I'm one of those people
who proudly boast that I do not watch television. But allow me to preface why that is. Way back in 2006, on one particular day I received a bill from Comcast, my cable provider. Apparently I forgot to pay the previous month bill, so when I got the double bill plus some late fee charges, I owed them around $245 in total. That may not be a lot of money for most people, and it's not a lot to me either, but when you don't have it at that very moment, and other pressing financial matters are on your mind, suddenly $245 looks like a large and gross amount of money. Especially for a service where I only used maybe 20% of the channels. Also during this time, my employment was shaky because I was in a dead-end, soul destroying job and I didn't know how long I was going to be there. So I decided that I no longer NEEDED
cable. I emphasize need because that's what cable had been to me for the previous10-15 years or so, a "need", not a necessity.
So I canceled Comcast, I paid the bill and I was done with them forever. Again, this was in 2006, so I had to go back to using an antenna for the TV to watch local news and network TV, but even then, I cut my TV watching literally in half. Then in 2008-09, the analog TV signal died and digital television took over the airwaves. At this point, I was no longer able to receive a signal on my TV, I even bought one of those converter boxes for digital signals, and I guess I have too many trees around my apartment or it's not facing in the right direction of the satellite, I don't know, but I cannot watch network TV on my TV. But that's OK because I had more pressing issues than watching TV. That's when my Internet usage went higher and I spent more time online surfing the net, or reading various message boards, etc.
In the past six years now, I have used my television strictly for watching DVDs and blu-ray and I couldn't be happier. When I was paying $107 a month in 2006 for Comcast, I started using Netflix at $7.99 a month, or Blockbuster at the same price. A total savings of $100/month or, $1200 a year! Yes, that's right, getting rid of cable saved me a lot of money during a time when I really needed to start counting my pennies. I started checking out current DVD rentals for free at my local library, and that allowed me to be entertained at no cost. Of the great TV shows that I was missing out on, I was able to get caught up on in due time by renting the entire season all at once. I fell in love with the Game of Thrones
this way and I anxiously await Season 3 which is at the top of my Netflix DVD queue for mid-February release.
Being a student and buying books from Amazon, I subscribed to Amazon Prime at the student discount and I came to love Sherlock
from the BBC series, and Under the Dome
! Streaming these episodes on my TV has been a fun adventure and a great source of escapism when I was drowning with my Grad school projects. And now that school is complete, I finally was able to jump on the bandwagon and see what all the hoopla was about regarding the critically acclaimed 'Breaking Bad'
. Unlike you poor saps who hung in there and watched this fantastic show spread out over 5 years, I saw all the episodes in just 2 1/2 weeks (Netflix will release the second half of the finale Season 5 in a few weeks) and it was addictive! With the cold weather, holidays, and snow days, I was able to literally sit in front of my TV and watch a mini-marathon of Breaking Bad. One night it was 2:30am and I wanted to watch just one more episode, but I finally gave in and went to bed. What great fun it is to watch a show like that, on demand, NO commercials!
And that's not all that I have discovered. Amazon Prime announced just yesterday that they have the entire Season 1 of Hannibal
for streaming, and guess what, last night I watched four episodes of this show and it's the bomb! I've seen all the Hannibal Lector films and read all the books, so naturally I had to watch the TV show and it's exquisite. I also recently subscribed to HuluPlus, but I don't know how long I'll keep that as they have commercials and I'm not impressed with that. I wanted HuluPlus for their exercise/yoga videos, but when I'm 7 minutes into a yoga routine and a commercial comes on, I'm not cool with that. Instead, I may subscribe to Gaiam TV for their yoga and health/body/mind/ spiritual videos. So this is life post-cable TV, having carte blanche access to what I want to watch, when I want to watch it at an affordable cost.
I'll never have cable TV again because I cannot justify the cost. I'd rather wait a full season to watch a show because I'll be able to watch more episodes all at once at the time that is convenient to me. Do you still have cable? If so, ponder this. Do I want it, or do I NEED it? If you need it, ask yourself WHY?
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