We ditched cable, and you should too!
When my son was born, about 5 years ago, the bills were stacking up. My husband was laid off from the local mill and I clearly was not working. We had to take some drastic measures to stay afloat. This included the normal cutting out Starbucks and frequent trips to the local craft store. And, cable.
Weighing the pros and cons was the most difficult part.
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Now, do not get me wrong, I love love love finding a good show or movie. I love relaxing after the little’s have (finally) went to bed. I even love just turning on the boob tube and letting it be my background noise. What I do not love? The cost. We were paying close to $230 a month! I tried everything I could think of to lower the bill by at least half. Customer service was a joke. So, I started the long process to see what my other options were. 5 years later, I am so happy that I did.
What I found was services like Netflix and Hulu. But that was not enough because now I needed a platform to watch those services.One thing I knew, my family was not going to huddle around the tablet or a phone when we all want to watch a movie! I compared a few a finally found one that might be worth a shot: ROKU.
It all starts somewhere.
To start, we opened the channel store and browsed the selections. As of today, there are 28 different categories to help you find exactly what you are looking for. Since we wanted to save as much as possible, I had to do some real digging before we downloaded too much!If you know nothing about ROKU, it works by streaming from the internet to your device (I started with the ROKU 1, base model). From there, your streaming options are almost limitless! They have many free channels, Like Crackle and PBS. A few pay to watch options as well, like HBO and STARS!
I found a category called TV Everywhere. The channels in this section let you use a paid subscription service to view the content. (Think DISH and Comcast) “Now, hold on there lady, I thought you were cutting the cable ENTIRELY??” Yes, I am. But, my dear ‘ol Ma and Pa are not. So, I politely used the login information (with EXPRESSED permission) and logged into each channel through the channel portal and entered the required.
(please note, there is no charge to use this service, it is included in the cost of most subscriptions)
Next, I simply passed my phone (that doubles as a remote, woo not so easy to lose now!) to my husband and kids and told them they could pick as long as it was free.
With the exception of three channels, we are now able to watch over 135 unique channels about anything from SYFY to comedy to cartoons! The only thing we pay for on a monthly basis is Netflix. Amazon Prime is annually, and The Western Channel was a pay once and have for life channel. So far, my monthly total is under $15, not including internet.
Now, I do have a few warnings:
Slow internet will affect this service. And at times, it will seem like the buffering will take forever.
The remote is kind of spendy to replace, so I recommend going to the app store and getting the official ROKU Remote app. it’s flawless!
And my last warning is:
Too much, in this case, is overwhelming. Sometimes, especially like now when I am writing, I just need background noise. Having 135 choices to look through is a lot and takes a long time. To avoid having to really search, I make sure that my Pandora is right near the top, third in.
My monthly blill for internet and T.V. streaming is $120. That is a $110 monthly average savings just by making a few small adjustments!
the best thing is that most of the channels you can find are COMPLETELY FREE to use if you have the paid subscription or are using a free channel! And, most shows air on your channel the next day. A few of my most watched shows come from this service. (Yes, Shameless is indeed on this list 🙂 )
What do you have to add? Do you know a better platform to stream with?
Clearly, I am proud to be part of the no cable club, but I am hoping to hear from you. Is there something that you think is better that I should try? I would love to get the scoop and hear about your experience!
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