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Life After Cable TV

Recently I finally took the plunge and cut the cord. I cancelled cable TV, and I don’t miss it. Here’s why.

Cable TV is the ultimate time-suck. Lapsing into the hypnotic habit of channel-surfing can become far too easy, and randomly browsing hundreds of channels disintegrates time, as well as brain cells. Don’t get me wrong, I like TV. There are TV shows I love. I love the format. But I could no longer justify the monthly cost when there are other options available, especially when you’ve got high-speed internet, computers, gadgets, and gaming consoles.

First up, my Playstation 3. Via my Playstation 3 I can access Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, and media files stored on my PC. I was already paying for Neflix (the 1-disc, Blu-ray $12/month plan), signed up for Hulu Plus (a cheap $8/month), and Vudu is there as an on demand option for 1080p content that isn’t available via Neflix or Hulu Plus, but is a $2 to $4 rental.

Hulu Plus has been pretty good so far. There are a few shows that I watch regularly via Hulu Plus, and there’s plenty of other content available as well.

Netflix is Netflix – virtually limitless content. My instant queue is maxed out, as it has been forever.

My PS3 also can access media files stored on my PC over my home network, which can be copied to the PS3 itself, or streamed.

And lest we forget, the PS3 is a great gaming machine! I’m not a huge gamer, but I’ve got a few really fun games: Burnout Paradise, Modnation Racers, and more recently, my latest addiction: Skate 3.

The other component that’s eased my transition away from cable TV is my Apple TV. A mere $99 (though mine was a gift), the Apple TV has tight integration with my massive iTunes library on my PC, has Netflix if you need it (which I already have via PS3), and now, the recently added access to NBA and MLB content.

I’m a huge NBA fan. For $200/season, I can access NBA League Pass and watch most of my beloved Boston Celtics games without the need for cable TV. Not all games are available unfortunately, as there are some blackout limitations. But it’s still a great deal.

I’m a hardcore playlist tweaker in iTunes. Having visual access to my immense iTunes library and my plethora of ridiculously fine-tuned playlists on my TV is amazing. I’m actually listening to more music, more frequently.

Not having cable TV has eliminated an expensive, tempting, time-sucking trap from my life. And I still have access to more content than I could ever need or want. After figuring in the cost of Hulu and Netflix, I’m saving over $600 a year without it. (I’m not counting League Pass, because I’d get that with cable TV anyway)

Truly, cutting the cord has been liberating.

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