I Found A Genius Way To Get My Parents To Pay For My Cable At No Extra Cost To Them
Since my girlfriend and I moved into a new apartment last March, we have yet to get cable television. In this day and age, that probably sounds completely absurd to some of you. How could you live without it, right? Sports, news, reality television and Kim Kardashian’s derriere for God’s sake! You’re missing out man! How can you live so disconnected!? Well, that’s kind of a two-part answer, and let me preface it by saying I’ve paid for cable at every other residence I’ve lived (save my parents house, of course) until now.
So, we’re fortunate enough to live in an area where there’s roughly 70 bars and restaurants in about a mile and a half radius; if there’s ever a big game or event on, we’re likely trekking out to one of our favorite watering holes to watch it with friends. With that, though, often comes a nice bar tab for the services.
Also, because we do have internet, we’ve found a decent repository of streaming websites to watch stuff on, but the total crux has been, of course, their reliability. If you’ve lived the pirate life like me, you know exactly how it feels for your stream to come to a total standstill while your quarterback is winding up to throw a deep ball as the defense is bearing down on him and then FREEZE. You’re left hanging, inconsolable as you’re wondering what you’re missing, and there is honestly nothing worse.
But for the past nine months, paying those bar tabs AND the mental toll of dealing with wonky streams have still, in my mind, been better than paying the astronomical fees that our local cable providers charge. Because we live in the heart of the city, there’s some rampant price fixing going on, and the bundled prices offered by cable conglomerates are so inflated compared with the caliber service and quality offered elsewhere. I’m talking in excess of $120/month for the lowest-grade cable and internet packages available. That equates to more than $1,400 a year.
That’s why my life changed when I was asked to demo the Slingbox 500. My fellow editor Chris Illuminati chimed into our chat room asking if anyone was game to give the five hundo’ a run, and already without cable, what did I have to lose?
The Slingbox 500 is an awesomely simple device that gives you access to premium cable service anywhere at any time on your phone, tablet, laptop or television. Honestly, I used it to seamlessly peep some Monday Night Football coverage while I wrote this very post. Check out the awesome interface – you can watch full-screen, or re-size the window however you’d like if you’re doing other work at the time.
As you can see, the computer and TV apps perfectly mimic your remote control at home (or wherever for that matter.)
Amazing, right? Essentially it’s as simple as this: my parents’ residence has super premium cable as a result of my mom recently switching providers for a better deal because their sales people are ruthless with their aformentioned price fixing schemes. My mom is also pretty chill, so when I was like “Yo, I’m going stop home and hook up this cool thing I just got from Best Buy because I’ll be able to watch any TV channel I want at any time,” she said “Ohhh that’s greeeaaaaatttt!” in her total mom voice.
Stopped home (roughly 45 minutes from my place) last Thursday night right ahead of Thursday Night Football. Took me 15 minutes to hook up to my parents’ bedroom TV – the one closest to their internet router. One HDMI cable, an ethernet cable (or WiFi connection) and a set of component cables if you’re feeling extra fancy. BOOM, INSTALLED.
Within five minutes of installing the Slingbox 500 after a super brief set-up, I was watching NFL pregame coverage on my iPhone through the free Slingbox app with only about a second delay from what was playing on their TV. Whoa.
After watching the first half of the game at home, I got on my way and decided to try out the Slingbox app again about halfway home at a red light. Now, I’m not condoning watching this thing in the car if you’re behind the wheel, but hey, I was curious. Thing worked like a charm, crystal clear. Same result once I got home and watched Rush Hour on Encore later that evening on my TV, and ever since. The thing is absolutely amazing.
The Slingbox 500 usually MSRPs for $300, but Best Buy sometimes puts it on sale. If we’re being honest, that’s a complete bargain given it costs just $10 more than three months of bundled cable and internet service even if you are only paying $79.99.
Have a friend you want to split the cable check with? A second residence? Loving parents willing to hook you up with cable as long as you promise to stop home once a month? The Slingbox 500 is for you, no questions asked.