Last fall we took the plunge and ended our love/hate relationship with DirecTV. We don’t watch a ton of TV, but it was nice to have the option to watch whatever sporting event we wanted or to have a dozen movies or random sitcoms available at all times. In the end, we couldn’t justify the expense of $80+ a month.
The first thing we did was put a digital antenna on our roof (I don’t remember how much this cost, but we have recouped the cost in our monthly savings). We have been impressed with how clear the channels come in. Our only complaint has been that sometimes ABC doesn’t come through very clearly, but we have heard from other people that for whatever reason, it seems to have a weak signal.
Even though we don’t have conventional cable, we have found lots of streaming options that are almost as good as having the real thing.
Sling TV is one of our favorite ways to watch cable without having cable. It lets you stream ESPN, TBS, TNT, AMC, and a handful of other channels on your phone or computer. We have an Apple TV, so we can stream it to our TV. The only downside is that you have to watch everything in real-time. But honestly, most of the things we want to watch are sports that make sense to watch real time.
One of our favorite things about Sling is that there are no strings attached. You don’t have to sign a contract. You can use it one month, take the next month off, and then use it again, with no penalties. It’s just $20/month. The only catch is that you have to remember to cancel it because it will automatically renew. We just set an alert in our phone to either cancel or renew it every month.
The thing I knew I would miss the most when we cut cable was the DVR. Even if we had an antenna, I very rarely watch TV shows in real time. Enter TiVO. If you buy their Roamio box, you can record your shows for a $15 monthly fee. I realized that almost all the shows I watch and record are on network TV.
Yes, I know you can stream them online with HuluPlus ($8/month) and if you wait a week after they are aired you can usually watch them for free. I love the convenience of recording and watching my shows whenever I want–and zipping through commercials!
We have also subscribed to HBO Now for $15/month, but like Sling TV, it is something we can easily pay for and use one month and cancel the next. So as soon as the finale of Game of Thrones airs, we will stop that subscription.
Yes, we are still paying for TV, but we average around $35 per month, which is less than half of what we paid for DirecTV, so we still come out ahead!
Is anyone else streaming TV with Sling TV, HuluPlus, or HBO Now?