Cut the cord in Canada
When we first looked at this proposition i have to admit it was daunting to consider cutting the cord from our cable or satellite services. The First step we did was to look at our cable bill. We were paying for Basic Cable, Home Phone, Internet and Cell Phone bills from our Provider here in the Toronto GTA area Rogers. One company was taking all the money and we were paying over $180 a month for these three services. that's over $2200 with taxes a year. The next step was how are we going to still be able to receive the service we are used to and cut the bill even in half?
Upon investigation the first service which caused my family the most amount of stress was the TV Services, how could we get our local channels, our local shows, News and breakfast TV that we are so used?
We started by installing a HDTV Antenna, we called and took a visit to a local retailer of HDTV Antennas Save And Replay, we spent about 30 minutes in their store in Mississauga where they did a lookup of our physical address and asked us where our existing distribution point was in our house and how many TV's that we are splitting to. We figured out the length of cable to our distribution point, discussed where to mount our new HDTV Antenna and how to ground the antenna for lightening. We Purchased an Antennas Direct DB4e HDTV Antenna, a 18 inch wall mount, 10 foot mast (pole) some grounding cable a grounding block and a channel master 8 way Distribution (CM3418) amplifier as we have 5 televisions to feed in our house. With some great advice from Save And Replay we mounted our antenna pointed it using the compass on my iPhone at the compass setting recommended by Save And Replay and then brought the a new RG6 Cable from our new Antennas Direct DB4e to our distribution point and replaced the cable company splitters with the channel master distribution amplifier. We went through our TV menu and changed our signal type from Cable to (Air Samsung) and (Antenna on Sony) and did a scan. Wow we waited a couple of minutes and stood there in total shock when we were watching channels from the US like PBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, ABC as well as Canadian channels like CBC, TVO, City TV, Global in the best HD i have ever seen. The picture quality and sound was the best that i have ever seen. We got just over 30 channels most in HD and some sub networks from the US in SD. All the major networks were in glorious uncompressed HD. I made the call the next day to my wonderful cable provider to cancel my Television services. They gave me such a song and a dance talked about bundles and saving me money as i am a VIP customer and bundled all me services and how my cable TV bill was so cheap as it was in a bundled price. I told them that's fine take it off my bill a saving is a saving. So we had our first step to financial freedom from these blood suckers. We spent under $260 in this setup including antenna, mounting, pole, distribution amp, rg6 cables and grounding. One time fee for the best equipment for our location
Home Phone Bill
The next step was my Home phone Bill, this one was pretty easy and caused us the least amount of stress, we were paying over $40 a month for our phone bill only to get mainly phone canvassers calling about ducts to be cleaned. We had cell phones but we have family abroad and did not wish to take these calls on our cell phones so our home phone was very important to us. We went back to Save And Replay as they mentioned other solutions and told us to take one step at a time in this transition. We picked up an Ooma phone adapter for $130 and made our way back home. We called Ooma and paid $30 to port our existing number. We plugged the Ooma phone adaptor to our internet router and then the phone jack on the Ooma to our demarcation point in the basement where rogers was plugged in within ours we had Ooma working on a different number while waiting for the porting of our old number. Within a week Ooma handled the porting of our number and called us when this was done. Now we get all Canada wide free calling on Ooma and our bill is $4.50 a month on the nose including all taxes and fees. The Phone quality is crystal clear and we get all the features of call display answer phone and call forwarding. This was a breeze. My Next call to rogers was great even more savings!
My next trip to the local retailer Save And Replay, this was for a streaming device to get Movies, TV Shows and Sports. we purchased we got the Matricom G-Box Q2 media center for $140 for our main basement TV. We took this home plugged the Unit in with HDMI to our TV and used Wi-Fi to connect to the internet. This unit was preloaded with Kodi which was the old XBMC from my understanding. We went online followed a few Youtube videos to add a couple of addons which included Kodi 1 Channel which we found the best Kodi search engine. Now we managed to get all the Movies TV shows and sporting events that you can imagine. When there is nothing to watch on local programming or to have a movie night at home we use the G-Box Q2, for live local programming like the news, breakfast TV and shows like Survivor, Amazing race and the great series shows on PBS we use the HDTV Antenna. Now we have the best of both worlds
Final cord cutting exercise
Again thanks to the folks at Save And Replay they recommended out of principle change your internet provider, companies like Tech Savy, Start communications are companies that use the same Pipe as Rogers and Bells (i.e. the same infustructure cable line) but charge you less and give you unlimited bandwidth. We then contacted Start communications a Canadian company and got our 30 speed download unlimited internet for $60 a month using a Cable DSL modem. We bought our Modem for $100 instead of renting one.
Now instead of paying over $220 a month for Cable, Home Phone and internet high speed with a cap on the amount we can download our total bill for all these services are $60 for internet and $4.5 a month for home phone free Canada wide calling including taxes! So we are saving over $160 a month including taxes by cutting the cord from cable. That's a saving of over $1900 a year. our total investment was under $600 that included all HDTV antenna equipment including mounting amplification cables grounding, also home phone adapter from Ooma and porting number fees as well as the Matricom streaming TV media center all purchased from Save And Replay. These folks have done so much for us and now we are free from paying for TV services , cheaper home phone and better internet service. The biggest change now is we are actually watching better quality TV with far more selection that we had before. We watch TV when we want and have unlimited amount of movies and TV shows as well as all our favorite sporting events. Our local programming is in the best HD i have ever seen and even friends and family are shocked at the picture quality when they see the HDTV antenna running in our house.
My Final Step
With all the money we saved we decided to investigate a PVR for our over the air HDTV Antenna. Another trip to Save And Replay! They were kind enough to demo the Channel Master DVR+ (CM7500) DVR for a HDTV Antenna. Well i had to breakdown and purchase our new electronic toy. Men and their toys, this one DVR is actually used more by my wife then me. This Channel Master DVR+ is so sleek and thin its shocking, plugged in an external hard drive i had kicking around and was recording and scheduling all our favorite shows in now time, We also purchased the Wi-Fi adapter to allow the DVR to get the guide from online with the TV channel logos, it receives a full EPG guide for 2 weeks via the internet and allows us to schedule shows recurring directly from the guide. The pause and play works flawlessly and now we have complete TV Freedom watching TV when and how we wish to.
Cutting the cord was extremely easy and we were lucky to be guided by our local retailer here in Mississauga Save And Replay. Thanks to the patience of my family and the expert advice we received we are now cable free with no monthly bills for TV and cheaper bills for phone service and internet!
We are so happy that we are going to add other peoples stories to this site and help as many Canadians cut the cord as possible, so please free to email us at savemoney@cut-the-cord-Canada.com with your experiences pictures and how much you are saving. Lets stand up to the big satellite and cable companies and help more and more Canadians save money and cut the cord.