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Cutting the Cable TV Umbilical Cord

Tonight we had a visit from a Comcast employee who was canvasing our neighborhood to upgrade everyone to their “new” services. Really, he was trying to get us into the home phone service. They like to offer discounted prices that are only good for a few months, then the real prices kick into overdrive. Our channel package is pretty robust, but I’ve never had HBO, Showtime, or Starz.

Our home has four televisions. Two are older “non-digital tuner”, and two HD models. We have a Wii hooked up to our living room television which runs Netflix for the kids shows. My son’s room has a larger projection TV which has his Xbox 360 running Netflix. The flat screen in our bedroom has a Mac Mini that has Boxee Beta installed, and the family room flat screen will be reserved for the Boxee Box when it comes out in November. Whew. I like trying different devices for movies and TV.

I figured with a cable bill of around $150/month for TV and internet, I could trim about $80/month after canceling the TV portion, or $60/month if I went back down to basic. That would be a dozen movie rentals on iTunes every month, and we don’t even come close to that number. Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes make up for just about every show I’d like to watch, and a good antenna would allow for local programming.

This decision is getting easier by the month. What are your plans for ditching cable TV?

  • Ewj

    I thought one of the goals was to get rid of rabbit ears on roofs and tv. I thought about going without cable but tw items are deal breakers. I am a basketball junkie. Live sports is great. The other is that the iTunes store is not the least bit complete Hulu Plus comes closest. If you add in Netflix and Amazon I would save $22 a month and limited live sports with rabbit ears.

    For me cutting the cabletv would be like going back to ISD line. Sure it gets the job done but not in a elegant or pretty way.

  • Kevin Watterson

    Not until I can watch live, in-market sports.

  • taulpaul

    Yep, sports is a tough one. I've debated this for the past year. The fact that I have two non digital TV's makes it even harder. I typically only watch the Vikings, and not much ESPN any more.

  • Greg Swan

    This is a pet peeve of mine since we pretty much only watch streamed netflix or streamed online but have one year left on our DirecTV contract and need cable internet (DSL blows and city wi-fi is even worse).

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think 4G alternatives are quite there yet. Streaming 720p or 1080p content takes a lot of bandwidth, so Comcast is going to be my ISP for awhile (2 years tops). Boxee Box will be out in stores in a week. I’m going to try my luck with their hardware, and skip Apple TV.

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