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 have a Panasonic Viera Smart TV and love it. I’m always streaming something and it’s fun to jumo on Facebook or Twitter sometimes as it’s so big!! I don’t think I’ll be cancelling cable any time soon but we don’t go to the movies or out to eat often so it’s our splurge.

  2. There is no cord leading to my house so the choice was easy. I download shows and movies, that’s about it. That is awesome you can get premium channels on the antenna, in the UK we could only get a dozen basic channels.

    1. We haven’t installed it, but it sounds like it will pick up several channels. Honestly, we don’t even need them right now, but when football and basketball start up again, I think we will.

  3. Congrats Kim. I think you will find that you rarely miss it. That has been the case for us over the 2 months since we have made the shift. Sports were the hardest for me to give up, but I’m surviving.

  4. Congrats on cutting the electronic umbiblical cord.

    I like to watch the occasional movie on TV, and now with all these new stations poping up on non-cable TV, there are several channels (such as THIS TV) that show movies 24 hours a day.

    Granted they’re not the newest movies, but I can enjoy older movies that I missed in the past, or have seen but enjoyed them enought to watch again.

    Who needs cable or satellite?

  5. Good work! We’re in the process of doing this too, and ESPN is really the only thing I’ll miss. Though I’ll miss it a lot. We found a blu-ray player that will also stream netflix, hulu and the like so I think we’re going with that, but otherwise I would pick Roku as well. I’m looking forward to being done with satellite/cable companies.

  6. Congrats on cutting the… signal? We have the same set-up you guys have transitioned to – a Roku with Netflix and an antenna. We are not wanting for sports programming, honestly – there is a lot available over the air and online (legally). And I was loving not having to watch commercials, but now Hulu and YouTube have gotten into that game. 🙁

    1. Bummer on the commercial, but I guess there has to be a price for free programming. We haven’t tried Hulu yet, and maybe we won’t. I’m hoping our TV time will gradually drop off to the occasional movie or show.

  7. I haven’at cut cable – even though its only a broadcast signal because [1] I don’t know how to get tv without cable; [2] I have an old tv that can’t utilize the newer options like roku and streaming hulu and netflix.

    1. That was an issue we had with our main TV. It was big, and had a good picture, but was too old to connect all the modern connections. We did invest in a new TV, but it should pay for itself in less that a year without the satellite.

  8. I admit that I’ve been hesitant to cut the cord. I live in an apartment so I’m not entirely sure I can use an antenna which I definitely would need to know before I ever canceled my cable. Right now I got a great deal through Verizon where they bundled my internet, cable and phone for what I was originally paying for cable. Plus I got a $300 visa gift card. But after my contract expires, I may take a closer look at Roku as I’ve heard so many great things about them.

    1. It took us a looong time to get to this point, so I would never say you have to cut your service. I know some antennas do work indoors. I walked into Radio Shack and asked all kinds of questions, so maybe you could look for a store that sells them and see if they know.

  9. Awesome! I haven’t had cable for over a decade and I have no regrets. We have a Netflix subscription (just streaming), rent movies from Redbox and watch over-the-air news programs in HD with some awesome bunny ears my husband created. We also have a dedicated computer to run our system through Windows Media so we can DVR our favorite programs and skip all the annoying commercials. I didn’t realize you hailed from Denver — I’m a Fort Collins native and travel to Denver weekly for news segments!

    1. We actually live down in the SW corner of Colorado, so we are technically closer to Albuquerque. However, it’s pretty sad when I can name all the representatives and senators from New Mexico, but don’t know all the Colorado ones!

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