We cut the cord 2 years ago

2 years ago we decided to “cut the cord”. We had spent about 6 months with Time Warner Cable, and then about 8 months with Dish Network. Both companies continued to raise prices while cutting services. The inability to consistently watch Buffalo sporting events (Bills and Sabres) while seeing our prices consistently rise was one factor.

Another factor was our lack of use. When you have cable, you often watch about 10 channels or less on a consistent basis. For  us it meant the following.

1. ABC

2. NBC

3. CBS

4. Fox

5. MSG


7. Animal Planet

8. Discovery Channel


10. Cartoon network… jk But really…

So we were spending upwards of 50 dollars a month for 9 channels. Of those 9 channels we watched 1-5 on the list about 90% of the time (we tracked it for a month) and split the rest. Channels 1-5 (90%) are free, over the air, in HD… so doing the math, we were paying 50 dollars a month for less than 10% of our viewing time. So in other words, 50 dollars a month for about 2 hours a week…

It did not add up.

I mounted an all weather amped antenna to the roof.. WHAT? A big ugly antenna?? Nope, ours is the size of Amazons Kindle Fire.

So now we were pulling 22 watchable channels, but we really missed having a DVR box.

Only cable companies offer DVR boxes right? Or you pay Tivo for your own right?


We found one called the DTV-Pal. It has the Dish Network interface, and remote.

So now we had the first 5 channels that we watched 90% of our viewership on. We had a DVR just like every other cable provider seems to have.

What did we lose?

We lost ESPN and MSG . We have the internet, and for free – I stream all of the games right to our TV and Sound bar. I watched every game for an entire hockey season that way. Loved it.

We lost Discovery channel, but we picked up PBS which has shows like Nova that are just as good, and they have TONS of Animal Planet style shows. We actually picked up 3 PBS channels. We also have a weather channel that acts exactly like weather channel on cable.

We watch PBS an educational programming way more than we used to.

Every now and then CBS cuts in and out… Especially in heavy rain. Kind of like it did with heavy snow when we had Dish Network.. Only now we aren’t paying for it.

This has not changed out TV viewing much, as we already spent most of our time on the channels we now get Over The Air. It does, on Saturday and Sunday mornings allow us to do other things without the allure of sitting in front of a TV ALL day. We clean the house, we work on projects, we go to the library and get books, we run for miles, we hike, we play with the dog. We actually talk to each other.

I know, I know.. most of you could “never give up cable”. It works for us though. I have not once missed having cable TV. I have not once said “Ya know, it was so worth it to pay for cable every month”.

My antenna set me back 34 bucks. An amped HD antenna (that pulls Canadian stations on clear days) was only $34.

The DTV-Pal DVR was $250. With a 3 year warranty.

That means we spent $284 to make the conversion. I used the previous cable lines in the house to run the new antenna signal.

Even if our bill only came to 40 dollars a month.. which is about where we were (now that same bill would be closer to 50 with the price increases) that would come to 960 dollars in the past 24 months. Take away the $284 and that means in the first 2 years we saved 676 dollars. 1,156 will be saved by the end of the DTV-Pal warranty.

That would buy us a lot of real life live hockey games if we wanted to go to the with the savings. We bought season tickets to the Rochester Rhinos soccer team. Games that are not on TV or the internet.

For Christmas this year we will be getting a ROKU box, and sharing a netflix account with a family member.. so it will cost about 5 bucks a month for movies/tv shows/etc.

So, we don’t miss cable, we love the cost savings, and if/when we move. We don’t need to make any phone calls, I just put the antenna up in the new house myself.


2 thoughts on “We cut the cord 2 years ago

  1. Heather@Just a Colorado Gal

    Love this, Eric. I don’t have a cable other than the basic 1-12 channels, and even that I rarely watch. People always think I’m insane, but I’m quite happy with Netflix!


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