What do I mean by ‘cutting the cord’? Well, in our case specifically, it was cutting the satellite cord – we were DirecTV junkies. We’d been loyal customers for over 10 years, and we were happily paying over $150 a month for our pleasure. We had multiple DVRs, multiple boxes, premium channels – the whole shebang. We planned a move across town and did all the right things. We called DirecTV and set up an installation time at our new house. We dutifully packed up our remotes and DVRs/boxes. And then we moved.
The installer came out and promptly
crushed our hopes set us free.
He explained that, although the house had a DirecTV dish there, the cable inside had all been “daisy-chained” using multiple splitters. Now, if you’re as clueless as me, this means that there is only one signal broadcast throughout the house, no matter how many boxes you have. (Checked that with the Hubster to make sure I understand – ha!)
We had a few options. We could…
- Call an electrician and have the ENTIRE house rewired, on our dime. (See Note at the end)
- Deal with only one signal and we all have to watch the same thing. All. The. Time. The 2 adults, the then-16 year old and the then-8 year old would have to be in total accordance. Ha! That would never happen!
So, we put our DirecTV service on hold while we tried to figure out what to do. In the meantime, we already had a subscription to Netflix (yes, we were paying over $150/month AND subscribing to Netflix. Sad, right?). So, we hooked up a laptop to our TV and watched Netflix, alternated with DVDs.
And you know what? The days turned into weeks, then months. And we all survived without DirecTV. And 500 channels. And programs we could watch whenever we wanted. Oh wait! With Netflix (an on demand subscription service) we were watching what we wanted, when we wanted.
And then, the hubster brought up a completely new to me idea – a Roku streaming media player
Now, if you don’t have a clue what a Roku is, hold tight – I’m about to rock your world! If you’re already a “streamer”, you’re nodding your head and smiling right about now. Roku is a tiny little box – fits in the palm of your hand – that can stream multiple applications. We have 3 Rokus in our house now – two Roku 2XS and one Roku 2. We can access Netflix on them – no more hooking the laptop up to the TV. We also subscribe to Hulu Plus for more recent tv series. We also have numerous free “channels” we can view, using our Roku boxes – including PBS, Nowhereman TV, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and Pandora. I count Amazon Prime as a “free” channel, because we are Amazon Prime subscribers strictly for the free shipping – the Instant Videos are just a lovely perk.
Roku has a special deal this week, to make cutting the cord just a little easier! Save $10 on Roku 3 – This Week Only!
â€‹ The Roku 3 is on my wish list for one big reason. The remote has a headphone jack! Oh, my…I could watch TV without disturbing the Hubster in the middle of the night! I can’t be the only one who wakes up for no reason and can’t. go. back. to. sleep. <sigh> But, no more disturbing my man? It’s a win-win!
And y’all already know this, but I’m just saying it again. My hubby is an amazing man. In addition to our on demand viewing, we get all our local channels FREE. How? Well, remember many years ago (pre-cable and satellite dish) when all the houses had huge antennas next to them? Welcome to my backyard. We had an ancient antenna at our old house, that hadn’t been used in years. Hubby went over, brought it to our new house and hooked it up. Works like a charm! I realize antenna reception won’t be the same for everyone – we are truly blessed that we receive 12 channels over the air. We visited Antenna Web and TVFool to see what channels would be available for our address.
Finally, after 6 months, we called and cancelled our DirecTV service (we’d had it on hold for that entire time) and we have never looked back. Was it an adjustment? Absolutely! My teen thought we’d ended his life at the time. He’s adjusted admirably. Do I miss some shows that cable has that I can’t access? Yup! I miss True Blood and The Golden Girls the most. Would I ever go back to satellite TV? Nope. We pay less than $16 per month for our TV and I just can’t see going back to paying more.
And you can actually save money without cutting the cord
A little PS to this story…when the Hubster called to officially cancel our DirecTV service after 6 months, DirecTV offered to pay for us to have the home rewired by an electrician! Seriously. I was stunned. Turns out that if you call DirecTV (and possibly other cable companies) and tell them that you just can’t afford it anymore – you will be transferred to the customer retention department. And the customer retention department has the authority to negotiate discounts to your current service. Don’t believe me? Give them a call and try it out. Here’s the toll-free number 877-648-9347.
But for us? By that time, we were all happy with our “altered way of watching” and just kind of chuckled to ourselves. The whole experience really proved to us that DirecTV truly wants to keep their customers! We really enjoyed our years with them, but we’re REALLY enjoying the freedom we’ve found.
Images via Roku