Rearranging my digital footprint
Taking some baby steps
I am tired of cable TV packages and having to renegotiate every 1 or 2 years so I have made a move to change how I watch TV. And how I get it.
Got my own cable modem
No biggie here, did that a ways back. Why pay $10 a month when you can get an equal or better unit for just $70 or so. Get a good one! And get a nice wifi router to get your wifi coverage. Some units are AIO so it works out well if you aren’t sure how to hook it up. I know how to hook it up but our house is small and an AIO Netgear 450 does us just fine.
Go independent on your phone
Comcast and others bundle a VoIP phone into the package. If you are already a cell phonie [no land line] then you are one step ahead. If not, you can do what I did and switch to Ooma. This #1 rated VoIP unit simply plugs into your router and you’re good to go. Now your house phone cost you $4 a month after the cost of the unit. And it works with your existing phone units. And your phone number is free!
Dumped my cable package! I just need internet!
I disconnected all of my Comcast TV stuff. The DVR and the set top units and took them in to my local Comcast center. And then dropped all cable TV and phone packages. I dropped back to just high speed internet.
Go Local! Get a Mohu! Or two!
Over the air TV is free. And a good share of it is now HD. I have a pair of outstanding Mohu products, a Mohu Leaf 30 [$30]downstairs and a Mohu Leaf Metro [$15] upstairs. The Metro is a smaller version of the Mohu Leaf 30. These are pretty vanilla units but they work spectacular for me. Thin , flat and flexible. You can even paint them! I used command strips to hang them. I picked mine up at my local electronics retailer Micro Center. I am sure I could have shopped around for a better price but I was there!
I purchased them a while back just because I was curious. Boy! Was I surprised! Both units pull in over 35 channels! Many are the local channels in HD. Plus ION and a bunch of other channels that cater to old movies/series and a bunch of crap shopping channels. Once you winnow through the crappy sites you get about 10 or so that are your local channels and a couple of others like Rev’n a car channel. Most cable packages gig you extra for the local channels. They are free! You just have to plug in an antenna to get them in HD.
Move to Sling
I made the move to Sling to get what we wanted. It still has some goofy channels thrown in the mix but I get all the ones we watch for way cheaper. And it is monthly! Like Netflix. I don’t watch that much sports so I don’t need those. I can always catch those on my local channels. Sling is a web app driven package so you sign up for the packages you want, get the payments arranged [monthly] and if you have a smart TV or DVR is is a simple download to get it up and running. Even my Xbox1 has it!
If you don’t have a smart TV/DVR then get a Roku Express [$30 or less] and you are ready to go. BTW Sling offers a free one if you pre-pay 2 months! Download the app to the Roku and you are good. It turns you dumb TV/DVR into a smart unit without a lot of effort. I have 2 of these.
The end result
So far I am happy
Despite the front end costs of all the items, spread over a period of time, it was a nice change to not get hammered by a package with a bunch of useless channels served to you as a “discount bundle” where the price explodes at the end of the term! I own all the hardware. And it is all compatible with whatever internet provider you choose. I like Comcast speed just not enchanted with their package pricing. Once we find out what we have in usage I may even be able to throttle back on the internet speed [75mbs > 25mbs ] and save a bit more. But we will see how the net traffic shakes out.
Faye Dean can get to whatever she wants to watch and is happy so life is good! I can get to the “short list” of channels and that is nice.