I'd been threatening to do this for a while, but early this week I finally called up and cancelled our cable television service. The cost had crept up to $92 a month (not including taxes), which was absolutely not worth it for the amount of time we spend watching TV.
We were already streaming Netflix through our Wii, but we decided to go ahead and buy a Roku so we could also stream HuluPlus and various other sites. Then we bought a digital antenna for watching broadcast television. It turns out that a lot of the network shows we like can't be streamed to the TV, so we're currently handling that with a combination of:
- Watching TV shows when they're actually broadcast, just like a savage!
- Streaming them to the computer after they're broadcast, and
- Investigating work-arounds.
Some observations so far:
- Who knew there were so many public television stations broadcast in our area? We can watch "Antiques Roadshow" pretty much any time of the day or night.
- The picture quality of most of the HD broadcast channels is phenomenal. The stuff on Netflix and Hulu looks pretty darned good as well.
- We have had no problems whatsoever when it comes to streaming speed and quality. I went ahead and squandered $20 of our bill savings by bumping up our internet speed, but I'm not completely convinced that was necessary.
- Making an "appointment" to watch our favorite shows is actually kind of nice. It gives me an excuse to stay home, cook dinner and hang out with the hubby.
There are definitely a few inconveniences associated with getting our shows this way, but I think we'll make up for it by watching more movies and enriching our brains with public TV fare when nothing else is on. Frankly, I don't think that the firehose of cable TV programming to which we used to have access was all that desirable.
And then there's that big stack of books I have waiting...
Photo credit: Alyson Hurt