57 Channels and Nothing’s On…


I canceled the cable about two weeks ago.  The only thing I have at the moment from them is internet service.  The reasons I canceled were many, though it really boils down to utility — we don’t watch the thing.  If I watch shows, they’re online through something like Hulu.  The last time I really went through cable TV searching for something to watch, I found Grimm on Friday nights.  It’s about a descendant of the Grimm family who works as a detective who solves crime usually perpetuated by mythical beast/humans.  Pretty intriguing.  Also on Hulu.  Otherwise, I don’t seem to do well with TV surfing anymore, though I used to.

With Hulu and Netflix, I’m pretty much covered.  It probably helps that I have delayed gratification when it comes to programming.  I don’t have to watch it that instant.  My life doesn’t really allow for regular watching of shows anyway.  With these two services, I can watch whatever I’m in the mood for.  Both let me search by genre, so I’m “surfing” in a smarter way now that actually appeals to my interests.  I’m not stuck watching a movie that has been shown a zillion times before.  I’m not mindlessly sitting through some canned laughter show.  I’ve gotten into Merlin from the Sci-Fi channel and the Dresden Files.  But I don’t have to have a subscription to the Sci-Fi channel to watch them.  The ads, while still annoying, are MUCH shorter and fewer than on cable TV.  Oh, and Hulu is free.  Even Hulu Plus is cheaper than a cable subscription.  Netflix runs me about $15.00 per month.  Why on earth, given my usage habits and what I can have access to, would I keep cable?  Even the boy rarely watches TV shows anymore.  He plays on YouTube and has his X-box.  The only thing I really miss is Suze Orman’s show and Til Debt Do Us Part.  I haven’t figured out how to yet keep up with them.  But I’m working on it!  When some construction in the basement knocked the cable out of commission for a while, no one complained.  That’s when I realized it was silly to keep paying for the possibility of having it.

When I went to cancel the service, the guy who “helped” me with it was most unhelpful.  Frankly, he was pretty rude.  He acted flabbergasted that someone would want to get rid of the cable package, since I was part of a promotional special where it only cost a few dollars more than the internet service.  Now, that special was about to run out, as I reminded him.  But he kept insisting it was still a “deal.”  It’s not a deal if I don’t watch cable TV anymore, I responded.  He seemed to feel as though I should simply figure out how to start watching it again instead of enjoying the pursuits I do now.  TV is not required to be my hobby!  At the end of the call, he said “Good luck.”  ???!!!  What for?  Does he really think life without his cable package is that daunting?!

Yesterday I got a call from Comcast while I was out on my porch trying to figure out how to operate the hanging strawberry planter I’d purchased a little while back.  Planting stuff, whether it lives or dies, IS one of my interests.  The lady was trying to confirm what services I had planned to stop.  So she asked me to confirm that my internet was supposed to be turned off the next day.  WHAT??!!?  No!  The CABLE is supposed to be finished.  Not the internet.  And incidentally, it was supposed to be finished the day I freaking called about it, that was the start date I told him I wanted.  She starts the spiel about their great packages.  While I try desperately to figure out if she can actually see my account and determine what has actually been ordered to happen, she is trying to get me back into cable.  When she asked me why I left, I said “I.  Don’t.  Watch.  Cable.  Anymore.”  I was polite, but firm.  She told me the number of channels they offered.  I pointed out it didn’t matter if they had thirty million channels, I was not a TV watcher anymore.  That’s just not how I see programming.  She kept insisting they have things like HBO and Showtime.  Why would I pay as much for those channels per month, when my Netflix subscription will give me nearly everything HBO and Showtime offer?!  After making her promise me they weren’t shutting the internet off, I got off the phone with her.

And I’m calling today, just to be sure I know what is going on with my account!  Sheesh, is the concept of no cable really that shocking?  I thought alternative programming was all “the rage” these days…


4 responses »

  1. I got rid of cable two years ago and am so glad I did. Other than sports events (which we could watch at a friends or at a bar) I have never missed it. I don’t know if I would ever get cable again because when we had it, I spend 2+ hours a day just watching junk.

    However, my family and boyfriend’s family think we are crazy for getting rid of cable. They come from towns/cultures where TV is your primary hobby. In fact, my boyfriend’s mother offered to pay our cable bill when she heard that we were getting rid of it.

    • LOL wow, offered to pay for it? That’s amazing. Actually, you know now that I think about it, I did something similar when I first moved to this town and my boy was very young. I chose not to get cable — and my mother also offered to pay for it. Seems like it’s only a measure of poverty to some folks, not an indication of lifestyle choice, maybe? As in, “Well, they’re taking out the cable, things must be rough!”

  2. I got rid of my satellite TV service in 2008. It was the best thing that I ever did. I was paying $80 a month for a bunch of crud that I didn’t watch or (like you said) there were 200 channels of nothing on. I got sick of it. I started experimenting with different setups and ultimately arrived at this for my home media center: https://sites.google.com/site/nomoretvbill/

    This gives me an HD antenna to watch local news, sports, and shows. Then, I have a Roku XD box that I use to stream TV and movies from Amazon and Netflix. I also have a small form factor PC connected to my TV along with 2 TB of network storage (NAS). This allows me to surf the web on my TV, watch YouTube, and stream movies and shows that I’ve downloaded.

    I don’t miss my satellite TV bill one bit. The best part? I’ve saved over $5,000 in the last 5 years. I don’t plan on ever going back to cable / satellite ever again.

    • Awesome! I thought at first I would miss it, but like you, I’m doing much better without it. Since I can search things by genre, I actually find *more* that I like than I ever did when I had cable.

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