February 5, 2011

Why We Gave Up on Cable TV

No, we didn't kill our television. It still sits wedged in a corner between the windows.  Instead, we killed the cable.

Back in September, we did the unthinkable--we canceled our cable tv service.  Despite being in the midst of Phillies baseball playoffs, we survived, and it actually wasn't too bad.  I liken getting rid of cable to my move toward vegetarianism in my early 20s, in that I was never a big steak and burgers type of gal, so it was an easy step getting rid of meat. Same goes for television and movies.  I'm really just not that into them, save for the 6 seasons of LOST and episodes of Mad Men, which I actually watched via Netflix anyway.

As a person who spends much of her media time online, it seemed pointless to keep the cable.  While we don't forbid television for Soren, in fact he has a small DVD collection that he enjoys and is not bored with (yet), I think it's better for his access to entertainment to be limited.  I kind of take a sick pleasure in knowing that we're setting him up to be one of "those kids" at school, not knowing about Sponge Bob, etc. 

It's actually easier to control the media that he consumes, and it's great not having seductive commercials creating desire in all of us where it doesn't yet exist.  And why is it that commercials are always a thousand times louder than the programs? Oh yeah, to hammer themselves audibly into our heads.

Our next step is to most likely get a Roku box, which would allow us to watch things online via the television set. My friend has one, and their family really likes it.  Anyone else have experience with it?

14 comments:

  1. If you have a Nintendo Wii you can also use that to watch Netflix Watch it Now shows on your tv.

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  2. :)

    In the months we've not had cable, I really miss few shows. But I watched them when Charlie was asleep anyway. The biggest miss for us is UFC fights, actually. Taking turns hosting fight nights with my sister was such fun. We're working on a way to be able to watch them via online but while inputting it on the tv. We'll see if it's even possible...

    Charlie has her small collection of movies that we watch with her once in a while. But weekly she enjoys Cat in the Hat and Beatrix Potter tapes. It gives her something to look forward to.

    Mat and I both get a kick out of knowing she'll have nothing to do with Sponge Bob or iCarly or any of that stuff.

    We've tossed the idea of getting a Roku around, but we haven't made our minds up yet.

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  3. i have had it for a yr now and i like it now i do think some things should be offered alot sooner then they are from Netflix.....

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  4. We haven't had cable for almost five years now, and I don't miss it at all. We have a Netflix membership and get the instant view stuff on our blue ray player. I haven't heard of Roku.

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  5. We killed our Directv about a year and a half ago. Like you I didn't really miss it to much except for football. We love football so we got an antenna. We still don't get to see all the games but we see enough to keep us happy. We didn't get a separate box to watch online content on our TV instead we hooked up our computer to the TV. We watch Hulu (I have Hulu Plus and really like it)from time to time and I really like it. It's a giant monitor and a lot of fun at times. Good luck in your no TV venture. People will think your weird but your little one will be better off for it!

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  6. We got rid of our cable quite some time ago and don't miss it at all. We got a cable (an actual one ... not a cable company ... lol) which allows us to watch online programming through our TV and we've found that most networks offer their shows from their websites. A particular program may be a day or so late but ... we don't care. We've found that we watch less TV this way and when we do watch, it's exactly what we want without as many commercials (still a few but far fewer). It's great!

    Congrats on kicking the habit ... and saving all that money! :-)

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  7. I am with you! We got the Xbox Kinect and ordered Netflix for $7 a month. It has a ton of TV programs/movies- and we are not big TV people anyway. SOO much cheaper and now the kids can watch their cartoons without comercials! Yea!

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  8. No can do. I'd happily give up my internet before I'd ever give up my TV!

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  9. Hi there, love your blog! We also gave up cable in September and installed a Roku box too. We love it! We also hooked up our computer to the tv so we can watch various shows on the internet too. It's great to be free of that enormous bill and hear the little ones ask to watch PBS Kids!!

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  10. That's awesome! We keep on going back and forth on this in our home. But my husband loves all sports, and it is his only hobby. So it probably will stay around :O) Though I try not to get too sucked in, or the girls. I especially hate commercials!

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  11. We have no reception, and no cable hooked up to the tv - but we do have a Wii and use it to watch streaming Netflix for 2-3 hours each week. We also use the DVD player to watch UFC fights (I laughed to know I'm not the only person commenting here who does this) - and the kids get to check one parentally approved (no SpongeBob) video from the library each week. It works well - the kids get a max of one hour/day in front of the idiot box, except for special family movie nights every other week or so. The end of commercials definitely affected our spending patterns - no more impulse purchases, and no children whining for what they'd seen on tv. I don't miss it at all.
    Xa Lynn

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  12. I absolutely love my Roku box. I got mine for a review a few months ago. Feel free to contact me if you're interested...maybe they'd let you do a review too! :D

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  13. We have the XBOX and watch Netflix through that. WE mostly watch movies and shows that we buy the digital version of or Netflix or our old-school DVDs. We haven't had cable for 3 years. Prior to that I think we went a yer or two without cable, also. I don't miss it at all. And the kids don't see all those kid-targeted commercials. Mwa-ha-ha.

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  14. HI, We got rid of our cable 1 yr ago and I could not be happier. I still watch the programs I want via netflix and hulu but I protect my kids from all the garbage out there. We spend so much more of our time productively and with our kiddos. There are time I miss it and feel a little out of the world but I always come back to the feeling of being very content without it. We are currently looking into a roku box. let your readers know if get one and how you feel about it. thanks and Love the blog. Hillary

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I'm a good listener...comment away!

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