General Question

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Would you be able to go without cable TV if you have Netflix?

Asked by Skaggfacemutt (9730 points ) April 27th, 2012

There is nothing good on TV anymore. I am getting disgusted with it, and with the high cost of cable, so I have been toying with the idea of just getting Netflix. I have never used Netflix, but recently when I went to visit a relative out of town, she only had Netflix. We watched Judge Judy in the morning and The Tudors at night, and it seemed to have everything on it that I would want, except maybe the local news. What has been your experience with Netflix? Does it have enough variety to keep you entertained?

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42 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

It seems like no one watches cable any more, although there is a movie I want to see on demand. But the last thing I watched was the NBAA men’s basketball final. Before that I watched the HBO movie about Sarah Palin. Before that, I watched the Oscars. I think I may have watched one or two movies on demand since the beginning of the year. I also watched an HBO series on demand.

I think I could get along without cable. We can buy movies from Amazon, too.

Coloma's avatar

I checked out of TV & media10 years ago, and only recently subscribed to Netflix last fall. I might drop it for the summer because movie watching is seasonal for me. In the summers I am usually outside til well after dark and then it is time for bed.
So yes, Netflix is great and you can be as selective as you wish, I am a documentary junkie, some movies, but I really like informational “entertainment.”
Plus, I REFUSE to spend the money on cable TV, although certain channels like the History channel and Discovery, Nat. Geo are awesome.

Netflix meets all my interests and then some, so yes, ditch the boob tube and feed your mind with quality programming of your interest and selection.

lemonylime's avatar

No, I don’t think so. Obviously I could survive without it, but I’m much better off with cable TV. With Netflix, I don’t get the updated/“breaking” news, regular air times, or a lot of the channels I watch (because of the somewhat limited selection of Netflix). I do have Netflix, but I choose not to use it very much… it just seems too much of a hassle for things I can view “live” or when I want to, and it’s scheduled on TV. It just seems much easier for me to do things, but as for other people, it could be the opposite.

digitalimpression's avatar

I’m currently doing exactly that, so yes.

8$/mo is very nice in comparison.

Charles's avatar

No. If I want to watch a movie, I just download it from some torrent site. I probably watch five movies a year though and basically that is when I am on a long airplane flight.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I don’t have cable and don’t miss it at all. I have a rooftop antenna for current shows (free). I use Netflix for movies and shows I want to check out and have a Roku box for all kinds of special things. I only pay for the on-demand Netflix at $9/mo.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@LuckyGuy I also thought of an antenna for local programming, including the news. They have come a long way since the old days. Then I would be free to get my internet service from some other company. Anyone have a good suggestion for wireless internet service?

Aethelflaed's avatar

Yes and no. I didn’t have cable tv for years, and now that I have it (included in rent), I almost never use it. Netflix + Hulu + tv shows on site websites (CBS doesn’t put their shows on Hulu) is usually enough, though sometimes I have to torrent something (usually, something I’d have to pay waaaay more than standard cable for, anyway – Showtime, HBO, BBC, etc).

woodcutter's avatar

I like being surprised and I have a habit of suddenly wanting to do something else in the middle of what’s on. If I had a pay movie I think I would feel obligated to sit through it. I don’t watch much TV at all. So I would keep old cable. I sort of like HBO and TCM and Nat Geo.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@woodcutter Would it change if you were paying for a subscription, not per movie?

YARNLADY's avatar

My son and his family have dropped their Comcast TV down to basic and they seem to be happy with it.

Ela's avatar

I quit cable last year because it got way too expensive for the 3 or 4 channels we liked watching. I now pay $9 a month for Netflix and have an antenna. My kids mainly watch the series offered (Mythbusters, Fact or Faked, ect).
I think about getting basic cable sometimes… but then I think of something else : )

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I reject the premise, I’m sorry.

I have basic cable now and hulu or otherwise get all of my entertainment online.

TV is way better than movies lately. Mad Men, Walking Dead, Justified, Person of Interest, Game of Thrones. I could go without movies before I went without cable TV.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I believe you can put your cable on hold for a few months cost-free. That might be a good way to try it out, without having to worry about reinstallation fees and all that.

