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tv without cable

When we moved into our apartment, we selected a bundle program for our phone, internet and tv. Our “cable” was through Directv and for the first time we had more tv than we knew how to handle. We were overjoyed at the price – it was less than $100. We were living the high life and then slowly the price crept up. Next thing we knew we were paying $150 for all that and stuck in a contract that seemed like nothing when we signed up.
Two years is like a blip on the radar until you are struggling to make ends meet. I was so unimpressed. We had hundreds of channels of nothing. We lived via our DVR because our busy life only allowed for tv watching on nights when nothing was on.
The two years ended and we wanted to try something else. So we did. We dropped Directv like it was hot. But we still wanted to watch tv. My brother had told us about a device that you can plug into your tv that would give you cable-like service without having to subscribe to any. The problem with that device was we needed wireless internet and we didn’t at that time.
So I researched and found what we needed. I planned $30 for a wireless router and $50 for the device. The cost was about the same as a month or two of cable.
We didn’t have the money but we wanted tv now. It was still winter and the weather was bad so we needed entertainment. Enter the joy of having a newer computer and a newer tv because we discovered that with one cheap cable we could hook the tv up as a computer monitor.
We started with subscribing to all the free introductory offers we could find – Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime. We discovered that Amazon prime didn’t offer anything that worked for us and we barely could understand their video watching program.
We loved Netflix and for $7.99 a month, we decided to subscribe after the month of free watching.
We kept a list of all the shows we knew we liked to watch so we could look them up on Hulu. Most of the shows were available for free. Some we had to wait a week after they originally aired. Ironically, we discovered that weeks would go by and we hadn’t been keeping up with the show. It was kind of nice watching several shows all at once.
If Hulu didn’t have the show – then we’d find them on the website for the channel. There are some channels out there that don’t share their episodes – Syfy, TNT. However, they eventually release most of them onto DVD which means we can catch them on Netflix so it all works out.
The advantage of Hulu Plus is that shows are available sooner. The cost is $7.99 as well.

Then came the magic solution – we discovered we could connect to Netflix and Hulu through our WII.  That meant all we needed was the wireless router.  After a few months of hooking the tv up through the computer we got that router.  Life changed for the better.  Now we had volume control on the television instead of our computer speakers.  It did mean having to pay for Hulu and there are still shows that aren’t available on the WII (which is so weird but happens) so we still have the computer connected to the tv.
However for about $16 a month we have all the shows we can watch.  We have access to movies and other fun things.  We even downloaded Youtube to our WII (all these downloads are free) so we can watch movies and music videos.  It makes me wonder why anyone pays for cable.

I will confess that I miss watching the news and we get a very abbreviated Good Morning America each morning with yesterday’s news (and no weather).  And sometimes we feel out of the loop but in the end, I wouldn’t go back to cable.  I like that I can watch what I want when I want.  I do have some waiting because many of the shows aren’t available until the next day but it just means changing our routine.  I like that there’s always something on.  And the best part – very few commercials.  Hulu has a few and usually shows the same ones over and over through a show but it’s a fraction of what you get when watching shows live.  I can barely stand to watch television at family members houses because there are far too many commercials.  The best part – no reality shows and no flipping through the channels.

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