February 28th
2009
written by Bullet-Point Ben

Alonna and I made an interesting discovery recently: there is no longer any need at all for cable TV.

The chief reason we were paying $45 a month in the first place is not so we could watch TNT or the History Channel, but because TV antennas suck.  Most of the TV we watch is the main channels – NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox – so we were basically paying to receive a crystal clear reception of these channels.  But here’s the thing: for 2 years we’ve been watching standard def television on our HD TV, and the experience is really grating.  Every time I check what it would cost to get these channels in HD, it’s in the $50 range.  That’s $50 on top of the $45 we were already paying.  But you can get most of those same HDTV channels with a digital antenna.

So it’s back to the antenna – digital antennas work a lot better than those old 50’s style antennas, by the way.  And there are several other solutions that can be pieced together.

  • Netflix – we get unlimited movies (1 at a time) in the mail for about $10 per month.  But the best part is that we can stream Netflix movies through our Xbox360.
  • Hulu – Fox, and NBC shows in high def (we use a program called PlayOn to watch them on our Xbox 360)
  • abc.com, nbc.com, etc – many of the channels let you watch shows on their website with “limited commercial interruption”.
  • TV shows on DVD – this is where Netflix comes in again.  If you’re willing to wait a year, you can watch Heroes, Chuck and all that on DVD.
  • bittorrent – some would argue that piracy is a victimless crime.  Not me of course, this solution is for hardened, unrepentant criminals only.
  • Quit watching TV and do something with your life – I’m just kidding, how can you do anything with your life if you don’t know whether Susan and Mike get back together on Desperate Housewives?

The biggest surprise since we cancelled cable TV is how little we miss it.  We’re saving $45 a month, and everything we watch is HD.

1 Comment

  1. Mom Albertus
    03/01/2009

    Since you are saving so much money, I think you should spend some and come visit us! Don’t you miss sub zero temperatures, cloudy skys and icy roads where you are risking your life with each passing motorist? Just think of the adventure! Plus we do have cable so you can watch all those sports channels you love so much and no longer get.