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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Cutting Cable Part 2 by Fran Joyce


We cut our cable and eliminated our landline a little over a year ago and I wanted to give you an update on how it’s going.

Saving almost $100 each month has been phenomenal. I wish I could say I have a big fat mad money fund, but my local taxes have gone up, along with some modest hikes by other utilities, so it’s become a zero sum equation in the savings column. However, I didn’t have to make any painful budget cuts for 2019. I also don’t miss the sales calls that used to sneak past the don’t call list.

I do miss is the ability to watch every Penguins game live. We have to wait 24-48 to watch Penguins games televised on AT&T Sports Net, but luckily 15 games will be televised on NBS or NBCSN this season. I’m hoping AT&T Sports Net will eventually be available without a cable subscription – it could happen.

What I like about cutting cable is I can stream live TV, so I can still watch favorite shows, but don’t have to channel surf through reruns to find something to watch.

I’ve also been able to watch entire television series that I missed along the way and rewatch some favorites.

Spoiler alert – not all TV series or movies hold up over time. Some actually become more relevant, and it’s eerie to hear some of the comments about the future that have come to pass in the last couple of years.


I won’t recommend one streaming service over another and if you don’t spend a lot of time at home, basic cable is sufficient and inexpensive because you get a discount if you bundle your cable, internet and landline.

You can also make a one time expenditure of about $25/TV and buy indoor antennas. Depending on your location to the broadcasting towers, you can pick up the local affiliates of major networks and a few local cable stations.

Some Smart TV’s now come with built in streaming devices which make cable cutting possible. If you don not own one, a number of devices including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV devices, and the PlayStation 4 are available.


Since my original article, additional streaming services have become available – some of them are free.

Pluto TV is a live-TV streaming service, similar to  Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, and Hulu with Live TV or other similar services. Pluto TV offers free content, mainly curated from what’s already available online. 

Rabbit TV offers curated content similar to Pluto TV for a service subscription fee of only $24 per year.

There are also a number of free streaming services that let you watch from you mobile phone, notepad, or home computer. The advantage is you can avoid buying a TV and a streaming device. You can watch in any room of your house or wherever you have an internet connection, but the screens are small and best suited for one person viewing.

I’m giving you the link for this Consumer Reports article about streaming free content. It’s a great resource to keep you up to date about your options:

The decision is yours, but isn’t it nice to finally have some choices for how we watch TV and movies.




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