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?

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No Cable TV Family Experiment

Learn why one family decided to cut the cancel cable TV and start being a family again.
Reducing Your Cable Bill Can Result In Big Savings | American …

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

Photo credit: James Good / / CC BY-NC-ND