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Join in the President’s Day Sale frenzy and grab some awesome online deals in Electronics at Amazon.
President’s Day Savings in Electronics at Amazon
Some of the Savvy Sleuth’s favorite deals…
OtterBox Defender Series Case with Screen Protector and Stand for the New iPad (4th Generation), iPad 2 and 3 – Black
Over 50% Off and the best price I’ve seen for this case!
Black color is the only one priced at $43 with Free Shipping, regularly $89.
Kensington Apple iPad 2 KeyFolio Pro Performance Case For iPad 4 with Retina Display, New iPad (3rd Gen) and iPad 2 (K39357US)
Over 50% Off with Free Shipping!
Deals in Computers & Accessories
Yamaha RX-V373 5.1-Channel AV Receiver
Over 40% Off – $177 with Free Shipping!
Features 4 HDMI ports and 3D ready.
Monster Ncredible Ntune On-Ear Headphones
As low as $67.97 with Free Shipping.
Check Amazon Marketplace sellers for best price.
Samsung UN32EH4003 32-inch 720p 60Hz LED HDTV (Black)
$278 with Free Shipping!
3D Video Wizard Console with 2 Pack of 3D Adult Glasses
Add 3D capabilities to your 2D TV!
Only $43.40 with Free Shipping, this is a fun addition to any home theater set-up.
Cutting the cord with cable takes a bit of planning.
You have to figure out what over-air channels are available in your area, find an antenna (indoor or outdoor) set-up that can pull those channels to your TV, and then find ways to obtain the programming you’ll be missing from other sources.
These are 6 sources I’m using for programming that offer up the best bang for my buck.
(Note they may not work the same way for you depending upon your lifestyle, location, home network (wifi) set-up, and the equipment (HDTV, PC, streaming devices) in your home.)
Netflix: A monthly subscription service that I highly recommend to anyone who loves movies and documentaries. Streaming only; no DVD rental addition is needed, only $7.99 a month for unlimited streaming of great programming, and it works on multiple devices at the same time.
Start your Netflix FREE trial today!
You can also share it with your whole family. For example if you have a student in college, they can use the same Netflix account to stream content that you are using at home. It’s not IP address specific! The options for viewing Netflix on all kinds of devices are great too. I have apps on my iPad, Kindle, and smartphone, and two Roku boxes that stream it to my TVs. My Windows PC has it built into the Windows Media Player and I have it on my Nintendo Wii game console. The best picture comes through streaming via Roku.
HuluPlus: A monthly subscription fee of $7.99 after an initial free trial period, HuluPlus gives you network programs in addition to movie offerings.
There is a FREE option of Hulu, but with HuluPlus offering so much more, it’s a no-brainer to upgrade.
HuluPlus is excellent for watching network programming that you don’t have with your over-air channel set-up. They don’t have near the movie offering that Netflix does, but the two offer the best of both worlds and are easily streamed to compatible devices. The HuluPlus apps from iTunes and the Amazon AppStore are free and work well.
PlayOn: A subscription that you purchase monthly, yearly or a lifetime subscription license. I recommend that if you can you try this one out for free first, before you make your purchase. Why? It may or may not run smoothly on your PC depending upon the computer’s age, operating system, hardware and high-speed Internet connection speed.
PlayOn installs on your PC, and runs as a server, streaming content to a PlayOn enabled device. I have it on my Wii – directions available at the PlayOn site – and installed on my Roku as a channel. In order to use it, my PC has to be on for PlayOn to work, and it does use significant resources. My PC has an Intel Core i7 processor with Windows 7 64-bit OS running, and can handle it. Others may find it glitchy and frustrating.
On the upside, if it does work for you you can get a whole lot of channels (55 with free plugins for more available) for very little money!
PlayOn comes with a 30-Day money back guarantee and you can get channels like: DIY, Discovery, Disney, History, MTV, CNN, TBS, Science, Travel Channel, Fox News and NHL, just to name a few.
A site called PlayOnScripts offers scripts that are easily added to your PlayOn interface which open up even more programming options! They are free, and users rate them which helps as a guide for choosing ones that will work for you.
With PlayOn you can also download shows from Netflix (put in your Netflix subscription info into the PlayOn dashboard) and save them as MP4 video files. You can then share those files with others on your home network or to devices like iPads by using compression software such as Free Studio Manager (Google it…).
Be aware that a lifetime license may not be the best deal as when new channels are added, they aren’t covered on your lifetime license. Also, if you purchase a 1 year license at the current Winter Sale rate of $24.99, next year they’ll likely offer you a $19.99 a year rate.
Amazon Instant Video: For newly released movies and premium channel series (per episode or for a whole season), I choose Amazon. The prices are good, and they occasionally have sales that make stocking up on movies even cheaper. I just have to remember they are in my rentals and watch them before they expire!
Amazon Instant Video
The few times I’ve had issues with the quality of streaming from Amazon, they’ve given me a free movie credit, which is also why I continue to use them.
