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Why and how we cut cables (and still watch TV live!) :DIY Home Decor

How to save money / lower your living expenses by shortening cables forever and still being able to watch the shows you enjoy, have DVR service and even watch live TV.

In the summer we finally took the plunge to cut cables and I wish we had done HOW earlier. We have been living with it for 6 months now, so I can now comment on which device we prefer to access all streaming apps, which streaming TV service we enjoy and what we think about not having a cable. We had the lowest cable subscription (Charter Spectrum) offered by our provider and still managed to save money by paying for a streaming service compared to traditional cables. I will say that at first it was quite confusing / overwhelming to find out everything (which device to get, which streaming service was the best), but now it seems to be that easy and I hope that this post and this information Help you if you want to make the same decision.

I address my main issues, which I definitely want to get Hallmark channels, HGTV (we don’t watch sports) and some other channels that may be showing older TV shows. I also really wanted a live TV option so we still feel like watching TV. Sometimes I just want the TV to make background noise or I don’t listen / watch while I work and I didn’t want it to be like this I just go from one show to the next like Netflix. And I really wanted a DVR because with a busy life and a small life, I can’t always watch a movie or show when it’s on. I could get all of these things, plus channels that we didn’t have before, and more for a lot less than we paid for cables! At the end of the post I will tell you exactly what we paid then and now.

(This post may contain affiliate links to services and products that I have linked below.)

Why cut cables:

1. Reduce costs / save money.

I’m sure that’s probably the main reason anyone would think about cutting cables, and that was a big factor for us. We only watched 5-10 of the channels we got anyway, so it seemed like such a waste.

2. Flexibility to move the TV wherever we wanted and also to be able to choose the services / channels you want.

Even with satellite and all the different cable options out there, we still had to be connected to the cable jack in our house and bound to a cable company that is allowed in our area. Now that we are only using one device that is connected to the back of the TV and a normal power outlet, we can place the TV anywhere in the room where we want.

So you can cut cables and still watch the TV shows you want – even live!

1. First of all, you must have high-speed internet. And then you want streaming device or you need a smart TV.

We have an older Smart TV, but we still prefer the more user-friendly option of using a streaming device. I saw it this way: If you use our smart TV with apps, you can access Facebook or Instagram via the internet app on your phone. It works, but is quite bulky and difficult to navigate. Using a streaming device is comparable to the actual Facebook or Instagram app – much easier and more user-friendly.

Here are the common streaming devices:

You need a streaming device for each TV. However, it is only a one time purchase and you are done. No subscription / monthly fees required. We have 2 TVs and I bought 2 different sets so we can try them both. Both our Roku and Firestick work great and I don’t like either. I think we get a better picture with the Firestick and I find it a little easier to navigate, but we have it on our newer TV and use it a lot more than the Roku.

2. Then you want to opt for TV streaming service or multiple streaming services to meet your needs.

Remember that the goal is to cut costs. So try to find the cheapest rate that includes your must-haves. There are tons of streaming services and apps out there, but I share the most popular ones that we used and some that are completely free.

Most popular streaming services

  • Youtube TV – $ 50 / month with unlimited DVR, over 70 channels, including local sports and news channels, and channels like Discovery, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Animal Planet and more.
  • Hulu + live television – $ 54.99 / month with 50 hours of DVR storage, more than 60 channels and an on-demand library, plus channels like A&E, Bravo, Food Network, HGTV, Disney, Discovery, Bravo and more.

Hulu live TV station

  • Sling TV – Plans for $ 30 or $ 45 / month with 10 hours of DVR service with channels such as ESPN, Disney, AMC, Fox News, Discovery, TLC, NFL Network, CNN, MSNBC and more. (The channels below are included in the $ 45 plan.)

  • FuboTV Plans for $ 59.99 / month with free DVR and LIVE TV with lots of sports and news channels, plus all 3 Hallmark channels and more.

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  • AT&T TV now – $ 65 a month with 20 hours of DVR and channels like Bravo, Cartoon Network, CNN, ESPN, Fox Sports, Hallmark and more.
  • AT&T television – $ 15 per month (or free with some AT&T cellular customers) without a DVR, including over 30 channels such as Animal Planet, CNN, Hallmark Channel, History, Lifetime, HGTV and more.
  • Netflix – Of course everyone knows Netflix. $ 8.99 / month for the basic streaming service, which includes many TV shows, movies, children’s shows, and Netflix originals. (free of charge for some T-Mobile customers)
  • Disney + – $ 7 / month or $ 70 / year that has just been released and many people love it because you can stream all Disney movies, including those in the vault and many more. Disney + can be bundled with Hulus Basic Plan and ESPN + for $ 12.99 a month. (A free year with Disney + may be included for Verizon mobile customers.)

My favorite streaming services we use:

  • Philo – $ 20 / month (we have the $ 16 / month plan, but it has been discontinued for new subscribers), unlimited DVR with recordings saved up to 30 days, and up to $ 60 / month LIFE Channels such as A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, Cooking Channel, Discovery Channel, DIY Network, Food Network, Game Show Network, all 3 Hallmark Channels, HGTV, History, Lifetime, Lifetime Movies, Motor Trend, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TLC, TV Land, UPtv and more! All of these channels have LIVE streaming, and you can save anything you want, including all upcoming episodes of a TV series on the DVR and some movies that are also offered. In our previous cable service we didn’t have all 3 Hallmark channels, Nickelodeon or DIY Network, and I always wanted the DIY channel and the 3rd Hallmark channel. I love it all LIFE But I can also record and watch TV later. My DVR is currently full of Hallmark Christmas films that I have not seen live. Use this link and my referral code (RCP6QSW6) to get $ 5 for your first month.

