Whoo-hoo! Enjoyed the 2 hour season premiere of Smash on NBC last night with no interruption of the HD over-air signal via the Mohu Leaf Ultimate Amplified Antenna, and didn’t have any withdrawal symptoms despite the lack of cable.
I missed my usual premium channel series fix though.
The part of the evening where I’d check out missed episodes and drool over the upcoming ones.
Prior to Smash I watched a full episode of Duck Dynasty on my desktop PC by going to the A&E site. This made me forget about my premium channel addiction for awhile, which was good.
Meanwhile in the other room, my daughter was using her Roku to stream HuluPlus.
She was watching a new episode of The Following that had been on air the night before.
Unlike me, she’s been without cable in her room for several years and depends solely on the Roku for Netflix and HuluPlus content. So for her, no cable is no big deal unless I’m entrenched on the couch watching Dexter in which case she’s all in!
Our Viewing Pattern
While we’re probably not typical of all households; we watch hardly any sports, and have the TV on about 3 hours a day for news and a couple of our favorite shows. We probably watch 2 to 3 movies a week via streaming either from Amazon Instant Video or Netflix.
What we do watch in terms of programming is covered by the major networks, FX, Bravo, Discovery, History and National Geographic channels.
With the exception of FX and Bravo, we can get much of the other programming online or via apps on mobile devices including my iPad.
No Premium Channels
The premium channels we’ve gotten used to having : Encore, The Movie Channel and Showtime, are the ones I miss.
Unfortunately you can’t get Showtime, HBO and others without subscription through your satellite or cable company.
What you can do is rent or buy previous seasons, and wait until the current season comes out. All things considered, that’s probably cheaper than cable each month, so worth considering.
I did this years ago with the Sopranos, Big Love and Dexter, but the problem now is emotional. I’m connected to what happens next to Cathy on The Big C.
It’s tough, like a breakup.
I know I can get past it, but I’m not sure how long it will take me.
The convenience of being able to grab a new release movie, and watch an episode of a prime time TV favorite is there with On Demand, but it is still something I have with HuluPlus and Amazon Instant Video. Thus, no need for On Demand.
Lack of On Demand availability of premium series content is where I feel the sting of no cable.
Unfortunately the only remedy is to keep cable which leads me back to the question that plauges my mind.
Is $100 a month worth premium channels that I watch a few hours a month?
It sounds like the premium channels, if they are actually coming, would be an extension of YouTube’s original content initiative, an effort compete with broadcast TV by funding entirely new Web-based shows. Google spent over $150 million on the first …
Channels such as CNN and ESPN — and many other cable networks, including premium channels such as HBO and Showtime — can be viewed online and on mobile only by cable subscribers. But for sports fans there are some a la carte options.
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?
Newer television sets have internet capabilities that allow viewing of programming directly through them with no cable box needed. Have a television without internet access? Instead of going out and purchasing the latest …
The Computer Lab at Riverside Elementary. (Photo courtesy of Mrs.Shaw.)
The rules state you can vote once a day, starting Monday, February 4th.
The last day to vote will be Friday, February 22nd, 2013.
Once voting closes the winner will be announced.
One lucky, deserving classroom from one school in the US will receive a $10,000 makeover courtesy of the Great American Classroom Makeover, sponsored by Great American Financial Resources and found each year on the Teachers Deserve The Best webiste.
Check out the gallery of past winners of this great contest HERE.
Mrs.Shaw with ‘Won’t Boot Up’ Computers at her school. (Photo courtesy of DowntownSpokaneKXLY.com)
This is the latest from the Mohu line of indoor antennas, capbable of pulling in over-air programming up to 50 miles away!
Super thin, easy to install, and works amazingly well.
The Mohu Leaf Ultimate is perfect for anyone who wants to cut ties with their cable company and get FREE over-air HD programming.
This video is my experience with a newly installed Mohu Leaf Ultimate.
Prior to this indoor antenna, I’ve used the Mohu Leaf Plus, and Mohu Leaf , without much success.
Why Mohu Leaf Ultimate instead of the others?
Amplification via USB is what sets the Mohu Leaf Ultimate appart from the Leaf and Leaf Plus.
I needed the additional signal amplification the Ultimate provides, but you may be able to pay less for the non-aplified Mohu Leaf or the older (less powerful) Mohu Leaf Plus versions.
Use the tool at AntennaWeb.org o find out how close you are to your local TV towers and this will help you decide which Mohu is right for you.
Careful investigation of the optimum placement for the Mohu Leaf Ultimate in your home, will also provide for the best over-air reception.
Good for rural, suburban or urban use, the Mohu Leaf Ultimate provides the user with over-air HD programming for FREE, up to 50 miles away from your local TV channel’s signal tower.
NOTE: Your results with this product will vary dependent upon your location, the location of your local TV towers, the signal strength from the TV towers, weather and physical barriers such as mountain ranges in between your Mohu Leaf Ultimate and where the TV signal originates.