Are you sick of watching political ads?
Do you hate that your children ask for something they see in a television commercial every five seconds?
Five years ago, my family decided to cancel our satellite subscription. We were fed up with ever increasing rates, lost programming, and rude customer service. The plan, initially, was to switch to a new provider . . . but I had other ideas in mind as well!
After looking into it, we decided were would do a “trial run” of not having satellite television. We live in a small town, so this would mean not only losing cable and premium stations, but local television as well.
That was five years ago, and we have never looked back!
What you will need:
· Television (Ours is an HDTV and HDMI compatible, but this is not necessary)
· A device that streams to the television (we use Roku, but many others are pleased with both Slingbox and Apple TV)
· High speed internet—wifi suggested (you will need something so you can stream, I prefer wi fi because you eliminate the need to run additional cables to your television)
· An HDMI cable (again, not necessary, but it makes it much easier to install)
· A subscription to a streaming service (I will discuss the ones we have below)
· A sense of adventure
First, our family purchased a Roku. I believe we chose the Roku over the other devices simply because we found a good sale. There are pluses and minuses to each device, and I advise you to look into each of them before making a purchase, and try to decide which is right for you. I can only comment on the Roku. We purchased it because it was on sale, and we love it!
Second, you will most likely want a subscription service that gives you programming. The Roku does comes with limited programming. However, we subscribe to the following:
· Netflix: Netflix streams mostly older television shows after the entire season has been released to DVD. It also has older movies. Occasionally, they will carry newer movies. We like it because it includes our children’s favorite programming: Dora, Diego, Thomas, Horseland, and other kid friendly programming.
· Hulu Plus: We subscribe mainly for the recent episodes they provide. You can generally watch shows the morning after they air. Some episodes stay on for long periods of time, some disappear after a week. Networks that can be viewed include NBC, ABC, Family Channel, and Fox (there are many, many more, but those are the main ones we watch). Obviously, there is a major network missing—CBS. We watch CBS on our computers. We feel it is a small price to pay for the added benefits we receive from not having regular television.
· Amazon Prime Video: I already have a Prime subscription. I have been an Amazon Prime subscriber for 7 years. As an Amazon Prime subscriber, I can stream movies and television shows—many for free. The “free” selection is somewhat limited, but I can also “rent” a movie for the evening for very cheap (for nights I do not want to leave the house to hit the redbox).
What I love about it:
· Limited advertising on Hulu Plus, none on Netflix. That is right—my children watch their programming COMMERCIAL FREE
· NO political advertisements!
· Control over what the children watch. I do not have to worry about what is coming up next, or an inappropriate commercial during their television viewing.
· I watch television WHEN I WANT!
· I have access to a HUGE library of television and video
There are some drawbacks, but they are very few and far between. Among them:
· We cannot watch the nightly news. Instead we depend on reading the paper, listening to the radio, and getting online news.
· We cannot stream CBS to the television (again, we do this through out computers).
· At times the Roku can freeze, especially if there is HIGH Internet usage. However, this rarely happens and we have time when both my husband and I are online and the children are watching a program.
Are you ready to cut the wire? I strongly suggest it! It has really changed the way my family watches television, and limits how often we do so.