Saving money on TV

Being chronically ill or suffering from chronic pain or both doesn’t relieve me of my responsibility to handle my finances. I wish it did. Normally that is the last thing I want to think about when I’m sick along with the mounting medical bills. And that’s why I’m glad I’ve recently found a way to save around $800 per year by simply switching over to SlingTv. Combining this 25 channel service with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video along with Audible an audio book streaming service,  I have all the entertainment I could ever want for a lot less than we were paying for DishNetwork Satellite Cable service.

SlingTV is a streaming service from DishNetwork that has limited channel options with a substantially lower monthly cost. Right now I am paying $20 a month for the this service and getting twenty five channels. I’m getting all the channels that I was watching before when the household satellite bill was $83 per month and climbing year after year. This net savings of $63 a month or $756 a year is an easy way for me to improve my financial situation.

You can try SlingTv for seven days for free. I highly recommend checking it out. I learned about it from the Danny Trejo commercials.

https://www.sling.com

I only watch the History Channel, Food Network, Travel Channel, Comedy Central, TBS, and some HGTV. I couldn’t see the benefit of having all the other channels I never watched. I’ve been looking for a way to cut the cord for a while. Millions of people are doing so as well. In fact close to twenty percent of households have done so. SlingTV helped me to cut the cord and I’m thrilled to do it. There is some satisfaction in paying for only stuff I watch.  If you are not happy with only twenty five channels they also offer add on channel packages for sports, kids and movies.

So far I am very happy with the service. I can watch it on my phone, tablet,lap top or television. The picture quality is great, I like the guide better than standard Dish Network and its extremely easy to navigate. Yesterday I watched the first episode of friends and three episodes of Luke Cage on Netflix and a house hunting show on HGTV through SlingTV. The Roku built in to our new television makes it  extremely easy to navigate back and forth between the different services.

I’m laid up a lot right now due to severe pain from chronic idiopathic pancreatitis. Many nights I don’t sleep and the nights that I do, I get a bout two to four hours. I am grateful that Netflix and these other services are available and the pricing is amazing for the content that they provide. I was already paying for Netflix about $14.99 a month (I need to cancel the DVD option and it will go back down to $8.99  per month)before switching over to SlingTV. The monthly on SlingTV and Netflix is less than thirty bucks a month and me provides me with a ton of entertainment. On top of that I already pay for Amazon Prime for shipping and get all of their video library as well.

The hardware costs involved in order to switch to streaming services is reasonable as well. You need either a smart tv that has a streaming box installed in it or a stand alone unit to hook up to your existing television. There are a ton of options out there. Roku, Amazon, Google, and Apple all offer solutions for this.  I bought an Apple TV  unit about six months ago for $90. And there’s no monthly charge after that. Recently we bought the 39′ Insignia Smart TV from Best Buy . It only cost $239 and it comes with a built in Roku machine. Normally a Roku machine will run anywhere from $35-$75. And I bought an HD antenna which I haven’t got to work yet, for $20. Overall not a whole lot of outlay for switching over to streaming full time. Most folks only would need to buy a streaming box to connect their existing flat screen T.V. in order to get SlingTv and the other online video services. Right now I think I like the Roku navigation and setup better than my Apple TV.

A couple of downsides to SlingTV is that they don’t offer local channels and you still have commercials to watch. For me that’s okay. I don’t watch network tv except when a new Big Bang Theory comes on. The most last season plus this year’s episodes have been awful so I don’t feel like this is a big loss. I’ll be able to catch it in reruns eventually anyway. I did buy an HD antenna for local channels. I’m still trying to get that to work. I might have to buy an external one. But the antenna I did buy was only $20 and I think I’ll eventually get it to work. That way I can all my local channels plus other free over the air HD channels.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/insignia-39-class-38-5-diag–led-1080p-smart-hdtv-roku-tv-black/4863802.p?skuId=4863802

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/insignia-fine-tuning-indoor-hdtv-antenna-black/8234002.p?skuId=8234002

 

I’ve tried other streaming services like HULU but I only watched Seinfeld on it. I couldn’t see paying $12 bucks a month for that.I’ve seen every episode of Seinfeld at least ten times and it’s on TBS all the time as well. Instead of paying the $12 for Hulu I’m thinking about buying Seinfeld on Blueray or from iTunes. I also have UFC Fight Pass but I’m considering canceling that. I just don’t watch it that much any more. And in the past I’ve had Pandora as well. That was a service I just didn’t use much. I’d rather buy a few songs per month and actually own them then use their service.

