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Mon Feb 15, 2016, 06:41 AM

Reducing the cost of watching tv

Right now, I'm paying $80.95 a month to Dish Network for the top 200 package and that includes two receivers. One for the tv in the living room and the other for the tv in our bedroom. I get my internet from the phone company for $50.95 a month for a total of $131.90 per month.

The phone company had a special where if I agreed to a 1 year contract and upped my internet speed to 30 Mbps, I'd get a free Roku 1 and the cost would be $49.95 a month for the first 6 months and then $59.95 a month for the remaining 6 months. A Roku 1 costs about $48.00 at the local Walmart.

I signed up for that, hooked up the Roku 1 after the phone company replaced my wireless modem, and played around with it. There's quite a few free channels, some of which I put in my list and I did some research on pay channels. Amazon, Netflix, and Hula cost about $8.00 to $9.00 a month and there's Sling TV which costs $20.00 a month.

The Sling TV basic package carries several of the channels the wife and I watch and with the free ones I've already selected, we would be pretty well set. If one pre-pays for 3 months service from Sling TV, there is no contract, they'll send a free Roku 2 which costs about $68.00 at Walmart.

The two year contract I had signed with Dish ended in January so I'm free to cancel that service now without penalty.

Upping my internet speed will increase my monthly cost, averaged out over 12 months, by $4.00. Cancelling Dish and going with Sling will reduce my monthly tv bill by $60.95. A net savings of $56.95 a month plus I'm not paying over a $100 for the two Roku media players that I need to switch over to streaming.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2016, 08:12 PM

1. We did good.

That is a huge savings. I can't believe the cost of all these technologies...tv, internet, phone. I got so fed up that I went to over the air television. It is free after you get the antenna, but the stations are very limited. Luckily, I am not that crazy about watching tv.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 15, 2016, 09:19 PM

2. I love the internet and would hate to go without it

If I can stream tv shows and movies off the internet for an additional minimal cost, then it's fine.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #1)

Sun May 22, 2016, 07:08 PM

5. I was shocked that I picked up about 30 channesl over the air

(which was about what I was paying the cox cable when I dropped to the most basic level). Adding in a Roku stick I am in 7th Heaven being able to stream Netflix and Acorn TV. I was excited to be able to pick up Sky News for free. I have been cutting out more and more US TV shows in favor of British and Canadian TV. For the time that I watch Sky News and Acorn TV I can pretend that I don't live in the US.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2016, 09:08 PM

3. There's a noticeable imporvement in picture quality

It was quite the surprise to see how high def our high def tvs can really be!

According to USPS tracking, the Roku 2 from Sling TV is now at the local post office for pickup which I'll get tomorrow morning.

I called Dish Network to cancel my subscription but according to the lady I spoke to, a change in my contract had been made in September of 2014 so my two year obligation started again then. But she said I can send one of the receivers back and can change my programming to the basic package which will reduce my cost to $20.00 a month (till I can cancel my service altogether at the end of September). This I did and since I have a Dish satellite antenna at the small house in town, I brought the receiver and remote there so when the wife and I stay there, we'll have tv. At least till the end of September.

So my monthly savings, at least till fall, is only going to be about $30.00 a month but it's still a savings and every dollar adds up.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Sun May 22, 2016, 07:02 PM

4. I dropped by cable and I don't have satellite tv. I do have pretty high speed internet.

I bought a new digital TV and Roku stick for less than $200.00. With the Roku I stream Netflix and I picked up Acorn TV (a streaming service for British TV - free for 30 days and $4.99/month after that). I could probably reduce my internet speed if I wanted to and get by just fine.

My Roku Stick (which cost a one time charge of $38) plugs right into the TV and picks up my home wifi. I found places on the web to watch almost any cable shows that I want to watch but find that I really prefer British and Canadian programming.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Sun May 22, 2016, 07:43 PM

6. Democracy Now!

You should be able to add this channel to your list on your Roku. I was thrilled to see it available.

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Response to avebury (Reply #6)

Sun May 22, 2016, 07:55 PM

7. I'm a foster parent for a 15 month old.

If the tv is on, I get to watch channels and YouTube videos geared towards toddlers.

