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We may never go back to cable

Last week I wrote about a moral conflict with our cable not being turned off after we had asked for it to be.  And after they stopped charging us for it.  Well, they finally did turn it off.  Right in the middle of my first sick day from work day in six years.  Balls alive, oh the timing!

After the initial panic of not knowing what to do without TV in our lives, we looked for alternatives.  We ordered an indoors HDTV antenna that a few people I know have had luck with.  Unfortunately, after a day it didn’t work for us, but I blame our neighbor’s enormous house for blocking the signal. 

Indoor antenna: FAIL

Then we tried just plugging the TV in to the wall to see what we would get.  Turns out, we get Fox and about 3,000 religious channels.  I have faith in god (don’t let me love of a good curse word fool you), but I prefer to grow my faith with people who don’t wear pink wigs, have enormous fake breasts, and tell them I need to send money.  Thanks, but no.

Direct connection to cable outlet: FAIL

Next, I bought a HDMI cable from Fred Meyer to connect our Macbook to our TV.  The cable wasn’t compatible with a Mac.

Generic HDMI cable: FAIL

Finally, Troy watched a YouTube video on connecting Macs to a TV via HDMI cable.  We ordered this wicked cheap cable from Amazon.  It worked.

Semi-generic HDMI cable that we actually spent a few minutes researching: SUCCESS!!!!

Unfortunately, we didn’t read the part about also needing an audio cable to get sound.  We are now rocking any show we want via Hulu or specific network’s websites (seriously, you guys NEED to be watching Southland on TNT. So so SO good).  We have sound via some old computer speakers that my dumpster diver spouse found a few years ago.  If anyone knows of a good/cheap audio cable that is compatible for Macbooks circa 2007, please leave a comment!

For a one-time price of $8, we’re watching all the shows we could ever want to (except The Mentalist.  Side eye to CBS for not streaming that show).  The other night Troy said “why in the world were we every paying for cable”?

I don’t know buddy, I don’t know!

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4 comments on “We may never go back to cable”

  1. Just curious – why would you plug the television into the computer? Why not just watch your shows “on” the computer? Sure the video quality isn’t as good, but ….

    We jettisoned the cable years ago and recently realized that the television was just one more thing that was sucking electricity that we didn’t need to expend. So we gave away the television, and the savings has been significant. The first month with no television, we used 40 kWh less than the previous month. It was a pretty significant savings ;).

  2. Wendy, I’ve read your experiments with the TV, and while I’m impressed, we’re sticking with the TV for now. I will say that after watching shows on the laptop for a week, it was a bit strange to go back to watching it on the TV.

    The TV is fairly new (purchased back when we were both employed), so getting rid of it seems hard at this point.

    Additionally, I’m ALL over our livingroom in the evening when I’m doing stuff (laundry, cleaning, packing for the next day, etc) and the laptop wouldn’t be big enough for me to watch stuff. I like background shows, etc while I’m puttering.

    Perhaps 1 day I’ll get to no TV, but babysteps for now! ;-D

  3. Since I have a cheap cable internet, I actually use an AppleTV and a WDTV Live Plus. I use the AppleTV for NetFlix and iTunes streaming (as well as AirPlay), and I use WDTV for AVIs. I see that Hulu on WDTV is “Coming Soon”. Perhaps when that comes out you could run both boxes? They’re both cheap compared to a cable bill.

  4. I know this is an old post, but just wanted to throw in my two cents. We recently downgraded from expensive cable (with a billion channels that we never watched) to basic cable. So far it’s saving us a ton of money. When we move (hopefully soon!!) we plan on ditching cable all-together and just getting internet. We found a service called PlayOn that lets you stream shows through the Wii, Xbox, Playstation, and a bunch of other devices. Since we’re young, we still have gaming systems that my husband sometimes plays. It’s $40 a year and there’s a plugin you can download that lets you stream live TV, which is great considering college football season is coming up and we don’t get ESPN!! Sometimes it takes a while to buffer (it sends the signal from the computer to the Wii/gaming systems/etc wirelessly), but if you’re looking to save money and still want some shows that aren’t available online, I think this might be a way to go. We got a two week trial and are considering it as a permanent replacement.