Beginning the process of dropping cable TV


In our house, we’ve decided to do the unthinkable: drop cable tv.  We haven’t actually gone through with it yet since it’s a little harder to do than you might think.  The idea isn’t to flat out give up on TV; it’s to get as much TV bang for the buck.

Cable TV actually has a great deal of TV for the buck, just not that much of what we want.  There was a move years ago to pass regulation that would allow the subscriber to pick and choose what channels you want instead of having to have the Golf channel.  If we had that system, we’d probably have less than 20 total channels and would be happy.  Instead, we have to have to spend a ton and get a bunch of channels we don’t want just so we can see 1 or 2 that we really want.

So, what are our alternatives?  First, an antenna - we can get about 20 channels, maybe 5 we want.  The drawback?  It’s an antenna plus all the signals are digital in incompatible with our family TV (we do have a compatible alternate though).  Second, media purchasing sites like Amazon or iTunes.  These cost money, but if you buy carefully it’s cheaper than buying Cable TV.  Third, subscriptions such as Blockbuster and Netflix (we’re still trying these out).  Fourth, the library.  Libraries have a lot of content.  Sure, it’s older, but if you haven’t seen it it’s still new to you.  Fifth, free services like Hulu.

The biggest missing piece of this puzzle is children’s programming.  Nothing here is really operated with children’s programming in mind.  We still need to look at Netflix, but at least Hulu has some older children’s content.  I can imagine that a Hulu-like service that focused solely on children’s programming could make a mint.

As I mentioned before, our TV is a bit dated for this approach.  However, it’s not the only thing that’s dated.  We don’t have a relatively new computer for serving media (we have an old one, but I’ll post again on that!), nor do we have a blu-ray player.

We have a lot to do to make this transition happen.  We’ll see when we fully go cable TV free!

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