I finally cut the cord with DirecTV! – Julie’s gadget diary

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bye directv 3

ARTICLE – I’ve been a DirecTV customer for close to 30 years but earlier this week I called them up and asked for a divorce. Why did I break up with DirecTV and what did I replace it with? Let me give you a little history before I answer those questions.

bye directv 1

First of all, I have always lived in Southern Indiana rural areas that are not serviced by any cable TV services. When I was growing up, we had a TV tower with a large antenna and I had something similar when I bought my first house and then again with my second house which I’m in now. With both my first and second houses, we installed DirecTV for a better selection of channels. When DirecTV started offering network channels like CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX, we took down the TV tower and were all in with DirecTV.

We’ve been relatively happy with DirecTV over the years except when there were network channel outages due to contract disputes. Then more recently, we’ve been annoyed by bugs in their DVR user interface and more importantly the fact that we have been paying almost $150 a month for programming that didn’t include any premium channels. When I heard that DirecTV was planning to increases prices early this year, I told Jeanne it was time for us to do a trial run of cutting the cord. She said ok, so I made the call a couple of weeks ago to put a pause on my account.

Let’s take a DirecTV break

During that call with the DirecTV rep, they actually offered to give me a $50 discount on my bill for 1 year which would bring my monthly bill down to around $100. I said I’d think about it but I wanted to go ahead pause my account. I’ve done this several times throughout the years when we’ve done home remodels and were unable to use the equipment for an extended period of time. This option is a great way to save money by not paying for something you’re not using so I thought it would be a good way to do the cord-cutting experiment.

bye directv 2

With our DirecTV account paused, we started our first evening of TV watching by streaming a show while we ate our dinner. Our typical nightly habit had been watching a pre-recorded show on the DirecTV DVR, so it felt normal to stream one of those same shows on Hulu. It was after that show ended that things felt different. I asked Jeanne what she wanted to watch next and she said “put it on HGTV”. I said we can’t, we don’t have DirecTV anymore…

The rest of the night we went back and forth with “what do you want to watch?” met with “I don’t know, what do you want to watch?” Finally, I asked her if she wanted me to call DirecTV back the next day to take their $50 monthly discount and she said yes. So much for the cord-cutting experiment.

DirecTV has crazy policies that make zero sense

So the next day, I called DirecTV and explained the situation and that I wanted to take them up on their offer from the previous day, unpause the account, and take their offered $50 discount for the next year. They told me that they COULD NOT turn the account back on. That it had to be off for a full 30 days. I couldn’t believe they didn’t want to unpause it back on so I could start paying them again. It made no sense at all to me. So I said ok and hung up.

Hardware and software that helped us cut the cord

Back to the experiment… At first, I tried to use the Smartcast apps built into my Vizio TV (model V705x-H1) to stream all of our shows but my Vizio TV has lost its mind in the last few months due to firmware updates that have made the reliability of this TV just plain terrible. I decided to switch to an Apple TV 4K which is a million times better but we’re still having weird issues with the Vizio TV and am seriously considering buying a new TV (probably Samsung or LG) really soon.

As far as software and streaming services, I’m lucky that Netflix is free from my cellular provider T-Mobile, but I pay for Hulu, Discovery+, Paramount+, and Apple TV+. I also found that my cellular provider T-Mobile was offering a deal on the streaming service Philo. This service has some of our favorite channels like History, HGTV, AMC, and others and even lets you watch Live TV and record your favorite shows.

Once we had no choice but to figure things out and only use streaming services, we got used to it quickly. And when I say “we”, I really mean my spouse Jeanne. When it comes to using tech, she has a superpower that causes electronics to get glitchy. But even she’s getting used to using the Apple TV to find shows that she likes to watch. She still yells for me to fix the Vizio TV when it’s having one of its weird issues, but otherwise, it’s been pretty easy and painless.

I was a little worried that I’d have some issues with my T-Mobile Home Internet since we tend to put shows on as background noise while we’re both surfing on laptops and even streaming video on those laptops at the same time as the Apple TV 4K is also streaming. But so far that’s been a non-issue so yay!

A couple of days ago I asked Jeanne what she thought about canceling DirecTV altogether instead of turning it back on in a few days. Jeanne gave me the thumbs up to truly cut the cord and that’s exactly what I did yesterday.

Before cutting the cord and after cutting the cord payments

I was paying $147.84 per month for DirecTV service and now I’m paying about $35.65 per month if you break everything down as follows:

Netflix (free with my T-Mobile account)
Paramount+ (free with my T-Mobile account)
Discovery+ $29.99 for 1 year ($2.50 per month)
Hulu $12.99 / month
AppleTV+ $49.99 for 1 year ($4.17 per month)
Philo $15 per month deal with T-Mobile

That’s a savings of more than $100 per month. I am not including my $40 T-Mobile Home Internet monthly internet bill because I would be paying for that regardless. Now I just need to start researching for a new TV purchase! 🙂

Update 2/24/22

It has been a little over a month ago since I cut the cord with DirecTV and I wish I would have done it years ago! There was a short adjustment period but now it feels normal to find all the new episodes of our favorite shows in individual streaming apps. Do I wish there was one interface that shows all those episodes on one screen? Sure. But honestly, the Apple TV catches most of them so it’s not that big of a deal. It’s just a matter of remembering that we’re watching Show X and need to go to App Z to watch the latest episode if it doesn’t show up on the Apple TV’s row of shows to watch.

