Our romance with our internet and tv provider started out wonderfully! We paid less than $100 a month for internet & tv and they cheerfully threw in a premium channel or two just to make US happy. Imagine them wanting us happy! (Of course we found out later these promotions would silently expire and our bill would increase exponentially). We had a few hiccups (as does any relationship) when they had to come out for connection problems. But it was all resolved and we went smoothly from the honeymoon stage into wedded bliss.
Unfortunately it was not a lasting bliss. Our promotions expired. (I grew to hate the word “promotions”). Our provider started demanding more money for fewer channels. Once in a while they threw us a bone and gave us a break in the form of a discount or break in price, but the bottom line kept climbing. Finally we were at almost $230 a month for internet and basic television. No premium channels – nothing extra. After calling them month after month, we were advised there were no “promotions” or breaks available. Oh, and frustrations of dealing with their customer service! Ugh.
Since we live in the Florida Keys, we had one other choice for a cable provider. Our neighbors seemed happy with choice #2, so we made the phone call only to find out they aren’t available to our house. I still haven’t figured out why the guy across the street can get this provider and we cannot! Crazy.
So. . . . What to do? Endure the monetary abuse handed out by our current provider or break up and go out on our own? One call to Terra Nova, a fabulous internet provider in the Florida Keys, gave us our incentive to move on and figure out our internet and television options.
So, since we can’t seem to even breathe without internet, we contracted with Terra Nova for $59.95 a month for high-speed internet service. You can get basic internet for a little less per month, but in addition to computer usage, we wanted to be able to stream tv and movies without any problems so we opted for a higher speed/cost. They came out right away and connected our service. That was almost a year ago and we haven’t had ANY problems with our internet or the nice folks at Terra Nova. I would highly recommend them! There are local internet providers in every area – check it out. If you don’t have a reputable local provider, shut off your existing cable and internet and start over with internet service. This may give you the advantage of a promotion (that bad word again – sorry!) that they offer and it’s probably time to upgrade your equipment anyway.
Now for our tv viewing. We chose to go with a Roku 2 device. Its retail cost is $69.99 or less, depending on which Roku you choose and If you buy new or refurbished. You can buy it at Best Buy or a number of other stores and on Amazon. I wanted you to see what it looks like so I am including my affiliate link to Amazon (your price remains the same but if you use the link, they throw me a few dollars for telling you about it!). We chose a new Roku 2 since we were not playing games and it satisfied our need to simply watch many channels on our tv.
The Roku is the device that allows you to add channels to your lineup. There are no monthly charges connected to Roku – it simply links your channels to your television via your internet connection. (Yes, you need a tv that can connect to the internet – wireless or wired). The next step is to select and load your channels into Roku. We chose Sling TV, which is an over-the-top internet television service. You spend $20 – $40 per month, depending on how many channels you want access to. You can check it out – and subscribe at http://www.sling.com. We received the first week free when we signed up so check for any offers that Sling TV is offering on their site. Just follow the on-site instructions and you’re on your way.
We already subscribed to NetFlix and Amazon Prime. NetFlix is around $15 a month and Amazon Prime is $100 a year. The Amazon Prime benefit of free shipping makes up that cost for us each year. The Amazon Video is a huge bonus! Both NetFlix and Amazon Prime have their own series, along with thousands of tv shows and movie choices. We added those channels to our Roku and suddenly we had more choices for television shows and movies than we had ever had before! We share those subscriptions with our children in their homes. (Unfortunately we don’t seem to share any of the cost, but that’s another story). Now those channels might be enough for you. We also wanted Showtime and CBS On Demand. Amazon Prime recently added Showtime for $8.99 a month so now we watch our Showtime favorites via Amazon Prime. That’s about half the price that our previous provider charged for the Showtime premium channel.
We added CBS On Demand for $5.99 per month. The only channel we haven’t figured out is ABC. Some areas can watch ABC on the internet but it is not available in our area. I have to believe that this situation won’t last and ABC will join the other channels in providing viewing outside of cable. After all, they can make a lot of $$ by doing this.
After a few months, we decided that we wanted to watch our tv in the bedroom again. We bought another Roku 2 and hooked it up and input the channel information. In 15 minutes we were watching tv in the bedroom and the only additional cost was the one-time Roku cost.
We are saving around 50% of our previous cable/internet bill each month. We have more channels than we’ve ever had and I can’t think of any reason to go back to regular cable. We are happy and feel self-sufficient. I no longer get red-faced and crazy over an exorbitant monthly cable bill.
My only wish is that we would have done this sooner! So what are YOU waiting for?