Cable Cutter
May, June, and July 2011 Bills: $64.95 Across the Board

Finally some consistency in the bills. Just one screenshot is needed for each of the past three months:

Our only other cable-cutting expenses this summer were buying Seasons 3 and 4 of “Mad Men” on Blu-ray — an extremely worthwhile investment — and signing up for Zediva (a review will come soon).

Our running tally should show some pretty nice overall savings for the five months of our cable-cutting adventure!

The number of free TV channels seeping through our cables, however, has declined, likely because our cable company has been shuffling its station lineup. Many of the HD channels we were getting have disappeared — we now only get the big networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS) in high def — and they have not been replaced by standard definition selections. We’ve mainly been watching CNN, Travel Channel, Comedy Central, ABC, NBC, and FOX. A limited group, but hey, it’s free.

We’re Back

We interrupt our long blog silence by telling you all that we’re back!

Both S and K had to study for and take professional licensing exams this summer, which really threw a wrench into our upkeep of this site.

Now that we’re back, we will post our cable bills for the past several months and update the running tally of the savings we’ve seen by cutting cable.

And on August 26, our six-month anniversary of cutting the cord, we will post our reflections on our cable-cutting experience and our future plans with cable TV. We are about to move from Georgia to a new state, and are debating whether our new home will be Internet-only or whether we will go back to cable TV.

We also plan to post reviews of online services we’ve used that are of interest to cable cutters.

Because our studies diverted our attention from not just this blog, but also the news, we won’t be updating this site’s news section with stories from the summer. The big cable-cutting news from the summer was the Netflix price hike, and the potential sale of Hulu.

With the recent stock market decline and S&P downgrade of the U.S.AA+, people will likely continue to look for ways to save money while still enjoying life. We hope that by continuing to share our experiences, this blog can be among the many resources available to those who are considering shrinking their cable bills by going Internet-only.

April 2011 Bill

Mediacom may have fired a salvo against cable cutters. Our bill this month is $3.00 more than last month. Why? Allow them to explain:


Of course, we checked last month’s statement, and no such announcement was made. No big surprise there.

At any rate, we’re doing very well with our $65.00 bill. We don’t feel like we’ve missed anything that we could have gotten from cable, although we have been on the road a bit recently and have filled any void by going on a Mario Kart Wii binge and using some gift cards to buy Seasons 1 and 2 of “Mad Men” (review: excellent through Season 1). K might have caught some of the NBA playoffs, but they’re not really on his radar. There might be a different story once the new season of “True Blood” starts.

Here’s the damage:


Cable-Cutting News Roundup, Post-Spring Break Edition

Some news stories about cable cutting were published while we were out on spring break. We’ve added them to our news section.

March 2011 Bill — Big Savings

We returned from a nice spring break trip to find this beauty waiting for us:

So that’s 60 bucks for Internet-only versus 200 bucks for cable and all the fixins. What have we missed by paying $140 less? Nothing, really.

How to Watch March Madness — LIVE — on Android

THIS… IS… AWESOME!

K is currently at work, watching the opening game of the First Round of March Madness on his HTC Droid Incredible.

This is something of an accomplishment, considering that NCAA® March Madness on Demand® claims that the only mobile devises it’s available on are Apple devices (i.e., iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch). Thank goodness for Flash on the Android!

K is not on a Wi-Fi network, but is streaming the game via Verizon’s 3G network. The picture pauses to buffer here and there, so far only during commercials. Overall the game looks good … real good.

Android users, here’s how K pulled this early-round upset. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the same luck on this St. Patty’s Day:

  1. Open the standard Internet browser.
  2. Go to http://www.ncaa.com/mmod/player/console.html, to launch the March Madness On Demand player.
  3. If a window pops up asking for your favorite team, simply refresh the page and it should go away.
  4. Sit patiently through the obligatory commercials.
  5. After the commercials, the day’s games should be listed in the middle of the screen. Ignore this — it doesn’t seem to respond to tapping on the screen.
  6. At the top of the screen should be a ribbon with today’s games listed in chronological order. If the ribbon doesn’t show the current game that you want to watch, you’ll need to tap on the scroll arrows on either side of the ribbon. K has to press very slowly and repeatedly to make it scroll, but eventually it has worked. You might need to pinch-zoom in on the scroll arrow to make it work.
  7. Once you see the game you want, press on it slowly and repeatedly until the screen responds.
  8. The screen size is difficult to manipulate in the MMOD player. If you want to zoom out, hit your phone’s Menu button, then Settings, then change the Default Zoom to Far.
  9. Sit back and enjoy!

Update: Don’t know if it’s the phone, the format, or the network, but it’s buffering like crazy now, like every 15 seconds. K’s tried multiple resets, but to no avail. What a shame. But the fact that this almost worked shows how close we are to being able to view live events on our mobile devices. Pretty, pretty cool.


Any problems with the widget, such as an inoperative “Watch Now” button, is attributable to the tech folks at NCAA® March Madness on Demand®.

Wish we’d known about this site before it gets swamped with New York Times reader traffic. It sounds simple enough, though, that copycat businesses should be popping up anytime. Looking forward to checking it out. Best of luck to them versus the movie companies.

Update to March Madness Post

K just updated our prior post about NCAA March Madness On Demand. Click here to view the updated post.

engers:

Good news for cable cutters.

TV in the bathroom: Not just for millionaires anymore!

P.S. Don’t forget to sani your iPad afterward.