I talked about being annoyed with my 70″ Vizio TV and the problems got even worse so I finally took the plunge and purchased a new TV. It’s been years since I bought a TV just because I’ve been so fortunate to have vendors send me review units over the years. I narrowed the brands down to LG and Samsung and after quite a bit of research and firsthand accounts from people who own both brands, I ended up going with a SAMSUNG 65″ QN85 from Best Buy. It was definitely a splurge at $1599. But it’s been so worth it. The picture is phenomenal! Many of our favorite shows that we watch look completely different now. Like the people are behind clear glass. It’s crazy. I’m also so happy that it works perfectly compared to the Vizio.

Shortly after I posted this article, the folks at Antennas Direct reached out to ask if they could send me one of the ClearStream Max HDTV antennas. I happily accepted their offer and the ClearStream 2MAX antenna showed up a couple of days later.

I hired my favorite handyman to remove the old DirecTV dish on my roof and he was able to install the Clearstream on the same mount and even was able to use the existing coax. Installation was pretty easy from what I observed. The ClearStream 2Max is ready to go right out of the box. All you have to do other than mount it (indoors OR outdoors) is to extend the two dipoles that click in place.

Russ (Mr. Handyman) didn’t think the antenna would work that well, but he pointed it north where the closest network stations were located to me in Indy, I then connected the other end of the coax that had been connected to the DirecTV DVR into the antenna input on the Samsung TV and within seconds it was bringing in a variety of stations like magic. And many of them looked awesome.

I now have the ability to watch live network TV when I need local news and weather. There are also lots of other stations to explore that aren’t included in my streaming apps.

2022 cord cutting 9

Today I even discovered that there’s a channel/show guide for the antenna that’s built into the Samsung TV interface. Now if only there was a DVR too! I’m considering creating a DIY DVR at some point just for the fun of it. If I do, I’ll do another update to this article.

If you’re on the fence about cutting the cord, my advice is to just do it 🙂

Also, please check out part two of this story – I almost fell for a DirecTV phone scam! – Julie’s gadget diary

123 thoughts on “I finally cut the cord with DirecTV! – Julie’s gadget diary”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. You and millions of other people are doing this. DirectTV has lost 10M+ customers in the last several years.

    That said, companies will find other ways to derive revenue.

    A lot of the time your cable company is also your internet company OR your telephone company is a TV provider and/or an internet company as well.

    They’ll eventually get their pound of flesh; whether that’s as an ongoing facilitator of your broadband, a provider of services you consume via that bandwidth or developing the ‘entertainment consumables’ you ‘eat up’…

    They’ll accomplish this via attrition or amalgamation, consolidation or takeovers, but don’t expect that the monthly outlay (over time) will end up being less; you’ll just spend it in a different way (and whomever ‘they’ are, gets their cut).

    We, in aggregate, aren’t spending less on our various telecommunication/media services; we’re just consuming it differently as we move ahead…

      1. We’ve done the same (net is less), but my comment ending on it being about ‘in aggregate’ not spending less. In totality, spending in this space has increased, but is being consumed differently. YMMV, just based on metrics surrounding the overall industry.

      2. JULIE, JULIE, JULIE ( where have you heard THAT b4 LOL)… OH Girl I FEEL SO BAD for you that you complacently let Directv have their way with you FOR…SO…LONG !!!!
        I have been in the PC biz for 40 years…I can HONESTLY SAY THAT. I FORGOT more about CABLE and “SATELLITE” then AT&T will know in the (well never mind lol)…FIRST OFF…AT&T is in TOTAL DESPERATION MODE NOW. “STEPHENSON” (who was FORCED OUT and they paid him 30 plus million a year and them gave him 3 mill a year for his *ups oh…and WAL- MART HIRED HIM for THEIR NEW CEO…WALTON is ROLLING IN HIS GRAVE !)…for LIFE no less) BOUGHT INTO Directv (which WAS ON DEATH ROW AT THE TIME) and Rupert laughed all the way to the BANK with AT&T check LOL !!
        SO THEN they bought WARNER MEDIA ALL THE WHILE with the SAME (uknow what) THINKING…
        AT&T id on deaths doorstep now because they have NOTHING to sell that will even get close to what they BLEW on Directv and Warner…Zazlof at TDC is getting a deal ALL wth way IF… he can KEEP THE CANCER OF AT&T out of the picture. AT&T buying Directv was like you our I winning the lottery, THEN buying a LEAR Jet and THINK we can fly it !!
        LIKE giving the keys to your NEW LAMBO to the 12 year old up the street to take for a ride (I digress)…I FEEL BAD that you did not see the light BEFORE you BLEW like 10 GRAND to “watch TV”…(HGTV is fun but NOT worth THAT kind of $$)…BASIC CABLE, is D-E-A_D…the ONLY PPL watching “CABLE” are mostly those that have no idea how to turn on a laptop ON
        and MOST are still using “flip phone” (because ther are the imperialist to use AND no one (PRACTICALLY) HAS A “LAND LINE” PHONE ANY LONGER ) !!
        AT&T recently SOLD 30 % of what is felt of the dieing DTV company to TPG “investments” (WHO ARE EX AT&T ppl btw) so this was a middle finger at the DOJ that I can GUARANTEE WILL backfire on them too !!
        They “though that by takeing it “private” they could slide one by (THEN FORGOT about ppl like well)…THERE is BS talk of “merger” with DISH which is yet ANOTHER “ploy” to “distract” attention from AT&T back door dealing. (I GUARANTEE that AT&T “financed thier OWN TPG buy too )…Charlie only has to WAIT until the other shoe at Direct drops and then IF U WANT SATELLITE you will have ONLY CHARLIE so NO “MERGER is necessary and all the while DISH and Verizon and T mobile are RUNNING CIRCLES around what is left of the SOON TO GO THE WAY of SEARS, AT&T…SO luv What you are doing is a good thing and for the CABLE PPL out there that THINK that they need the cable for INTERNET…5 G WILL EAT a BIG PART of that pie too…OVER and OUT !!

