What is it? Badass.
When is it coming? Sometime.
Will I love it? Definitely.
Do you or someone you know suffer from “spending too much money on TV services you don’t actually need”?
This may not be recognized in the DSM-5, but the question remains nonetheless. Too often we hear horror stories of people who are spending far too much cash on paid TV (satellite, cable or even both). Sometimes they don’t realize there are alternatives, and sometimes people are wary of change.
Here are some common reasons we hear (and our responses) regarding why someone hasn’t dropped pay TV.
1) “There aren’t any other options out there.”
Paying for TV is one of those quintessential American pastimes, much like baseball or the West Virginia Roadkill Cookoff. But like many things, it has become antiquated and replaced by better options. As you’re aware, you can watch nearly every top TV show for free with Mohu HDTV antennas. But education is key, and cable companies don’t want anyone knowing there are superior substitutes.
Pay TV survives because it is the lowest common denominator for entertainment — it has a solid infrastructure spanning the country. It has a large content selection, filled with programming you may or may not be interested in. Lots of people like watching TV. It makes sense, right?
Wrong. Price hikes are outpacing inflation. As for that infrastructure? It’s not exactly popular or properly maintained. Regarding content, why would anyone want to pay for something you can get for free?
2) “I can’t get my favorite show over the air!”
Luckily for you, there are tons of various streaming services that complement OTA HDTV. Couple a service like Netflix, Hulu or Crackle with web content and your Mohu antenna, and you’ve got access to more content than any cable service can offer — for less than what you’re paying now.
3) “I can’t get my sports fix without it.”
In addition to having games broadcast in 1080i HD over the air, there are countless apps and streaming services that fill the gaps for every armchair quarterback. Services include:
4) “I’m not techie enough to get an HDTV antenna. Cable is simple — just plug it in and go.”
HDTV antennas are one of the most practical investments you can make, both functionally and financially. Installing an HDTV antenna is easier than any satellite box, and on par with the “plug it in and go” mentality from some cable providers. Installing an HDTV antenna boils down to this:
The most complicated portion of your experience will likely be determining where to place your antenna. We’ve considered that as well. Mohu Leaf antennas are built to be paper-thin and easily hidden. Mohu Curve antennas offer the same quality and range, but are aesthetically pleasing for public display.
5) “Paying for TV is awesome.”
Wait. No one in the history of ever has said this with sincerity. The average cable bill is upwards of $80 a month, and we can think of several ways you could better spend that money than to pay for cable.
Sometimes the difference between keeping your cable subscription and cutting the cord comes down to the small things you have grown accustomed to. Some people like the ability to simply watch whatever’s on (channel surfing), while others like the ease with which they can catch their favorite shows, and everyone I know loves their DVR; everyone.
The DVR is like the internet in that we often wonder how we ever got along without it. Although the beauty of cord cutting is that you can stream content whenever you want; many people are hesitant to give up cable because they enjoy using their DVR to record live television specials that would be otherwise unavailable for streaming. For example: you can probably find Season 4 of “Grey’s Anatomy” online, but the odds are slim for the “State of the Union Address” or this year’s “Super Bowl” making it to Netflix anytime soon.
What most people don’t realize is that they don’t have to choose between cutting the cord and recording live programming with their DVR. Well, obviously the cable company won’t let you keep their DVR, but you can most certainly replace it with your own.
When it comes to over the air (OTA) DVRs, there are two routes you can take. Most store bought DVRs will plug into your television as easily as a Roku or Apple TV would and can range in price from $50 to $350. However, unlike Roku and Apple TV, you will have to pay a subscription fee in order for your DVR to access a channel guide.
And without a channel guide, your DVR will not know where and when to record your favorite shows. Subscription prices range from $5 to $15 monthly. If you want your DVR experience to be simple and hassle free, the benefits of owning a store bought OTA DVR will outweigh the cost of the subscription.
Build Your Own OTA DVR
If you’re like me and you don’t mind the extra work to save a few dollars, then you might want to build your own DVR. Don’t worry, it isn’t as complicated as it seems. The only thing you need is a PC, an over-the-air antenna, and a TV tuner card. But what is a TV tuner card, you ask?
A TV tuner card is the peripheral device that allows you to record over the air broadcasts from your computer. There are four different types of TV tuner cards you will need to choose from: Internal, External USB, External CardBus slot/ExpressCard slot, and Network Ethernet connection. Once you install your TV tuner card, and you make sure it has a connection with your antenna, your PC can then be used as a DVR. Most tuner cards will be in the $30-$60 range, so they should be pretty affordable for even the tightest of budgets.
