Tell us YOUR Cord Cutter Story

Now we’d like our readers to share their  own cord cutter stories. To do so cut and paste the headings below into the comment section and write your answers (in non-caps) below each heading.

 

 HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A CORD CUTTER?

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE PAY TV?

WHAT WAS YOUR SETUP BEFORE CORD CUTTING?

HOW DO YOU WATCH TV TODAY?

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST ADJUSTMENT TO MAKE?

ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW CORD CUTTERS?


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18 Responses to Tell us YOUR Cord Cutter Story

  1. thrillcat says:

    HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A CORD CUTTER?
    This is the second time I’ve cut the cord. The first time was for about a year, then I caved and signed up for cable for football season. A year later I cut the cord again and have been independent for about a year and a half now.

    WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE PAY TV?
    I was tired of paying for tons of crap just for the sports. I don’t want to subsidize the horrible programming that is provided, which I think contributes directly to the dumbing of America.

    WHAT WAS YOUR SETUP BEFORE CORD CUTTING?
    The first time I cut the cord I went from a DirecTV DVR to a TiVo Premiere with an antenna. Not too much later I added a second TiVo unit in another room. When I turned cable on, I continued to use the TiVo boxes, because the cable DVR stunk. When I decided to turn it off again, I made a list of shows I had season passes for, of which only 2 were unavailable via the antenna, and they were available via the iTunes store. I purchased a couple AppleTV boxes for each system and cut the cord.

    HOW DO YOU WATCH TV TODAY?
    Today we still watch the majority of our TV via the antenna and the TiVo Premieres (the Roamio was a disappointment, as there wasn’t much of an upgrade for antenna users). We use the AppleTV for a couple shows via iTunes and for Netflix. The AV Receiver in the theater has Vudu built-in and that has been seeing quite a bit of use lately as we’ve taken to upgrading our DVD collection to HDX versions in Vudu (10 at a time drops the cost to $2.50 each). I use the money I save on the cable bill to buy season tickets to my local team and hit up a sports bar to watch the away games. I haven’t bothered to sign up for Hulu Plus. It’s a bargain, but the lion’s share of that content is the same dreck I was tired of paying the cable/satellite companies for. I’m saving about $1200/year, paying $32×2 for The League and American Horror Story each season (available the day after they initially air and I own them) via iTunes.

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST ADJUSTMENT TO MAKE?
    Live sports has been the most difficult. I’ve been very vocal that I would pay a premium for a la carte sports channels. I’ve notified the local cable monopoly, who I pay for my internet service, that I would pay them a premium for access to the WatchESPN app on my AppleTV and that they should work to strike the deal with the ESPN family to allow it, similar to the new deal HBO and Comcast are offering. But like I said, with the money I’m saving I’ve bought season tickets and I go to sports bars to watch the away games. If I can’t make it out to a bar for a game, there are other options.

    ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW CORD CUTTERS?
    Just do it. There is enough options out there to allow anyone to watch more than enough programming. If you end up watching less than before, contrary to popular belief, that’s a good thing. 🙂 I’ve lost about 45 pounds since cutting the cord – not entirely connected, but it’s played a part.

  2. LukeBK says:

    We are now in our second month of cord cutting but the first month we have canceled our Directv. We started off with a month trial to see how we do only using or Roku devices and an antenna watch TV. It worked so well we have cancelled Directv. Now it takes a bit of work but once you set it up it is very simple.
    Here is what we use to replace Directv.

    For TV shows we can’t get on local TV we use Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant. 95% of the shows we watch are on Hulu plus and it only costs $7 a month. Anything no on Hulu we buy on Amazon for $1.75 or $1.99 depending on the show.

    For old back logs of movies and TV shows we have Netflix for $8 a month.

