Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to. That’s when I feature them on the blog. This is one of those days.
Recently I wrote that I loved watching the show Line of Duty. I wrote that I watch in on Acorn Television.
“Curious to hear anything you have to say about having to pay another fee beyond the ridiculous cable bill we are already paying ??????”
I thought I would write a little and tell you a bit about what I do here for television watching…
First up, I do not have cable. We were never really into cable at all. It was expensive and with having five kids, we had other expenses that were more important than cable…besides we were also against kids sitting in front of the television all the time. We had an antenna and they watched PBS.
Later we bought this antenna and have it on top of our house on the outside, Antenna’s Direct C4-CJM 20-Inch ClearStream 4 Extreme Range UHF Outdoor Antenna Mount.
We also have an amplifier. This was around $45. It helps to boost the television signal. We were finding that the sewing room and garage televisions weren’t getting as many channels as the living room television. This boosted the channel strength and then were able to get all of the channels on all of the televisions.
This set up is awesome. With this $100 antenna, we get MANY free channels. We get several channels and not just the main ones. For example with our channel 7 which is NBC we also get:
7.1- regular NBC programming
We have similar with channel 2, 3, 9, 10 and PBS. So we end up getting about 30ish channels for free with the $100 antenna that we’ve had here ever since we moved here which is 5 years ago.
I love this…I really like Me TV. It has old episodes of MASH, Leave it to Beaver, Mayberry RFD and other great shows from the past.
If you have kids, there are about 3 different channels of PBS that only offer children’s programming.
For us we felt that we didn’t need cable with so many options. Did we always find something we liked? No…but I have been to hotels with cable and seriously with 75 channels I often didn’t find something I liked to watch.
Beyond the antenna we have….
a Roku Streaming Media Player. This allows free and subscription channels to come to our home via the internet. It coverts the signals so we can watch them on our television. This was about $100.
There are other devices besides this but at the time, we knew we wanted to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime and Youtube. This was the only device that allowed us to watch all three…and from the box you can see many other channels.
There is no subscription fee with the actual Roku.
We do have some subscriptions though….
Netflix for us is around $13 a month.
Acorn Television- $5 a month
Amazon Prime- $100-ish a year but that also gives us free shipping and other Amazon perks.
Disney Plus- $7 a month
I don’t use the Roku to its fullest extent. I am sure there are many other free channels and that I could add but I’m very content with what I have. There are lots of other channels that are available for a subscription fee as well. In the past I have subscribed to:
With this I made the decision to get rid of all the movies and DVDs we had here. There is always something for the kids to watch between PBS, Prime, Netflix and Disney.
There is always something I can find to watch.
So after the initial investment of:
$145 has allowed us to watch basic+ television for five years…That is for the 30ish channels we get for free including regular PBS, ABC, CBS and NBC programming and the enhanced stations like Me TV. I’m sure it will last longer but we’ve only lived in this house for five year so I can only base the investment on the five years. So to date if it all dies today, we will have only spent $2.26 per month. Every month it lasts, we will have paid less and and less. That’s cheap entertainment.
To watch the other channels we had the initial Roku investment of $100.
We have subscriptions totalling
So I pay $25 a month for that. What I love is that we get to pick. We aren’t sports fans so we don’t have to scroll through all the sports channels. We aren’t travel people. We don’t have to scroll through travel channels.
I also like that I can add or subtract channels as I please. If want to watch a particular series, we can add it. We can take a different channel away for a bit. I’ve done that with BritBox and Acorn. Both offer British shows but often not the same series or episodes. So I will add and subtract the channels each month to meet my viewing preferences. I should have done it sooner but I should drop DisneyPlus for a couple months as I only keep it for childcare and grandkids and I’ve seen neither now for over and month.
Personally my belief is that this all is much cheaper than cable. If you are on top of things, you can get HBO for a month for free..or Starz or many other channels. Me, I’m not on top of it. I know there are many other programs and channels Roku offers for free but again, I don’t spend a lot of time checking into that. If you have someone into sports, there are sport subscriptions as well.
One perk I love about the Roku is being able to watch Youtube videos on a large screen. I have a second Roku on my television in the sewing room. I’ve watched many Youtube videos on my television while sewing. I especially like to watch videos on longarm quilting from APQS. I can watch the video and practice it right away.
For the Kramer house, we’re more than content with not paying huge cable bills and not having a dish or satellite hanging off the house. Of course everyone can choose what they like, but this has and likely will continue to work for us.
These are the items we used
Antenna-for basic television Plus
Amplifier– might not be needed
Roku-There are cheaper versions. This was recommended to us as it had a stronger signal. If you are in an apartment or small house, the stick version would likely do.
So Brenda…I hope that helps you understand how we here at the Kramer house aren’t paying ridiculous cable bills and are getting to watch shows that we actually want to see. Nowadays there are so many different ways to watch television. I’m so happy we found a way that works for us and our budget.