In April, I ditched my cable subscription out of curiosity. Could the average sports fan still have a satisfactory television experience with an over-the-air antenna and apps?

In my initial post back in the spring, I provided the basic requirements in a beginner’s guide for sports without cable or satellite. In August, I detailed how watching college football and the NFL was surprisingly easy thanks to over-the-air broadcasts of regional games and the availability of ESPN on Sling TV.

The biggest draw to unbundling is saving money. Everyone’s situation is different, but my non-promotional charges for AT&T’s U450 channel package and Internet access skyrocketed to $207 a month earlier this year. Satisfied with AT&T’s broadband service, I signed up for 24 Mbps at $43 per month. Hulu for $7.99, HBO Now for $15 and Sling TV for $25 (sports package included) brought my per month costs to well under $100.

For the most part, my experience has been satisfactory. I’ve been able to watch all the local college football teams, with the exception of Duke’s two contests carried by CBS Sports Network. The Carolina Panthers and major NFL games are carried over-the-air locally, while Sling TV handles Monday Night Football on ESPN.

However, there have been a few hiccups along the way.

For starters, the indoor over-the-air antenna is sometimes at the mercy of Mother Nature. Heavier than normal wind and rain, like the Triangle experience thanks to lingering fronts and a hurricane off the coast, caused the signal to be disrupted. It was frustrating to have Carolina’s game against Tampa Bay go through intermittent signal loss and pixelation.

Additionally, streaming is only as good as your download speed and the broadcaster’s ability to handle high demand. The consumer can control the first part, which I did when upgrading to AT&T’s “GigaPower” fiber broadband service in early October. Prices have come down to $70 per month now that Google has begun their push into the area. The consumer can’t control Sling TV and WatchESPN, which have a tendency to lag out because of high viewer stress.

Lastly, the biggest drawback to sports without cable is the inability to watch the Carolina Hurricanes from the comfort of your couch.

Local and regional blackouts keep you hooked to cable and satellite

Due to local and national blackout rules, NHL GameCenter LIVE will not allow fans to watch Carolina Hurricanes games in real-time or within 48 hours of game completion. If you’re the type of fan who can wait that long to watch a previously played game from the NHL Vault feature, and I’m guessing there aren’t many of you, then GameCenter is worth the price of admission.

Watching the Hurricanes on FOX Sports Carolinas through a streaming app is also a dicey proposition. FOX Sports Go, which recently added regional networks to the list of available channels, currently blacks out NHL games. If and when Carolina games get the green light on FOX Sports Go, the service would still require a cable or satellite provider login for access.

There are workarounds for these issues, but I won’t detail them here for obvious reasons. A visit to Google will lead you to any possible answers you seek.

Actually attending a hockey game at PNC Arena might be the best option anyway. No doubt the organization would love it if you used the money saved from unbundling on buying tickets.