to stay. I didn't because I was committed to try life without cable, and I was a bit put off that they offered to cut my cost rather than keep my cost lower. Additionally, Direct TV was just bought by AT&T, they seem interested in drawing customers. They just announced a lower Direct TV price with an unlimited wireless data plan as a promotion. You might see if that will benefit you.


Bert Kemp
01-25-2016, 4:24 PM
sounds like your stuck with what you have, if your not willing to make a few sacrifices to save money then pay the bills. My total bills for everything is $70 a month. Thats internet and a smart phone. I watch all my tv on the net I see all the live sports I want and if theres something I can't find free online streaming well I don't get to watch it. I was able to watch my Pats get beat live on the net but AI couldn't find a free stream for the AZ game so I listened to it on internet radio. Which wasn't so bad as I got a lot of housework done LOL CBS will stream the SB live so thats allset.