An example:

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 01:21 AM

8. I cut the cable in 2012 and never looked back.

 

I'm rocking Netflix + Showtime + HBOGO + Crackle + VuDu for movie rentals + free over the air HD from antenna.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Fri Aug 12, 2016, 04:54 AM

9. A while back, after a relocation,

I decided not to get a TV. It was an economic decision, and intended to be temporary. After all, I'd had TV most of my adult life (not counting three different times of varying length, the longest was about seven years, of doing without) and I assumed this was also temporary. Some eight years down the road I don't think I'll ever have TV again. (In case this is relevant, my earlier, seven years of no TV, only ended when I started the relationship with my now ex. I don't think the demise of that relationship was in any way connected to TV or no TV.)

Here's what I like:
No commercials. None. Ever. That's an especial blessing during election season. I simply don't see any of the ads, most of which are negative and probably totally false anyway. The other interesting thing about no ads is that I'm quite disconnected from the standard consumer assumptions. That means I don't think I need to use a specific toothpaste or drive a specific car or use a particular aftershave to have a full life/attract a mate/be successful in my job. I'm completely free from those things. Completely. Especially after so many years. Which is quite nice since I don't have a lot of money to spend as it is.
Not being locked in to what the main stream media tells me is important. Example: back when Michael Jackson died, I did not know for over a year that all networks had gone to wall-to-wall coverage of his death. I noticed that I couldn't access certain shows online, but assumed that was the vagaries of the internet. The important thing here is that I was spared that wall-to-wall coverage. I had my own personal opinions about Michael Jackson and his place in the firmament, and they weren't shaped by what the media declared the day he died.
I do get to follow breaking news. When something big happens, I generally to to the interwebs and google the TV stations in that area. Typically, at least one TV station goes to live streaming, which is much better than the national networks. Trust me on this.
My world view is for the most part not shaped by the main stream media. I listen to Amy Goodman every day. I catch at least some of the BBC news. I read. I especially read books. Some years ago, during an earlier foray into no TV, a coworker could not believe that I could possibly have any clue about what was going on in the world. So he'd quiz me periodically, and to his astonishment, I not only knew what was going on, but I had a more in depth understanding of the issues. Because I read books.

To this day I read, and I read a lot. I read both fiction and non fiction, and for the most part I'm pretty well informed about most things. I cannot imagine giving up the internet, but TV? Reconsider.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #9)

Fri Aug 12, 2016, 03:14 PM

10. If I had to choose between the internet and tv, I'd choose the internet

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Fri Jan 27, 2017, 09:36 AM

11. recently went to sling

i sort of have the rep as the family curmudgeon

for xmas my boys ganged up and bought me a flat screen

and so it was time to finally redo what i did for tv.
1....have been renting my modem for years now...got a refurb upgrade for 30 bucks
2....got rid of dta things from the cable company for the tvs...renting those too....
3...dumped the tv portion of my cable bill.....the package i had was the super basic

all told time warner has gone from 110 to 45

4....sling at 30 bucks--got the 1 step up package...they have a promo with a free roku currently
5....another 30 bucks for a somewhat better than minimum indoor antennae Live close enuf to a urban area
where i get pretty much all the channels from the basic cable....

in summary some 30 less per month for a whole lot more channels
what is not to like


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Response to dembotoz (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 1, 2017, 03:21 PM

12. so far so good

nice combo sling plus antenna plus netflix seems to be ok

and still cheaper than what i paid for basic cable plus internet

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Fri Apr 7, 2017, 10:27 PM

13. Time Warner annoyed me so I cancelled my cable tv service

I have their $14.99/month internet service (which provides me with ~1.5Mb down) + Roku Streaming Stick.

Don't have a problem with buffering or picture quality at that rate if there's no one else downloading significant content.

I really like the Roku.

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Response to Zorro (Reply #13)

Sat Jul 8, 2017, 12:45 PM

16. keep an eye on stuff from spectrum....they took it on the chin with slow time warner speeds when

they bought it. Big big fines out east.

1.5 is below acceptable standards for broadband...it is in time warners (spectrums) interest to improve things for you

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 11:16 AM

14. I'm cheap; basic internet, an old Roku and a TV antenna

although I decided to get into Game of Thrones and bought all the seasons so far in streaming SD format from Amazon, and planning to buy the upcoming season as fast as the episodes become available in that same format

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Response to eShirl (Reply #14)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 11:21 AM

15. I have Roku with basic internet and subscribe to Hulu now.

The phone company provides the internet so the total cost for landline phone , internet and Hulu is about $77 a month.

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