Goodbye, Cable … Hello, Free TV

We haven’t had a television since 1999, nor have we had cable bills. When it’s available, we sometimes watch, but we never really missed it. When we bought the house in Las Vegas, the sibs wanted cable and, as new customers, David was able to negotiate a reasonable bundled deal for cable and internet. Our two-year contract is now up and the increase in fees will represent nearly a 40% higher bill compared to when we first signed up, though there has been no increase in service or features. Our frugal natures rebelled. We thought this unacceptable, so we decided to do something about it.

 Crawling around in the attic for a place to install the antenna might work ... or not!

Crawling around in the attic for a place to install the antenna might work ... or not!

First, I called our current cable company to try to negotiate a better price. After all, we’ve been loyal, on-time paying customers for two years. No dice. So I began calling other cable companies in the area. Several had potential until all the hidden charges started to surface … then taxes on top of that. Still unacceptable.

The sibs all agreed that internet was important, but perhaps an antenna might do the trick for TV, so David began to research possible antennae that he thought would work. One antenna variation can be used for individual TVs and another can be installed in the attic using existing cable wiring and then coaxial splitters used to connect the household TVs. Installation in the attic seemed the most promising, so we bought an Air60 at Best Buy and a 3-way splitter and began figuring out how and exactly where to install it. After crawling around in the attic for an hour or two, rock wool clinging to every part of his body and fear of putting a foot through the ceiling, he conceded defeat. This was just not going to work. There were cables upon cables up there, none labeled, and sorting them out would take virtually hours. Back to the drawing board …

 The Mohu Leaf 50 got great reviews AND it works!

The Mohu Leaf 50 got great reviews AND it works!

Perhaps an individual antenna for each TV would be a more reasonable alternative after all and far less complicated. Sure enough, we purchased three Mohu Leaf 50 “indoor amplified HDTV antenna(e)” for $60 each. These guys have a 60 mile range, are paper-thin and can even be painted to match your walls AND … what’s more … they actually work. We get all the local channels … about 70+ channels the last time we checked. We already subscribe to Amazon Prime and Netflix and Mary had previously purchased Amazon Fire sticks, so we’re good to go in the TV department.

Next, I called Century Link for internet service, inquiring about their “$45/month for life” offer. It’s DSL vs. cable. There are no install/activation fees and it’s … $45/month plus local taxes. We’re opting to lease their router/modem with a lifetime warranty, so we’re up to $55/month plus taxes, but that's okay. At last … this seemed acceptable! I had the pleasure of calling Cox to cancel our service. “But you’re a loyal customer! I’m sure we can find a plan that’s right for you!” Aha … no dice … too late. Wrath has no fury ...

We figure our annual household savings will be ~$1,200. Now all we have to do is figure what we’re going to do with all those savings!