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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Severing (cable) ties

A few weeks ago, after several months of  thinking about it and threatening to do it, we canceled our cable TV service. I think the kids were shocked that we actually did it. I was shocked that Mike agreed to it.

My timing was not very good, though, because our first day without cable was the day that Camp Rock 2 was showing for the first time on The Disney Channel. Oops. No worries, however, because the two kids who really cared about it made arrangements to watch it at friends' houses.

The next several weeks went along ok. Oh, I missed "Chopped" on the Food Network and Annie lamented the loss of "Wizards of Waverly Place," but for the most part, television without cable wasn't so bad. We purchased an HDTV antennae, which gave us all the local channels, plus weather and, according to Charlie "some dumb horse and church channels."

On the downside (besides the horse and church channels) is that kids' programming is harder to come by when you only have network TV to choose from. The upside is that the kids are watching less TV in general -- not by much, but as they say, every little bit helps.

Our first real concerns about not having cable came last Sunday while we were watching the Colts game. The signal of the local channel carrying the game, kept blinking out from time to time. Not for long durations, but long enough, Mike pointed out, that we might miss an incredible play (as if they don't show numerous replays during the game, at halftime, and for the next 24 hours after the game). Fortunately, no amazing passes or unbelievable tackles went unseen and my "no cable" banner was still flying by the end of the game.

But today, I really, for the first time, grasped the magnitude of the decision to cancel the cable. Both "Glee" and "The Biggest Loser" premiered tonight. Both at 8pm...on DIFFERENT channels. And me, without a DVR to capture all the toe-tapping, scale-tipping footage. Arghhh!

Add to that the fact that we had company in from out of town and watching either show just wasn't in the cards. So, for the first time in two years, "The Biggest Loser" premiered without me standing by to blog about it. And when the office water cooler chatter turns to "Glee," I'll be without knowledge of Sue Sylvester's vengeful antics and Mr. Shue's convoluted love life.

You know what? Really, I'm ok with that. Not having access to certain shows either as they are aired or later shown online feels kind of freeing. I can't promise I'll feel like that forever. But for now, cutting the cord works for me.

12 comments:

Sara said...

Well, I don't watch Glee but I did watch The Biggest Loser and I promise you really didn't miss much. It was probably one of the most boring first episodes I've ever seen!
A lot of crying, and 2 ambulances. And you could probably watch both of them on Hulu tomorrow....

BeMistified said...

You know there is this thing called the internet, I think you might have heard of it, not sure though. I'm kidding I'm kidding! Most of your shows will be on the great WWW though, so don't forget that! I too will probably have to get rid of my cable by the end of this month. Sad day :(

kimybeee said...

liar, liar, pants on fire!!!! i don't do without internet, cable tv and my washer and dryer. and not necessarily in that order! as for anything else, i can live without it!

BeMistified said...

Wow so I thought I totally paid attention and read your blog. Apparently I missed like the whole bottom paragraph. I am so sorry!

Ryan R. said...

Amy, we have debated at various times cutting the cable...but have resisted so far. We did drop the home phone line early this summer with one kid now with a cell phone and Google recently adding free phone calls via gmail to ANY number (slightly better than skype, thank you!) to help me extend our monthly cell minutes. We just can't seem to make that final cut...but come back to me after football season!!

Andrea said...

Good for you!! We did the same, only we never got the converter so basically no cable meant no tv at all whatsoever! It took us a while to take the plunge, and just one short year ago it seemed like the absolute UNTHINKABLE. But now we don't even miss it and we have way more time to do constructive activities. Like blog LOL.

Janet said...

I never have had cable. When I first bought my house I couldn't afford it (and free TV was still good -- it was the early 80's).

We do have a HD antenna (need to look for a booster though) and St. Louis metro is lucky -- our PBS station is really 4 (regular PBS, all kids, world, and DIY).

Biggest Loser was a real loser last night. You didn't miss anything except seeing that Danny, Mike and another former finalist still look great.

hotmess10 said...

I'd just die w/o cable. :( That's just me. ;)

Molly said...

Try www.hulu.com. I just watched Glee from there bc our uverse dvr was terrible yesterday. No worry, att will be dealing with me in due time. I admire you cancelling yours.

Amy said...

Ryan - There are only two Colts games that are not on network television this year. We'll be at your house for those.

Molly, BeMistified and others who suggested the internet -- that's my plan. Seems like NBC delays TBL replays for several days, but really, I'm ok with it. For today. Ask me in a few weeks.

Momza said...

I watched GLEE and a couple of new shows after that...but have you thought to HULU Glee and the other shows you wanna watch? I watch HULU all the time when I miss a fav show!

Nyetrogen said...

Hulu is a solid option, but there are several options to DVR stuff. For example, you could get a device from El Gato for Mike's Mac and you could hook simple HD TV antenna up to it and record your shows to the Computer's hard drive, even upload them to iTunes to be put on iPod or you could get a TiVo or one of many other devices that now allow you to hook up storage devices to TV and DVR your favorite shows, no matter what service you are using, even if it is just Over the Air HD.