SavoirFaire's avatar

We have neither cable nor Netflix. We had Netflix until they split in two, at which point it stopped being worthwhile for us (especially since they preceded the split by removing almost everything we liked from the streaming option). Honestly, we don’t miss it. We use Hulu for a few things, but television is just not all that interesting—regardless of the delivery mechanism. It’s much easier to see that once you’ve gone a little while without it.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@SavoirFaire They stopped the split, and the streaming has gotten a lot better.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Aethelflaed I know, but we no longer have any reason to go back. We don’t miss it.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@SavoirFaire If you don’t miss American TV (which is in a creative renaissance) at least give British TV a chance. Doctor Who, the new Sherlock, Dirk Gently. I think people who have given up on TV are making a tragic mistake.

digitalimpression's avatar

My buddy spends around 100 bucks for his cable service (excluding the internet cost).
What he spends in one month covers me for an entire year. Over a 30 year period that comes to over $33,000 dollars in savings. I’m no math whiz but… I’ll take that deal.

Besides that, there are probably only a handful of things I want to watch on tv as you mentioned. Netflix doesn’t always have the greatest content, but they do have a lot of it. I’m willing to settle for older shows and a lot of shows I’ve never heard of (some of them very good) rather than fork over my hard earned money for 80 channels of trash.

If you have the money to waste spend on cable, than by all means do it. If it is a negligible cost for you. I’m blue collar. My savings (due to these exact same types of situations) may push me on up into the white collar in a few years. I’ll watch cable then (or rather, have cable but not watch much of it)

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought We still have a DVD player and a television. We watch things that people lend to us; and if we like it enough, we buy it. We have some American, British, and Japanese series that we have wound up purchasing.

filmfann's avatar

Wow, actually there is a lot of good stuff on TV, including Cable.
Tosh.0
South Park
The Daily Show
The Colbert Report
House
Big Bang Theory
House of Thrones (so I have heard)
Newsroom (I haven’t seen it)
Modern Family (I don’t really watch much TV)

janbb's avatar

I have cable downstairs and only Internet tv upstairs. I find myself pretty much just using Netflix these days but then I don’t watch much of anything too often.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@filmfann But South Park, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report are all online (where my wife and I watch them all). House of Thrones and Newsroom are both HBO series, so getting cable wouldn’t be sufficient to watch them. Tosh.0 is just a rehash of what happened the previous week on the internet (specifically, on reddit). House and Modern Family can both be watched on Hulu, leaving The Big Bang Theory as the only thing for which you need cable (some of it appears to be on Hulu, but the mass of clips makes navigating the show’s page unnecessarily laborious). And honestly, that’s just too many shows for me. I’ve never been one to watch more than a few shows regularly.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

I have never had cable as an adult; each time I travel, I watch TV in the motel/hotel in the evenings, and I’m reminded just exactly why I don’t have cable: 500 channels of drivel.

I barely watch TV as it is. When I do watch, it’s for a special event, like the Oscars, the Olympics, or some other such experience where watching it is something I want to do at that moment.

Now, Netflix, I like. I watch a lot of TV shows on Netflix, which is both positive and with drawbacks. The plus is watching several episodes in a row without having to wait a week. The negative is waiting 9–12 months before it comes out on DVD, and having to avoid newspaper articles with spoilers, both intentional and unintentional.

Even with Netflix, I’ve drawn back a bit, and returned to reading, and I’m satisfied with that tradeoff.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@SavoirFaire The Big Bang Theory has full episodes on CBS. Though, CBS should clearly stop being an asshole, and stream stuff through Hulu.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Aethelflaed Well, there you go then.

linguaphile's avatar

My kids and I lived without cable for 3 years at one point, and I just turned off the cable services today, mostly because of shoddy business practices.

And, I don’t have Netflix. I don’t watch enough movies for it to be worth the money.

If we watch anything, we rent movies from the RedBox, Family Video and purchase discounted or yard sale movies if we want to watch that movie more than once. And use Hulu. I have over 200 DVDs that my daughter is now slowly going through—with countless repetitions.

lillycoyote's avatar

I guess I could,. The current shows I watch, I generally end up watching online, but even though it costs me, to keep my cable, I like having options. But maybe it’s just a habit, I don’t know. I like having the cable channels available to me, news and movies, should I choose to watch TV as it is broadcast.

gailcalled's avatar

I love my old antenna (installed in 1986: I get all the networks plus extras, like reruns of “All in the Family,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Maude,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Lost in Space,” “Star Trek,” and “I Spy.”

Additionally I get three PBS’s and two (TWO!) weather channels, some old movie channels and some weird extreme sports.

I take out DVDs from the library all the time. They have a wonderful inter-library loan
system.

