Goodbye Cable, The Cord Has Been Cut
Last week, I wrote that we had made the decision to cut cable. On Sunday, I disconnected our cable boxes and we walked into a local Time Warner Cable office and returned them. The employee helping us briefly tried finding us a better cable deal than we had been offered on the phone, but realized this was not to be. So our cable TV service was turned off and we walked out as cord cutters. We actually wound up doing better than we thought we would, cost savings-wise, as the employee in the office was able to get us a lower price for just Internet access than the phone representative was. When we left, we were saving over $80 on our cable bill from what cable TV and Internet would have cost us. Even factoring in Hulu and some Amazon VOD means we’ll save about $65 a month.
So how have we fared so far?
B is adjusting well to life without cable. She actually doesn’t watch much TV to begin with and what she does watch is mostly available via Hulu. Once Downton Abbey starts up again, we might need to supplement with some Amazon VOD, but until then she’s just fine.
I’m settling in as well. As I’ve been typing this, I’ve been watching The Daily Show with John Stewart on Hulu and realized that Hulu will automatically proceed to the next show in the cable lineup (The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore) and then the next one after that (@Midnight with Chris Hardwick). It’s like I’m watching my own mini-Comedy Central station! As for my other programs, some of them ended their seasons already and I don’t mind the delay that I’m experiencing with the others. It’s a lesson in delayed gratification. I don’t really need to see that episode RIGHT NOW. I can wait a week or three.
NHL and JSL seem to be getting used to the no-cable lifestyle as well. Heading into cutting the cord, they began to complain that they would miss all of their favorite shows. In my typical math geek fashion, I crafted spreadsheet tracking which shows they (and the rest of us) watched. There were over half a dozen shows that they watched that, pre-cord cutting, they just "couldn’t" do without. After cutting cable, only two shows have been even mentioned. NHL watching the episodes of Uncle Grandpa that have made it on Netflix. He doesn’t mind watching the same episodes over and over and over again.
JSL, on the other hand, really misses Teen Titans Go. He’s talked about it a few times. I’ve been pricing the season DVDs and the Amazon VOD options out and the DVDs seem to be the better deal. (Our savings definitely allow us to buy more DVDs. Cutting the cord might mean less cable company profits, but it might mean more profits for the companies selling DVDs.) The other transition he is having a tough time with are commercials – or the lack thereof. Believe it or not, JSL actually liked commercial breaks. When we would watch shows on our DVR, JSL would make me promise not to fast forward through the commercials. No, he wasn’t watching them. Instead, the commercials starting meant he could leave the couch and play with his toys for a few minutes. Now, watching TV means either no commercials at all or a short 15 second commercial on Hulu Plus – way too short of a time to get any decent play in.
We also ordered an antenna which I quickly hooked up. Now, we’re getting an assortment of local stations in HD. Luckily, the area we live in has plenty of stations to choose from. Your mileage may vary if you try this where you live, so check Antennaweb to see what stations you can get, how far away they are, and what kind of antenna you will need.
Before we cut cable, I remarked that I thought actually making the decision to cut cable would be harder than living without cable. So far, this seems to be true. We discussed and considered cutting cable for so long that actually getting rid of it seems almost anti-climactic. It turns out that we really don’t miss cable all that much. As the weeks and months pass, we’ll forget about having 200+ channels and only really caring about a dozen shows on a handful of them. Instead, we’ll pay for only the shows we want to watch and the savings will quickly add up.