Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cutting the Cord

People who know me and my love of television and movies probably won't believe this, but I called to have my television cable disconnected.  Yes.  Disconnect.  Over, done with, gone.

Why did I do this, you ask?  Because I'm watching very little broadcast television these days.  Everyone is, of course, entitled to their own taste in television viewing, and I'll constantly defend your right to watch whatever you want to watch, I swear.  But as for myself, I don't like "reality" television.  I don't like dancing and vocal competitions.  I don't like shows about people who expose their children to beauty pageants and screaming dance instructors for the sake of "fame and fortune".  And I really, REALLY don't like shows that show the worst possible view of people who live in my beloved South.  (Does anyone actually think that Honey Boo-Boo and her family should be on television....honestly?)

So, a few weeks ago I kept a log of how much broadcast television I actually watched in a week.  It was very, very little.  Don't misunderstand....I watch television, but it's almost all streamed through the computer.  I subscribed to Netflix, but recently switched to Amazon Prime after I purchased a Kindle Fire.

The only thing I really watched on cable that I can't get online is local news.  So, I bought myself a $35 indoor antenna and hooked it up.  Guess what?  I get 13 channels OTA (over the air).  Included in the channels I receive are these networks: NBC, CW, CBS, ABC, FOX and TNN.  I also get a 24/7 weather channel and a couple of "retro" stations that will satisfy my need for the occasional episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

And what do these 13 channels cost me?  Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.

I only have two regrets:
  1. I'll need to learn to sit through commercials again since I can't really justify the cost of the TiVo subscription.  Oh well.  Maybe I can find another way to "pause", too.
  2. I don't get a PBS station.  But, I can watch the PBS shows I like on their website.

My internet service will cost me a small bit more each month since my cable and internet were "bundled", but my net savings after giving up cable and TiVo will be about $75 a month.  Sure, $900 a year isn't going to make a huge difference, but that's $900 I can use for something I'll actually USE.

I have a second indoor antenna ordered to put on the small television I keep in the bedroom; it should be delivered tomorrow.  I wonder if the reception on that one will be as good as the one in the living room.  I hope so, but actually as long as it will pick up my local NBC affiliate so I can watch the news while I'm getting ready for work I'll be happy.

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