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Summary:

At our meetups on Cord Cutter Day, the GigaOM team got to meet with viewers that swapped stories about their setups at home and give each other advice on how to get all the content they want without cable. Here are a few of their suggestions.

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We celebrated our first official Cord Cutters Day with meetups everywhere last week, and had a blast doing so. Beyond our official GigaOM meetups in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin and Toronto, we also had viewer-created meetups planned throughout North America and even as far away as Lima, Peru.  Here are just some of the conversations we had with cord cutters that showed up in San Francisco and Austin:

Show notes for this episode:

  • For some early cord cutters, like Alex, going the media center route was the best way to access and capture all the content they used to get through cable TV.
  • Not everyone that showed up had cut the cord yet — Chris in San Francisco came along to learn more about what other community members were doing.
  • For many cord cutters that showed up, canceling cable was as much about personal choice and playing with new technologies as it was about saving money.

How long have you been a cord cutter and what’s your setup like at home? Let us know in the comments! You can also get in touch with us on Twitter (@cordcutters) or email us at cordcutters @ gigaom.com.

  1. I cut the cord a few months ago when moving and realized that the lack of pay cable did not have any significant impact. A good OTA antenna worked fine for many network channels and Netflix/Hulu satisfied the rest of the content needs. I also have an HTPC although that is more of a hassle to use compared to a Roku.

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  2. Mitch Thompson Thursday, May 5, 2011

    I am slowly easing into cutting the cord. Now that basketball is over (for us), it’ll be easier. So far, I’ve bought a Roku and installed it in the bedroom for testing. I’ve installed a demo of PlayOn on my desktop. I plan on installing an antenna this weekend for OTA. We have Netflix and might get Hulu+. I also have a SkyAngel STB (Christian/Family programming) that will fill the gap. I’m thinking of either Boxee or a Neuros for the media center.

    Other than the wait times for something to start streaming, things have gone smoothly. I have a sneaking suspicion that ATT uVerse is doing some nasty things to cause some streaming issues. I’ll probably drop their Internet service as well, and go back to RoadRunner.

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  3. Pretty much anyone can cut the cord and be very happy with the setup. But not everyone has the skill set or inclination to do so. My company helps people get rid of their pay TV service. We have the experience and knowledge to replace 80 – 90% of the content available on cable tv by charging a single equipment/installation charge. Google Goodbye Pay TV for more information.

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  4. Lately the cost of cable TV has frosted my Cheerios. There are about five shows I give my undivided attention, a total of ten through the year, with FX rotating a couple I enjoy (Justified, Sons of Anarchy) and USA (Burn Notice, In Plain Sight). Not to mention my cable provider doesn’t broadcast USA in HD. (Why are we charged extra for HD? Imagine being charged more for color over black and white.) I’m not one for staying up late to watch anything, preferring to record and view at my leisure the next day during a peaceful dinner.

    I’m not a local news person. From the east coast to the west, it’s all the same. There’s the teasers, delivered with such weighty gravity to scare you into sacrificing sleep in order not to miss the expansion of their chilling message – ‘Is the color of your car affecting your breathing? We have the scoop, at eleven! Are your feminine hygiene products responsible for attracting South American locusts? Find out . . . at eleven!’ Do I need to sit thru 35 minutes of negative late night blathering and flapdoodle delivered from plastic smiles, forced laughter and bad humor, ending with a story supposed to uplift us, about ‘Hazel, 149 years young, who tends to her garden everyday. Let’s watch.’ No wonder the average American consume on average nine to twelve prescriptions a day. They are tired and depressed from the constant barrage of late night sad woe. When I need to find out what’s going in the world, RSS feeds are the preferred medium. My choice of what to read at my convenience.

    SportsCenter is pretty much one hour of original content and twenty three hours of re-runs. The three major sports leagues (OK, and hockey) become interesting only during playoff time. Really not attached to football where I have to watch a 3-10 team against a 2-11 team because I need my pigskin fix. If there is a game I desire to watch, I can view it online, or watch the event while I enjoy a plate of wings or couple slices of pizza at a sports bar or pizza shop.

    So why am I paying $75 with fees on top of that each and every month for a sum greater than 400 channels, of only four or an occasional fifth I care to view? Twice I tried to ask for one channel out of a range of 200 I wanted to cancel, and charge me for that one. I am more than certain that became water cooler fodder, good for a few laughs at the company’s regular ‘who had the most ridiculous customer service call’ pep talk. When I called to cancel the service this week, I was asked why I was canceling. Of course I responded with the price point of cost versus actual usage. And if I paid only for the channels I desired, I would retain their services. Of course she responded with, ‘We can’t provide individual channels, we sell packages.’ (Translation: Heavens! We can’t allow customers to have what they want. Think of the freedom of choice and bad precedent that would immediately pervade the industry!! We would have our cable man-card revoked!)

    That’s OK. Armed with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Roku, Hulu, Apple TV and all of the options and capabilities they present, I can have my a la carte cake and eat it too, with a huge smile on my face. Movies, shows and web content of my choosing.

    And $1000 per year saved in my pocket.

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  5. We “cut the cord” 3 years ago and never turned back. We have 5 year old notebook computer (monitor closed and tucked away, running Chrome) connected to the LCD TV with wireless keyboard/mouse hidden in the coffee table for control. It is that simple (why go Boxee, Apple TV, Google TV or other “half-way plays” if a computer will give you all you need with full browser, Silverlight, Flash, etc.?).

    Several reasons for this: I did not see the need for cable anymore since my shows were online via Hulu and network sites, I wanted to save money by also cancelling voice and going strictly IP, we did not watch as much TV since we had a baby in 2008 as well.

    Using Hulu, Netflix, Amazon VOD, NickJR, and Clicker.tv as well as youtube.com/leanback and CNN/BBC online, I see no reason to use cable or satellite. In addition, 720p and 1080i broadcasts are free over the air with a simple omnidirectional antenna (if you want it).

    We use MagicJack for our phone since the computer is on 24/7 (20 bucks a year for excellent phone service, why not do it). You do not need to be technical or an engineer, just plug your computer (Mac or Win, or iPad) to the TV and you are golden.
    -V in Seattle

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