Cutting Cable

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Since I first moved out on my own I have had a form of cable tv. That’s roughtly 15 years now. I did the Canadian Big 3 Dance every couple of years. (That’s where you call and complain to get a better deal, threaten to leave, cancel, and finally get another okay deal.)

In February this year, our TV, Internet, and home phone went from $98 a month to $195. I started the dance, but after 5 phone calls, I got frustrated. There had to be a better way. Right?

So I did a bunch of research, found alternatives and told Rogers/Bell/Telus that I didn’t need them.

Image from TV Guide: How to Cut Cable: Your Guide to Getting the Most From Streaming

Home Phone

We cancelled this and now just use our cellphones like normal Millennials.

Unfortunately, I was stuck staying with Bell for the next 2 years with our cells. We’ll see what happens in 2021.

Total monthly cost: $0

Internet

It feels like everyone and their elderly relatives is selling internet plans. From Koodo, to Cogeco, and Teksavvy.

I’d heard good things about Teksavvy, but they are built like the big three and frankly I’m sick of it all.

So I found and subscribed to Start.ca. They have no deals, not packages, no bullshit. For $60 a month we have 100mbs downloads and that’s great for us. Their customer service is quite possibly the fastest and the nicest I’ve ever dealt with.

Total monthly cost: $60

Television

This was the part that worried me the most. I love television. I watch a lot of it. We decided to go with a 2 pronged alternative. Streaming and Over the Air.

For hardware we settled on an Nvidia Shield TV. It is fantastic. Runs extremely well and is officially updated with Google TV. My second option would have been a Roku.

The Shield also has apps for everything we wanted. You can get newer ones for $199-300. We bought ours used for $200 on Amazon.

Streaming

This is a tricky one because there are a lot of streaming services and you can easily find yourself paying too much.

We went with a lot more than we should but after a year we’ll decide what we use and what to get rid of. We’re saving some money by sharing the accounts with family.

  • Crave: 8.32 a month (99.90 a year)
  • Netflix: 5.66 a month (16.99 shared)
  • Disney+: 2.75 a month (89 a year shared)
  • CBC Gem: Free
  • Hoopla: Free attached to your library card
  • Amazon Prime: 6.66 a month (80 a year)

We used Prime for our diaper subscription where it saves us almost 10 a month in diaper costs so we’d have it no matter what.

Total monthly cost: $24.39

Over the Air

Depending on where you live, you can get dozens of channels in HD over the air. You just need an antenna. Most TVs have tuners in them.

PVR/DVR

I wanted to go one step further. We have 2 kids and watching live tv is awesome but not easy. We needed a video recorder.

I discovered Tablo makes some impressive video recorders for over the air. We bought a refurbished one and it cost us $90. Now the thing about this and all other OTA recorders is that they make their money by selling you a subscription to their TV guide. You can have 1 day free but it’s 69.90 a year for a full guide with 14 days of data.

The great thing about this is that you don’t hook it up to your TV; instead you connect through an app and watch from there. You can have multiple people watching TV or recordings and even enable watching away from home.

The company is based in Ottawa which is great.

Quick story… My daughter accidentally put a blanket on the first one and it died a horrible heat death. The company replaced it and I had a great experience with the customer support.

Antenna and installation

I bought a cheap, well reviewed antenna for $50 on sale. It’s an outdoor antenna. At first we got 8 channels with it mounted in our garage. I was greedy and wanted more.

I contacted Pinnacle Engineering Services and Doug patiently walked me through all my questions. In the end, the antenna was mounted on the roof and cost us $285 for installation.

Doug installed everything and was a really nice guy. Highly recommend their services.

I now get 14 crystal clear HD channels. I’m told if you’re closer to the US you can get some of their networks too.


Conclusion

We now have a plethora of streaming and can watch almost any network TV show and it costs us roughly $90 a month ($24 for streaming, $6 for Tablo guide, and $60 for internet.)

I do miss HGTV, the Food network, and watching the Weather Network live but that’s pretty small. I’ve also considered getting Stack TV ($12.99) through prime that gives access to Showcase, HGTV, Food, History, and a few other networks.

Now the monthly cost is darn great, but there were a lot of start up costs for a total of $624 ($200 for Shield, $50 for Antenna, $89 for Tablo, and $285 for installation.)

The way I look at it, we’re saving $50-$100 dollars a month, so the $624 will be worth it in within a year.

If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments.

Enjoy your TV,

Éric

No I shan’t I’m on Vacation

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I am going on vacation. I’ll be taking a 4 day scenic trip to Tamriel and a few days to work on secret projects.

I have a new story for you while I’m off hunting dragons.

A lot of things are going on right now so I’ll split it into categories:

Writing

My book is now available on Amazon.ca!!!

This is my first novel and I’m so very proud of it. Order a copy from Amazon or wait for it to be available from the Publisher. It’s up to you.

Once you read it, make sure to review on Goodreads and Amazon to have it recommended to friends and so on.

When I get back from vacation I’ll be starting a massive re-write of the next book in the series Memories of Faust.

JenEric Designs

Some Major Changes are coming to the website. There may be an interruption in service next week but hopefully it won’t be long.

Subscribe to the newsletter (Top right sidebar) to get all the juicy details.

Coffee Names and Packaging

Let me tell you a secret… I never expected the coffee to be as popular as it is. Because of that I made a few mistakes when I started. The major one was using copyrighted material in the coffee flavour’s name.

Now that it’s doing well I’d rather not be sued, which means one of the major changes that will take place of this year and the next is an update to the coffee names. It’ll be done slowly since we ordered a lot of labels for some.

The only thing I know for sure is I’ll have to rework some of the artwork for a few of them.

If there are any Copyright Holders or Lawyers reading this feel free to give me some advice or knowledge.

Subscribe to the newsletter (Top right sidebar) to get all the juicy details.

Coffee Sizes and Prices

Changes are coming to the size and price of coffee. With sales up and a regular sales routine I can afford to take a few more risks and buy in bulk. That means things will change a little. Don’t worry it’s all for the best.

We’ll also have some spiffy new stuff to offer.

Subscribe to the newsletter (Top right sidebar) to get all the juicy details.

I’m off

That’s it for now, lots of exciting top secret stuff going on.

Image borrowed from Sean Celaya.
Image borrowed from Sean Celaya.

See you later and enjoy the new story!

Éric