Cutting the Cord

You may remember in our first video post that The Captain and I just bought a home in April.  Since we're new home owners, with quite a few projects on our hands, The Captain and I have started looking at ways to save money.  The first thing we did was cut the cord on cable!  That's right, we have no cable subscription and are still able to enjoy our programs.  Here's a quick look at how we've survived.




1) Consider your internet upload and download speed before deciding if you're ready to cut the cord. Many of today's replacements for cable (i.e. Netflix and Hulu) will require that you have decent internet speed so that you are not constantly waiting for your favorite show to buffer.  Check out speedtest.org for a quick test of both your upload and download speed.  With The Captain working on a thesis, watching Netflix, working on this EG blog post, and me downloading an ebook here's what our internet speed test looked like:



2) Chromecast; get it! When The Captain first told me about Chromecast, I knew we'd be getting one.  The Captain is a bit of a tech geek and must have the latest gadget; so, when he gets excited about tech and it's under $150...it usually finds its way into our home.  What I was not expecting is that I would come to love the dongle!  The "Dongle" is what Google has named what appears to be an advanced jump drive.  For this device to work, you will need an HDMI input free on your TV.


Chrome cast lets your do two things: screen share between your computer and the TV and "cast" or "share" content from supported apps between your phone and TV.  What this means is that while you and your friends are arguing about the best John Barrowman video on the internet (It's this one), you can take turns "casting" your favorite videos to the TV rather than gathering around a single computer or phone.  Supported apps include HuluPlus, Netflix, Pandora, and ESPN Go just to name a few.  A full list of supported apps can be found here.

Now we do have a blu-ray player that could act as our HuluPlus, Netflix, and Youtube portal to having this content on the TV Screen; however, the user interface between the apps and desktop versions that are compatible with Chromecast vs the blu-ray player are incomparable.  I'd much rather search for shows through my phone or computer than have to scroll letter by letter in my blu-ray player's menu.  Couple the better user interface with the price tag of only $35 and I couldn't say no!


3) You may remember Rabbit Ears or antenna in your grandmother's home or on your old TV set, but today's antenna offer a sleeker option than those we use to cover in foil to improve reception.  Today, an antenna can be bought from $20-$40 and be significantly more conspicuous than it's foil covered ancestor. Before you decide to buy, check out http://www.antennaweb.org/ to see what broadcasts you will be able to receive based on your address.  Always make sure it's worth your money. The Captain and I bought the antenna below at Best Buy.  It's thin and white and has the ability to be mounted to your wall via a nail (much like a picture frame).



4) Consider a subscription price share with friends.  When you think about subscribing to HuluPlus, Netflix, and other subscription based video servers, you can begin to think that it would be the same price to stay with cable.  Think about splitting with friends, but don't tell Netflix we suggested it! With Netflix's multiple profiles and HuluPlus' ability to view through multiple devices with the same profile - it's not out of the question.  Now, it's up to you to figure out how to fairly split those bills!  The Captain and I successfully share both our Netflix and HuluPlus accounts, but we could forego the HuluPlus account by casting Hulu.com.

What are some services I need to check out now that I'm cable free?  Until next time stay exceptionally frugal and exquisitely geek!


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