Being able to laugh and get lost in powerful storytelling is extremely comforting for me when I’m hurting. Whether the story is on Netflix, on the page or in the form of an Audio book.  I’ve recently gotten into listening to old school science fiction on Audible. While I cook, get some sun or drive to the store or even while laying on the couch I can listen to a great story and for a moment or even tens of minutes I can get lost in the struggles of people on far off lands or in galaxies far far away.  I just finished listening to “Farnham’s Freehold” by Robert Heinlein. Very well done story about survival, love and time travel after WWIII. I’m not a fan of how the Audible site works but I love the audio books. For $14.95 per month you get one Audio book per month. That is very reasonable seeing that Audio Books on CD used to be ridiculously expensive.

For me being sick doesn’t give me a lot to look forward to. Having a great story or a new TV show I’m into helps me to have something to put on my “calendar” and get excited about. It’s something small but it helps. “Stranger Things” is a Netflix show that helped me get through a tough week of pain and it was nice to have the next episode to look forward to and I’m really excited about the next season which should come out around July 2017. The show is a mix between The X-Files and the Goonies. It’s set in the 1980’s and the shows producers have done and amazing job recreating the look of that time period. This show along with many others like Luke Cage, Dare Devil and Narcos all give me something to look forward to even when my life is at a stand still and I don’t have anything else going on.

Those who are in the entertainment business have no idea how much they’ve helped me endure. Over the last thirty years I’ve been laid up more than I’ve been upright and I’ve had a chance to watch tons of TV, movies and read hundreds of books. I actually wrote a screenplay almost twenty years ago as a way to get involved in the industry. I even went to LA an shopped it around a little. Right now I’m think about writing another one. There is always a need for content and great storytelling. And as more and more people adopt the streaming services more and more writers will be needed to create new material. I’m no Spielberg or James Cameron but I enjoy trying. Writing is another way that I can get lost in time and forget about the pain.

Laughter has been hailed as a medicine for millennia. I’ve spent countless hours watching Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, Archer, South Park and many other comedies. This is what I gravitate towards. For me I always enjoy funny movies or television shows more when I watch them with someone else who has a similar sense of humor. But even when watching shows that I think are hilarious by myself I still get a benefit. Smiling and laughing helps soothe the body and the mind.  Evidence of humans being aware of the power of laughter dates back thousands of years.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones” Proverbs 17:22

Having these streaming services grants me access to thousands of hours of laughter. The cost per laugh has to be in the fractions of a penny and I am grateful for that. Researchers are starting to come around and discover why Laughter is an effective medicine but there is a lot of work to be done to find the mechanisms for this. But I doubt they’ll ever discover that it’s the “best medicine”. Some doctors envision a future in which the medical community will recommend everyone get 15-20 minutes of laughter a day just as they recommend 30 minutes of exercise per day. I believe it’s just as important for those who are chronically sick and for those who aren’t. The world needs more laughter.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2762283/

Streaming services offer an incredible value for the low monthly costs. SlingTV is the newest service I’ve tried and I highly recommend it. Being chronically ill is a mental emotional and financial struggle. Any time I can  lower the cost of a service I enjoy plus get it delivered to me in a much better way I call that a win-win. Sometimes I get stuck in a suffering mindset and I don’t seek out new solutions for problems I’ve been dealing with for months or even years. Taking a small step like cutting the cord and canceling DishNetwork’s satellite service feels good. It was a positive step that saves me money and with SlingTV I still have  the entertainment and distraction I need when the pain gets overwhelming.

What streaming services are you currently using to help you weather the storms of being Chronically Ill? Please leave a comment and let me know if you’ve tried SlingTv as well.

Hoping that you can find the time to laugh and get lost in a great story today.

Brad Miller

 

 

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