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A community to help negotiate lower cable bills

A community to help negotiate lower cable bills

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Dec 19, 2016 By: Rick

I recently cut the cord. I finally had enough of Spectrum raising my rates so I quit buying cable services from them. But there were several concerns I had when I cut the cord. This blog is going to outline how I overcame the challenges of cutting the cord.

Overcoming the challenges of cutting the cord

Here are the challenges I faced when deciding to cut the cord:

  • How to watch live TV

  • What hardware to use

  • I needed a landline for the phone

  • What antenna to use

  • Can I watch DVR and on demand shows?

  • How do I watch sports?

My solution to the first cord cutting challenge (how to watch live TV) was twofold. First, I purchased the Playstation Vue app. The app is $30 a month and allows me to watch TV and my children can watch TV on their tablets. I also installed an antenna for local channels. So I have two ways to watch live TV and they are both HD.

When you are buying cable the cable company will "give" you the hardware needed to watch TV (although the companies usually make you pay a fee for the box). It is a box that will require you to attach a coaxial cable in order to see TV. Since I was getting rid of cable I had to figure out what hardware I would use. I did a lot of research on the options. Here is a great article comparing some of the three most popular choices. I decided to use the FireTV and Firestick. It emphasizes Amazon content but I really like the interface and it has the PS Vue, Youtube and Kodi apps which are the three I use most as well as many others I use on a more limited basis(like ESPN3). I bought one of these devices for each of my TVs. You can purchase a FireTV refurb for about $65.

When I cut the cord I also lost the phone landline. The only reason I need a phone is for the kids to have access to a phone when they are home by themselves so it is not used a lot but it is necessary. I decided to use Ooma which is a VOIP device. There is an upfront cost ($65 for a refurb) for the device but only a few dollars a month charge after that. I had to play with the settings but it works great and gives me access to a phone at a low cost.

I mentioned above that I hooked up an antenna. Antennas are about the most confusing thing I have ever shopped for. There are many varieties and they all claim to be the best. I decided on this one, it was $10 used and has a 35 mile range. This website will tell you how many stations are in your antenna's range and what direction you should point your antenna. I was able to get about 25 stations. That solved the 4th challenge when cutting the cord.

Cable companies have sneaky ways to keep you invested in their product. One of them is the DVR. You DVR shows you like and then you watch them whenever you have the time. It is very convenient but it also makes you dependent on the cable company because the shows you want to watch are on the cable company's box and if you turn the box in you lose the shows you wanted to watch as well as the shows you have on your DVR list. I use the PS Vue DVR and on demand features instead of the cable company's cable box. I am able to watch just about anything I want. There are also over the air DVRs you can purchase but I did not feel a current need for this service.

My last challenge was sports. The only way to watch sports is live as you want to be a part of the action. This cannot be done using streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon. PS Vue has ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports and Fox Sports2. Between these stations and the antenna, I can see all of the sporting events I want to see.

So I did the following things in order to overcome the challenges of cutting the cord. I bought FireTV, I purchased PS Vue and I bought an antenna. These three things made the transition very simple.

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This is a place to gain information to allow you to negotiate a better rate from your cable/dish company. You will be able to see what people in your area are paying.