Our very busy schedules, desire to reduce our household costs, and the introduction of a little black box, one that would stream from our internet connection, were the driving forces. We have not looked back after saving thousands of dollars while having on-demand programming and focusing our time watching what we really wanted to watch, including fewer commercials.
Increasing cable prices, poorly designed channel packages, and only a couple of cable options in the New Orleans area probably has you thinking the following, “How can my family make the leap to become a cable free home?”
As long as you have internet access, your household has a few options.
- The little black box I mentioned is the Roku. It streams directly from your internet and accesses your choice of paid subscriptions to Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon Prime, HBO, etc, as well as access to another 1000 channels, some free, like major news networks, Pandora, YouTube, etc.
- There is also Apple TV that connects you via internet to your paid subscription to channels, much like Roku, iTunes and other applications, some which are free.
- Google also recently launched a similar apparatus but has limited channel options at this time.
The best thing about these devices is that it is a one time cost that you replace on your own terms without any monthly fees; you only need to consider your monthly paid subscriptions to the channels of your choice.
But we don’t only depend on on-demand programming via our television screen to see our favorite shows or movie.
We also use our computer to view recent full episodes through the network’s website. Hulu, the basic free website, will also allow you to watch many shows for free. And, we invested in a decent antenna to ensure a clear reception and access to many local channels, free of charge. We also take advantage during our weekly visits to our parish libraries to stop by the DVD section to check out even the latest movies available.
The downfall of on-demand programming is you must be patient.
Sometimes, network episodes are not available for weeks or until the following season on Netflix, HuluPlus or Amazon Prime. Also, the avid sports fan might find issues not having access to every game and other major tournaments, but of course, it is available, but sometimes at a premium price.
I have also noticed that those rare times we watch cable television, our children become speechless when a commercial comes along; they usually shrug their shoulders and look at me in confusion. Perhaps it is teaching them that everything must be instant and lessening their patient skills. However, as a parent, I have enjoyed all of the features my little box has to offer, including the option to provide a pin to access certain channels and I am comfortable knowing I have control at any time from iPhone to start or stop a show as well as the ability to see the “history” of what has been watched when the time comes. We are a happy cable-free family and haven’t looked back!