    We also use Twonky Beam App to watch Youtube videos but Youtube has a native app coming out this year. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pv.twonkybeam&hl=en

    For sports there are many options. NBA, NHL, and MLB allow you to buy season passes and have apps on the Roku to watch them in HD. The NFL is streaming for free almost all the playoff games and the Supper Bowl. Sunday Night Football has also been streamed for free. I expect to see more games streamed free next year.
    If you live in one of the growing numbers of areas that Aereo covers you should check them out. They stream to Roku your local TV channels with DVR support for only $8 a month. Find out more about them here. https://www.aereo.com/ There are also similar services like this online that also have Roku support. If you do some googling you will find tons of options.

    Many stations like A&E and History Channel have Roku apps with full episodes of shows for free. PBS has a great app with a huge section of kids shows.
    The Live stream app on Roku has great feeds of different events and many local TV news programs. Two of my home town stations in Michigan stream their news in HD through that app. It allows me to see what is happening back in our home town from time to time.

    Roku has over 1,000 channels you can see all of them here. http://www.roku.com/channels/#!browse

    Any other cord cutters here with tips on how to stop paying such high cost for TV?

  3. John says:

    HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A CORD CUTTER?
    Almost 1 year.

    WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE PAY TV?
    The prices just kept climbing. I was at 220/mo for just TV and Internet.

    WHAT WAS YOUR SETUP BEFORE CORD CUTTING?
    My setup? Two Apple TVs. 3 HD Boxes, 1 DVR, A NAS.

    HOW DO YOU WATCH TV TODAY?
    Antenna, Netflix, Amazon, USTVNOW, Plex all via Roku. If I want to rent something sometimes I’ll use the AppleTV or sometimes Amazon because I don’t want to switch devices.

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST ADJUSTMENT TO MAKE?
    My wife watches stupid shows on Bravo, Food Network, etc. Most of them are view once reality TV which is hard to find anywhere or rediculously overpriced to buy the seasons.

    ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW CORD CUTTERS?
    Do it. Make a list of all shows your family watches, then investigate where you can leagally stream the shows. Some are on NetFlix, some are via antenna, and a few may be on Hulu. Any remainders just look at the cost of buying season passes. Usually you can buy 10 seasons and still save money over cable.

  4. Bob says:

    Over 3 years now.
    I got tired of channel surfing and finding nothing to watch.
    OTA signal and free sites connecting pc to tv, Roku, and Logitech Revue.
    I have more choices than before, it’s an embarrassment of riches.
    My advice for cord cutters is if you’re sick of paying too much, don’t be afraid to give it a try, you can always go back.

  5. Augustine says:

    HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A CORD CUTTER?
    For about 2 years now.

    WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE PAY TV?
    The fact that I wasted over $1000 a year on dozens of channels though watched only a handful.

    WHAT WAS YOUR SETUP BEFORE CORD CUTTING?
    A DVR setup box.

    HOW DO YOU WATCH TV TODAY?
    I don’t watch TV, if this means having an appointment with some programming. I stream content, most of it cannot be found on TV in the US, be it broadcast, cable or premium cable.

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST ADJUSTMENT TO MAKE?
    The most noticeable adjustment was not that hard, but it required a different approach to entertainment. Instead of being served of boffins in NY decided, it was up to me to explore the offerings available for streaming. But it opened new horizons to me that those boffins were depriving me of in their quest to please an imaginary average audience. On a side note, since I watch better quality content, it satisfies me in less time and I’ve been reading much more too.

    ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW CORD CUTTERS?
    I knew that I’d miss some programs that I liked that couldn’t stream, but I found out that I didn’t really miss them much. It was quite worth it to cut the cord and I do not look back.

