Category Archives: Television

Getting Rid of Cable-Part 2-Netflix vs Hulu Plus vs Amazon Instant Video

Cutting the Cord Cable Dumpster!
Cutting the Cord Cable Dumpster!

When I thought about getting rid of cable I thought it would be a good idea to subscribe to a movie/TV streaming application. So the question was between the top 3 streaming companies which was best? Netflix, Hulu Plus or Amazon Instant Video.

After looking into all of these options I found the subscription fee for each one to be about $8 a month so not too bad, but the content included can be tricky. Let’s start with Netflix. We have been using Netflix for years now, but we have been using the DVD in the mail version of it. I know it’s kind of old school but we like it. It’s nice to have a list of movies just sent to us and most of them are not available on Netflix Streaming. After reading up on Netflix Instant Streaming and looking at what was available (through a friend’s account) I realize the content was pretty limited when it came to new TV episodes and new movie releases. If you can wait until your favorite show’s season was over Netflix Streaming was a good option. I don’t want to wait, however. I want to watch new shows soon after they have aired. This was my main deference from Netflix, the content just wasn’t up to par. If I’m going to pay for something I want it to have the shows I want. So with Netflix looking out of the running do we keep our DVD subscription?

Before that though, let’s talk about Hulu Plus. I have never been a fan of Hulu so subscribing to Hulu Plus did not seem like an option to me. There are plenty of things on Hulu I can watch without logging in. With Hulu being so spotty with rights to the material it has never been a place I go to watch TV. I would much rather get to the point and go straight to the network’s website. That being said it was not a hard decision to not pay a monthly fee for Hulu Plus. Honestly I don’t know why anyone would pay for Hulu Plus. Am I missing something here?

The real decision came between Netflix Streaming and Amazon Instant Video. One of the things that sold me on Amazon Instant Video was that it had TV shows one day after they aired. This did not seem possible on Netflix. Amazon’s content seemed to be constantly updated. So after looking at Amazon Instant Video a lot and then seeing we could stream it using our Playstation 3 I decided to get a free month of Amazon Prime.

Amazon Prime is a membership Amazon offers that allows you to watch newer movies and TV on Amazon Instant Video at a discounted price or for free. If you wanted you could just watch content on Amazon Instant Video without getting Prime but there seemed to be too many perks to Amazon Prime to pass it up. Signing up with Amazon Prime got me access to Amazon’s Kindle Library where you can rent books for free. It also gives us free standard shipping on our Amazon purchases (and we seem to make a lot of those). It is $8 a month. Amazon seemed like the way to go for us because of all the perks. Kindle Loaning Library, free shipping, newer updated content and being able to stream it from our PS3 made Amazon Instant Video the most appealing.

So lately I have been checking out some of the shows and movies that are offered on Amazon Prime. It’s exciting. There’s some really good stuff on there. Sometimes you might have to pay for a movie or a show here and there but so far it’s been great.

Also, for the time being we have decided to keep our subscription to Netflix DVDs just because it is nice to have the DVDs available and it isn’t too expensive especially if we are getting rid of cable.

Next up in Part 3 of Getting Rid of Cable I’m going to talk about HD Antennas!

Hulu vs netflix vs amazon
Hulu vs netflix vs amazon

Getting Rid of Cable-Part 1-The Thought Process.

July 2, 2013

Three years ago when we moved to Chicago I thought it would be impossible to live without cable TV. Our cable and internet package price made it an easy choice to just keep it simple and keep cable. It was around $80. Within 3 years our cable and internet bill reached $130 (roughly $1500 a year!). Our cable company kept taking away channels and changing the line up and the price kept going up!

We then had a couple stints of weeks at a time with no access to cable or DVR and little help from our cable company. It didn’t make sense to be paying so much for a service that kept going off. It was really getting to me. Half of the time our DVR would freeze and not record a show and we would end up watching shows online anyway.

At the end of June we helped our friends move and they were talking about how they would not be getting cable. Instead they would be using an HD antenna to get their local channels and things like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime to get other shows. This really interested me because up until now I had not heard of HD antennas.

Pretty much immediately when we got home I started researching HD antennas and thinking about which channels we watched the most. First I had to see if I could live without cable. I made this list:

CBS (can pick up with HD antenna or watch shows on
-Big Brother
-Amazing Race
-Under the Dome

NBC (HD antenna, watch online)

AMC (online)
-The Walking Dead

Sci-Fi (we pretty much watched a whole season online so no problem)
-Being Human

History Channel (can watch on history channel website)
-American Pickers
-Top Shot

Those were our main shows, but then just to embarrass myself….

-True Life
-Teen Moms, other reality shows

-Impratical Jokers

Lifetime (lifetime website maybe)
-Preacher’s Daughters

-My Strange Addiction
-My Crazy Obsession
-Breaking Amish

Channels I will miss but can hopefully find a lot of stuff online…
-Natural Geographic

So those were the shows/channels we (I) were most concerned about. I found out most of our shows were on CBS and NBC and a lot of them were offered on the network’s website. I’ve also learned over time (through my husband) that you can get just about any show online somehow.

The next thing I thought about was Live Sports. The sports we watch the most in our household are College Basketball, NFL and NHL. Most of the Big Ten important games are on basic cable so that won’t be too bad, although with the Big Ten Network this might not be true anymore. It seems like more and more games have been on there.

I found that all the NFL playoff games are streamed online on and they are also on basic cable. As far as I remember this holds true because most Bears games were on basic cable.

Recently in the last few years we have started watching more hockey. Thanks to my dad who is obsessed with the Blackhawks and with us living in Chicago, it’s exciting. Unfortunately most of these games will not be on basic cable. I found some websites where you can stream live sports and hopefully this works for us or we might be hitting up some sports bars once in awhile. So look out for my future blog on live streaming sports.

So once I figured out we were barely using our cable I decided we should go through with this. It’s not that we can’t afford cable, it’s just that the bill is outrageous and hard to justify. That’s money we could be putting into our savings.

So then it was onto researching which HD antenna to get and if we should purchase a streaming application like Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Instant Video. Check back for all of this in Part 2!

The Walking Dead.

Every Sunday Don and I watch The Walking Dead. For the past several Sundays I have felt the same way when the show ends: unsatisfied. Nothing ever happens! Tonight’s episode in particular proved this.

I loved the first season and couldn’t wait for the second to start. But once they got stuck at this freaken farm the show took a turn for the boring. Every episode it was the same thing. The first half of the season was spent looking for the missing girl, only to find she was a locked up zombie in the barn. It sucked they killed her but I thought “yay, now we can move on with the plot! Let’s get off this farm!”

No….the next episodes were spent with everyone in a depression and trying to figure out if they would have to leave the farm. Now after getting into a fight in the town and bringing home an injured teen, we have to get rid of this teen. First of all…why we have to get rid of him is a joke. We nursed this kid back to health and now were going to just set him off to die on his own. When they could just keep the kid and move on from this freaken farm.

So the whole last episode was focused on Rick and Shane fighting over Lori and trying to ditch this kid. By the end of the episode we still have the kid….and is the fight over between Rick and Shane…probably not. Can’t wait for next week for part 2 of the episode where Rick and Shane will attempt to get rid of the kid again and try not to get themselves killed in the process. Then they will return to the farm with no plan. If this show was real, all of these people would be dead.

And yet I keep watching every week. Maybe there’s still hope.