We Cancelled Our Satellite TV!

Retro TVLast week, I made the phone call I’ve been planning for months. It was to Dish Network, and I asked them to cancel our satellite TV. When the agent asked if I was sure or if she could offer me a discount, I did briefly hesitate, but stood my ground. The programming went dark right away, and we are now sans paid TV. Am I sad? Nope, I’m free.

Despite a brief time during my residency, I have had some sort of cable or satellite TV for fourteen years. While it did serve it’s purpose, we are now at a point where we don’t watch that many programs other than to offer background noise while we are doing other things. There are a couple of network shows that I enjoy, but nothing I can’t live without. We also don’t want our daughter to hear some of the things that pop up on seemingly benign programming. When your three year old is running around the house saying “Dammit” after watching Pawn Stars or the now six year old is asking what a vaginal mesh transplant is, it gets a bit old.

We aren’t going completely TV free. We still enjoy watching  in the evening, and we had to shell out some money for a few things to compensate for our lack of paid programming.If you are considering cutting your cable cord, there are ways to get your TV fix.

The New TV

We found an awesome deal on a TV at Sears of all places. I thought that store went bankrupt, but apparently not. They had a Panasonic floor model on sale that had originally been $1679 marked down to $679. It is HD, smart, has something like a million mega hertz, and has the most fabulous picture I could ever imagine. The sales person offered us an extra 5% off to sweeten the deal.

The fall back was that it had been in use for three months in the store and had a minor scratch on the screen that you have to put bifocals on to see. It did have a one year warranty, and the salesman was certainly pushing the extended version for an extra $200. One call to my Chase Sapphire Preferred card confirmed an extra year on any manufacturer’s warranty, so after politely declining the pricey version, we brought our new TV home.

Roku and Netflix

By using a  Roku on the older TV and having the technology of the new smart TV, we can stream Netflix. So far, there are more shows and movies than we could ever watch. The best part is no commercials ever, so our daughter will never want the magic ice cream shaker as seen on TV or have to worry about an erection lasting more than four hours.

What About Sports?

One big hangup in our talks to cut the satellite was about live sports There is no way to have ESPN without a subscription. We finally realized that paying $66 a month for the few sporting events we actually have time to sit and watch was not cost effective. We have decided to get an antenna for network TV. This way we can have the NFL on Fox and CBS and see most of March Madness. Since the antenna only costs around $100 EVER to buy and have installed, it seems like a great compromise. We will finally also be able to get Denver instead of Albuquerque news that is standard on satellite in our area. It might be nice to actually see what goes on in our state instead of the neighboring one.

It certainly took us long enough, but I’m very happy to have cut the satellite cord, hopefully forever. I will also enjoy the extra money in my bank account each month. I’d like to thank Jake at I Heart Budgets, Zimmy at Money and Potatoes,  and Holly and Greg at Club Thrifty for inspiring us to consider this. Without savvy PF bloggers, I don’t think we would have ever made the change.

Have you cut the cord? Why or why not?

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    1. We would never have done it as a young couple about to get married. We used to sit up till 2AM watching Law and Order marathons or whatever. We can’t stay awake long enough to do that now!

  1. I don’t even know what vaginal mesh transplant is! Ouch! I cut the chord some time ago and have rabbit ears so I can get some network TV shows, but I LOVE roku and actually use that a lot more than the rabbit ears. I “media share” with a friend so he used my netflix account and i use his Hulu plus account. Works out great! Congrats on making the switch!

  2. Good for you Kim! We’re still with DirecTV and probably will for some time. The sports thing is the big hang up for me. It’s the only way I can see all the football/basketball games for my alma mater. I know, I know…it sounds silly as I type it 😉 but we enjoy it and can afford it. That said, if we can find a way around it, I’ll drop it quick!

    1. I think if you weigh the benefit vs cost, you know if it’s working for you or not. We used to feel the same way, but really don’t watch much TV anymore, so it was time.

    1. I was just saying the other day that we should find a way to hang the TV on the wall to get it out of the middle of the floor. Somehow big TV’s don’t say cozy, relaxing home.

  3. Cool! We did this with DirecTV several years ago and haven’t looked back. Our antenna works fine for broadcast TV on most days. And our kids get all the shows they need from Netflix. Plus, I think you will enjoy the added time not watching TV brings into your life. We have filled the TV watching time with a great many other activities that are more profitable for the family.

    1. I totally agree. It’s hard to have a good conversation with cartoons blaring in the background. I think my child turns into a zombie when the Spongebob song starts playing.

  4. Congratulations on cutting that cord! When my boyfriend & I moved in together, we both decided to continue not having cable. The commercials were driving us nuts and the programming made us both very angry. We have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and a Redbox nearby if necessary. If there’s anything else we want, he’s got some strategies of finding those things online. I think we are happier, smarter, and less stressed due to our decision to not have tv. Plus, we save good money (though it’s ridiculous that internet alone is about $60-70, and for double that price, we can have another 2,000+ channels, HBO, Showtime, etc…)

    1. I do think you can watch anything you want without cable if you are willing to wait a little while. I don’t think we’ll miss it at all.

  5. We ended our pricey cable subscription a few years ago and have never missed it. We have Netflix and there is plenty of variety – commercial free! And if my husband wants to watch a particular sports game, he meets some friends in a local sports bar for a guys night out.

    1. That might be a good idea to have a sports night out. I know that always have Broncos games on somewhere if we can’t get them with an antenna.

  6. While I plan on keeping my satellite/cable for the foreseeable future, I am very interested in how companies like Roku and Netflix will change the industry and (hopefully) bring down the price of cable/satellite.

    1. I think eventually cable will have to go the way of downloadable music. You can’t hold a monopoly forever with changing technology. If enough people drop it, they will have to change. Eventually, I see you being able to buy shows or channels through Roku without a contract.

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