  6. Len Mullen says:

    HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A CORD CUTTER?
    Bought my DB8 January 9, 2010.
    WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE PAY TV?
    Cable companies were mean to me.
    WHAT WAS YOUR SETUP BEFORE CORD CUTTING?
    Cable with one DVR and several sets directly connected.
    HOW DO YOU WATCH TV TODAY?
    Mostly broadcast via DTVPal DVR. Netflix, Simple.tv DVR, PlayOn/PlayLater, and Plex via Roku.
    WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST ADJUSTMENT TO MAKE?
    When I travel, there is nothing on TV…well there wasn’t until I got a Simple.TV DVR.
    ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW CORD CUTTERS?
    Lots ;-P Mostly, figure out what you watch before you spend a penny. Don’t cut the cable until you are satisfied with the alternative. Get a DVR. The new Channel Master DVR+ is a great way to interact with a tv. You can pause/rewind/fast forward/slow motion and record plus it has an excellent PSIP guide.

  7. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A CORD CUTTER?

    I cut the cord in December 2011.

    WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE PAY TV?

    Spiraling price increases for basic cable TV services (analog – 78 standard channels) of which I only watched programs on a handful of channels. The standard line-up had too many shopping channels, uninteresting channels geared toward women and sports channels which I almost never watched. I asked the cable TV vendor (Time-Warner Cable) years before about “ala carte” channel selection and they said “no”.

    By 2011 I was already watching more video content online with my Macintosh computer and I said to myself, much of the stuff that was on cable was also online for only a fraction of the price. So cut the cord I did and never looked back.

    WHAT WAS YOUR SETUP BEFORE CORD CUTTING?

    20 inch Panasonic “Cable Ready” Color TV, VCR, DVD player and stereo system.

    HOW DO YOU WATCH TV TODAY?

    15 inch MacBook Pro and 21 inch external monitor, broadband internet, DVD player, and stereo system plus a used 7 inch mini analog LED TV connected to an RCA digital to analog converter box and an antenna. The two components are plugged into the stereo system.

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST ADJUSTMENT TO MAKE?

    Not being able to watch NBC and PBS TV shows live over the air because the transmitter location is too far away from my TV antenna. I have however adjusted to watching some shows on Hulu (not Hulu Plus; I don’t subscribe) as well as Amazon Prime (the only video stream I pay for).

    ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW CORD CUTTERS?

    1. Upon telling your cable company that you are cutting your cord, say that my TV is broken and I am not buying a new one. That way they won’t refer you to the retention department.
    You can always say you are moving out of the service area if the cable TV company is not your broadband internet provider.

    2. If you love live sports, don’t cut your cord. Hardly any live sports online or OTA. I am not a big sports fan so it is no loss for me.

    3. The last 2 Super Bowls streamed online for free.

    4. Realistically you only need to subscribe to one pay streaming service. Just look for the features and the content you want. I like Amazon Prime because there is only one payment per year (currently $99). Amazon Prime also comes with free 2 day shipping on most physical orders, a one million + song streaming music library and Kindle book borrowing on some titles.

    5. A lot of internet video streams are free. Just harder to find. Bookmark them or whatever with your computer or devices.

    6. A lot of stuff including movies and TV shows stream on YouTube. Not all are legal but they are out there.

  8. Tigress says:

    HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A CORD CUTTER?

    Approximately 6 months.

    WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE PAY TV?

    I was paying too much for Dish Network and switched to AT&T Uverse service at a “lower price”. Dish begged me to stay and offered me a great deal but I wanted to try this new service (especially the high speed internet). The Uverse service was horrible. The internet had spotting connectivity and was slower than my home town fiber optic high speed. Then my first bill came. The price I was given apparently didn’t include a number of fees and taxes. Dish had never done this to me so it came at a complete surprise. The discounted price was about what I was paying before. I shipped AT&T equipment back to them that day as they were unapologetic. Then I called Dish since I had their equipment and asked about the deal they offered me before. They said they would honor it but they wanted a hefty start up fee (non negotiable) to flip a switch to restart my service since I had officially left. I shipped their equipment back the next day. I was just so tired of these providers and their overpriced services and for paying for services I never used. I had done research on cord cutting prior to this and the experience pushed me over the edge.

