When my Comcast bill steadily crept up and reached $250 with all the bundling (internet, cable, phone - which I didn't even hook up after a year), I got fed up and seriously looked at cutting the cord. Plus, the customer service was so frustrating that I just wanted to shake off the whole bundling and customer service mess so I could breathe a little better.
I first solved the internet problem by hooking up with a local vendor - a setup that I ran in parallel with Comcast's internet for a month or so. I live in a building and my local vendor has hooked up her pipe directly to the Ethernet switch in my building, so all I have to do is to hook up my wireless router to the Ethernet port in my living room. Quite elegant actually. Cabling is Cat5, but really, for my needs (~30-50mbps), that really is quite sufficient. The only downside is that the local vendor is not fiber or even copper all the way through. They have a wireless connection before they reach my building, which means that in really bad weather, connectivity is sometimes spotty. And sometimes, the wind is so strong that it moves the dish that they use for transceiving. So a tech has to reposition the dish, and I lose internet connectivity when that happens. Has happened a few times last year, but all in all, the service is decent and support is actually quite nice and human.
I already had Netflix and Amazon Prime, but the Roku2 XS was hanging fairly often. So I replaced it with a Roku 3 (about $90) and boy, did it make a difference. I also added Hulu and Sling subscriptions. Sling really represents the future of television broadcasting. The only downside was their sports coverage - while they show ESPN, I was unable to get football. I was getting football on OTA but due to several storms etc during last winter, the coverage was often spotty. In a couple of cases, I had recorded football games and was avoiding seeing the score so I could watch it later not knowing the outcome. However, a significant part of the match was unwatchable because the screen was totally pixellated or too flickery. It is interesting to see how much we have taken reliability for granted. A nice thing about Sling though is that it allows you to see all programs in all channels "on demand" that were aired in the last 48 hours. In other words, it acts as a DVR that records everything in every channel for the last 48 hours. Something that no DVR currently does today. Well, scratch that. Comcast allows us to see a lot of content "on demand", but it often takes them a few days to make the content available on demand after it has aired.
Finally, I also got Google Chromecast so I could throw or cast non-youtube content on to my TV. Roku finally has a youtube channel and also has a couple of other apps but there are often limitations. I did a A/B comparison of youtube over Chromecast versus youtube via Roku (directly via Roku as well as streaming from my phone - but casting into Roku's youtube channel instead of casting into Chromecast). The funny/ironic thing is that the quality of video and audio on Roku's youtube channels (direct streamed as well as cast from my phone) was significantly superior compared to Chromecast. Ironic because Google's Chromecast is inferior for Google's own youtube compared to Roku.
I also use Roku as a full blown media player - I have a USB stick that has my music from my CDs stored as FLACs and high bitrate MP3s. I use Roku's app to browse audio content and play it from the attached USB stick. I also use Roku for other streaming audio channels - such as Pandora. It has 100+ audio apps and it really covers almost everything. I've been using Roku as my audio player since my Squeezebox Classic died and since it is no longer being made (what a tragedy that was). I have held the notion that Squeezebox was the best audio player made (barring multi $k high end audiophile options - yes, Auralic Aries, I am looking at you), but really, Roku is not a bad alternative at all.
Another super awesome thing about Roku 3 is that the remote has a headphone jack in it. It works seamlessly and when I want to watch a movie or a documentary silently, especially when everyone else is sleeping. I can just plug in any headphones or earbuds I have lying around and it "just works". And works with fairly good audio quality. Consider that wireless headphones cost as much as the Roku device itself and have additional hassles of keeping them charged etc.
Finally, phone. I was paying a ton of money (about $50 or so) for Vonage. While Vonage's service was good, I wanted to try something different. So I replaced it with Ooma. The device costs $100 but it gives me lifetime phone service and lifetime unlimited domestic calls - which honestly, is a no brainer. Service and voice quality has been as good as anything else I have ever used for telephony. International calls are not free (unlike domestic calls) but are still priced very reasonably - about 6 cents or so a minute. And the device has an answering machine built into it.
All in all, I felt that despite Channelmaster and OTA channels, I was quite let down and disappointed by it. If I had to do it again, I would not even bother. I guess the main reason is that the content available OTA just does not interest me personally (except football and sports of course!). And then it is spotty and unreliable. I would focus purely on stuff available online - on-demand or live streaming. I only wish that services like Sling would expand their coverage to become full blown cable TV alternatives. Even if they priced themselves similarly (say, $50-$80) and offered enough options for users to mix and match channels at different price points, it still represents a significantly better option compared to traditional cable. It is to cable what Google Fi is to cell phone services. For phone, I would highly recommend Ooma. Just as I would highly recommend Roku 3.
Oh, and I would also highly recommend a Logitech Harmony 650 (or above) remote. I was able to cut down from 5 remotes down to 1. While I can manage multiple remotes, my family was just so frustrated and would often get stuck because the TV was on, the DVR was on, but the AVR was switched off - or some such.