If you don’t mind doing a little tinkering and research, building your own OTA DVR is definitely worth it. Not only will you have the satisfaction of doing something for yourself, but you’ll also have saved potentially hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Cut Cable Without Cutting Content & Convenience
A lot of people are reluctant to give up their cable subscription because there are a lot of unknowns: how will I watch my favorite shows, what kind of devices will I need, how will I record certain broadcasts, etc…
However, once you take a step back and do a little research, it becomes abundantly clear that cutting the cord is a lot easier than you ever thought. Don’t be stuck unnecessarily paying thousands of dollars to cable companies every year; take the leap and start saving money today!
Dave Kennedy is a long time cordcutter who became increasingly frustrated with the high cost of Cable TV and decided to make a stance. In 2011 he launched KilltheCableBill.com, a site dedicated to helping people save money through providing simple, cost-effective cable TV alternatives. Sine then, David has helped 1,000s of people cancel their cable subscription while keeping the shows they love.
“Yes you can, and it’s super easy to do!”
You don’t have to lose out on great entertainment just because you cut the cord. Cord cutting gives you the opportunity to grab over-the-air free TV and save money without losing out on today’s best entertainment, sports or news programming.
Over-the-air TV has been around for a long time, but recent advancements in antenna technology have truly made cord cutting a viable option to expensive cable or satellite TV for a broader demographic of people.
It’s no longer a complicated process to setup and use an over air antenna. New digital over air technology makes it a simple and inexpensive process to easily access over-the-air TV and eliminate a costly monthly expense .
My Mohu Leaf 50 HDTV Antenna has allowed me to cut the cord and save $100 a month. I watch local and national news in HD from ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, in addition to the latest sitcoms, dramas and major sporting events. NFL football on my 60” LED HDTV is amazing!
Anyone Can Do It
Even non-tech savvy consumers who are willing to let go of their fears and try something new can find happiness cutting the cord.
In just a few steps and with very little effort, online tools like the one at AntennaWeb can show you what TV broadcast towers are in your area and what channels are being broadcast.
Towers are shown on a map, giving you directional guidance to help set up your over air antenna. The distance of these towers from your location is called the range, and it’s what helps you to determine the best over-the-air antenna for you.
If you live in an urban location with TV towers close to you, the Leaf Metro Indoor HDTV antenna is a good choice. It pulls in TV signals from as far away as 25 miles and it’s very small so that it can be discretely placed to blend easily into your decor.
Cost to Begin Cord Cutting
Depending upon the current TV you own and what antenna you choose to secure your over-the-air signal, your initial equipment costs can be less than the price of one month of cable or satellite TV.
Older televisions which are lacking digital tuners will need digital converter boxes to translate digital over air TV signals.
By contrast, contemporary flat TVs with digital tuners built in don’t need converter boxes and can simply be hooked up to a digital antenna to obtain free TV within minutes of installation.
Ultimately the only ongoing cost related to receiving free over-the-air TV is the electricity you use to power your television.
Exceptionally Exciting Savings
In addition to potentially saving you hundreds of dollars each year, cord cutting allows you to regain the freedom to choose how you want to spend your entertainment dollars. HDTV antennas provide you with the ability to enjoy free TV, without hidden fees or costly subscriptions.
You still end up getting the latest network programming, much of it in uncompressed high definition, which is actually sharper than the compressed HD programming you get from your cable provider.
Over-the-air programming is of excellent quality and clarity, and the best part, you’re not paying for it!
Free TV is for real and available to almost everyone. Dialing in a bunch of free TV channels in HD feels like you’ve won the lottery. It’s about a $1200 a year jackpot in cord cutting savings that’s well worth the minimal cost of the ticket.
Andrea Polk hails from Oregon and is a wife, mother, writer, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer, and more. She’s also the author of the Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV as well as the avid deal-seeker behind SavvySleuth.com, where she scours the web for the best online deals.
A couple of weeks ago a friend was over at my house and he said to me ,“I get the idea that cable is kind of crappy, but why go through all that hassle just to save a couple of dollars?” I couldn’t believe my ears.
Just a few dollars? Are you kidding me? You can cut the cord and save money – way more than just few dollars – by ditching cable and satellite. It was this common misconception that inspired me to write today’s post, where I’m going to break it down for you, dollar for dollar, how much cheaper and effective it is to cut the cord. Let’s get started.
Cable vs. Cord-Cutting
For the sake of this argument I’m going to use Comcast as the baseline for most cable companies. Comcast is everywhere, and it’s often the only option many Americans have. Now the cheapest cable package you can get from Comcast is the Digital Starter Package, which runs for about $45 for the first year; and jumps up to between $55-$70 depending on your area and their petty whims.
For 12 months with their basic package, you will spend $540 for the first year and anywhere between $660 and $849 for the second year. Let me just remind you that that is only for 80 channels. We’re not talking premium channels or sports packages. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s less than ideal. Now let’s see how much the alternative is.