        1. Dave, In my defense, I had no other entertainment choices. We don’t have the option of cable here. It’s only been since 2019 when I switched to T Mobile Home Internet that I had unlimited internet so I couldn’t cut the cord and switch to streaming. 🙂

          1. Yes I do believe that until T got into the game you had a problem and I am thinking too that your “look angle” to the DISH satellites was bad so ya, I get it but honey !! THEY were REALLY taking you to the cleaners for that service…We had to chase ppl arond for 45 bucks a month and IF WE had those kinds of prices, we would have NO business…AT ALL !! DIRECTV is DEAD and loosing OVER 10K subs EVERY SINGLE DAY…SO MANY in fact that IF you call for DISCO they will probably take a week to get around to pushing that disco button LOL !! OK DEAR plz stay sane and enjoy the T mobile deal cuz it IS going to help throw dirt on what is left of AT&T soon to be grave for sure !!

          2. I like watching INSP Channel cowboys
            I am not into movies weird. I want to grt rid of Direct TV what do I grt in placr of it. I am 77 years old.
            Not into complicated.

          3. ps…hey you and I should compare toys we bought someday…I started with HEATHKITS and those babies last for DECADES
            (unfortunatly LONGER than the company did 🙁
            Everything from “Info Globes”to on the wall digital weather forecasters…When I was 28 I built a 90 foot tower all aluminum with stainless steel hardware tower in my back that used more concrete base then my house did lol 40 year later it i STILL there and perfect too…I unlike a “few” here actually have VIDEO to prove it too LOL…OH we could have a good time comparing notes for sure ,,,Keep up the great work kid I luv it !!

        2. I also have been in the computer scene for more than 40 years. I was evaluating YouTube TV lately and loved the package they provided. I live on DVR service and though they have one of the best I can’t stand watching commercials and not being able to fast forward through them. I went back to cable and my tivo setup and am willing to pay a little more to not waste my life on commercials. Some people just have more priorities with their time and don’t want sit watching paint dry while the on demand TV show requires you to watch their agenda. I’m just saying there are other reasons then just cheap TV service out there.
          We’ve also switched to Tmobile’s high speed internet and I won’t be looking back for that if the price stays competitive.

      3. I watch Turner Classic and MLB. I have DirecTv, Netflix, Apple but not Hulu or Sling. Every time I think about changing over, I can’t find the channels I want. It’s a dilemma. Oh, and I pay for premium channels.

      4. I’m paying 165$ per month for dish,thinking of changing to direct? Been with them over 25yrs, and it goes up and up. Trying to find a better way to get T V and cheaper? Any suggestions?

          1. I Julie, your article was great and to the point! I’m where you were before you cut the cord. The only thing that has stopped me the last couple of years is college football. I’m bout ready to just figure it out. I like NEWS MAX, and Directv just dropped them. So here we go. Thank you for telling your version of, when there is a way, there is a way.

          2. TL, it’s been about a year since I cut the cord and I’m so happy that I did. There was a little bit of an adjustment period with getting used to manually going to various streaming services to watch my favorite shows, but that lasted about a week. Do it, you’ll be glad you did and so will your wallet 🙂

        1. SWITCHIN TO DIRECTV ? OMG…COMEDY CENTRAL and WHY ON EARTH does ANYONE KEEP PAYING 160 a MONTH for TV !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          FOR TV ?????????????????? YOU
          to find a BETTER WAY to ENTERTAIN YOURSElF cuz when you get OLD you are gonna NEED that DOE for your NURSING HOME !!

