Jan 21

I cut the cord (part 2)

This is a followup to a previous post in which I listed my notes relating to how to get rid of my cable service. So how did it work out? Pretty well, actually, so far. We’ve been without cable for 3 or 4 months now and we’re doing alright.

I definitely miss NBA on TNT. I missed Monday night football. I’m certain I’ll miss all the NBA playoff games that only come on TNT. Sports is by far the biggest thing for which there is simply no good alternative location or service that has as much coverage as cable TV. Actually, xbox recently partnered with ESPN3 and you can stream ESPN events directly through you xbox. There are often things worth watching and they look just like regular TV (or better).

We have basically been unable (or unwilling) to keep up with our regular TV shows. We used to watch TV in our “downtime” when we just played it off of our DVR. Live TV just never happened except for sports. Having the DVR was convenient. However, going through hulu and those other options is a really big pain in the butt. Well, actually, it is just an inconvenience, but it is enough of an inconvenience to make it mostly not worth while for me. It is NOT the same as DVR. My wife, however, still manages to watch her shows when she sees fit via hulu, etc.

Netflix (I should be getting paid for this, but I’m not) has a great set of options of children’s programming and children’s movies. My kids even love the idea of getting something from Netflix in the mail. About half the time it is a grown up movie and half the time it is something the kids will like, but they’re always excited when that red envelope shows up. However, it is certainly not limited to dvds. You can stream tons of videos and tv shows. I actually watched some old episodes of “she-ra” (my wife wanted to watch this) and “inspector gadget” streaming through my xbox.

So, between Netflix and hulu (and clones) we seem to have found a winning option. We save about $100 per month and end up with extra time as well. On the downside there are some significant shortcomings when it comes to sports coverage, but as more options become available I think this will also to become less significant.

Jan 04

I cut the cord – how to give up cable (part 1)

Not too long ago I got a huge bill increase from my cable company. I was coming off of the 1 year introductory pricing so it wasn’t actually a huge increase in rates, but practically, that is exactly what it was. I was paying $80 or so and then I was asked to pay $135 or so.

It immediately occured to me that even though I liked having access to so much and LOVED my DVR I really didn’t watch but 4 or 5 shows and the same movies over and over (or “whatever” was on). So, I went about the process of researching exactly how I could do the same thing for less money. Below are the notes I came up with during my search. You will want to read part 2 to see how all of this worked out and for something that will be a little more clear. Below is literally my notes I was taking while researching with a slight bit of proofing so I wouldn’t be totally embarrassed for it to make it on my site.

First I sought out people who had done the same… here are some:


Then I went about trying to determine what would get me most of what I already had… basically, I needed to show my wife that she would still have access to most of her shows and the kids would still have Dinosaur Train. So here’s some of your options to cover those things:
·         YouTube,
·         Hulu,
·         Amazon,
·         AppleTV / iTunes,
·         Netflix ($8.99 cheapest)

Other Notes:

  • You can view fox shows at fox.com (link to ‘Glee’ for example): http://www.fox.com/fod/play.php?sh=glee
  • I assume 24, Glee, House, Fringe, Bones also.
  • “I also have the privilege of access to my beloved out-of-market NY Giants games each week with DirecTV’s online Supercast service. It broadcasts all of the Sunday Ticket NFL games over the internet, but access to the online content requires DirecTV service and the full SuperFan package that runs a ridiculous $400 per year (Manhattan residents can access Supercast without DirecTV service). However, if you know someone with a Supercast account, you can piggyback.
  • If baseball is your thing, MLB.com offers a service similar to Supercast for around $100 per year depending on the package—although it only includes out-of-market games. Live golf can be viewed for free on PGATour.com; college sports, baseball, tennis, soccer and more is free on ESPN360 (if you are affiliated with an ESPN-approved broadband provider) and streaming sites like Justin.tv offer plenty of free sports viewing options, including live ESPN. Windows Media Center owners can also get SportsLounge, with Fox Sports.”
  • NBA – http://www.nba.com/leaguepass/index.html?x=1 (broadband version – not sure about the cost)
  • NFL- Could not find a comparable other than those listed above… Will ask Mike what the UofM video streaming site was that he was using… might be a solution.
  • http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/26393211 (a sunday night nfl streaming site)
  • PBS is over the air (Dinosaur Train, Word World [is this pbs], etc) (Can also buy on itunes 1.99)
  • iTunes has TV episodes for 2.99 (current season) and various prices like 1.99 per or discounted packages (previous seasons)

Stay tuned for part 2 where you’ll find out how it worked out.

Mar 01

Save some money when registering domains

I just registered some new domain names and while I was checking out with godaddy I noticed the coupon code box. I normally just ignore such items and move on because I very rarely have a coupon. Then I remembered that my wife ALWAYS looks for a coupon before buying anything online. I always make fun of her… but these domains were going to be bought by “the business”. For some reason I am much more conservative with the the business’ funds than I am with my own. This is probably because I want the business to be self sustaining or maybe it’s just my baby and I don’t want “it” to make the same mistakes I have made… in any case the business is a penny pincher. So I decided to do a search for some coupons… it turned out to be worth it. My original total for what I was buying (2 .com + 2 .net) was $46 or so. When I got done I had spent about $35.  That’s close to 25% savings. Not a ton, but the savings amounts to another domain I can purchase or any number of other small things that startups can do with $10 whether it be a month of advertising or whatever.

I figured I would pass on the codes I found that were active at the time. Some of them supposedly do not expire.

  1. yhkw105a = 6.99 .com (or other???) renewals/new
  2. cjcdeal749 FOR ($7.49 .NET, .ORG, .BIZ domains, new registrations only)
  3. OYH3 – 2.50 off / $7.45 any .COM (new an renewals)
  4. BTPS7 – 20% any order of $50 or more
  5. OYH1 – 10% off whatever
  6. OYH2 – $5 off a $30 purchase
  7. gdr0244d = 10% .net

I used 1 and 2 to do mine. They are not stackable (or I was not able to stack them) so I ended up having to check out twice – once for the .com and the other for the .net – but it was a lazy morning and it only took about 5 extra minutes. So, if I do the math that comes out to about $120 an hour…

I won’t guarantee these will last forever, but I didn’t see any expirations on them. Hopefully someone else will find them useful.