  • Hulu – As a Sprint Wireless customer, we get the very simple $ 5.99 / month package for free. Not my favorite app, but there are some films we’ve seen and there are plenty of children’s shows – Curious George and Doc McStuffins are my little girls’ favorite shows there.
  • Netflix – I made a free trial to view the Marie Kondo series and I have to cancel it. Frankly, we probably only watch children’s programs and I like how easy it is to use it on my phone. But we plan to discontinue it soon.
  • Friendly TV – We are not currently using this service, but if we really wanted to save costs, I would use this service. It offers all 3 Hallmark channels live plus on demand as well as some other channels for $ 5.99 a month. Alternatively, you can run the plan that includes the DVR service for $ 7.99 a month. With the price so low, this would be the perfect addition to another streaming service that may not have Hallmark channels, but has everything else you wanted.

Hallmark Channels, UpTV, Game Show Network, Outdoors Channel Sportsman Channel and more. TV, phone, tablet - Roku and Amazon Fire

  • I also have some of the free apps below as well as Pandora.

Totally free streaming services

You may be able to watch TV / watch movies for free (after purchasing the streaming device) using one or all of the following apps: (These are all free apps that you download to your streaming device or smart TV.)

  • Pluto TV – Watch the Today show, live streams for CBSN and more, and many movies and TV shows
  • The Roku Canal – Live TV- ABC News Live, People TV, Weather Nation, TMZ and more as well as various TV shows and films.
  • Amazon Prime video (If you already pay for Amazon Prime, certain films / TV shows are included in your membership.)
  • Sony crackle – Various TV shows and films all free of charge
  • Tubi – no live TV, but lots of films and shows from channels like A&E, Lifetime and more
  • Haystack TV – Local and world news
  • IMDb TV – lots of free family-friendly movies – probably my favorite of all free apps
  • and many individual channels have free apps – like PBS kids,
  • Pandora – I love to stream music and play it on our TV. A basic Pandora subscription is free.

Individual channel apps:

If you watch very little TV or one of the streaming services mentioned above works, except that a specific channel is missing, check whether it has its own paid app.

  • Hallmark Movies Now app – $ 5.99 / month – not live, but you can watch a lot of films and Hallmark series
  • CBS All Access – $ 5.99 a month and next-day TV shows, news, NFL, and more.
  • ESPN + – has live sports
  • Many other channels have their own apps or subscription services.

You can also buy an inexpensive digital antenna that allows you to receive local channels live on your TV. You cannot record them without a separate DVR device, you can watch them live. You can visit antennaweb.org and enter your zip code to find out which antenna is best for your location and which channels you should receive. The most popular indoor antenna is the Moho leaf antenna However, I have no experience with this since we would not receive many local channels in the rural area we are in, so we do not have a digital antenna.

Final thoughts on cable cutting:

1. What did we save by cutting cables? This is different for everyone, depending on what type of package you have and with which provider you have it. We can only get Charter Spectrum in our region and after our initial new customer discount expired after 2 years, we paid a total of $ 77.97 for the basic package of cable, 2 receivers, DVR service and additional fees per month. We are now paying $ 16 / month for Philo and $ 8.99 / month for Netflix = $ 24.99 Save us over $ 50 a month! We can cancel Netflix soon, which would save us even more. We had an internet service before and didn’t change anything – the cost and speed are the same. We had to buy a Roku and Firestick and opted for the upgrade models that cost a little more – but I got the Firestick on Amazon Prime Day for $ 24.99 (half the regular price of $ 49.99 -Dollar).

2. Things to consider if you want to cut cables – sit down and make a list of the channels that everyone in your family sees or wants to see most often – then you have instructions on what to do when streaming- Service must pay attention. If you find 75-90% of the channels in 1 streaming service, I would call it a win. If sport is a must, but a seasonal sport, you should only sign up for ESPN + or another sport streaming service for these few months and use another streaming service for all other television needs. I’m pretty sure that all of these streaming services don’t have contracts without reading the fine print, and that you can cancel or unsubscribe at any time (although costs can increase over time as prices change and you lock yours Lose contracts). in rate.)

2. All of the above streaming services have free trial versions of 2 to 14 days, so you can sign up for one or more before you decide to pay for a subscription.

3. If you want to cut cables but can’t convince everyone in your family or are having a hard time, I would recommend buying a streaming device of your choice and then signing up for a free trial of the streaming service you want. Then pull the plug out of the cable box and try to use the entire test period via only the streaming service. This way, you can try it out before you cancel the cable and there will be fees if you are not satisfied.

4. Can’t find the channel you want? Google it or ask at work / neighbors what they have and how they see certain shows or channels or their favorite shows that they see on certain streaming services. I am sure that there are many more and new options that I have not covered in this post.

5. Another advantage is that the Firestick is only a little larger than a stick that is inserted into the back of the TV. It has a normal cable for plugging into the wall and a small remote control. When we’re traveling, we can easily take it with us when we want – so we can access all of our channels, streaming services, shows and more!

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