        2. Douglas Fubo TV is great option you get all the channels you have now and DVR for a great price ranging from 64.99 to 79.99 I would go with that if your looking to drop dish tv I use Fubo they also give first time users a trial period if you don’t like it just cancel before the trial ends. Hope that helps.

      5. About a year ago I cut the “coax” (which is a more aprapo description since it actually is a coax not a cord)& went back to antenna service. I get 51 FREE channels that I actually watch & couldn’t be happier. And quite a few channels are billed for as “cable/satellite” channels that are really free ones. Comet, HSN, ION, Laff, Mystery, Court Tv, QVC, Defy, TrueReal, CW, Bounce, Grit, Cozi, MeTv, plus a host of “Faith” based channels. And I don’t have to pay for expensive High Speed internet WiFi. I was with DISH Network for almost 15 yrs. After all the mergers all these companies are over priced hidden fees liars.

        1. YEP we are between Pitts and CLE and get 78 hannels and while more than a few are duplicates IT IS EZ to see why BASIC CABLE is on DEATH ROW…DEATH is near for ALL SATELLITE TV (which is WHY CHARLIE invested in 5 G while the morons at AT&T got OLD in their seats…AT&T…
          (unowhat company)

      6. You can get a lot of the channels you want for free, and I recommend TCL smart tvs. Have had three for almost five years now. And they are on the cheaper side price wise but we’ll built not a single problem, and you can get local news as well for free.

        1. Dave, have you tried it? My speed via T-Mobile is typically 40-50Mbps. The only streaming service that has had an “issue” is Amazon Prime Video and it’s usually just blurry for the first 30 seconds or so of the show and then it’s fine the rest of the time. I can’t remember ever having a buffering issue in years.

    1. Virginia Goseyun

      So what kind of internet do you use? Becuz I pay $155+ a month for direct tv, now I’m considering what you did now. So please let me know. Thanks

      1. do they kiss you when you send your payment to the TERMINAL DIRECTV when they are don with you ?
        (inquiring minds want to know !!)

        1. Do you wake up every morning condescending and talking down to people? “Inquiring minds want to know”.
          How about trying to have a civil conversation, if you are capable of doing that. People are looking for information not attitude.

          1. “DEAR “TED”
            Since the TRUTH seems to bug you…I SUGGEST that…YOU…STICK IT WHERE THE SUN don’t SHINE…

  3. Congrats, Julie! Two questions:

    1. How hard did DirecTV try to keep you as a customer? Did they offer you a super-duper discount?

    2. Do you care about no longer having local channels now that you’re streaming only? (Such as local news, weather, event coverage, etc.)

    1. Aaron, surprisingly, they didn’t try THAT hard. They just asked me why I was canceling and I explained what had happened with the pause/unpause issue and that we ended up getting used to streaming and decided to fully cancel. That was that. As for your other question, local news, weather, and event coverage is a small concern. I’m considering trying an HD antenna. We’ve reviewed quite a few of them over the years but I’ve personally never tried one myself and now is a great time to do that. The only caveat is that it will probably need to be mounted on the roof and that’s not something I want to do myself.

      1. If you are just looking for your local news, before you go the antenna route, it may be a good idea to check if your Apple TV 4K has an app for one or more of your local TV stations. Many local TV stations have apps for smart phones and streaming devices such as your Apple TV 4K that allow you to watch their newscasts on your smart phone or on your TV through your streaming device. There are also some apps that allow you to stream newscasts from more than one TV station. You can try a variety of these apps and see if any of them include a local station. These apps typically allow you to either enter city and state or zip code and they will suggest stations they have available that might be near you. There are also a variety of weather apps that allow you to get local weather. These apps may save you the hassle of an antenna. Check out thestreamable.com or cordcuttersnews.com for more info on streaming.

      2. We did the same and installed an antenna outside on a pole. OMG at the over the air channels we can get, I was so shocked when after scanning for channels it had found 39. Not only did we have our locals: CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and PBS but we also had The CW, Court TV, Laugh TV, four PBS, one that ran children’s shows 24/7, Circle, Westerns, and so much more I could go on about. People do not realize the channels they are paying for that they don’t have to. Good luck and hope you get as much joy from it as I do.

          1. We cut the cord about 8 years ago.I bought firesticks for my tv’s and learned how to add different apps to it.We pay for internet only,now that’s included in our rent since we moved,so that’s $0,Amazon $5.05 (I get a discount for being disabled,Paramount+$4.99 /month.
            I get live TV on my firestick,plus movies and regular TV shows,sports etc.
            There is another alternative that a friend of ours uses is called Apollo.I haven’t checked out yet.

        1. Karen, that sounds very enticing! I took the $45 discount for a yr from Directv like Julie mentioned. I have a fancy LG TV that I barely know how to work. I need a consultant of sorts to come & tell us what our best options are. If you cut out Directv, are you still able to record certain shows? I record a lot!

          1. Sherry, For recording shows after cutting the cable cord you would need to rely on Watching them somewhere like Hulu or even the app for the specific channel, each of them will upload the show usually by the morning after it aired. It takes more time going this way as you then spend time searching through your apps for the show you want instead of easily clicking on the show recorded on your DirecTV BUT the money you save by getting rid of Direct is worth me spending more time scrolling through the apps.

