Cutting the Cord: Can I Do Without Cable or Satellite TV?

Over my lifetime I have used just about every cable and satellite company available, as well as over-the-air broadcasting for my TV viewing needs. Then last night as I was watching the Chiefs vs. Charger game on ESPN, I mentioned to friends that one day I would like to cut the cord to my current satellite TV provider and try going with over-the-air broadcasting. I told them that I thought I could supplement my viewing entertainment with services from other paid services like Netflix and/or Hulu Plus.

I was then surprised when one of my friends stated that they had already cut the cord with their cable TV provider and placed an antenna in their attic in order to receive our local HD channels for free. For now he feels that this meets his family’s needs, but he isn’t sure if he will want to re-order other services in the future. That remains to be seen.

This then brought to mind another conversation I had when talking with my son-in-law, who lives in Texas, and his neighbor. We were discussing the merits of cable vs. satellite when he stated that his family did not watch very much TV and found the expense of either service overly expensive. To solve the problem and therefore reduce the cost, he stated that he bought a laptop computer with an HDMI connector and is now streaming much of his viewing entertainment via his laptop to his HDTV. He stated that this setup worked well for him and his family.

That gave me the idea to try this avenue of viewing myself and since I live close enough to a city where I can, I know that I will have no problem receiving over the channel programming from the local networks. To try it out I am using an old TV in one of our spare bedrooms to which I have connected a portable antenna and the picture comes in perfect. That tells me that if I were to connect all of the televisions in my home to an antenna in my attic, I would be able to receive the local channels in HDTV without issue. In addition, I would take advantage of my Netflix account for streaming video and add Hulu Plus for additional viewing abilities.

I believe this would provide me with plenty of TV viewing while saving me approximately $75 a month or more. Has anyone else done this? If so, what has your experience been?

Share your thoughts and comments.

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I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.