Over-the-Air Antenna + Streaming = All You Need
First let’s get to the free stuff. You will be surprised by how many of your favorite shows come on Network television. Anything that’s on ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, or FOX can be accessed completely for free by using an Over the Air antenna. (If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically the rabbit ears of the 21st century. The Mohu Leaf 30 Indoor HDTV Antenna is one of the most popular and the best-rated antennas on the market and will cost you $39.99.)
Next, let’s assume you have no streaming devices except your computer and maybe your phone and that you want to watch stuff on your TV. So you go and buy a Roku streaming device. For simplicity’s sake let’s say you bought the cheapest one, the Roku 1; which will cost about $50-$55 depending on where you get it. So right now our total cost is around $86.
After you purchase your streaming device, you run home and sign up for all the wonderful streaming programs available. Netflix winds up costing you $8.99 a month / $107.88 a year; then you sign up for Amazon Prime and pay $8.25 a month / $99 a year. I would include Hulu Plus into the mix, but since there is not much you can get off of Hulu that you can’t get off of the other two, it’s a bit redundant. If you’re interested, though, Hulu Plus costs $7.99 a month / $95.98 a year. Our total price is now approximately $292.87.
How to Access Shows Not Broadcast Over the Air
Most, if not all, of your favorite shows can be found through Over the Air broadcasts, Netflix, or Amazon Prime. There are some shows that slip through the cracks on these plans, but they are not lost to you! For example, The Walking Dead is one of my most favorite shows. Sadly I can’t stream new episodes. Luckily with Amazon Prime, I can catch the new season the day after for $2 an episode OR I can purchase the whole season for $26.99 in standard definition or $41 for high definition. Since we’re going with the cheapest option, we’ll go standard definition. That brings our total to $320. You could actually buy eight more seasons until you caught up with the price of the most basic cable package.
Ever have one of those nightmares where you’re hanging on the ledge of a building and your grip gives out like Tony Romo in the playoffs? Most of us have. But here’s the scary part: the nightmare is very real for anyone with an ironclad cable contract. That slippery grip in your dreams, you see, is akin to the oily residue of a cable salesman’s handshake. No matter how secure you feel, you’re always one step from falling off the ledge into a trap.
Yes, there are promises of bundled goodies you’ll probably never watch, net speeds you might not actually get (and still overpay for), and landline phone services you don’t necessarily care about. And with your signature in blood, you’ve essentially offered yourself to the cable gods for tribute. Cable-sponsored ceremonial daggers will usually bleed you for about $80 a month ad infinitum. Ouch.
We at Mohu believe there are better ways to spend your money, especially since our magical HDTV antennas offer crystal-clear programming at a sterling price of $0 per month (plus no commitments — for realsies).
1) Invest in a project
I’m a semi-professional basket weaver who doubles as a dingo trainer for carnivals. I wasn’t born with these talents (only charmingly good looks, sadly) — I learned them on YouTube. There are tons of craft, DIY, how-to sites on the Web, so get your creativity on. Learn how to make a DSLR camera slider, bake delicious pierogis or pick up a new instrument.
2) Invest in a cause
With all that extra cash laying around, you have a chance to help organizations by giving money, time or other resources to something you believe in. Small donations can help nonprofits survive and flourish. For us, we believe in giving the public freedom from overzealous cable providers. As such, we’re fighting to become the Triangle’s “Favorite Cable and Internet Service Provider.” Fight the power, we say!
3) Save up for new tech
Part of being a Mohuligan entails being a technophile. We love gadgets large and small. So we go HAM when new products get announced or released — gaming systems, cell phones, accessories, you name it. If you’re saving upwards of $100 a month by ditching cable, you’ll have the cash to grab the latest toys. Who wouldn’t mind having an extra gizmo every few months?
4) Road Trip
Stop Google-Earthing and go live a little! Cutting cable could mean a few tanks of gas to the destination of your dreams, especially with winter approaching. Camping is free on national forest grounds, so grab a tent and go! Not into the outdoors? No worries, there are lots of ways to travel on the cheap — just requires a bit of extra planning. You could visit us in Raleigh, NC if you feel so inclined. Our eCommerce director will even treat you to lunch.*
*totally not guaranteed.
5) Stay in and spoil yourself
Mohu provides the best ways to watch the hottest fall TV shows. You’re already riding fancy with free HDTV, but take it to the next level with a Netflix subscription ($9/month) and your favorite sports package ($25 total for remainder of post-season). For a price much lower than what you’re already paying, you’d be watching not only the hottest TV shows, but you’ve got your movies and sports covered too. With prices like this, does cable TV really make sense?
Don’t take our word for it. Just read a few of cable TV’s rave reviews:
Check out Consumer Affairs for more self-deprecating cable humor.
If you’re already a cord-cutter, what do you do with the money you save? If you aren’t yet free of those monthly bills, what would you like to do with those potential savings?
