How to Ditch Cable TV

It has been almost a year now since we ditched cable and started watching TV a new and much less expensive way. We haven’t looked back a day since.

Our family decided it was worth the try to explore other ways to watch TV and it seems we are not alone. Our local garbage man says he sees more and more cable dishes at the side of the road every week.

Here’s what we did.

Before we cancelled our cable, we invested in an Apple TV box and a Roku box and thought we’d try this thing out before officially making the switch. 

They each cost under $100 and we purchased them from Amazon. (We have Amazon Prime, so we get free two day shipping too.)

When they arrived, I was expecting some complicated set up that I would need my husband, the computer guy, to handle. Wrong! I set them both up by myself in a snap.

They only require connecting one cord from the box to the TV. That’s my kind of set up! We set up the Apple TV in the living room and the Roku in our bedroom. Each TV will need a box, just like cable, but you only pay for them once, there is no monthly fee. You own them outright and no contracts are involved.

Next step was to find the input button on your TV remote and click through to find the auxiliary setting for your Apple TV or Roku. It took about 10 seconds. Voila!

Then we had to register our Apple TV with our iTunes, Netflix, and Hulu accounts and our Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon accounts on the Roku box. (Apple TV doesn’t have Amazon access.)

Each box directed us to enter our log in information for each account with the click of a button. Easy!

Whats the difference between Apple TV and Roku?

The difference between Apple TV and Roku is that Roku features Amazon, which allows us to watch thousands of shows and movies from our Amazon Prime account. We like that.

Our Apple TV allows us to “airplay” anything we are viewing on our iPads and MacBooks, and we think that’s pretty cool. We can airplay our vacation photos, or play tv shows from anywhere on the internet.

Duck Dynasty for example has full episodes on A&E’s website, so we would sometimes stream them from there. But, since it’s one of my favorite shows, I went ahead and bought the season on Amazon Prime, so I get all the new shows the next day.

How can you get local news without cable?

To get local news, we bought a digital TV antenna for under $20 at Target and just plugged it into the back of our TV. We get crystal clear local news. I can watch the morning local weather report or 5pm or 11pm local update with no problem.

We officially cancelled our cable within the first month of using our new system. The cost benefits clearly won the contest. The cost for the equipment has already paid for itself and I have not regretted changing the way we watch TV for even one minute. It was a great decision for our family.

Total cost for equipment was $200 (equal to 2 months cable bill, and NO contract by the way). We spend $23 per month on Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime combined.We have purchased a few seasons of our favorite shows that aren’t available for free until next season.

Big Bang Theory, for example, cost us $20 for the year. Still much less than cable. We don’t have access to the shows until the next day some times, but, If it costs $80 more per month to watch a show on the night it airs instead of the next night, then, we can wait the extra day.

If you’re interested in getting rid of cable tv costs and trying out this new way to watch TV, I hope you’ll give this strategy a try.