Monday, December 17, 2007

Getting rid of cable/satellite

I admit it....I like TV. I like it a lot. I use it to relax late at night, to start my mornings with a cup of coffee and the news, and to stay current on the latest hit shows like The Office. But it kills me to pay over $50 a month for this privilege.

This week, I've been thinking about how I could reduce my expenditure on TV programming, while still having enough channels to scratch my TV itch. One caveat: I won't even consider a solution that doesn't include a DVR.

Here's what I have now:
Dish Network "America's Top 100" with Locals
HD enabled w/ DVR
Total monthly cost: $55.

After exploring several options, here is what I have decided to go with:
  • Samsung SIR-T150 (HD tuner/receiver) - bought for $35 (including shipping) on ebay
  • Silver Surfer HD Antenna - Included as part of the ebay deal, but these can be found for about $10 on amazon.
  • DVR subscription - $6.95/month. ReplayTV 5040. (The normal monthly rate is $12.95, but I get a discount since I also still have an [inactive] Panasonic showstopper 2020 on my account qualifying me for the multiple unit discount.)

This solution will allow me to receive 6 channels in HD (for watching live) or to record them in Standard Definition (via my DVR).

My Total Savings: $48/month

If you are not a gadget geek like me, and don't have a couple of DVRs sitting in the closet, I saw plenty of Tivo Series 2 machines on Ebay/Craiglist in the $50 range. Those will require a $12.95/month service charge.

Had I started from scratch, it would have been:
$35 ebay for tuner and antenna.
$50 ebay/craigslist for Tivo
$12.95 monthly for Tivo

Curious as to whether you could receive HD channels over the air? Check out your address at and find out.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I moved into my current home just over 2 years ago. I didn't hook up cable right away because I had a number of projects I needed to
do, and figured I'd get more done without the distraction. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn't miss it as much as I thought I would.

With just old-fashioned "rabbit ears" I get 8 channels on my 18 year old tv (and two more channels that will give me the opportunity to revive my high school Spanish)

For the nights when "there's nothing on tv" I stop in at local thrift stores I check out their video tape selections. I can buy a movie for a dollar, and donate it back to the charity after I've watched it ;-)