Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Snip...no more CABLE television for me.


I'm in the midst of "cutting the cord." 

That's what people call it when you cancel your cable television service. 

Instead, now I simply plug in my $39.95 Leaf 30  indoor HDTV antenna.antenna.

Not $39.95 per month.

$39.95 just one time.

To receive all 3 major networks, PBS and half a dozen more local stations.

I was amazed at the clarity and the vivid colors.

And I have a BIG (60 inch) tv screen to fill and anything less than sharp and crisp would not slip by.

For about a decade and a half - or longer - I have paid one of two cable companies MY dollars to receive television programming. 

I am old enough to remember the 1950s when we got our very first black & white television set.

It was a CBS brand in a heavy steel cabinet. And, the programs appeared like magic on the screen in our living room.

Well, Charleston had only three stations, for only several hours a day. Recall test patterns?

They all signed off at midnight.

And each played the National Anthem.

Then the screen became just gray and white static, with a sizzling sound

But the programs were for free.

You bought the set and added rabbit ears.

Zero dollars for "programming."

Recently it reached a point where I realized I had access to more than 700 channels. Yikes.

About a year ago, I dropped Comcast after almost 15 years.

The cost just kept going up and up and up and its customer service was embarrassingly bad.

I think they came up with a new company name because Comcast was being called some pretty negative things.

This move cut my monthly bill from a high of $135 to "only" $115 a month for the privilege of watching only a few sports, some Comedy Channel shows and the evening news.

I also now had started streaming Netflix movies using my ROKU device and my Chromecast sent tv images off my computer screen to my large screen tv.

I could not tell you about any of the network shows because I didn't watch that much tv. But, the bill came through each month loud and clear and I paid it.

Of course, that monthly bill included internet access. 

Well, you HAVE to be up-to-date on that for your computer and email but 700+ television channels choices? Right now, being online is a necessary evil that only the cable companies can provide.

BUT, more companies  such as Apple and Amazon have come out with their own ROKU-type devices for inexpensive alternative programming and, in Kansas City, Google Fiber came up with a high speed internet service using buried fiber optics. At 100x the normal download speed with no cable company involved at all.

Google has already added that fiber optic service in Provo, Utah; Austin, Texas and is looking at Charlotte, N.C. and Atlanta. 

Once my plug-in antenna was working, I called my cable company and cancelled my tv programming but - for the moment - kept the 12/15 mbps speed online link. It's a costly $56 per month (plus taxes and fees).

Then I called Xfinity and signed up for its online 25 mbps download speed service for an introductory $29.96 a month for 12 months. Once that starts, I'll switch over, drop Wow! and hope that in a year, the online service has changed drastically.

Hmm. Charleston is the number one U.S. destination for tourism. And we have a Google Data Center in Berkeley County.

Mayor Riley, maybe Google Wi-Fi and internet service for here could be the icing on your Mayoral cake?

(All the art came from online so probably not going to change much if you do click.)

But DO check the links for all these new marvels.

I'm in awe.

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3 Comments:

At Thu Jul 24, 11:11:00 AM , Blogger Rick said...

I've been considering that move myself. The only service i really want is a landline and connection to the internet.

 
At Fri Jul 25, 07:26:00 AM , Blogger Paul said...

I ditched my TV in 2009 and haven't looked back! I only have a NetFlix account and a laptop. So much stuff is available for streaming and if I can't get it that way, I certainly do need it and I can certainly live without TV and paying $100+/month for all of that "content" :)

Good to hear the you made the switch!

 
At Fri Aug 01, 01:55:00 PM , Blogger chuckography said...

Comcast came by yesterday and connected me to their internet. I then called to cancel internet with WOW. He said he could not match the $29.95 but when Comcast runs out, they could match it for a new customer. I see a plan here!

 

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