Monday, August 23, 2021

My Switch from Cable to Internet only TV

For a long time, I have wanted to drop Cable TV, but because of my Dad I kept it, despite the ever rising prices of Xfinity Cable. He's 85 and he was used to using it. However, the last bill was the last straw and I cancelled cable. I guess it became hard for me to accept that a Cable, WIFI, phone package could cost as much as a car payment. Maybe this is because I remember watching TV free with only an antenna. Sometimes the reception was bad and it was a struggle to get in certain channels. When Cable TV came along, it was exciting to have so many more channels, and it cost about $25 a month. Plus no more static. 

Once I dropped cable, I went through a lot of exploring on Roku. One thing I really wanted was local channels. For awhile, I was browsing antennas that seem much improved from the last time I used one. However, due to the distance, I would have needed an outdoor antenna. Eventually, I found an app called Locast. This app has all the local channels and they accept donations starting at $5 a month. You can watch free, but If you don't donate, it will interrupt about every half hour requesting a donation. 

I also ended up getting Sling. Other than the news and sports channels, I haven't watched much on the other channels. These are channels I had with cable, and all they did was play reruns. If one wants new shows and movies, one needs Netflix, HBO Max, etc. While these premium channels do drive up costs, they also seem to have improved the quality and quantity of good shows. We have more choices than ever before.  

One problem that has come up is that the streaming seems to time out. My Dad watches TV all day. That's all he can do, but it times out on him. I tried to figure out what was timing out. Is it Roku, Sling or the channel itself? I found nothing in the settings for Roku or Sling regarding a time out feature. I also searched the internet, and found people wanting a sleep timer, but again, nothing on how to stop the timing out. Anyway, my daughter (who works from home) has to fix the TV once or twice a day. I tried to teach my Dad how to do it himself, but that was impossible.  

One thing I really like about the Roku, is that you can search for any movie or show and it will show you where you can find it. 

So far the other most useful FREE apps are Pluto TV, Peacock, and IMBd TV.  I'm counting Peacock as free because it came free with Xfinity WIFI. This is all I need for the summer. I'm leaning toward HBO Max for the winter. 

Anyway, I'm glad I made the switch. Have a great week. 


  1. If you have XFinity and a Roku there's an XFinity streaming app with local channels that I use with my bedroom TV; my other TV has a box on it for local TV.

    Besides Pluto TV there's Xumo that has most of the same non-Paramount-affiliated channels and Stirr is similar but has different stuff. TubiTV is another one I've used a bit and it's free with commercials. I used to use Sony's Crackle but it really went downhill the last few years.

    The Hulu/Disney+/ESPN bundle is a good deal at $14/month because you get all the Disney/Star Wars/Marvel stuff and sports and shows on Hulu; I think especially with Fox they usually put it on Hulu a day or so later if you miss it live.

  2. "If you have XFinity and a Roku there's an XFinity streaming app with local channels that I use with my bedroom TV; my other TV has a box on it for local TV."

    It's called XFinity Stream, BTW.