Life Without Cable

by Katie on September 26, 2014

Many Americans have decided to cut their landlines and instead use mobile devices at home. In addition to cutting phone landlines, many Americans have also decided to cut their subscriptions to cable or satellite TV, as they have found alternate ways to stream movies and TV at home via smartphones and tablets. About 2 years ago we cut the cable cord and have not looked back!

Why Did We Decide to Go Cable Free?

We were paying almost $50.00 a month for VERY basic cable with a service that was unpredictable in rain, snow or wind.  We also very rarely watched any channels except the main stations (NBC, ABC, PBS, CBS, FOX).  Basically, we felt like we were not seeing $50.00 worth of value in our cable so we decided to bite the bullet and cancel our service.

What Do We Use Instead of Cable?

We have a $7.99 subscription to Netflix streaming service. We had this while we had cable too. We use this to watch older TV series, documentaries and sometimes movies. They also have a great selection of kid shows and movies for the kids.

After we got rid of cable we subscribed to Hulu Plus (7.99 a month). The great thing about Hulu is that they run shows a day after they air so we can stay caught up with  Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Parenthood and Modern Family. I’m not super impressed with their movie selection or kid shows but being able to watch current shows only a day late makes this subscription so worth it.

How Do We Stream?

We bought a Roku about a year ago and had been using that on our downstairs TV to stream Netflixs. When we decided to get rid of cable we moved the Roku upstairs to our bedroom and bought an AppleTV ($99.00) to use for streaming in the family room. I also stream a lot of shows for the kids when we are out and and about for the kids on my iPhone using  the reliability of U.S. Cellular’s 4G LTE network.

What About Local Channels?

I love to watch the news and the morning talk shows so I knew that we would without a doubt want to figure out a way to still get our local channels.  Our downstairs TV would not receive any local stations and our TV upstairs has a built-in antenna and some stations came in but the quality was not great. We ended up buying 2 antennas (we actually bought the cheapest ones they had at $14.99 each and they work great) and hooked them up to both of our TVs. We now get about 20 stations including all of our local stations that come in with a wonderful picture.

Would We Recommend Going Cable Free?

Absolutely. Smartphones and tablets have reduced the need to fully depend on a remote control to find your favorite TV show, sporting event or a movie. We seriously have not missed having cable for one single second. I really thought I would miss not having a DVR, but in reality we very rarely sat and watched a TV episode on the day it actually aired so waiting an extra day for it to come on Hulu Plus is no big deal.

The only time that I think we might miss cable is during College Football season. We are big Iowa Hawkeye fans and most of their games air on the Big Ten network. Anybody else given up cable but found a way to watch their favorite college team?

As the Fall TV gets underway make sure you and your kids  are on the same page about your families TV viewing rules.  Let U.S. Cellular make it easier by using the Parent/Child Cell Phone Agreement to set some ground rules.

I am part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade. I received an Apple iPhone5S and am being compensated for my time.

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