Hacking digital cable
Most “how to cut your cable” articles give you a laundry list of things to do… but let me tell you the secret…
JUST CUT YOUR CABLE.
Then, see what you miss and we’ll figure out how to put it back. Better. Stronger. Faster.
I Love Local Television
If you’re one of the last people who watches the evening news, you’re in luck. Your local television station is broadcasting a digital signal over the airwaves and you can pick it up with an antenna, 100% free.
- Figure out what antenna type you need (Go to and enter your ZIP code)
- Buy it,
- Connect it to your TV,
- Point it in the direction AntennaWeb tells you,
- Watch local television absolutely free.
I discovered I needed a “Yellow” antenna, or a small multi-directional, because all of the local stations were within 25 miles. Antennas are simple and only have a few factors: Indoor or Outdoor, Directional or Multi-directional, and Amplified or Not (Amplified). Basically, within 25 miles, you can get an indoor, multi-directional, non-amplified antenna.
If you’re more than that, you might need some help to pick up the signal. Buy the type AntennaWeb recommends (not the model, just the type) from wherever you can get it cheapest.
It’ll be a digital signal, 1s and 0s, either you get a perfectly clear signal or you get zero. No more twisting around rabbit ears.
Oh one last thing, the channels will be funky. HD channels are X.1 – my local NBC channel is 11. The HD channel will be 11.1.
I Love Live Sports
If you live in your favorite team’s broadcast area (in market) – you are lucky. Or you never moved.
Either way, you can get it on .
If you’re out of market, you aren’t missing by cutting cable. You would’ve had to purchase the league’s special package and if you were paying for NFL Sunday Ticket, you probably don’t care about saving money by cutting cable – the prices on those packages are ridiculous.
But let’s say, for the sake of argument, you want to cut cable and watch out of market games… you have three options:
- Go to a local bar and watch it there. You knew this already.
- If it’s broadcast locally, you just need local television.
- Watch it online from an “illegal” stream.
Illegal stream you say? Never heard of that? What you want is Wiziwig. It will not be HD quality, it’ll barely be standard definition quality, but it’s free. Sometimes the feeds are straight satellite feeds and you’ll hear the broadcasters make small talk during commercial breaks (that’s kind of fun).
How illegal is watching the stream? This is a legal gray area but if you’re worried, don’t do it. Go to the local bar.
I Love My Shows
If it’s on regular cable or local television, it’s available online at the broadcaster’s website or on Hulu. Past seasons will often be there too or available on something like Netflix.
Consider this… Hulu Premium is $7.99 a month. Netflix is $7.99 a month. Amazon Prime is $99 a year and includes all the benefits of Prime, including lots of free shows.