UPDATE: I have written a detailed report here on how I use Roku as an Alternative to Cable. Click on the link and then right click on the pdf to save it. These detailed step by step instructions should help you save money on your monthly cable bill.
It was a little harder than I anticipated, but I finally got rid of my Dish Network subscription. And when I say harder, I don’t mean because I had a hard time cancelling. I had a hard time because it was hard for me to let go of paying that bill each month! I know it sounds crazy but I kept having these thoughts in my head that I would be lost with out having “regular” t.v. each month.
Boy was I wrong! I love my new set up! I originally had the idea from Peter at Bible Money Matters. His set up was a little bit more than I wanted since I don’t have a wii or other gaming console. So here’s how I did it.
Sidenote: I’m not all high tech with the t.v. These are just the steps I took and there may be better options for those a little more “technically” inclined.
Assuming you have an HDTV, and depending on whether your tv has a built in antenna (mine did but I couldn’t get it to work) purchase an indoor antenna for your tv. Depending on where you live, this should allow you to at least get local channels in your area for free. I’m able to get 16 channels with this antenna.Take a look at antenna web if you want to check out what channels you get using an indoor antenna. Immediately after installing this antenna (which is easy) you should at least now have access to local channels for free.
Total out of pocket – roughly $27 shipped (I had a $10 amazon gc)
If you want access to more channels than just your local channels, take a look at this option. I didn’t really care to have all the new shows but I wanted a few things to pick from if I was laying around on a Sunday afternoon.
After tons of reserach, I opted for the Roku Digital Video Playerwhich is basically a little black box that allows you to stream netflix (with a $7.99 a month subscription). You can also add other paid channels like Hulu Plus and others. There are 3 options to pick from for your Roku Digital Video Player. I chose the Roku HD (middle of the road) player. At the time when I chose it, there was a $10 credit but I see that is no longer active. 🙁
Total out of pocket – $79 shipped
Decide which subscription you want to use. I opted for Netflix because you can get TONS of shows and movies available instantly to watch through your Roku for $7.99 a month. You get the first 30 days free!
Total out of pocket $0.
What does that mean over a year?
My annual agreement with Dish Network was up this month and the only reason I was paying $35 a month was because they royally messed things up when I moved so they gave me tons of freebies and reduced my rate to keep me as a customer. The bill was going up to $47 a month for the rest of the year which I just could not stomach. So here is how the numbers look for the rest of the year:
Total up front costs:
$27 for Antenna
$79 for Roku player
Total annual costs:
$7.99/mo Netflix subscription (March-December 2011)
Total yearly cost:
If I would have stayed with Dish network at $47.12 a month, the total for the year would be $471.20.
Total first year savings: $285.30 or $28.53 a month.
Considering the first year, I had to buy the antenna and Roku box, after that, my annual bill for Netflix will be $95.88 compared to the $565.44 it would be with cable.
I’ve had this now for a few weeks and I really love my new set up. The problem I have now is deciding what to watch on Netflix. I have over 100 movies and t.v. shows in my Netflix queue and usually spend my time trying to decide what to watch!!!!
Have you gotten rid of your cable bill? If so, what do you use to still watch t.v.?