Since introducing our paper-thin Leaf Antenna in 2011, we’ve helped hundreds of thousands of people save more than $220 million by reducing or eliminating their monthly cable and satellite bills.
To help us spread the money-saving message of cutting the cord, we’ve launched the official Mohu affiliate program with our friends at ShareASale. If you have a website or blog and you’d like to earn money while helping others save money, you’ve come to the right place. We’re looking for technology, electronics, personal finance, and gift blogs/websites as well as other sites appealing to folks who want to save money and live smarter.
As a valued partner, you’d enjoy generous commission-earning opportunities. Benefits include:
How to Join
Since we’ve teamed up with ShareASale, the sign-up process is quick and painless. Just visit gomohu.com/affiliate to get started.
If you have any questions along the way, feel free to reach our Mohu Affiliate team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of you are likely familiar with the fact that here at Mohu, we take great pride in offering leading cord-cutting solutions that let you save money and still watch your favorite TV shows over the air, sans the costly monthly bill.
What you may not know, though, is that we are based in the midst of the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina, specifically in the capital city Raleigh. We’re proud to be part of a community filled with some of the world’s leading tech companies as well as tons of fantastic local eateries, art galleries, breweries, and more.
So, in the spirit of the Triangle, we wanted to share the Triangle Business Journal’s “Battle of the Brands” competition with all of our loyal Mohuligans. One of the categories is “Favorite Cable and Internet Service Provider.” Since we understand that more often than not, folks don’t have a “favorite,” they just have an “available” cable/satellite provider, we thought that with your help, we could disrupt the status quo by showing that there’s a better alternative to cable with free TV.
If you have a few minutes to spare, we’d love for you to cast your vote for Mohu under “What is your favorite cable and Internet service provider?” If you’re curious, it’s question #17 and you don’t have to fill out the rest of the survey (unless of course you want to show some love for your other favorite businesses in the area, and there are plenty of great ones to choose from).
Nominations end Tuesday, October 7 at 11:59 p.m. ET (rules). Once they tally all the nominations, the most nominated brands will be pitted against each other in a bracket-style vote-off. How awesome would it be to show everyone that there IS an alternative and have the chance to pull off the ultimate upset as the David vs. Goliath of TV?
Let’s shake things up!
The Mohu Team
This week, the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual World of Bluegrass is taking over Raleigh, NC. That means tons of amazing musicians are taking the numerous stages while thousands of bluegrass fans head to the city to take it all in. Here at Mohu, we’re huge fans of great music, so we’re excited to have this event right here in our backyard.
What’s even more exciting though is that our friends at WNCN, the Triangle’s NBC affiliate, are broadcasting tonight’s 25th Annual IBMA Awards Show LIVE for folks in the area to tune in and enjoy if they can’t make the festivities in person. The awards show will air at 7:30 p.m. tonight on WNCN channel 17-2. If you’re thinking that channel looks funky because of the “-2,” that’s because it’s the WNCN digital sub-channel.
Like tonight’s IBMA Awards Show, digital sub-channels offer a lot of entertaining, unique content that you can enjoy in addition to the main broadcasts. The catch? Well, if you’re a satellite subscriber, unfortunately you won’t be able to watch these sub-channels. Since satellite providers are limited to how many local stations they can carry, they focus on the primary channels for as many local networks as they can. And if you’re a cable subscriber, chances are the sub-channels are buried deep in your channel guide and hard to find.
Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to pick up your local broadcast networks sub-channels with an HDTV antenna, so even if you aren’t a cord-cutter, you can still take advantage of these free, over-the-air broadcasts using an antenna in addition to your cable or satellite subscription. The antenna can also serve as a back-up in case you experience blackouts or satellite signal disruptions.
Curious what kind of sub-channels you can get in your area? Check out this listing to find your local broadcast market. You’ll be able to see the OTA channels available, and you can click each to see if and what sub-channels are also available through that network.
I know I’ve said it before, but I can’t help but say it again: Fall is the most wonderful time of the year. The leaves change, people put pumpkin in everything, and best of all our favorite programs come back on; not to mention all the new shows that premiere! This is also usually the time of the year when people regrettably sign up for a cable package; because no matter how much they hate their cable provider, they love their favorite shows just as much.
I’m here to tell you today there is another way! It is possible to watch your favorite shows this fall and not have to give in to the corporate cable companies. In this article I’m going walk you through the hottest shows this Fall and how you can access them. The first thing you need to know is that there are two kinds of television channels: network and cable.
Network vs. Cable Channels
Network television channels are the channels you can access for free over the air with a modern television antenna. The Network broadcasting channels are ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CW.
Cable television channels, on the other hand, is where the cable companies make their money; although there are many ways to watch your favorite cable shows without forking out a fortune to Comcast or any other provider. Let’s take a look at some of the fall lineup shows available on network television first; all of which are accessible via a Mohu antenna.
Shows on ABC