I did it! I broke up with cable and haven’t ever felt better! The old cliché’ that states “breaking up is hard to do” really does sum it up for me. I have been wanting to cut the cord for over a year now and have had a hard time just letting go. I don’t really know why, nothing good came out of my relationship . Every month I was slapped with a bill and all I could think is they are getting more out of this relationship than I am. But I did it!! I dumped him and there is no looking back. Freedom at last aster la vista cable!
I have spent hours and hours researching my options looking fro was out of the cable relationship. Just like with a bad relationship you don’t want to leave yourself alone so you hang on until you have found the next best thing. Well I have found my cable version of Mr. Right ad he is so much better for me!
Silliness aside here is what I did
I started with a Roku box. I have read many great reviews about it. With it’s promise of thousands of free channels I thought for a one time fee this may be my best bet. I bought one and eagerly tested him out. Although it did do what it “said” and did provide me with lot’s of options he just wasn’t enough to satisfy me. Had I not had bad boy cable to fill my needs he may have satisfied me but once you have cable it’s hard to let go of all the bells and whistles. Roku does have tons of movies and streaming TV to offer unfortunately it’s not all of the movies and channels I want to watch. I felt the movie selection was fair but nothing to get excited about and nothing that I couldn’t pick up and rent for free from my local library.
I did however find there are a few tricks to Roku that the average Joe would overlook. The Roku comes with set channels but if you do a quick Google search fro Roku Private Channels you will find there are many more FREE channels that you can add into your Roku box for free. One site I found that can be added in for free is Justintv.com. Just in TV seemed to be the best one worth watching but the picture quality was poor. But in all honesty I did not have it set up with an HDMI cable so that could be the issue. Overall I would say the Roku would be a good choice for someone that does not currently have cable and therefor will not know what they are missing. I think a ROKU box would be perfect for my family’s camp house where we currently do not have cable and although my mother in law has more dvds and vhs tapes than the local library this would make life easier than fumbling thru them all. The Roku does offer a good selection of movies to choose from but the movies aren’t the latest hits. The plus side of the Roku is it does have Netflix, Pandora and Crackle built into it so that is a great plus. I definitely think we will enjoy having Pandora up at our camp.
I know a lot of people that want to buy the ROKU just for the reason of having everything built into one device. They want to be able to access Netflix without a Wii or PlayStation. Most people do not realize that most Blue ray players do the same. I own a Vizio Blue Ray Player that I got at Target over a year ago on clearance fro 75% off. I can’t remember the exact price I paid but I think it was about 37.00. The Vizio Blue Ray player has all the same features built in (Pandora, Netflix , VUDU, Crackle etc.) with the added benefit of playing Blue Ray videos and DVD’s.
Although Roku did not fulfill my needs I still would say it is a good product that can satisfy some people it just wasn’t enough for me to cut cable.
Next I decided to give Netflix a try. With a one month free trial I figured I can’t go wrong. I signed up and am very happy with it but in 29 days I will need to spend $7.95 a month to keep up the relationship. I am not sure I will stay with them as the goal for me is FREE I will update you on that next month.
The movie selection with Netflix is much better than what Roku has to offer but Roku is free once you purchase the unit. Netflix has no upfront cost per say but a monthly fee.
The only problem I foresee is that although Netflix has tons of channels to keep my kids satisfied it does not provide me with the basic television shows that we watch as a family. Our family are huge Big Brother fans and with it being only season 8 we were not ready to cut any cords in the peek of the series especially with Boogie and Janelle in the house.
So my next issue was how can I still watch our favorite networks on the big screen TV in my family room and still say “ buh bye! “ to cable. This issue was easier than I thought and had I just set my mind to it months ago I would have saved enough for another big screen this BF. The next option was the easiest and least expensive. A simple HDMI cable was my answer. CBS airs episodes of Big Brother and other shows on their websites. You can watch them from your computer a day after they air at the latest. That would work if it was just me but the idea of all of us scrunched in front of my computer just doesn’t seem appealing . So Listen up this is easier than I thought, you all know I am not techy so if I can do this you can do this. Grab yourself an HDMI cable. If you do not have one the best place to get one for the lowest price is Amazon. Take your HDMI cable and plug it into your laptop or PC. Now take the other end of the HDMI cable and plug it into your TV. Presto! PC to TV. You may need to adjust your TV settings to be in HDMI 1 or 2. This process took me under 5 minutes to get up and running and less than that to start streaming Big Brother onto my TV.
So that my friends is the easiest and least expensive way to break up with cable. If you have the HDMI already the cost is zero(as long as you have high speed interne that is) .This method is great despite my teenage coach potato daughter protests that thinks she can not live without cable and that she won’t be able to watch her favorite shows it is possible. Kelsie is a reality junkie so as soon as she said well you can get CBS but you want be able to get TLC and god forbid she lives without her daily dose of Cake Boss and Hoarders, within seconds I typed into Google TLC and clicked hoarders and poof there it was on the TV Ha ha I win! Everything she wants at the comfort of her finger tips.
The only inconvenience you may have with the HDMI PC to TV option is the cord. If you don’t like cords as most of us do not this may be a pain which is why I just order the wireless PC to TV converter. A wireless PC to TV converter allows you to stream from your PC to TV wirelessly. This will work great in my family room since we have desk top and big screen in the same room so know we can set this up with no wires to trip over and watch it all on the big screen.
Once my wireless converter shows up I will do a review on how well that went as well as let you know if my children are still alive. Right now they are whining that they will just die without cable!
Stay tuned we shall see!!