It pained me every month to see my cable bill. Even playing the "talk to the retention department" game every year only helped so much. When my bill got up to $182 per month (including my internet service), I said enough. That was over six months ago. Here is what I did.
My cable package was nothing out of the ordinary; turbo cable at 30-5 and DVR on two televisions in the house. Every year the price went up and every year I called to get it reduced. When it hit $182, I thought I was a great negotiator to get it down to $153. Then it struck me. Was it really worth it to pay that much? I've been a subscriber to Netflix for a couple of years now and I have three Roku's and a Chromecast. Was cable television that important? We watched all of three shows that we DVD'd and rarely watched anything live. So I ended up cancelling the tv service and just sticking with the broadband because I'm really limited for choices on that.
Here is what we do instead:
I setup an unused computer as my home theater PC. I have a really small form factor computer that has optical audio out to my receiver and HDMI video out to the television. I bought a USB tv tuner and a window mount antenna (shown below) for it to watch local channels, which means football games really.
We binge watch Netflix. Sure, we're a season late watching things, but it's actually a better experience to binge watch than wait a week between episodes. Typically, we watch one show per night until the season or series is over.
We also signed up for Hulu for more recent shows like Elementary and Agents of Shield. The interesting thing is that while we pay more for Hulu by $3 per month, it's much worse on my HTPC setup than Netflix. I've not tried it on any of the Roku devices yet, but on my PC, the video gets choppy. My wife doesn't notice but since I spend too much time looking at televisions and video quality, it's apparent to me. It could very well be that the computer is under powered, but Netflix's quality is super.
This is the tv tuner I ordered. It came with an antenna that's not really that good.
Here is the antenna that I have stuck to a window in my living room.