Cable? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Cable


One of the eye-opening processes of living out of your parents’ house is having to pay for everything, i.e. water, heat, Internet, TV, etc. Having recently become homeowners, my fiancé and I were faced with having to make the choice of services we wanted and having to manage a budget to make sure we could pay for them. In some cases, some sacrifices had to be made, and in others, compromise. This is a post about the latter: we decided we were not going to get cable service.

I was completely against cable service. I used to watch TV a lot, but not so much anymore. So I did a bit of research; some people are paying as much as $170 for their Internet, cable TV, and home phone bundle, and I just couldn’t stand paying that much, or even a decreased amount for fewer upgrades. On the other hand, she does still watch a handful of shows, including a few that wouldn’t be available on local channels.

There had to be a better option. Cable service just seemed such an inefficient use of money. So we did more research. What we found was the quality of services available using only the Internet for TV — a combination of streaming from cable network websites, Hulu, and a do-it-yourself DB4 antenna. We get all of her shows (Glee, Bones, The Finder, Raising Hope, etc.) plus the local news, weather, and sports channels. Total monthly cost without any sacrifices on Internet and TV? Roughly $64. It would have been at least twice that for the bundle, and we wouldn’t even be using the phone.

I built the DB4 antenna myself using about $10 in materials. Thanks to some plans found online, it was quite simple to build, which is fortunate for me, because my brain simply cannot grasp how things like this work. I could look up specifications, definitions, memorize an entire book on signals, but I would be nothing more than a well-versed parrot. I’m more than happy to use it as a tool, but things like this will always be sorcery to me. Needless to say, when I plugged my antenna in and it picked up 59 channels, I was convinced I was a wizard and Hogwarts would finally be sending my welcome letter.

As a result, we couldn’t be happier. We’re saving a bit of cash monthly, which is important when saving for a wedding. Eventually I’m going to have it connected to my desktop computer, which will add DVR functionality, and we won’t have to use our computer monitors for streaming anymore.

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One response to “Cable? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Cable

  1. All signs point to this becoming more and more the norm. My wife and I got married in 2006 and we’ve never had cable TV (except in one apartment where it was included in our rent, and we couldn’t opt-out). There are just so many ways of getting TV programming now that are cheaper.

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