1.12.2011

Cutting the cable: How to watch it, and not pay for it


With my Charter "bundle" I get cable TV, home phone service, and internet service....

All for a lovely price of at LEAST $160.00 a month. Awesome. 

After about a year of paying the cable bill every month, I got sick of feeling like I was wasting so much money and getting so little. So I started looking into ways I could watch TV.... and not pay for cable. 

I knew there was a way. And then I found it!!


A Roku Player :) It streams high speed internet directly to your television so you can instantly watch movies, videos, TV series and more. There are basically three different models and the highest quality one, which I HAD to have, plays 1080p HD video, uses dual-band wireless technology, and has extra outputs and a USB port. It costs around $99.99. And. Thats. It. No monthly fees or anything to sign up for. 

So I spent a few weeks checking it out online, reading blogs and reviews about the product, thinking I would save money right off the bat if I bought the Roku. Two weeks before Christmas I got some mail from my trusty credit card company with some deals on electronics using my MC on Amazon. The 10% deal applied to HD TVs, blu-ray players, and other accessories..... Including my Roku :) What was even better was the player was on sale for $89.99 and then so %10 off that brings the grand total to $80.99.

I got online and got it right away and it would be shipped by Christmas Eve. Score!

Merry Christmas to me!


She was small and plain when she got to my house..... All I had to do was plug it in to the HDMI cable that the cable box was using before. Then I turned it on, connected to my wireless network, and I was up and running.

Now, I never had Netflix before, but had been seriously considering it and it's one of the main things the Roku is good for: it streams right to my TV. I signed up for a 1 month free trial for Netflix and also found a 1 week free trial for Hulu Plus. I cancelled the Hulu Plus after the week and decided for now I would stick with the Netflix, which is only $9.99 per month and includes unlimited instant movies and TV shows along with one DVD at a time through the mail. 

Besides Netflix and Hulu Plus, the Roku player has a channel store that includes a bunch of free and premium channels. You can find things like Pandora, Amazon Video on Demand, NHL, UFC, MOG, Vimeo, Crackle, Flickr, and more. You can simply add any of these to your channel line-up on the home screen. I also found, while I was snooping on the internet, private channel codes for things like YouTube, Twitter, and CNN. The channels may be experimental or just not endorsed by Roku and they are not included in the channel store, but they make the Roku experience even better with a wider selection of channels. I just started typing "private channel codes for Roku" into Google and went from there. There is a code for each channel and it has to be entered into your account online and then the Roku instantly syncs with your account and pulls the channel onto the home screen of the Roku player.  Lists of private channels can be found here and here. I found some helpful tips on this page. 

We have had the Roku for a couple weeks now and I must say, I REALLY like it. There are so many channels, I haven't even checked them all out yet. I found some music channels similar to Pandora, yoga and workout channels, HGTV. Love. It. 

And I'm saving money! This is what cable was costing me BEFORE:

  • Digital home package: 59.99
  • HD equipment upgrade: 5.00
  • Showtime and movie channel: 14.00
  • HD ultra view: 5.00
  • Wire maintenance(??): 4.99

And that's a grand total of $88.98!!!!  Per. Month. (minus whatever "discount" I get for having a "bundle")

When I called Charter to FINALLY cancel my cable, I was so excited!! And the chick that helped me was super nice and told me that she would give me $10 off EACH on my telephone and internet. I must be a great customer :) She said it was because she was having a great day and got to go home early, but I really know it's because they want to keep me as a customer. So now I think I will be paying around $60/month for phone and internet.....

Now AFTER:

  • Roku layer: 80.99 (one-time payment!!!!)
  • Netflix: 9.99
 Looks like I'm already getting more bang for my buck ;)

Ladies and Gentlemen, THAT is how I am watching cable...... and NOT paying for it! What have you done to save some moolah lately?  Anybody have the Roku player?

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