Cancel Cable Without Losing Out Part 2

Yesterday I shared how I personally keep up with my favorite shows without a monthly cable bill. Today I’m outlining some pros and cons for switching to this lifestyle.

Cons:

  • No more channel surfing or turning on a channel for continuous background noise. Instead you will choose everything you wish to watch. Your shows and movies will play in separate units, similar to watching on DVD.
  • While a DVR records things to be watched as soon as it is recorded, online episodes usually take 1 day to post online and some are a week behind.
  • There is a learning curve. You will have to learn how to navigate Hulu and Netflix and possibly learn to use a new device. Though I am confident this is very doable for each of you, this can be off-putting for some.

Pros:

  • You will find yourself being more intentional about what you watch. Instead of getting sucked in by a continuous stream of programming on a network, you will instead find yourself watching only what you wish. That just makes me feel better about myself.
  • Try out new shows, a season at a time. Netflix recommends shows and movies based on what I have enjoyed in the past. When we checked out Bones based on one of those recommendations, we were hooked. This was fine, though, because all of the previous seasons were on Netflix Instant. We are getting caught up.
  • You can better monitor what your children are watching. Netflix has a large children and family section, allowing you to select exactly what they are watching. Since the shows have a definitive ending time, you as the parent can know exactly how much time your children are spending watching television.
  • Viewing in this manner removes commercials, keeping your children safe from those embarrassing age-inappropriate commercials or programming.

No solution is perfect, but I’ve found in my own experience that the pros definitely outweigh the cons when it comes to excluding the monthly cable bill. I think the biggest challenge is just changing the way you think TV should work. Why not make it work for you? Here are some resources for those considering making the switch:

  • Another Perspective Part 1 and Part 2: This guy also shared on his blog how he cut out the cable bill. Aside from being a really funny guy, this is a great resource for those who may still have doubts.
  • Hulu: Provides an extensive online library of old and current TV shows.
  • Netflix: Provides an extensive online library of movies and seasons of TV shows. Also provides a by-mail DVD rental with no late fees.
  • Roku: A device that allows you to access programs like Netflix and Hulu and watch them on your TV (yes, even in HD)
  • Other Devices: Apple TV, Google TV, Boxee, Xbox360, PS3, Wii. The Roku seems to be at the top of the market for this type of device, but I wanted to let you know there are other options.
  • Windows Media Center Internet TV: This came with Windows 7 for us. It’s a safe and legal player on your desktop that connects to the internet. Browse and enjoy shows with limited commercial interruption, just like on Hulu. We think Hawaii Five-O just looks prettier on this player. 🙂

So what about you? Do you have any questions about this or something else I didn’t address?

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