Last week we officially canceled our Dish Network subscription we’ve had since 2010. We don’t regularly watch television but we’ve kept the service for two reasons:

  • Watching sports
  • Time-shifting all content by DVRing all shows

Our monthly bill was only $60 per month, so I was willing to pay for the convenience of DVR.

Now I’ve found two great services that allow us to consume mostly the same channels and DVR local channels.

Tablo

The Tablo is a DVR for home antennas. Well, technically, it provides the TV guide for local channels. After purchasing the $200 device, you have to hook up to an external hard drive. I had an extra 500GB one, so I hooked that up to our ReLeaf Antenna.

The crazy part of the Tablo is that the antenna doesn’t need to be hooked up to the TV. On one TV, we use an Amazon Fire Stick and the other TV we use a 4th Generation Apple TV. With both devices, you download the Tablo app and you stream your content thru your home network.

You can watch your DVR’d shows on your iOS devices as well, or you can use this DVR Extracter and pull an .mp4 file on your computer for offline viewing.

The Tablo does cost $5/month, or $50/year, or $150/lifetime for the channel guide and the ability to set the DVR to record at a certain time.

Playstation Vue

The Playstation Vue is a contract free service where you can sign up for one of four ‘cable’ packages. I originally signed up for the $34.99 plan as it included the B1G Ten Network so I could watch the Buckeyes play games early in the season. I’ve since downgraded to the $29.99 plan.

The great part is that this plan includes the Disney Kids network, so our daughter can watch Minnie Mouse and Doc McStuffins thru the apps on an iPad, Amazon Fire Stick or Apple TV.

The Vue also has a cloud DVR feature, so you can watch your shows later. Or you can watch on demand content (but you have to watch commercials, boo!).

I like watching DVR’d content on my iPad, because when it’s time to skip thru halftime of a football game, I can quickly use the scrubber to fast forward thru halftime.

Since I’ve packed up my Dish Network items, our TV budget item will be cut in half from $60.66 per month to $29.99. And I can still watch live or recorded sports from ESPN or local channels.

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