How to cancel cable TV and still watch your favorite shows

I admit it – I like gadgets and TV. I bought the first DVR years before Tivo. I was excited when my cable company offered digital service with hundreds of channels. Even with all the channels, I still rented most movies, so I signed up for Netflix. Several Ipods and an Iphone soon followed. Moved from an apartment to a house and started renting cable boxes and DVRs for several rooms.

Ouch – We realize we’re spending almost $2000/yr to watch TV! Didn’t make much sense – my wife and I only spend a few hours a week watching TV and most of our shows are on broadcast TV (Lost, 24, etc.). Our kids’ favorite programs are on PBS and Disney.com and we use Netflix for most of our movies.

We knew this but held off canceling for a while. Why? a few favorite shows (Daily Show, Colbert) were only on cable and we still watched a few premium (HBO only shows) like Entourage. And I dreaded going back to the fuzzy reception and ‘rabbit ears’ days of my youth.

But I hated the idea of spending thousands for something we didn’t need. I started looking for a better way and learned that there are excellent alternatives to cable TV…

  • Free Digital Broadcast TV is now available. This new technology delivers the same quality reception as digital cable and provides many more channels than traditional broadcast TV. Any TV can receive digital broadcasts using a set top box which can be purchased for less than $20. And if you have a HDTV or flat screen tv, most shows are now broadcast in HD.
  • Most popular network and cable TV shows are now available free over the Internet or via Netflix and Itunes. I now watch The Daily Show on Hulu.com. And the few premium HBO and Showtime shows we like, we get from Netflix (via DVD or beamed to our TV via a set top box they now offer.)

We canceled cable TV and still watch our favorite shows. We’re saving almost $2000 a year and no longer deal with rate increases, channels we never watch and cable TV outages. We created this blog to share our experiences and help others considering canceling cable.

First time on this site? Read these posts first….

Like buying a 50″ plasma TV each year and tossing it in the dumpster. – The surprising long term costs of cable TV service.

What is free digital broadcast TV? – Learn how it works and see screenshots and sample video quality comparisons.

See what digital channels you can receive – How to use Antennaweb.org to see what channels are available in your area.

How to buy a digital tv receiver for less than $20 – Receive two $40 coupons from a special U.S. Department of Commerce program.

Watch your favorite cable shows using Hulu.com, Netflix and Itunes – Learn how to legally watch your favorite shows without subscribing to cable tv.

Showfinder Tool – Use this free tool to find and watch your favorite cable shows (even ones on premium channels like Showtime).

5 thoughts on “How to cancel cable TV and still watch your favorite shows

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