My adventure began six years ago.
I resisted online streaming for a long time. I liked my digital cable channel lineup. I borrowed movies from friends and checked out DVDs from the library. My final motivation was that my Comcast promotional package was about to expire and I’d have to pony up $100+ a month to keep my entertainment lifestyle.
Recalling that my one-year-old Amazon Prime membership included access to a service called Amazon Instant Video as a competitor to Netflix, I quickly recognized the financial cost savings of streaming.
I owned a 37″ HDTV but needed a device to perform the actual streaming. My TV wasn’t smart. I researched options and bought a Roku player. It connects to my TV and to my router.
Comcast wasn’t keen on my cancellation request. They insisted on charging me more money each month to have only internet service than to have internet and cable. I caved. I agreed to a $10 monthly basic cable fee for delivery of local affiliates of NBC, ABC, etc. I rarely tuned in.
Days after Netflix announced in July 2011 that it would separate its DVD mail order and streaming services, I signed up and streamed an episode of “Doctor Who.”
Fast forward to 2017.
My digital setup is similar as before.
My TV is the same.
I now have a 2014 Roku model (bought for $75 at the time). It enables me to subscribe to channels. Some of these are free such as Sky News, Reuters, and Al Jazeera. Some are paid such as Amazon and Netflix. I get my CNN fix from their CNNgo channel, which I access from my mom’s Xfinity login. I have CBSN.
I recently visited a friend’s apartment and saw old-school rabbit ears for watching over-the-air TV stations. It got me wondering why I never bought an antenna.
Discovering a blog post about cutting the cord, Dan describes the benefits of a modern-looking antenna by a company called Mohu. It has a wide radius and is thin enough to tack to the wall or behind a picture.
Here’s a photo from my living room. The Mohu leaf is to the top left of the TV. It’s paintable but the white on white looks right.
Amazon sold me the Mohu Leaf 30 antenna for $35. It’s advertised to retrieve stations in a 30-mile radius. I can pick up 51 digital channels in crisp quality. I get local affiliates of all of the major broadcast stations, along with Spanish stations, ION (for mostly Law and Order reruns), and even QVC and HSN.
I live in a more urban area than before, a few miles outside Boston. I’m on the 4th floor of an apartment building; and in the general vicinity of broadcast stations with their giant antennas. Maybe that’s why I get so much.
How much does it cost?
Not including startup costs for the Roku player and Mohu antenna and annual costs for Amazon Prime, I pay $55 a month for internet service and $10 a month for Netflix.
Comcast, Verizon, or take your pick of a cable provider would charge you much more for channels you’ll never watch and an arm-and-a-leg premium for a la carte channels you do want.
I’m happy and my wallet is content. That’s what matters.