How I Kicked Cable TV and cut the Cord in 2012: Part Two – The Plan

As  I detailed in this post, we had been thinking of ditching cable TV for a while and finally reached the tipping point about a week ago.

We have both had cable TV almost our entire lives and had the ability to time-shift programs for at least six years using Tivo.  Don’t get me wrong, we love Tivo and would still have the service if we intended to keep cable TV.  I can’t remember the last time we watched a show live or even looked at a TV guide and it has been wonderful.  We just told Tivo the shows we liked and watched whatever it had recorded the previous day.  We even chose to delay watching football games about 45 minutes just to be able to fast forward though the commercials.

When it came time to find a cable alternative we knew we wanted the time-shifting ability.  Now there are so many shows and movies available on demand for a flat monthly fee we thought that just maybe we didn’t need to worry about a DVR anymore.

Our Goals
1.  Watch TV within a day of broadcast
2.  Watch movies within a year of broadcast
3.  Have access to all of our favorite shows
4.  Be able to time shift anything we are watching

This would be incredibly simple if Hulu Plus had deals with all of the TV content providers.  You’d need a relatively high-speed internet connection. Then you’d just use hardware to stream media from your computer to your TV.  Content would come from Hulu Plus for current TV and movies would come from Netflix.  In fact, for many people this solution would be great right now.  They could cut their cable bill significantly and receive all the same TV plus a lot more movies.  For other folks with very basic cable, they would be able to receive many times more high quality content than they currently get for about the same cost.

The killer for us is that we apparently don’t like the same shows that most Americans do.  So to get the programs we look forward to the most we are going to have to do some extra work.

Below is a chart comparing our existing system to what we are in the process of assembling right now.  Once we’ve had some time to test it out, I’ll report back with what works and what doesn’t.

This system is going to have some drawbacks for us:
1.  We are going to be paying about the same amount.  Yes, we will get A LOT more stuff to watch but that isn’t a priority.  We already have more to watch than we ever do.
2.  We are going to have to put up with commercials on Hulu Plus.
3.  We may not have access to all the shows we want to watch.
4.  Live sports may be a real problem.

If you are interested in the options we looked into before deciding to try this plan, please read this post.  Check back later to see how this system worked out.  Better yet, subscribe to this blog through your favorite social media site so you’ll know exactly when we update.

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6 thoughts on “How I Kicked Cable TV and cut the Cord in 2012: Part Two – The Plan

    1. As of April our choices are: have no cable, get a converter box and gimp our Tivo or try to switch over. As I mentioned to LA, we may find after a month or so of on-demand TV that we don’t really watch TV at all. I think going from having shows pushed to us to having to remember when new shows come out is going to kill a lot of our dinnertime TV – maybe all of it.

      The reasons to try it are: a lot more content for the price, better picture quality (so far in my testing), it is what is coming (I think cable TV will die or it will become a la carte at least.), I think there will be more and more things that I’ll want to share seamlessly between computer and TV (I’ve already seen this in action with folks that have iPads.), it really isn’t too much of a hassle (The biggest hassle has been figuring out what to try. That is why I’m sharing what I find.), and it has been a cheap experiment. So far all I’ve spent is the $100 on the Roku. Many people could do the same thing for about 1/2 that price with a cheaper Roku. We’ll see if any of the pay services are worthwhile and you’ll hear more about them in my next update on this subject.

  1. When I bought my home, I went over a year without TV or Internet (I’m very proud of this). Anyway, now I have internet and channels 3 thru 13, or something like that… I have encountered the live sports problem on several occasions, but since the only sport I really care to watch is college football, it hasn’t been bad at all. For some reason, Comcast give me channels 3 thru 13 and the internet for less than it would cost if I just had internet with no TV channels, I don’t know why they do it like that, but for some reason they have with me. So I can watch games on CBS or ABC on the TV, and since my internet is thru comcast, I have access to ESPN3.com, so I can watch most any game that is on ABC of ESPN thru that. It’s worked out fine for me. Oddly enough the games streamed from the internet look better than the ones I watch on TV, because my computer is hooked up to the tv, and ESPN3.com is in HD…

    1. We were in a situation similar to you except we never watched anything live. The biggest difference between us is that you have a digital TV which is a big help in this situation. So far I’ve found the quality of the shows pulled from the internet to have a better picture quality than what we were getting though cable too. You’ll probably see a big difference when they swap you over to digital cable.

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