In November, 2014, I cut the cable on my DirecTV. I said goodbye, sayonara, so long, adios. The main reason was that I was paying $80 for stuff that I mostly didn’t watch. Another, rather embarrassing, reason was that I heard a survey say that OLDER adults keep their satellite and cable TV while younger viewers will cut the cord – or never subscribe – more often. I guess I wanted to prove I was “with it”.
Secretly, I thought it would only be a couple of months before I signed up again, on one of their super-duper “come home, all is forgiven” packages. But I prepared for my desert days. I subscribed to:
- Acorn TV
- I already had Amazon Prime
My little Roku boxes were infinitely preferable to the wiring from the satellite boxes. Plus, I realized I could finally have a TV in my kitchen, since I didn’t need cable. So, I popped a TV in there, which helps when I’m washing dishes (which has to be the most boring job in the world).
Where was my feeling of alienation? Why didn’t I feel the siren call of network TV?
HuluPlus, which ended up having most of the programs I currently watch, had commercials, but short ones. Even when they had 3 commercials per break (rare), they were shorter than any network programming.
However, I still felt I should be missing something. My news programs. Wait! There is a news station on Roku. Plus, they have the channel I like to watch. Plus, most of the news channels have their own channel on Roku. No, all the programs aren’t full length, but guess what? I didn’t have time to watch most of the programs all the way through anyway. These are just the salient clips. Perfect for me!
Shouldn’t I miss the networks, though? Shouldn’t I hunger for local news? Um, I rarely watched local news, but okay, I’ll bite. I did some investigating about indoor antennas and realized I was a lot farther away from the broadcast stations than I thought. So, I got a Leaf Antenna that has a booster for 50 miles. It works perfectly! I get all the local channels but one (ABC), and all the Spanish channels just in case I want to practice my Spanish.
The streaming channels air programs the day after they’re normally shown. I never pay attention to when a show airs anyway – except for one: Grimm. So, last Friday night, I sat down, tuned the TV to my local channel and had to suffer through 18 minutes of assorted commercials.
I finally ended up going back to Roku during the last break, deciding I could see Grimm all the way through with limited interruptions on Hulu the next day.
Since I’ve never been a heavy TV viewer, I’ve found a lot of series I’ve never seen. I worked my way through New Tricks, a BBC series, and I’m currently watching other American series I never saw.
Another neat thing is the plethora of English and Australian titles available as streaming programs. I just wish they had subtitles under some of those programs. Sometimes, I don’t understand what the heck they’re saying.
All in all, my experiment in cutting the cord has been wildly successful. I’m looking forward to when (if) Verizon comes up with their a la carte pricing for TV. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t watching most of what I was paying for.