It’s now been two years since we got rid of cable!

We haven’t missed it a bit – though visitors sometimes do.

Cable was costing us about $75 a month.  That was just for the regular channels, no premium channels like HBO or Showtime.

We had 200 plus channels.

I grew up in England with just two channels .  Neither of those started broadcasting until 5pm each day, except for weekends when they came on at about 2pm.  Both were in black and white (yes, we did have sound!).

Frankly, there was more to watch on those two channels than there is now on the 200!!!

Dropping cable was a part of our strategy to simplify our lives — to de-stress.   With less to watch, we figured we would watch less.

However, we were surprised to find when we put up a really good roof antenna, that  we could actually pick up 38 channels.   Some of these are duplicates (we get NBC, ABC and CBS from Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo as well as Lansing).  But, even so, we had some real surprises once we got fully connected.

THIS is a 24-hour-a-day movie channel with a couple of old TV shows and some children’s programs in the morning.   Although most of the movies are not worth the time, there are a couple each week that we enjoy watching.    Another channel, ANTENNA TV, offers movies through the night and mornings, with old television sitcoms filling up the remainder of the time.  I’m not interested in most of them, but it’s good to know it’s there, if I ever get nostalgic for the 50’s.

ME-TV  (ME = Memorable Entertainment) is 24/7 of old television programs from the 50’s through the 70’s.   RETRO TV is another.

We also have six religious channels, some of which show old shows and movies.

In addition, there’s CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX – which all provide modern entertainment that’s not worth watching.   I do, however, watch the news on one of these.

PBS is our favorite.   We get three PBS channels from MSU (Michigan State University).

Weekdays from 6 to 6 is non-stop quality children’s programming.   At 6pm every weekday we have 30 minutes of world news from the BBC, the only program I try not to miss.  Other quality news programs follow, then documentaries.

The other two channels are WORLD (24 hours of documentaries with a few news programs) and CREATE (arts, travel, gardening, etc).   All three come in clear on our television set – and they are free (though they like a donation).

Additionally, there’s QUBO, a 24/7 children’s channel.  There are also pop and country music channels.

So, next time your cable provider raises the charges, look into disconnecting cable and getting an antenna.  Our local “Antenna Men” say business is booming as people realize they can have more than they need without paying anything per month.

An added bonus is that life really does become more simple, when there is less to choose from, and you don’t have a backlog of recorded shows you would like to watch.


  1. And what did you think of Downton Abbey’s third season?
    I’d like to ditch cable. We’d be fine with PBS and a soccer channel.

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