Living Without Cable Television in the 21st Century And Loving It


cutting tv

By: Mary Achary 

Published March 8 2017

On January 26 2016 my husband, Kenny did a very extraordinary thing. He hooked the last of our three remaining televisions to a 9-foot metal roof antenna that until that day had lived in our attic unused, a remnant of our childhood and teen years before our parents decided to take the cable television plunge.

No, we have not taken leave of our senses, we came to them. After some twenty-eight years of paying to watch television, enduring yearly price increases, lost signals, poor picture quality on channels that were being broadcast on both cable and antenna, and worst of all, our cable provider’s new “requirement” that we purchase a “bundle” and rent a receiver/mini box for every television in our house just so we could still watch our local channels, which would also  render our newly purchased DVD/VHS recorder obsolete, we looked at each other and said, “NO WAY!”

It’s been a year since we did the unthinkable and cut the cable. I will admit living without cable television for the first couple of months was quite a challenge. When we told our friends and families what we did, the first thing they asked was, “Are you switching to DISH-TV or DIRECT-TV? Are you taking out a subscription to NETFLIX, or are you getting HULU or ROKU? Our answer to them was and still is, “We use Kenny’s old television roof antenna.” To this day, I still smile whenever I think of the funny looks they gave us at the time.

One huge advantage to living without cable television is the money we have saved over the past year. At the time we were still watching cable television our monthly bill was $75. If my calculations are correct, that comes to $900 per year. Multiplied by 28 years, that comes to a grand total of $25,200, and that is just for “basic cable,” no pay channels. That money now goes to pay or save for other household needs because there is one less bill to pay, and our monthly electric bill is lower as well as our computer/phone bundle price.

Another nice advantage of watching antenna television is that we get 37 channels all with good quality signals. Occasionally, we have broadcast problems when the weather is bad, but for the most part, it seems to be on channels that broadcast outside of our viewing area that are experiencing bad weather.

People have asked me if I miss many of the programs that are offered on cable television. I do miss Turner Classic Movies and The Hallmark Channel. I also miss some of the news and information programs. But, Kenny and I have DVDs of many of our favorite movies and television shows. We keep up with current events through the newspaper, internet, and Sunday news shows, so we are not completely out of the news loop.

But the thing I treasure the most since we cut the cable is that our stress level has gone down considerably, and we are much happier now than when we had cable television. And that is priceless!


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