2 years ago we signed up for the qwest promotion of phone, internet, and DirectTV for $99 a month. Until then we had never had cable or satellite TV. We figured it was a good deal since we were paying around $90 a month just for phone and internet. I called to see what taxes would be, but was told that the total cost would not be more than $99 a month even with taxes. After someone came out to install the DirectTV we discovered that we would need to pay an additional $5 a month for another reciever so that we could get service to more than 1 TV. We ended up buying another DVR for this, adding $100 to the cost. Qwest charged us an additional $250 for equipment that they did not tell us about up front. Our bills were never $99 a month or even $105 with the addition of another reciever. We paid $130 every month with taxes and everything. I would have never signed up for this deal had I been told up front all of these fees and I was stuck in a 2 year contract!!!
We had never had a DVR before and really got hooked on it. It was so convenient to be able to set it to record all of our favorite shows and then watch them whenever we wanted. We watched a few shows on HGTV, Disney, National Geographic and other channels, but not enough to make it worth the cost. My kids got hooked on Spongebob and a couple of other Nickelodeon shows. As soon as the contract was up, we knew that we wanted to drop DirectTV, but we couldn't give up our DVRs. I researched all of the options for days before coming to this conclusion:
TiVo with lifetime service
The initial cost up front is a lot, but we will save money in the end. We bought 2 HD TiVos with 2 lifetime service contracts. We paid around $1200 for everything (long gasp with jaw open). Yes I know that is a lot of money and it would have never even been an option for us 5 years ago, but we will save money in the long run. We dumped DirectTV and are already saving $60 a month. We hooked up our TiVos to our antenna on the roof of our house and get free HD! We didn't have to buy a special antenna, but are using a 30+ year old one and getting better picture quality than cable! We don't get any bills in the mail and have no monthly fees! We did the math and figure that our TiVos will start paying off and truely be free after 2 1/2 years.
Here is the second great thing about having TiVo:
Our kids started complaining when we told them that we were getting rid of DirectTV because they would loose Spongebob Squarepants and a few other shows. We then told them about Netflix. We signed up for Netflix and pay $9 a month with taxes. We get instant movies and shows on our TiVo! Spongebob is one of those instant shows along with several other favorites from the Disney Channel and other cable channels. We also get thousands of movies instantly. We also get 1 DVD in the mail at a time, which ends up being about 6 DVDs a month for us. Now the kids are saying that they love Netflix way more than DirectTV. I love that they are no longer watching comercials and asking for all of the toys in them.
Now I know that $1,200 for 2 HD TiVos is a lot. You can get 1 TiVo with lifetime service for around $600. If that is still too much check out craigslist or KSL Classifieds if you live in Utah county. I have found used TiVos (not HD) for $100-$200 with the lifetime service included.
Netflix sent me a thank you in the mail last week for me to share with friends and family. You can get 1 month of Netflix for free! We only got 2 weeks for free, so this is an additional 2 weeks. I have four cards with codes on them. If anyone wants one of these codes, just send me an email jen(at)ibizprint(dot)com (Soon to be jen(at)thethriftyhome(dot)com)
I will email you back the code! First 4 people to email me will get the codes!