Bills, bills, bills: Alternatives to Cable (or at least lowering cable bills)

When Benjamin Franklin said nothing is certain but death and taxes - he had no idea about the problems and headaches of cable and internet bills. This article is a summary of PSP member deliberation and discussion about Time Warner Cable (TWC), Leaf, Netflix, Apple TV, FiOS, and more…

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 Member responses to getting rid of cable:

 

“We are not rid of TWC entirely , but we pay them $60/ month for just high speed internet, and we still get all our shows and, arguably, loads more by:
* having dropped a one-time $99 for Apple TV and about $25 for a digital antenna that pulls in networks.
* paying $16/month combined for Netflix and Hulu Plus, which gets us nearly all we need, just one day later (I am still a sucker for top chef, so I do have to buy each season from apple, alas!).
So, for about $86/month, we watch nearly everything, have Internet and no longer rage against the injustice of an outrageous cable bill.” (March 2014)

 

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“ I can only add one thing: about 2 years ago, we completely dumped cable. We now have cable modem and VoIP phone only. We use Netflix too. That costs us about $100/month. I strongly recommend ditching live TV -- or even giving it a shot to see how you feel about it. Once we made the decision, we never went back..and don't regret it!” (March 2014)

 

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“ We didn't have cable, but we got a Mohu Leaf and it's working out great.  It seems like you have to get some sort of antenna like this to get network channels.” (March 2014)

 

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“We also got rid if cablevision but switched to their business plan for $60 a month. We got the leaf and it's been working great. I also feel somewhat liberated that we don't have all of those channels. We have Apple TV and have enjoying watching foreign movies.” (March 2014)

 

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“First, I suggest calling Time Warner Cable and asking for a new promotional rate for the services you want to keep. They'll generally give you a much better deal for 12 months without much complaint if you just ask. You just have to call them up again after 12 months and repeat. I was able to shave over $60/mo off my cable bill that way.  For high speed Internet, most of us have no choice but Time Warner. FiOS has a very small coverage area, and Verizon is not without their issues and drawbacks, either.” (March 2014)

 

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“We just got the Amazon version of the Mohu antenna. I was about to buy the Mohu but then realized that the Amazon one got similar reviews and cost Half the price.  So far, it is fairly decent. We get all the major network channels, and they mostly come in perfectly. Sometimes I have to wiggle the antenna to get NBC. We also live on the 6th floor of an apartment building, face south and have no big buildings blocking us from the sky. I imagine being on a ground floor apartment would be totally different.
Honestly, I wish I'd realized this was an option before now. For $22 I can watch regular old tv without paying huge fees. Life would be complete if my husband could watch the Yankees channel, but otherwise I think we are pretty happy.” (March 2014)

 

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Some technical advice:  "All TVs have a tuner. just connect an antenna (HDTV) to get the usual 18-20 "Over The Air” (OTA) channels… If you use a computer, you can use Aereo as well. it’s a web service that plays all OTA channels, works great, and also allows you to record 2 shows at once.” (March 2014)

 

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“One of our TVs is a Smart TV so we didn't even need Apple TV to get Netflix and Hulu - and instead of an antenna (which we may do) I watch the network shows on my laptop from their network websites (not all shows have deals with Hulu and Netflix). So check your TV it might be Smart TV enabled and then all you need is to plug the Ethernet into the TV (higher speed than using WiFi).” (March 2014)