In our house, we have had many discussions about how to reduce our bills. We need Internet since I teach and work from home. We are not yet ready to get rid of our land line. What can we put on the chopping block? At this moment, we are looking at getting rid of cable/satellite.
Although we still want to be able to watch television shows, cable and satellite offer huge packages with many channels we simply do not use. For instance, with Directv, we have access to over 195 HD channels, and they have more than 300 channels total. We probably watch less than 20 of them regularly, so we are paying for much more than what we actually use. And that does not count movie channels that we got rid of in order to save money.
The first thing we decided to do is see how many television channels we can watch if we were to get an antennae for our television. I found a site that does just that. TV Fool allows you put in your in your address, and it will tell you the stations you should be able to receive at your location and elevation and which stations should work with what type of antennae (indoor, attic mounted, and roof-mounted).
We would have to see if going to various sites to watch the programs we like would be viable. It certainly would take more effort than just surfing for a channel.
The other options we have looked into are Netflix and Hulu. Even if we were to sign up with both, we would still spend much less than we do now. Our current bill is $80. Even if we were to sign up for both Netflix and HULU, we would be at about $16. Upgrade Netflix, we would be at $21.
Of course, we have to take into account that we need antennas. Blogger Mike Flacy writes about different “potent” indoor antennas on Digital Trends. It is a good review, and we will take his advice. Even with the investment of $40 to $70 per television, this new arrangement would pay for itself in less than one year.
Antennae / Netflix / HULU
$40 + $70 initial antennae investment
$8+$8/month (both Netflix & Hulu)
$302 first year (includes antennae)
$192 per subsequent year
$658 (first year)
$768 annually (subsequent years)
We are just about to plunge into this experiment since our television is new enough that it can be hooked up to the Internet as is. In addition, our Blu-Ray has Netflix access built in.
Looking at the savings, I think we may just take the plunge. Wish us luck.