A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life
Just because you are cutting the cord with cable does not mean you will not be able to watch all the shows you currently love to watch. Meg and I made the decision to attempt to live without cable. I knew there would be some challenges, both technical and entertainment-wise, so I am offering my step-by-step plan. As always, I will keep you up to date with our progress.
1. Buy a Leaf HD antenna
This HD antenna allows you to receive local channels (here in Boston this means 2, 4, 5, 7, 25, 38, 56 and a few other channels that I have no idea what they are). The instructions for setting up, selecting a location for the antenna and scanning your stations are easy. Our antenna is hung just below our window in the living room, and we get consistent reception on channels 4, 5 and 7, which is really all we were looking for.
2. Determine which streaming devise you want to use
For my analysis there were really only 2 options: Roku or Apple TV. After reading several reviews and talking with people who use both, Meg and I settled on the Apple TV. One reason that led us to select Apple is that all of our other devices are Apple products (iPhone, iPad, laptops), so the integration is great. I love the ability to use AirPlay and stream from my iPad or laptop onto the TV (this comes in handy with our internet provider).
3. Order up your monthly services
We selected Netflix and HuluPlus. Each of these services are $7.99 a month, and allow us access to movies and TV shows.
4. Select your local internet provider
I was originally with Verizon FIOS and as my Facebook post a few weeks back attests to, they were less than helpful when I called to inquire about internet only services. I ended up selecting RCN for our service. We were able to get 110 Mbps connection speed for the same price as 50 Mbps (upgrading from the 25 Mbps connection we had with Verizon). Even though the installation took a little longer than expected due to some issues with the router, the tech did a great job troubleshooting and I have no complaints so far with the service. Additionally, RCN offers access to ESPN3 and WatchABC through your laptop (unfortunately these do not work on iPads or iPhones).
5. Load up your Nook or Kindle with lots of extra books
Just the other night Meg and I were looking on Hulu for something to watch. What we realized is that there is a lot of crap on TV. When you have to sit down and decide what you want to watch without the ability to just surf through 500 channels of garbage, you realize that you might want to do something besides watch TV. So, why not catch up on some of those books you have been meaning to read? We actually both downloaded the GoodReads app for our phones, and I recommend it if you are ever in that situation of wondering what book to read next.
6. Get ready to enjoy the outside more
Once the spring weather comes to Boston we will fill our time with walks, hikes and bike rides with the dogs. Maybe a few extra trips to the beach this year. Maybe just hanging out by the lake for some dinner picnics.
There are a few things that have not been perfect so far. The TV in our bedroom is so old that it is not HD and cannot get the digital signals without a converter box. So far we have used the iPad to watch TV before heading to bed. We also have not found all of the shows we used to like to watch online. I continue to search and will let you know what we find.
So, does cutting the cord to cable sound like something for you? If it does, I hope that this post will help you navigate some of the steps to successfully get there.