    WHAT WAS YOUR SETUP BEFORE CORD CUTTING?

    I had two different satellite providers near the end. Our home town cable company has a rusting infrastructure and overpriced services to they were not an option either. I used them several years ago….horrible.

    HOW DO YOU WATCH TV TODAY?
    I attached an antenna to my room after researching and talking to some in store experts. I bought a Fire TV content box to supplement my content. (one for each TV). I get more of the programming I want at less than $30/month. I buy movies we watch a lot (kids shows) on Amazon. I have those forever and in 1080 resolution which I never had from any of my providers.

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST ADJUSTMENT TO MAKE?

    Live sports to some extent. I can get baseball and basketball for a monthly fee but my local networks only show certain football games. Also, I do not have NHL access at all….which is bad.

    ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW CORD CUTTERS?
    You will be a lot happier with your decision to cut your cable/satellite if you live near a major metro area as you will have a wider variety of broadcast stations to pick up live sports and such. If you live in a remote location you should investigate what is available. Antenna signals are either crystal clear or not at all. An amplifier can help but it is difficult to pick up stations greater than 60 miles form your house in most areas of the country because of hilliness and other geographic features. It was a great decision and I do not regret it at all. Just do it.

  9. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A CORD CUTTER?
    LOL I’ve not had cable since 1997, and since 2006 I’ve not even had a TV in my house.
    I only today found out there is a name for it.

    WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE PAY TV?
    Seriously? The cost, the multitudes of pointless channels.

    WHAT WAS YOUR SETUP BEFORE CORD CUTTING?
    OMG so funny, there was not digital, when I gave up cable, so the cable was wired into my house and to my OLD style TV.

    HOW DO YOU WATCH TV TODAY?
    I watch TV now like maybe once a week, and that would be Netflix, or stream something from one of the main carriers online. But the only one I pay for is Netflix. It’s strange to me, when I hear my friends all talking about what happened on this show or that. lol I don’t get it.

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST ADJUSTMENT TO MAKE?
    Reminding people that I have no idea what that show is they are talking about. Seriously, that has been the biggest thing for me, people looking at me like I’m crazy, because I don’t watch TV or even own one.

    ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW CORD CUTTERS?
    Just Do It. Turn it off and go outside, read a book, play with your kids. lol

  10. Many of us have used our streaming media devices to enjoy our favorite programming on demand. Those boxes and USB sticks have fundamentally changed the way we watch TV station.

    Given that content can be dynamic changed by online “channels” (think LiveStream, Crackle, Netflix, CBSN), programming possibilities arise that could people to be active participants rather than passive viewers.

    Supplemental programming can be provided for TV shows or movies. Why not offer versions of a story from the perspectives of some of its characters? Or offer different endings to a movie – like Clue? For that matter, multiple paths through a plot could be offered.

    The consumption of news could be totally be changed. Rather than broadcasting, news could be narrowcast to the interests of the consumer. A live program can be provided with links to additional video or online content that would allow the viewer to dig deeper into a story. These links could be made available as the live newscast unfolds. To some extent this capability is available since numerous news outlets already provide videos of their stories but not to a great degree.

    I challenge TV stations and content providers to fully utilize the streaming platform. The technology is in place. The possibilities are endless.

    And if anyone takes these ideas and runs with them – send a few bucks my way for suggesting it.

  11. rleehammett says:

    HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A CORD CUTTER?
    For the last 6 months, my wife and I have enjoyed not being shackled to DirecTV. Never again will we be encumbered by their ridiculous processes or rules or programming!

    WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE PAY TV?
    Four things, really – 1) The cost of satellite was becoming prohibitive for a retired couple. To receive the kind of entertainment we liked was costing us $175 per month. It continued to increase even as we tried to take steps to stop it, and the satellite provider never got that message; 2) The provider’s customer service was less than satisfactory, in many cases unable to speak english or make recommendations; 3) The content on 90% of the “throw-away” channels was miserable, downright filthy in many instances – “reality TV” was running rampant; and 4) the increasing commercial slots were more than aggravating! The interruptions were intolerable!

