Sarah Morgan

Healthcare Geek.
Professional Communicator.

organization

Goodbye, Cable

Part of organization is realizing what you don’t need, and freeing yourself of it. So I’m cancelling my cable TV this week. Practically speaking, this will mean I no longer have broadcast TV either. (From what I could tell, I could only get a few channels, and it didn’t seem worth buying and hooking up an antenna for that.)

Am I becoming a hermit? Am I going native? Am I throwing away my gorgeous TV? Nope. (You wish you could have my pretty TV.) I just realized I could get what I want a lot cheaper.

See, here’s the thing. I really only turn my TV on to watch:

It’s also possible that I’d be watching UFC, or a cooking show or the Weather Channel. But these are the likeliest suspects.

If you weren’t quite sure yet whether I was a geek, this should have cleared things up nicely. You’re welcome.

This means that to see a handful of shows, none of which I watch live, I was paying $75 a month for 218 television channels (and 45 music channels, which I never use because I already pay for – and prefer – SiriusXM). It was a ridiculous waste. Here’s what I’ve done instead.

Step 1. I cancelled all cable, HDTV, DVR, etc., but kept my cable modem.

Step 2. I bought season passes to Mythbusters and Doctor Who on iTunes. ($36 altogether.)

That’s all it took.

I can watch Chuck and How I Met Your Mother free on the network websites. I already had Amazon Prime and Netflix and their gazillion movies and TV shows. And I’ve repeatedly thanked my lucky stars that my fabulous brother got me the proper adapter to connect my Macbook Pro with my HDTV.

If I miss the other shows, I’ll consider buying them on iTunes or Amazon. But so often it’s just a matter of just watching because they’re in my queue and I feel guilty. (Am I the only one whose DVR gives her guilt? Ask me about unread magazines and why I unsubscribed. Neuroses can be money-saving!)

I know this isn’t for everybody, but after all, it’s not like I can’t go back if I hate it. Cable was by far my biggest utility bill, and I just didn’t feel like I was getting my money’s worth. And if it means I end up watching less TV, that’s a good thing too.

There are so many alternatives out there besides what I’ve mentioned – things like Hulu and Boxee and Roku. I’m not sure I’ll need them, but I was glad to find out everything I could. Here’s where I read up, if you’re curious:

http://www.clicker.com
http://www.killthecablebill.com
http://gigaom.com/video/5-steps-to-cutting-the-cord-a-guide-to-canceling-cable/
http://gigaom.com/video/tag/cord-cutters-survival-stories/
http://lifehacker.com/5475091/how-can-i-ditch-cable-and-watch-my-tv-shows-and-movies-online

Comments

Sarah Morgan

Thanks, Chris – it’s great to know I’m not the only one!

One thing I’ve noticed so far – you touch on Season Passes, and it seems like they’re not HD. I thought they would be, but alas.

Chris | JumpstartMyPC

Great article Sarah and, might I say, you have wonderful taste in programming (Chuck and HIMYM are two of my favorites). I have long struggled with the woes of cable TV and finally made the switch last year, giving up DirecTV for a middle-of-the-road solution that still allows me local TV programming via an HD antenna. I save over $500 a year now and still enjoy my favorite shows in full HD.
I documented the whole experience and I would love it if you checked out my posts on the subject – http://j.mp/BuhByeDTV

Sarah Morgan

Great idea – I’ll do that now, thanks!

killtheCableBill

Great Article. Sounds like you have built a customized solution that works well. My only suggestion is to check out Hulu. For around $8 a month you get access to a ton of television shows and movies and you may find that some of what you purchase on Itunes comes free. Isn’t it great to cancel cable (?) 😉

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