      3. Antennsweb.org will help determine what type of antenna you may need. Local amateur radio operators are a good source of info regarding antennas and placement.
        Silicon dust.com for network tuners and DVRs, plex.tv if you want another DVR option.

          1. Check your TMobile account and call them…you may be getting both Apple TV and Paramount (along with Netflix) included as well!

            I currently have DTV Stream for my local NBA games (only RSN streamer). and the picture quality is waaaay better than cable. The big issue I had with them was only 20hrs DVR default which I made very apparent on various forums I know they monitor that this was completely ridiculous for a 2022 service. Shocker…they now offer unlimited DVR for new customers packages but if you push them and explain how dumb that policy is (people will just cancel and resubscribe) you can get it for existing as well.

        1. Checking antennaweb.org is a good idea, but many TVs have built-in Antennas. You may want to go through menu settings on your TV remote and see if you can change the source to an antenna that may be built-in to your TV and scan for channels. If your TV does have a built-in antenna you can compare what channels it picked up with antennaweb.org and see if it’s worth trying an outdoor antenna. One warning though, using an antenna can be very unreliable. My parents canceled cable years ago, tried a number of Antennas, and my Mom is now frequently rescanning to try to pick up channels when she loses them. They do come back through rescanning eventually, but not always on the first try rescanning and it can be days or more before they come back. I believe our local NBC affiliate must be working on their antenna signal because it’s been months since my Mom was receiving it. Traffic and weather are among things that can interfere with antenna signal. There are times when my Mom will be watching something and miss part of it because something briefly interfered with the signal. That’s why I previously recommended seeing if you can stream local newscasts through an app on your Apple TV.

          1. After I posted previous comment, I realized I forgot to mention some more advice. When my parents were trying different Antennas, Walmart allowed returning them. Not sure if Walmart still allows free returns, but my parents tried a number of Antennas and found what worked best for them at the time and returned several Antennas in the process. Might be a good idea to ask about return policies before buying Antennas.

          1. Yes a built in antenna! Didn’t notice it till a couple of months ago. Use it all the time and your subscriptions you can cut on down as well because alot of them have the same shows. I have Paramount+, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, amc, Roku channel, Pluto tv, Disney+, discovery+, and ESPN+. I think I give 20 a month for all of them and 10 a month for internet

      4. Thank you Julie for a good read, I am with DirecTV and TMobile, I am using the info you wrote about and planning my next move to free myself from DirecTV, Bear

  4. I’m running dual systems with the intention of dropping D. I have a high end system – 65″ OLED, full blown audio system – and what I’m leaning toward is a Channels based system. This requires an antenna and a network tuner, such as Silicon Dust. I have the 4K model that gets the new ASTC 3 channels. Channels will acts as a DVR, it runs on a computer or NAS and can integrate TVE channels from what ever provider you have, all integrated into a familiar grid system. Takes a little work but well worth it. You can connect to a Firestick, or Tivo dongle but not Roku as it’s not powerful enough plus you can also watch remotely. In my area I get over 100 OTA stations from 3 markets, but that includes many, many duplicates, but the ATSC 3 feeds look fantastic.

    I like the fact that the recordings reside on MY computer not on a cloud server somewhere that I do not control or are gone if I quit the service. I’ve been running the system for a number of months and it feels very solid.

    1. Matt, that sounds very cool. I’m keeping notes with all these comments on my article and will have fun trying some of the suggestions. I can see where commenter funkright is right (ha!) that this can lead me down a slippery slope of buying new gear and my savings will disapate. 😉 But being the Gadgeteer, that was always going to happen anyway right? 🙂

    2. I wasn’t familiar with Channels, but I looked into it. Now I think I kinda resent it! I provide the content, and the storage, and my internet service. I provide the HDHomerun. I install the software.

      And I pay them just to use their software? On a recurring basis? What am I missing?

      Julie pays $13 per month to Hulu but Hulu has to build software AND pay for content AND provide and maintain hardware to serve the content. Channels feels expensive for what it is.

      1. I was Directv customer for around 30 yrs also. Cutting the void is the best think I ever did. I use HDHomerun and the Channels DVR software. Very hard to setup everything up BUT qell worth it! I added Pluto, All my antenna channels and Philo, just about anything you want. ALL can be recorded using a Guide that’s similar to Directv. You can also move your channels around that you added.. Record from Netflix and Disney plus by adding them thru Play on cloud for 1.99 a month.. Never ending! All for around 30 bucks.
        Channels dvr $8
        Philo 15
        Antenna (free)
        Pluto (free)
        Frndy (7.00)
        Play-on cloud (2.00)

    1. Mike, I use T-Mobile Home Internet (I linked to my review/article about it above). I pay $40 a month for it and it’s unlimited. So far we’re having no issues with streaming a show, while also surfing and even streaming other content on two laptops all at the same time.

