Thursday, February 26, 2015

How We Survive Without Cable or Satellite TV

Hey there readers! We are home on a snow day, it snowed 3 1/2" here last night but it is melting fast. Since we will be back to the grind tomorrow, I've been catching up on my sewing, cleaning, and Facebooking.

A friend of mine posted a status on FB about finding a new horror show channel on her Roku player. Several people commented and asked about her Roku, not having cable, and what about an antenna for local stations. I gave my .02 worth and thought this would make a good blog post since we have never had cable at our house and it's been close to 16 years now.

We have this in our attic.
We live in a suburb of Charlotte so there are many channels to choose from. When tv switched from analog to digital in June of 2009, we tried out a few antennas to see which gave us the best reception. We tried a batwing style, rabbit ears style, and a flat style antenna. The one we currently use is a Phillips HDTV antenna that I bought at Wal-Mart. Tim mounted it up in our attic and we get 30 channels, at least. These are the networks like CBS, NBC, PBS, Fox, ABC, etc. Check out to see what all channels you can get. We are lucky that we are close to Charlotte. If you live in the boonies, your reception might not be as good.

As the kids started getting older, they wanted to watch Disney, Nick, ABC Family. We have a Wii and have had a Hulu Plus subscription for about 2 years now. It has met our needs and I have no complaints. We also tried a streaming service called PlayOn where it grabs streaming feeds from the internet and plays through the Wii. Some channels were good, but it was all on-demand and the links to the streams would change and some channels were really choppy. We cancelled our subscription and watched tv via the antenna or binge-watched tv at my parents house or at the in-laws since they both have Dish.

All this for $20!
Last month, I saw a news article about a new service called Sling TV. It is different from a Slingbox. Anyway, for $20 a month, you can get 20 channels of live tv and they will be adding AMC networks to this core package soon so that's good news for Walking Dead and Mad Men fans. For $5 more, you can add a sports package, kids package, or info package to your service. Here's the listing of what is included in each package right here and scroll down.

I thought about subscribing when it first came out but the catch was we have a Wii and they don't support their service through the Wii and I don't want to watch tv on Camden's iPad or on a PC.

After they launched the service, they announced a pretty sweet deal. If you sign up for 3 months, you got an Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku Stick for free. Hello, sign me up, get a $40 tv stick for free! They have other deals too like a 7 day free trial or $50 off a set top Amazon Fire TV box or Roku box. I got the Fire TV Stick 2 days ago and I have been really impressed with the service. I also got 1 month of Amazon Prime for free, though I doubt I'll keep that. Anyway, the live channels play really smoothly, they aren't choppy and it buffers very rarely. I've downloaded the History tv app and the A&E app since we like Duck Dynasty. I also downloaded the PBS Kids app since Camden likes PBS Kids shows. Anna has discovered games on there and she is currently playing Crossy Road, lawd help. Once I tear her away from playing Crossy Road, I want to watch classic Sesame Street and Electric Company. Here's the Fire TV Stick promotion here.

So that's how we watch tv without cable or satellite! Drop me a line if you have any questions about it! Off to watch tv!


Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for writing this blog. My opinions are my own.

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