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Ditching cable (4) Fri, Jun 07, 2013
We got rid of cable recently, for a few reasons: 
  1. They keep raising their rates.  Regardless of how much "additional" programming they offer, I'm really not interested in anything more than basic cable and a couple other channels.
  2. Most of the major networks and TV shows recently ended their seasons, so there's not much on.
  3. Football is the only sport I like to watch, and it's the off-season right now.
We kept our high-speed internet and have been trying out a variety of free and paid streaming options.  The jury is still out on them, but I have a few observations about this method and a-la-carte programming in general: 
  1. It's ... different to turn on the TV and not have something show up immediately.  Instead of depending on the whims of broadcasters, we have to choose what we want to watch each time we sit on the couch.  It sounds simple, but it's somehow not.
  2. Streaming is slow sometimes.  And the apps put out by the streaming services are sometimes a little flaky.  So instead of turning on the TV and watching something immediately, or even watching something immediately from the DVR, you have to surf through a series of apps and menus and shows and episodes before you actually see anything.
  3. Deciding whether or not to pay for a show becomes a little more difficult.  When the ball is in your court and you get to see exactly how much a show or episode costs, you tend to think about it a little more.  Do I really want to pay to watch this show?  What if it's terrible?  This problem could be partially avoided by allowing people to subscribe to entire channels instead of simply purchasing individual shows.  But then you'd get a bunch of crap you don't want, which is the whole point of ditching cable.
There's still no viable options for streaming football, so there's a good chance we'll sign back up in the fall.  Plus the Redzone Channel is the best thing that's ever happened to me.  But for now, streaming with Amazon and Hulu isn't bad at all.

Comments:
Emily Fri, Jun 07, 2013
A couple weekends ago while I was napping with Kijo, Carl overhauled our cable subscription as well. We did not bail on cable all together (mostly because of sports) but got rid od the dvr, which for some reason saved us $60 a month. They switched our package I think since our bill only showed $10 for the dvr. Anyway, we still have the on demand which is almost as good as the dvr and bought the Roku unit and can stream to the TV through Hulu Plus. We have also connected our laptop to the Tv with an HDMI cable for a couple shows that are on Hulu but nor Hulu plus. It's worked pretty well so far with the basic cable subscription. New to it, the NFL network was an app on Roku. We haven't looked into that beyond noticing it was there but it may hold promise as all of the other major sports have apps on Roku.

Dave Mon, Jun 10, 2013
Yeah we have the Roku and Hulu Plus as well.  But still no NFL channel.  That's the big downside.

Wendy Tue, Jun 11, 2013
In reference to point #1, it now requires thought which defeats the point of zoning out or calling the tv a boob tube.

Emily Wed, Jun 12, 2013
Wendy, I'm with you. However, I'm slowly coming around as we get it more set up.


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