Cutting the Cable on Cable
When I first moved into my apartment eight years ago, Comcast offered me a special 1-year introductory price for standard cable. Combined with Internet service, it was a really good price, so I took it. I think the only thing I got out of that year was getting sucked into watching weekend marathons of ridiculous reality TV shows.
Thankfully, for the sake of my sanity, after a year my bill suddenly shot up to waaaaay over $100 and I was like, “Whaaaaat?” So I shut that nonsense down. I was ready to cancel completely, but settled for the local basic package, which, after some math was applied, was only going to cost me about $2/month on top of my Internet service.
Over the years that pricing slowly crept up and, by last summer, what had been a $72/month bill was now an $80/month bill. “Meh,” I thought. Then, in October, Comcast decided that if I wanted to continue to get TV cable service from them, I would have to use a decoder box. I had avoided all previous attempts to get me to use some sort of box and had always had my cable plugged directly into my TV. I liked it that way.
You get a lot of channels on the local basic package, but 96% of them are either public access, shopping, or Spanish. That left me with about six channels that I actually flipped through. My TV allows me to save my favorite channels and just flip through those. The decoder box Comcast sent me only let me watch channels in standard definition and required me to use their cheap remote control with no favorite channels feature.
As my monthly bill had slowly increased I had considered canceling my TV service and going with an over-the-air HD antenna. The nonsense with the decoder box set that idea into motion. I live in a relatively small town and am surrounded by a lot of trees, so when I was shopping for an HD antenna, I figured it was best to play safe and get a higher end model that would be better at pulling in weaker signals. I finally settled on the Mohu Leaf Ultimate Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna (since renamed to the Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor HDTV Antenna).
Getting the antenna set up was a bit of a process, only because it required placing the antenna in several different locations before finding one that pulled all of the stations that I wanted to get. But I finally found the magic spot, and when I did I was very happy with the results.
Now, without any monthly bill, I get my local NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX stations. I also get the CW, a couple different PBS feeds, MeTV, and This TV. Not only do I have all the stations that I want to watch, but the quality of the picture is as good, if not better, than I got over cable. And I get to still use the favorite channels feature on my TV.
As before, any shows on cable that I want to watch I get through the various Internet streaming methods available. All in all, my TV viewing experience is a very satisfying one.