      1. Julie,
        When my Vizio TV starts acting up I can solve most of the problems by doing a system reboot. You have to go into settings and select system reboot, don’t just power cycle. Of course YMMV but it works for me when it starts acting up.

        1. HideyHo, I’ve done that many times and still have problems with the screen blacking out in between switching apps in Apple TV or taking up to 2 minutes to come on when I turn on Apple TV. It will also sometimes show a message at the top of the screen about the audio input and the only way to remove it is to press a volume button on the Vizio remote.

          1. Thank you about letting me know about tmobile home internet. I’m on the fence. But your thoughts are making me jump over… lol

    2. Of coarse you have to have internet. I didn’t add that in cuz thats a No Brainer
      I forgot to add dvr service is included works GREAT has build I. Commercial skip. Can record series. Never records the same show twice. I can’t say enough good things about leaner this stuff

  5. I dropped everything from cable,and, satellite TV. THE only thing I have left from the cable company is the internet. I put a outside antenna and I am getting alot more channels from air TV than ever.

      1. Julie- I bought an $8 antenna for my TV when I moved and was overwhelmed with bills and didn’t want to commit to a paid TV service. The antenna hooks up to the back of my TV and gives me between 35-40 free channels including ABC, CBS, NBC & FOX, plus several PBS channels. I loved it so much I ran over to Target and picked up another one for my other TV. $10 at Target but the $8 was from Walmart. It took one minute to install, then another couple of minutes to let my TV do the auto scan to program channels. Idk if you live close enough to a metro area to utilize one of these bargain basement antennas, since there is a maximum mileage range for picking up the stations, but maybe someone reading will. Thanks for the article!

          1. Correction to my last comment, they go up to 120 miles and price range starts around 20 bucks. Better options from Walmart online.

          2. Suz I didn’t realize they had that range. I want one outside because I don’t want to see it inside unless I can hide inside a closet in the basement but not sure how well that would work.

          3. Julie,
            I live in Central KY in the “boonies” and after some research, I bought a “pingbingding” WA-2608 OTA (there are several brand names and price ranges on this model antenna) for about $30 (Amazon). Installed on 30′ tower. It has a pre amp and a rotator. I can pull in both Lex and L’ville (50-60 miles away in either direction ). It says 150 mi range but after researching OTAs, have found that is what Judge Judy refers to as “puffing”. Very, very pleased with antenna. Hint: Since Lex is east and L’ville west, I waited for a really clear evening to perform the scan. Hit scan and then use remote to rotate antenna (may want to a couple of times to see how many channels you can pull in. Wow! Pulled in 69 channels compared to 31 when I left it stationary. Hope this helps. Had this antenna 3 years so far and works great. Tested before I mounted and just standing outside the door I picked up 10 channels. Fell your frustration. Love my country living but….we too are Directv hostages. We are also internet hostages. Ditched Hughes Net years ago for lousy service. Now what??!! LOL.

          4. CK, Thanks for the information on the antenna. I’m currently testing a Clearstream antenna and will update my post in the next couple of days.
            As for your internet, do you have TMobile coverage in your area? I’ve been using TMobile Home Internet for the past couple of years and it’s great.

      2. HON if I was near to you I would put one up for you…I LOVED the WINEGARD and CHANNEL MASTER antennas but you MAY need a PREAMP at the antenna and THOSE need to be CORRECT for YOUR area…that “antenna web” site can tell you what is available and the REALLY good thing about digital TV signals is UNLIKE the “old analog” with GHOSTING and shadows in the pix the antenna seldom now needs to be on a rotator so it can pick up signals with the antenna pointed to the WEAKER area and the strong signals get there perfect too…YOU WILL LOVE a LOT of the channels you USED to PAY OUT THE WAZOO for for from the soon to be dead Directv (remember, they are dieing at 100000 subs a day)…AND NO NEW SATELLITES will be launched SO…WHEN the STATION KEEPING FUEL runs OUT on the 101 bird its the morgue for DIRECTV !!

  6. Great article, I liked how you explained all of the rationalizing. Since you have Hulu, have thought about Hulu with live tv?
    If you’re trying an antenna, maybe try the attic 1st. If you’re 100% sure that you’re down with DirecTV, the dash from the mounting pole and use that mounting pole for the antenna. You already have a cable running in the house.
    If you’re looking to distribute the antenna signal to many TVs and devices, check out channels DVR service. It’s $8 a month or $80 a year. You need some hardware and there is a bit of a learning curve but many people love it. https://getchannels.com/dvr/

    1. Randy, are you in my mind?! Seriously, I was JUST one minute ago talking to Jeanne about everyone mentioning that we should use an OTA and she asked where we’d put it and I said we could take down the DirecTV dish on the roof and use its mount for an antenna. Ha! Great minds think alike! We only have one TV (the soon to be replaced crappy VIZIO that I talked about in the article) in the house so that would work great. I didn’t even think about the fact that we could use the existing coax too.

  7. We hardly ever turn our tv on anymore. We consume content on our phones. It keeps the peace if we all have our own screen. There is a lot of good content on YouTube other than cat videos. But I do miss watching the local news.