    WHAT WAS YOUR SETUP BEFORE CORD CUTTING?
    We used DirecTV’s Genie system. Nice DVR, and 3 remote TV locations in various bedrooms in the house. But, the ongoing equipment costs were overbearing.

    HOW DO YOU WATCH TV TODAY?
    We use the internet. We subscribe to Netflix – the only “cord-cutting” service we pay for. In addition, each TV now has a set-top box (Apple TV2 or G Box Q) which connects directly to the internet. Each has XBMC/Kodi installed, and TV has NEVER been better. We watch what we want – WHEN we want!

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST ADJUSTMENT TO MAKE?
    We miss some live news and sports events, although my knowledge of how to use XBMC/Kodi is even filling in those two voids pretty satisfactorily.

    ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW CORD CUTTERS?
    Yes, once you have decided to “cut” – don’t look back! Force yourself to understand the available technologies. Increase your broadband to at a minimum of 10 Mbps down -allowing you to stream HD content. Be willing to make a “per-TV investment” of about $100. These are one time cost, and take us only 8 months to break even – we’re almost there, aren’t we? Enjoy the satisfaction you derive from telling your current provider to “figure it out!”

  12. Very nice and very well written!

  13. Joseph Niola says:

    HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A CORD CUTTER?

    A little over one year now.

    WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE PAY TV?

    I was living with a room mate for 6 years and we split the cable bill. In 2008 our cable bill was $95 and this included broadband internet. By early 2014 it had ballooned to $160 a month. I bought a house and am living on my own now and could not justify paying that much money on cable. Also, when I did have cable I only watched about 5 channels and when I channel surfed through the other channels it was reality TV garbage. I felt guilty for contributing to that non-sense.

    WHAT WAS YOUR SETUP BEFORE CORD CUTTING?

    Bright House digital cable package with DVR, HBO, and broadband internet.

    HOW DO YOU WATCH TV TODAY?

    I installed a digital HD antenna on my roof and where I live in St. Petersburg it gives me all the local broadcast channels in crisp HDTV along with other cool channels that show old retro TV shows, crime shows, and PBS. Reception is great in my area. I also have an Apple TV for viewing Netflix, HBO Now, and any movies/TV shows I wish to purchase separately via iTunes. I also watch a lot of Youtube content and I do get 1 DVD at a time from Netflix to supplement content they don’t stream.

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST ADJUSTMENT TO MAKE?

    At first I really missed watching the local Tampa Bay Rays baseball team play, ESPN college football coverage, Monday night football, and vegging out on HGTV. But in the end the costs associated with getting those channels via cable did not outweigh the savings of not having cable. There is just so much good content out there the void was easily filled. I am thinking about getting the Sling TV however for $20 a month which includes ESPN and HGTV!

    ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW CORD CUTTERS?

    It will be hard at first, especially the first few months and especially if you are a sports fan. Just stick to your guns and in the end you will find that you really don’t miss what you thought you could not live without before cutting the cord. I can’t say enough good things about getting an HD antenna. NFL shows the majority of their games on broadcast TV anyway so I never really missed the NFL.

  14. istallion says:

    I have spectrum charter & existing home installed coax. I want to use the existing cable & took out the old dish antenna to mount my outside hdtv antenna. I want to use the wiring. How can I track it.

  15. Greg says:

    I’m assuming Dish used a couple of coax cables – I think they typically had 2 going to their system.

    You might see if they have some kind of fine writing on the jacket of the cable. Other than that it might be trial and error with a 50% chance of getting it right.

    There are also some trouble shooting tricks that are possible. Like connecting a battery or signal source on the inside and seeing which cable on the outside shows the voltage/signal.

    Good luck.

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