One month, cable-free

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 8:26 PM | comments: 1

I realized today that it has been almost a month in the new place, and we're not missing have cable TV at all. We're still paying Time-Warner for Internet access, still too much at $45 a month, but no pay TV.

Hulu helped us catch up on stuff we missed during the moving period. Since we got the TV setup, I hooked up an over-the-air antenna to the TV and some tuners on my Mac Mini running BeyondTV, and we just DVR stuff recorded for free off of the local channels. As a percentage of stuff we watched on cable prior to moving, probably 95% of it was network TV anyway. By that calculation, we were paying for cable for 5% of what we watched.

SnapStream hasn't done a consumer version of BeyondTV in something like three years, and I first bought it in 2004. It appears that they still sell it, but their focus is on their TV recording appliances, it seems. Its ability to scan for commercials still makes it better than any DVR I've used. It really made a solid transition to the HD/digital world. All I had to do was buy some USB tuners a couple of years ago.

It's still weird to think about how the HD transition took so long, and now it's more or less the default. What's even more interesting is IP TV, and how the content owners and distributors are getting in the way of it truly taking hold. When Xbox Live starts offering some of those services in the next couple of months, we'll definitely consider them. Cable shouldn't be anything more than a dumb pipe at this point.


Tyler Neu, November 2, 2011, 9:47 PM #

We have been cable-free with Hulu Plus on our new Roku for two weeks and love it. We're still getting local channels over the cable so there is no need for antenna.

I'm currently missing Dexter. I wish I could buy it without a subscription. The same will go for Breaking Bad when it returns.

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