Monday, August 11, 2014

Ditching Cable?

OMP and I have been in heavy negotiations about ditching our Direct TV and just relying on network TV and the Roku. I know a lot of people have been ditching cable and using their computers or tablets to watch movies and TV. A few weekends ago, we decided to see if we could do without our TV and just watch things on the Roku. Here are our adventures. 

Friday Night:
Friday night wasn't that much of a big deal. We normally watch movies that night anyway. Now, trying to find a movie that we wanted to watch was another story. Even though we have Netflix, Amazon and even Hulu, we spent nearly an hour trying to figure out what we wanted. I suppose if I had been more proactive, I could have lined up something from my watchlist, but nothing sounded that great. After spending much time looking, we decided to rent Grand Budapest Hotel for 4.00. The rental was for the whole weekend. 

Saturday Morning/Day:
I have a routine. I like to get up and watch the local news, then I just leave the TV on for background noise while I write or stitch. When I got up Saturday, I didn't have a converter for our TV so no local news. Okay, not too bad, but I was feeling a little out of my comfort zone, which was not good at 4:30 in the morning (yes, I do get up between 4-5 EVERY morning). I turned on some music, checked my emails, stitched a little bit and starting listening to an old movie. I knew I had errands, so during the day wouldn't be that bad. 

Saturday Night:
Once again we were at the "what do we watch" phase of the night. I could binge on WKRP in Cincinnati or watch a horror movie...I believe we settled on WKRP and we were fine for the night. 

Sunday morning:
I was jonesing bad for some local news. I really did feel a little off, like I was on a diet and I desperately wanted a cupcake. I didn't feel enlightened or have any moment of zen by not having the TV on in the background. I felt like my routine had been disrupted. We do listen to a ton of music on our TV but even then, I just felt disrupted. I really think it is because I was making myself do it, instead of just letting it happen naturally. 

Sunday Night:
We decided to crunch the numbers and see if were would save anything. Here is the way it broke down:
90.00 for Direct

The Channels we would want:
Amazon: 10.00 a month (annual fee)
Rodeo and Wrestling channels : 20.00 a month for both
Something weird-6.00

We were up to 53.00 with just the channels we wanted and not adding anything else. We wouldn't get Rodeo, wrestling, Something Weird or Hulu if we had just Direct TV. Now, before you get all judgy about all the TV we watch, I will say, yes, we watch a lot of movies, get addicted to show and this is our entertainment-especially during the winter when it is raining and when I am stitching. I make no apologies for having show that I love or being a movie buff. 

After much deliberation, we decided to keep our Direct TV. We knew that this was a form of entertainment for us and it was a treat we could afford. Some people have dropped cable altogether and said that they can find shows very easily on the net and stream them through their TV. Maybe we will try another weekend and do this. I will admit that I am too chicken to cut the cable cord, so to speak. 

Do you still have cable or do you use other sources? Pros? Cons? I would love to hear what you think. 


Krissi said...

We ditched our $200+ per month cable six or so months ago and kept Amazon Prime, Netflix Instant and Hulu Plus. We have a HUGE TV antenna on the new-to-us house, so we want to hook that up for PBS and local news. So far, there is VERY little I miss. We buy shows we don't want to wait to see, like Mad Men, Orphan Black, and soon, Doctor Who. It has taken time to get used to the difference, but it is nice to have the budget for more fun stuff (instead of paying for channels we don't watch).

Becky said...

We went without when we were jobless. It's our favorite treat to have a zillion channels and "nothing to watch." ;) Seriously, we tried but soon as we could we were right back with AT&T's U-Verse. We both love movies and sports.

I can totally relate to being out of sorts without your news routine. Same with me.

One thing I do try to do every 6 months or so is call the U-Verse folks to remind them what loyal customers we are (i.e. we could take our business elsewhere.) I usually get us a new discount or deal. Try it.

JLVerde said...

I haven't had cable for over 13 years. I had it when I was in college but I really don't miss it.

I have regular netflix (discs in the mail), regular t.v., and the library.

Really, don't downplay the library. I can get full movies for free (for a week) and seasons of t.v. for about 2 weeks time.

I actually prefer to binge watch t.v. shows over watching weekly. And I could never part with the money to have all the premium channels I would want for the shows I like (HBO, Starz, etc).

Cate Anevski said...

I haven't had cable since college either, but I'm one of those types of people that will just sit there watching something crappy for an hour waiting for something better to come on. I can't be trusted with cable. :)

I did just move out to a town with no good high-speed internet, though, so I had to give up my streaming Netflix and Hulu. I was sad at first, but I've switched to the discs from Netflix and I really love it. I always had the same problem you mention picking out movies on Netflix's streaming service. This way, I set up a huge list of movies I'm interested in (and I add new movies whenever one is recommended to me), and the choice of what to watch is made for me when Netflix sends me the discs.

I'm definitely watching the same number of hours of TV, but I think I'm watching things that I enjoy more than I ever did before.

I am, however, a huge proponent of buying yourself treats that you really enjoy. Let's not discuss how much money I spend on books and makeup, OK? :)