    My struggle with cutting the cord is bundled billing/discounts. Comcast bundles my cable and internet together. I’ll have to look into dropping down to internet only. Now that the wireless carriers are competing in the home internet space that might be an option. How do you get your internet? Do you pay for 2 internets, on your phone and at home?

    In your budgeting example, should you factor in the cost of internet? All of those services require a good connection.

    Thanks for sharing

    1. ScottP, I didn’t include the internet cost in my pricing because I was already paying for it anyway. I use T-Mobile Home Internet and pay $40 a month. I believe it’s usually $50 but I get a discount because I’m over 55 😉 Sometimes being old is worth it! Ha!

  8. I’m also here in southern Indiana and enjoyed reading the piece…I’ve called Direct every year for a long time to get what we deem an acceptable rate (still too high)…but I’ve been able to get the total below $100. I didn’t see your internet cost figured into your total? That’s my big hesitancy is the fact we have such slow internet (dial up still) that often the streaming is agitating… and better speeds would only be available via Hughes Net ($85/month)… your thoughts?

    1. Jeff, We had HughesNet years and years ago and it was terrible. I don’t know how it is now but I can’t imagine it’s much better. I’ve had T-Mobile Home Internet for the last 2 years (I think it’s been that long) and it’s great, unlimited, and cheap! I am only paying $40 a month because I’m over 55. If you have T-Mobile coverage in your area, then you should really look into it.

    2. i have at&t dial up & off copper wire my internet speed is 18 & i can stream tv & computer – no problem, no buffering. my neighbor is only getting a speed of 10 & he can stream with occasional buffering.

  9. Thank you for this article! 2 questions, please. When you cancel, what are you supposed to do with the pipe and satellite dish that they install in the yard in the beginning?(or on the roof, for some). Secondly, I’d love to cut the cord on DirecTV but as an NFL fanatic, I allow myself to be soaked because of Sunday Ticket/ Red Zone channel- is there any (legal) workaround for this that you or readers may be aware of?

    1. Dan, I have to send back the DirecTV DVR but that’s all. They don’t want the dish back. As for the DVR, I just have to take it to a UPS Store along with my account number and they do the rest. I don’t even have to have a box for it. As for sports, that’s out of my realm of interest unless it’s the Olympics and darn it, I just realized that that’s coming up fast and I’m not sure how we’ll be able to watch some of our favorite sports while that’s going on. Thanks for making me think about that. I might have to get on the OTA task sooner than I thought.

  10. I have D*TV and took them up on their offer for $50 off for the year that makes my total bill $106/mo. I’m on the fence and been thinking about Fubo or YT tv. A couple things holding me back though. The ability to just turn on the TV and whatever channel I was last watching is on instantly and the ability to log into the different network apps like the Fox and Nbc sports app that to me looks like you must have a cable based provider to do so. I do have a couple smart TV’s that have no cable run to them in the kitchen and backyard that I get by with by just logging into the different apps with a provider and also Ruko was a large number of channels that come in over the live antenna even though they are streaming including a couple news and weather channels that work great in the kitchen.

    1. Brett, losing the ability to just turn on the TV and see a station playing live shows does take some adjustment and it’s the main reason why we wanted to cave in and turn DirecTV back on within hours of me pausing/suspending the service a few weeks ago. But the fact that I couldn’t do that (I still think that’s so stupid of DirecTV…) forced us to just deal with it and we did within a couple of days. Now it’s not a big deal at all.

  11. Try pluto.tv as a supplement to your philo service. Pluto.tv is free. Also, there is no such thing as an HD antenna. All antennas receive HD signals. Watch the Antenna Man on YouTube for more info. 🙂

  12. Thanks for you article. We too have been with DIRECTV for around 30 years and have faced some of the same issues post here. My issue is watching sports, specifically NFL, SEC college football and Nascar. Does anyone have advice on how to access these sports especially since they can be scattered across different networks?

    1. I’m thinking of giving Fubo a try, I think it’s geared toward live sports too. Watch a lot of NASCAR and other motor sports and think they would have everything I am looking for

  13. Hulu runs an ad supported deal every once in a while. It’s not ALL of the Hulu content, but it’s a lot of it so I’m experimenting with that be sure it’s only .99 a month!

  14. Interesting article. I’m a Hulu+ live tv subscriber but seriously considering jumping ship and going with Directv stream. The Hulu interface is terrible, in my opinion, and the lack of regional sports is the true deal breaker. Add that to the growing price point and it’s not too far off from a legacy cable set up. I really wish I could just pick 10 channels, ala cart, and be done with it! Maybe in the future. Thanks again for the information and experience. I’ll check your site out now.

      1. Hi Julie, just ran across your blog here while checking on google. I used to be a DTV cust as well. Was tried of shelling out $$$ for tv that used to be free. I found the closest thing. I get all the channels mentioned above, including sports, PPV, movies etc. It requires high speed internet. Way to much info to type here. Will include my email addy, can and will chat there if interested, or phone if you like.

