Cutting the Cord



This is sort of an article about how to beat the system. We were subscribing to cable TV and internet and decided we were tired of paying for the TV when we don’t really focus on it all that much. The thing is, after canceling, we still have cable TV. I will explain.

Heres the thing: the internet and TV signals travel through the same cable, so getting internet from your cable company gets you a cable into your house that delivers everything. Let me more fully explain.

We decided to have cable TV and internet installed into our new home. We had a guaranteed rate of $100 per month for the first year and we got 15 Meg internet service and the HD TV package which is quite good. They wired our house so that there was a coax cable in each of three bedrooms along with the living room and also a coax cable for the internet.

We became tired of paying the $100 per month and we discovered other internet options for watching our favorite shows. Also, I visited one of our neighbors who had an antenna hooked up to their TV that got 18 TV stations. As an experiment I bought an indoor antenna for $40 and hooked it up to our TV. Here are the stations we got over the antenna (you need a digital TV tuner for this, which all newer flat-screen TV sets have):

Over the Air Channels in Our Little Town:

3-1 CBS
3-2 CW
8-1 NBC
8-2 Bounce
8-3 Radar Weather
17-1 FOX
17-2 Antenna (old shows)
17-3 This TV (old shows)
41-1 ABC
41-2 Radar Weather
43-1 ION
43-2 QUBO (kids tv)
43-3 IONLife (old shows)
43-4 Shop (shopping channel)
43-5 QVC
64-1 WLLA-D1 (religious)
64-2 WLLA-D2 (old shows)
64-3 WLLA-D3 (retro tv)

Note the channels in red. Those are the five major networks, in HD!

Why have cable TV? There’s lots to watch through the antenna and many shows can be watched after they air on the network websites, and there are other more questionable means of acquiring content that I’m not going to discuss here.

But wait, there’s more!

When we canceled our cable TV, all the nice man did was come to our door and pick up the cable box. He did NOT unwire our house at all, he left everything intact. I am not SuperNerd, but I could not resist attaching a cable to a TV set to see what would happen.

After screwing in the coax cable to the back of a TV set I had the TV auto-tune stations and it came up with 84 channels. Granted most of those channels are SD (standard definition) but the main network channels are in HD (high definition).

For the record, we are using the antenna. We use our Apple TV more than anything else anyway. What we lost is the ability to record shows and watch them later, but we can Airplay from our mobile device to the Apple TV and watch from the internet on our 55-inch living-room TV.

Our cable company had recently raised our rate from $100 to $110. Canceling the TV brought our rate down to $35. And if we wanted we’d still have 84 channels through the cabling left throughout the house.

Do with this information what you will.

6 thoughts on “Cutting the Cord

    • Thanks, John. I bought your book and just received it, btw. I’m a little afraid some of it will be over my head but I intend to go through slowly and thoughtfully and take what I find useful.

      I don’t ever watch the FOX News Channel. What is listed here is their main network channel which is not at all the same. On the Apple TV we can watch the latest full episode of Rachel Maddow which is the liberal brand of Kool-Aid which we much prefer.

      • Thanks so much Jim. I really wasn’t here to sell you one, just chatting. None of it should be over your head if I’ve done my job correctly. Keep in touch and never lose that sense of humour (humor).

    • John, I never felt like you were pushing your book. You do make regular mention of it on your own blog but how could you not? It might take me a while to actually read. For this month I am focusing on the iTunes Festival to see what is current and at the same time I am pouring over Logic Pro X and trying to dig deep into something I have been merely using as a multi-track tape recorder. September is my month of study along those lines.

      Once I start reading through your book I will make regular comments on what works for me, what does not, and why. Some will certainly be outside my specific interests but one never knows. It will be an interesting journey, maybe somewhat for both of us.

      My sense of humor? Just yesterday we walked into a fast food restaurant and when starting to place my order I suspiciously said to the poor counter person, “I want to bribe you to give me food.” Life’s too short to not be silly and have fun.

  1. Ha! Good points. The are so many ways to watch TV on the internet (for free), that having that exorbitant bill is just insane for me. Unfortunately, I signed a contract with Verizon so I have to wait it out… I’ve never considered an antenna but that is such a great solution as well. Thanks!!

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