Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Cutting the Cord

Most everyone has cable. Every couple of months it goes up. Not a lot, a few dollars here and few dollars there. After a while you realize that your cable bill is damn near a mortgage payment.

It started almost a year ago when Time Warner (TW) started charging for "leasing" their cable modem. I've had the same modem for almost five years and now they want $5/month to lease it. After talking to a few people, I discovered that you can use your own cable modem. I went to TW's website and found a list of modems that are supported. I bought one on Amazon. Do your homework as prices can vary quite a bit. I wanted one that if I ever upgraded my internet speed the modem could handle it. It took about 15 minutes to set up. You have to call TW and give them the MAC address of the new modem. Make sure you return the old modem to avoid still being charged for it.

I work from home two days a week and some days spend 3-4 hours in meetings so having a land line is essential. Using my cell phone would eat my minutes up in a couple of days. So, I started doing some research on VoIP phones.  A few days later had a Ooma as one of their daily deals. I snapped it up. I liked that Consumer Reports gave them a good rating. An added plus was that when you register your device you enter your address and it can be used by 911 to determine your location. It is now $40 to port your existing phone number. They said it would take a month. More like a week and there was no loss of service. You get emails from them at every step and know when things are going to happen and are done. They even notified TW to cancel their phone service for you. The call quality is excellent and have never had an issue with it. All I pay for is taxes which comes to $3.71/month. That saved me $30/month

TV service is where things took a bit longer. I started out by making a list of what I DVR'ed. Everything I watched except Finding Bigfoot (which I may break down and get on iTunes, unless some kind soul will let me watch it at their house) is available for free. I can either watch most shows live or stream from the networks websites. 

I've had Netflix for years so I can use that as an option for some shows

I had a digital antenna I got when the gov't was giving them out for free several years ago. TW was giving them out for free, so you may want to ask them if they sill are giving them out. Otherwise you can get one at Target or Best Buy for $20. If your tv is newer it may already be built in. I already had a Roku player. That can get lots of channels including Netflix/ Hulu. There are several options available.

My DVD player was about 10-ish years old (it was a PJ’s raffle one from like 2002) so for $75 I bought a blue ray that has internet and Netflix built in. It can get several other channels as well. I have a Wii and stream Netflix from there as well.

My laptop is older and does not have an HDMI port so I bought a little converter on Amazon. I can connect the laptop to my tv and stream network shows from there if I want to watch something that has already aired.If you have an HDMI port on a laptop, you can stream using a cable to the tv without the converter

One of the biggest things I watched on cable was sports. Namely the Brewers games. Come next baseball season I can stream from any of the devices. If you are wanting to watch your local team they are delayed. So I found a website that will switch your IP address for $25/year so you can get the games live instead of on delay. The Brewers season ended on Sept 29th. I returned my cable box on the 30th. 

My last cable bill was $143/month. Next month it will be about $53. I call that a huge win to my pocket book