How to cancel your cable bill

December 1, 2012
By

Since I’m the world’s best TV watcher, here’s my holiday gift to you: I’ll show you how to cancel your cable service.

Things you’ll need:

  1. An iPad, iPod, or iPhone (or Android device with an AirPlay app)
  2. An Apple TV ($92.98 at Amazon)
  3. A fast Internet connection for the Apple TV

Now, thanks to the power of AirPlay and mirroring, anything you can watch on your iPad, you can watch on your TV! Plus, most of the time, you don’t even need to do that. The shows you want are already available on your Apple TV, thanks to its built-in apps.

So here’s how I watch my shows:

  • For broadcast network shows:
    • I have a Hulu Plus subscription ($7.99 a month). You get everything but CBS, for which you’ll need to use one of the three methods below:
      • You could just watch CBS live, with a Leaf indoor antenna ($39.98). Mine’s stuck to the wall behind my TV, and it still works great.
      • If you prefer to DVR your shows, you’ll also need a Hauppage TV tuner that’ll turn your PC into a DVR.
      • Or you could just use BitTorrent to download shows with Pirate Bay’s RSS feeds, and skip all this hassle. That’s illegal, so I won’t link to it.
  • For basic cable shows (e.g. Breaking Bad), I just buy the season passes from iTunes.
  • For extra entertainment, consider Netflix streaming ($7.99 a month). Two-thirds of their viewing is now TV shows. You can binge on past seasons of your favorites, like… Breaking Bad.

So how much will all this cost you?

  • An initial investment of ~$90-$230 for the Apple TV and Leaf antenna and/or Hauppage DVR
  • $0-$16 a month to subscribe to Hulu Plus and/or Netflix
  • $1.99 for each basic cable show episode, or $2.99 in HD. Assuming you watch five HD episodes a week, that’s about $60 a month.
  • Internet that you’ll pay for anyway.

I’m not sure if you can watch ESPN (is there an app for the iPad)? And you’ll miss out on immediately watching shows like Dexter, since you can’t buy the current season on iTunes. But, apart from that, you’ll have more TV than you could possibly want.

If you prefer, you can do all this with a Roku and Amazon Instant (no tablet needed!), or Android and Google Play, or Windows 8/Windows Phone, XBOX, and XBOX SmartGlass…

I cut the cable cord almost two years ago, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. All the TV I want, without the scary cable bill each month.



4 Responses to How to cancel your cable bill

  1. muckdog on December 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I do the Roku with Amazon Prime and Netflix, but also subscribe to cable for sports.

    Sad. lol

    • artist on December 2, 2012 at 8:56 am

      I do ROKU too but just order basic cable ($14/mo.) and I watch football on CBS and FOX.

  2. Setnaffa on December 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    One doesn’t need to be an apple or linux fanboi to “cut the cable”… Netflix works best on Windows anyway, a less expensive video card could hook up a refurbished PC with recent h/w to nearly any TV with cables from Walmart, Microcenter, or any number of box stores…

    OTOH, some areas don’t have any high-speed internet options that compete with cable (even in such bread and circus towns as Austin, TX.

    There isn’t really a decent reason to subscribe to any of the LSM or other corps like apple that donate heavily to Dems…

  3. budahmon on December 2, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Cut the cord years ago. Use an over the air antenna for most broadcast shows. Netflix and Amazon Prime with a Roku. Watch all the sports I want to at http://www.thefirstrow.eu/sport. All college football and Basketball plus Baseball and NFL on a laptop.

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