A year ago, I wrote about disconnecting cable TV and going with an indoor antenna. In that post, I talked about our first experiences with the switch. I thought I would give you an update on how it has gone over the past year.
We still do not have cable. The indoor antennas work well. There are times that the weather affects the picture. If it is windy, the picture will break up and it can be irritating. I do think I notice this much more when we have company. We have been happy with our switch.
We did not use the television much in the summer. It was so nice to be either outside or on the back porch that we did not go into the living room in the evenings. I do not think that was a conscious decision: it just happened. When the time came to move inside (the back porch is not heated), we went back to watching TV in the evenings. We have watched our local PBS station more than any other station. We have watched interesting shows that we would not have watched if we had more stations or a DVR.
Part of not having cable is not having a DVR. We have found that we do not watch shows when they are being aired. Part of this is the timing of the shows (during dinner) and part of it can be because my husband and I don’t always like the same shows. Although the biggest thing I have found is that I don’t care about most shows. At the beginning of the fall TV season, there was a show that I would watch each week. When there was a break at Christmas and the show was off for a few weeks, I discovered that I didn’t need to go back to watching it. Do I see commercials or hear about shows that I might watch if we had cable? Yes, I do. But I now know that it isn’t that important.
I think that the one thing that has made a difference is Netflix DVDs. I wished that I had started watching the show “Elementary” when it first started two seasons ago. I looked around to see if I could find it on streaming Netflix or Hulu Plus but neither had it. I could buy the first season on DVD for about $24 but I didn’t want to own them: I just wanted to watch them. I decided to look at Netflix DVD. Not only was the show there but there were many movies I thought I might want to see. A subscription to Netflix DVD has been great. Yes, there is a day or so lag between getting DVDs but we have filled in the time with shows from the streaming Netflix or Hulu Plus. Also, I LOVE watching without the commercials. We are now on season two of “Elementary” and are already sorry that soon we will be caught up to the current season. I think that we will have to wait until next fall to see that.
We have saved at least $1440 by not having cable for the last year. We did have an initial investment of $150 for indoor antennas for three TVs. We have an ongoing expense of $16 per month for subscription services. What we have not done (and should) is go to our local public library to see what DVDs they have available. I am not sure that we would cancel the subscription services. Our experience so far has been great in getting what we want when we want to watch it. I would not want to watch a series and then not be able to get the next disc because someone else has borrowed it.
I consider our “cutting the cable” a success. From the news that I have been reading, we are not the only ones. It seems that you will be able to buy an internet subscription to HBO starting in the next month or so. It will be interesting to see how TV watching changes over the next few years.
Thanks for reading.