One of the moves I made in 2015 was to finally dump Charter cable. I paid their ridiculous rates for a few years and the high Directv rates for many years before that. The prices got so out of control, and realistic alternatives finally came to fruition, so I, like many Americans, cut the cord.
I still use Charter as my internet service provider because I can't get fast internet from anyone else in the area (and I live in Burbank/Glendale, fifteen minutes from downtown Los Angeles). We desperately need more ISP competition in this country, and it's slowly coming.
So I thought I'd take a minute and explain my setup. I run my services through my Amazon Fire Box. They're $100, but you can get one for $50 if you sign up for SlingTV. It connects to your wi-fi and your tv, and you download apps onto it. Here are the ones I use most:
SlingTV: $20/a month for 20 channels, plus I pay an extra $15 to get the HBO library.
Netflix: the best deal in all of media. I still pay for the Blu-rays as well because I like a lot of obscure movies.
TuneIn Radio: this is the most underappreciated app out there. You listen to radio stations from anywhere around the world, for free. I often listen to one that's broadcast from Palmer, MI, and another from the Ukraine.
Pandora: I have multiple Pandora channels set up so I can listen to various music genres depending on my mood. Another terrific free app.
CBS News: They have their own app that you can use to watch clips from there various news shows. Plus they have their own 24/7 online news channel on it.
Amazon Prime: I pay for Amazon Prime for the shipping, and don't use their mini-Netflix clone often enough, but I do occasionally watch something on it.
BBC News: Just to get some international news every now and then. There's some good stuff on there.
NBC: It's something to hop on to watch an episode of Meet the Press or Jimmy Fallon. I'm not big on most NBC shows.
MLB.tv: I pay the $130/year to watch my Tiger's play.
I'm also planning on getting HULU as a test-trial. I need it to watch season 2 of Fargo. If I like it, I'll keep it.
There's a bunch of other apps out there that focus on everything from documentaries to kung-fu movies. Once you start using apps for TV and music, instead of cable, you quickly realize that apps are the future of media delivery.
I can watch CNN on my SlingTV or whatever Netflix show I'm into at the moment at home on my TV via my Firebox, or on my tablet or phone wherever I happen to be. Best of all, many of the apps are free, and the ones you do pay for, you don't have to bundle in a bunch of nonsense channels that you don't want. The demise of cable is real, and it's only going to accelerate.
2015 was the year that I cut the cord. I have a feeling many of you will be cutting it soon too. Apps are where it's at. Take my word for it.
Jon David Rosten, author of
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