Vudu: Instant in 1080p with 7.1 Dolby Digital sound, get new releases to rent or purchase from Vudu.
Vudu plays on game systems, Roku, PC, iPad and Android devices.
You only pay for what you watch and there are no late fees or subscriptions.
The 1080P quality and 7.1 Dolby Digital sound is what sets Vudu appart.
Thousands of movies for only $2 for 2 nights.
Watch HD Movies Instantly with Vudu.com – Sign up for Free!
iTunes: An option for TV series and movies to be streamed to Apple TV, iPad, iPod Touch and other Apple devices. They rarely offer deals, but have a great selection of content.
Photo credit: x-ray delta one / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Day 1 – No Cable
It’s been 3 hours with no cable, and while I’ve not had time to watch TV, I miss it.
I’m already pining over the loss of Showtime’s Californication, Nurse Jackie and The Big C, because I know that I no longer have access to those channels.
I’m like a toddler who has had her security blanket ripped from her clutches and now stands sobbing at her mother’s hem asking “Why?”
Mohu MH-004092 Leaf Ultimate Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna
has replaced Charter Cable’s feed to my HDTV, and I’ve tuned in my local over air HD channels instead of grabbing TV signals through the cable box.
It should be liberating to save big bucks, but right now, it just feels wrong.
I’m used to overpaying for TV. It’s the one area in my life that spending too much just seems dare I say ‘normal’. Something that we all do to maintain familial peace and avoid engaging in conversation.
Why Cut the Cord?
I was irked when my 2yr locked in ‘deal’ price from Charter Cable was boosted by 30%, but it wasn’t unexpected, I knew it was coming.
I assumed that like so many times before I’d simply give Charter a call, and casually mention that I’d been considering changing to satellite. It had always worked, if not online, in person at the local office. I’d almost immediately be offered another 6 to 12 month deal – similar to the one I had just lost – and I’d be happy enough to keep my cable service in tact.
Much to my surprise, when I went to do it a couple months ago, I was told that they no longer had promotions and the price was set.
I didn’t like it, but I accepted it.
Charter mentioned that I could get an upgraded package for essentially what I was paying now, with all the premium channels included. However, I’d have to come in and get a new modem – their modem – as they are no longer supporting non-cable company owned modems, which is what mine is now. And of course, I’d be charged a monthly fee for their modem, which I have to have to use IF I upgrade, but don’t have to use if I stick with what I have right now.
The modem issue punched a button Charter had installed in me a long time ago and I started trying to figure out a way to get rid of cable TV.
For 12 years I’d been charged for a modem rental each month in my ‘fees’, despite owning my own modem. When I figured it all out and mentioned it, they said that they could give me 6 months’ worth of credit. When asked why they couldn’t do the full time that I’d been over-charged, they said “Our records don’t go back that far.”
Despite MY records (paper in hand), the 6 month credit was all I could recoup on that one, and I learned my lesson – check cable bill every month for unnecessary charges. We’ve been very close since then, keeping in touch at least once a month.
Last week when the digital audio feed dropped off of a bunch of channels and the signal to my computer TV tuner was scrambled, I called. Charter’s representitive said that the tuner signal issue had to do with my modem and if I got theirs, it would be fixed.
The sound issue wasn’t resolved by troubleshooting, and they said “We’ll send out a tech, but if it’s you, we’ll charge you $45 for the visit… possibly more.”
It was all too much. I bought the Mohu antenna that day and crossed my fingers it would work.
Unlike other indoor TV antennas I’ve tried before, the Mohu Ultimate is able to pull in all the major network’s (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX) HDTV signals in my area. About 12 channels in all, with clarity to rival the cable hook-up.
It was tricky to find just the right placement, but once I did, I was downright giddy!
No Cable – All HD Channels
Today, I’m starting a week-long experiment to attempt to discover what my family will miss, by not having full-featured cable TV.
We’re all taking notes on what shows we miss, and when we want to watch programming that had previously been on cable, taking note if we can find it elsewhere online or via streaming sources.
I’ve disconnected the cable to the TV, but I will keep cable Internet service which will feed streaming content from Netflix, HuluPlus and Amazon Prime Instant Video, via a Roku box in each of our TVs.
My cable bill currently includes: Expanded digital TV ($75), Showtime and The Movie Channel ($15), HD channels ($5) and HD cable box rental ($5), in addition to high speed Internet for $48 a month and assorted fees of about $8 a month.
I pay $16 a month for HuluPlus and Netflix unlimited streaming. We enjoyed the free trials of both, and have no problem paying such a low rate for so much great content that we view on our TVs, PCs and handheld devices thanks to apps.
Amazon Prime Instant Video will end in mid-February unless I purchase a year’s worth of Prime from Amazon for $79. I’m currently enjoying a free 1 month trial of Prime, including HD programming.
If I cut the cable, return the box and wean my family off Shameless, I’ll save $100 a month.
Tonight as I suddenly realized FX and Bravo aren’t at my fingertips I’m wondering… is no cable it worth it?
Photo credit: James Good / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND