Our Journey In Dropping Cable TV

As I have talked about this among friends they have asked me how it is going and what we are doing. There are a lot of people who do not have cable TV and for different reasons. For our family we realized we really only watched about 10 -12 channels and just surfed. We asked ourselves the question “Why are we paying $70 bucks a month for 12 channels of nothing on?” So we decided to drop our cable TV.

Here is our process.

The first thing we had to do was to upgrade our internet. We still had a slow DSL connection and it would not be able to handle streaming. We now have a year of high speed internet ( not the highest ) for half of what we were paying and after the year is up it will be the same price as what we were paying. Next we got an indoor antenna for our TV. I went with the Leaf Indoor antenna (http://www.gomohu.com/the-leaf-indoor-hdtv-antenna/ ) It had good rating and did not have the ugly rabbit ears that stick up. This sets behind the TV and you cannot see it – very easy to install. So we have local channels that we can watch in HD now and that helps. We then added Netflix and HuluPlus. Both are the streaming options and are $8.00 per month each. I also can hook my computer up to the TV to watch anything from a network site if I want to.

Let me say this is not for everyone. We are not huge sports people so we pick up enough channels to meet our needs. If you are a big sports person than your options are more limited. It took us about a week to settle in to this routine and I will admit I had the hardest time. I was used to just coming in and hitting the remote and surfing mindlessly. I have noticed we watch TV a little less, but not much. The big difference is that we are more intentional on what we watch and when. Also you need to know it takes more effort get to a program and get it set up. However, we are enjoying the system and it is not bad once you adjust.  Not everything is available on Netflix or HuluPlus, be there is enough. Add in the ability to watch over the computer and you can see almost everything.

Our family really loves British sitcoms and there are not a lot of them out there for streaming. We already have a small collection of DVD’s so we can watch them. Also, twice a year Barnes and Nobles runs their Brit Com’s on half price and we can buy a few along the way. You can also rent movies from RedBox or the library.

Bottom line: This is a good move for us at the moment. I am not saying we will never go back to cable, but this is working for us. I think TV is in a transition just like newspapers and magazines and will continue to be for a few years. More people are wanting to watch what they want – when they want. Have fun and as the old saying goes “ your milage my vary”.


About Mark LaGrone

Discipleship and Assimilation Pastor at Collierville First Baptist Church outside of Memphis, TN.
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5 Responses to Our Journey In Dropping Cable TV

  1. Ben Adkison says:

    Didn’t know you had a blog before this one, but thought I’d check it out when I saw you tweet about dropping cable. We’ve been cable-less for several years. We use a Roku & Hulu plus to watch tv shows. It works pretty well, but I do wish the processing power in the Roku was a little better, sometimes things load too slow or “trip out” (where as my computer works great, so it’s not a bandwidth issue). We’re not big movie watchers, so we don’t do Netflix. Occasionally when we do catch a movie, we rent through Amazon via the Roku. One of these days I’m going to turn a macmini into a full time media center.

    • Mark LaGrone says:

      I still have my type pad account up for a little while longer. I never could get everything converted so I just started over here.

      As always you are ahead of me!! I am also thinking about using the Mac Mini and a bluetooth keyboard – I think that is a wining combination. I looked at the Roku but decided I did not really need it with this set up since the TV has internet. We actually use the Netflix more for TV shows than movies and I like the no adverts.

  2. melissa says:

    Mark…what are you using for your highspeed Internet? Gary’s interested in doing what you’ve done….the Comcast is WAY too high.

  3. I have been thinking of dropping cable this year. I already have a Mac Mini hooked up to my AV system and to be honest we use that and our Blue-Ray player more then the cable box. I also have a Roku for the bedroom (we take it with us also on trips). The Mac Mini covers all my options, Hulu-Netflix-Amazon Prime and the newtwork sites, plus Slacker, Tune in and I tunes for music. I thought about getting the Leaf (how is it). My wife is almost sold on the idea, I told her the few shows that we like that I can not get on line for free we can buy the whole season on Itunes or amazon Prime for less then a few months of cable.

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