        1. Please explain further we’re all eyes-LOL! I’m with Dish-$108 and Internet-$80 monthly. The only reason I stay is for football, although the wife loves the cooking shows and fixer up stuff. I’m investigating the T-Mobile internet. I wish I would’ve done Sling ( I know it’s Dish lite). FYI- cut your cell bill by looking at Red Pocket & US Mobile. I have both AT&T(wife)
          and Verizon (me) for under $50 monthly!

  15. Bravo, I did the same about 8 months ago after 20+ years with DTv, what really got to my nerves was the setbox rental fees amd overall price.
    In my case, I gave a try to Directv Stream for about 6mo. I still found that charging $10 for a decoder is just wrong, so I used the built-in app on the TV. Once I heard they were raising the streaming prices as well, was enough to cut them too for what at best is considered a bad entertainment package, wrapped with the absolute worst user interface and greedy cable look a like approach.

    Currently enjoying Fubo as my main live Tv experience and considering Discovery+ since they’ve moved the worst of their programming to the live tv offerings.

  16. Ronald Palomeque

    Welcome to the cord cutters club. There are a couple of things that stand out from your article.
    1. How often do you use each of the subscription services. Is the $2.99 for Discovery+ & Paramount+ worth the one show you watch.

    2. Not sure where you live but I recommend getting a good outdoor antenna. Don’t get those flat things that cost $10. My family & I spent $200 on a great outdoor antenna and now receive over 100 channels.

  17. I’ve been a directv subscriber since 1997 and I’ve often thought of leaving them due to their ever increasing costs the only thing that holds me back is we have 5 TVs with receivers. Not sure how many tvs each service allows so I haven’t made the change. I would love to save $100 a month!

  18. When AT&T bought DirecTV, they grabbed it by the neck and threw to the ground. Stomped on it a few times. Did a little twist with the foot to get all nice and deep in the dirt. Stepped off, took a step back and asked if anyone else would like to buy it. All soiled and bruised second hand LLC. AT&T are the ones with the zero sense policies, software updates that create glitches in the systems, the most horrible customer service on earth. DirecTV was the leader in customer care. AT&T played off thousands of DirecTV employees, including the force behind the product the technicians who are the face of the company. Trust me I know, I am an employee. The reason why prices are going up is because the suits at the desks dont know how to run diretv as it once was and loose money. They’re in debt and AT&T are the culprits for losing such a massive customer base, not DirecTV.

      1. Same here …. I’m definitely thinking about canceling my service with direct tv also. I pay 102.00 for one receiver. Another thing I don’t like with them is when they prices go up, they go up on the old customers as well.

  19. I scrolled through most previous comments. I was very interested in your decision as we live in a rural area and have DirecTV. We would discontinue this service, except we don’t have what you seem to have: cell service. We’re on satellite for everything, and there are broadband limitations. Think we’d be able to watch maybe 15 movies per month, and nothing else. No news, no local. So this idea doesn’t work for everyone.

  20. We signed with Direct TV after losing faith with our provider. What a mistake. Now we are hooked for 2 years and get to pay more for infomercials and junk TV. The grass is definitely NOT greener. I guess they saw me coming!!
    Not a fan in Idaho..

  21. I’ve turned off the internet access for my “smart” TV. The manufacturers get more money selling your usage data than they do selling you a TV. And the apps they have for accessing various services are not updated nearly as often as the Apple TV or Roku versions.

  22. Robert van Weersch

    $150 a month?! Is that a normal price to pay for TV in the US?
    In the Netherlands you can have TV (60+ channels), phone and internet (60-100 Mbit/s cable or DSL) starting from EUR 35.

  23. No braggadocio here, but we cut the cord years ago when our electric power coop was smart enough to put in fiber optic gigabit broadband to the home in our extremely Northern rural area (far more rural than my original Indiana farm roots). You’ve barely scratched the surface, however, on services we’ve been enjoying for many years, like Britbox, ACORN, MHZ, and PBS Passport—there are many many more (most services you can subscribe to on a month-to-month basis for limited run series). And, for gosh sakes, get a Roku, Apple TV, or the latest Google Chrome (the version for YouTubeTV). We use Google TV for local channels, and in lieu of cable. I would say my Roku, Apple, and Chrome devices are ten times faster than the molasses-slow Samsung and Vizio TV sets we have with “smart apps”.

  24. Hello ,
    We in France our subscriptions to netflix, Disney +, apple tv, etc. … are cancellable by the month and as the original productions remain indefinitely on the sites it allows to pay only 20 € / month for a streaming service that we change every month or when we want.

  25. I just watch air TV only. I have internet but,about ready to get rid of that also. To many bills I pay to make ends meet so with a 60 dollar antenna on my roof,I don’t have any problem. Don’t need cable or satellite tv.

  26. so, if u have at&t dial up, the copper wires may be fast enough thru uverse to give u streaming. u only need a speed of 10 to not buffer. i have a speed of 18 & i can run my computer & tv without buffering.

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