Cost. $0.00.

lillycoyote's avatar

@gailcalled LOL. I’m surprised your 1986 antenna gets shows from the 70s. I would think it would only get post-1986 shows.

Just kidding.

I was imaging an antenna, that you might buy at a thrift store or a mysterious antique store, that would allow you to receive shows from that antenna’s vintage or era., Kind of a Twilight Zone scenario, speaking of old shows. :-) But your antenna still works even after the switch to the digital broadcast signal? That kind of surprises me, even though I don’t know much about that sort of thing, so it really shouldn’t be surprised. I don’t really know enough to be surprised or not.

blueiiznh's avatar

That is the way the industry is going. Happy Streaming!!

gailcalled's avatar

@lillycoyote : The antenna sends the signals to the flat screen that is digitalized and also to the old cathode ray tube, which requires a $40 converter box to convert the signal from analog to digital.

I also see sometimes, in black and white, “Alfred Hitchcock,” “THe Twilight Zone” and “The Outer Limits.”

It is interesting to me how well some of the old shows still work.

mazingerz88's avatar

I have been without cable for two years. The only shows I regularly watch on TV were morning news programs and one or two travel shows. The rest is not worth the money cable is asking. I felt being force fed with limited and mostly bland TV programming. Seriously, just how many shows out there are of LOST caliber-?

Good shows I could wait to see either by streaming or after their DVD release. I recently discovered Blu-Ray and it’s the BOMB. So whether it’s TV or a movie and I could get it in Blu-Ray, I’m good. I’ve been with Netflix since they started. The tons of movies I saw for their monthly fee were just priceless. And they have lots of docus too which are hard to find.

I never paid Netflix more than $20 bucks a month in the past 5 years, until now when I switched to $24 to have access to their Blu-Ray discs. It’s easy to switch plans on Netflix depending on your present frequency of use. That flexibility works for me.

I also needed Hulu to supplement Netflix. Hulu’s cheap monthly fee is unbelievable. $8.00 for thousands of TV shows! As long as you don’t mind waiting. To me, what’s the urgency anyway-? And they have Criterion movies too. Great, just great.

With Netflix and Hulu combined, I feel like having my own expansive film and TV library.

But as for the overall cost, between having just cable and the system I have as an alternative, I’m not sure there’s a big difference. Let’s see, Hulu ( $8 ) + Netflix ( $24 ) + Clear, my IP ( $45 ) = $77.00 Yeah, it’s the same. So I guess the only difference is I’m going buffet style eating from prison food eating.

lonelydragon's avatar

I have been doing that for many years, so yes. Cable TV is absurdly expensive.

woodcutter's avatar

@AethelflaedWould it change if you were paying for a subscription, not per movie?”
Probably not. There are programs that I like that aren’t story type movies. The news , etc. and I think I’m too lazy to use a DVD. There’s too much planning. If I can come up with anything to do away from a TV I’m gonna go for it. Always been that way.

lillycoyote's avatar

@SavoirFaire says

But South Park, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report are all online (where my wife and I watch them all). House of Thrones and Newsroom are both HBO series, so getting cable wouldn’t be sufficient to watch them. Tosh.0 is just a rehash of what happened the previous week on the internet (specifically, on reddit). House and Modern Family can both be watched on Hulu, leaving The Big Bang Theory as the only thing for which you need cable (some of it appears to be on Hulu, but the mass of clips makes navigating the show’s page unnecessarily laborious). And honestly, that’s just too many shows for me. I’ve never been one to watch more than a few shows regularly.

You seem to know an awful lot about television for some willing pronounce, to the rest of us, that ”… television is just not all that interesting—regardless of the delivery mechanism. It’s much easier to see that once you’ve gone a little while without it.”

Me thinks thou is not so disinterested in television as thou dost protest.

:-)

SavoirFaire's avatar

@lillycoyote Ah, but half of that I found out moments before posting (which is why @Aethelflaed had to correct me about The Big Bang Theory). I watch the first three shows, have a Facebook friend who goes on and on about Game of Thrones (which still didn’t keep me from getting the name wrong above), and spend enough time online to have seen all the hate that goes Tosh’s way even though I’ve never seen his show. Everything else I got from Google.

Sunnybunny's avatar

We cancelled our cable several months ago and don’t miss it at all. We have two Roku boxes, one for each TV. They cost about $70 each, but I think there’s a less expensive model now. The Roku uses our wireless internet to stream shows to the TV. We watch shows on Netflix and Hulu Plus, which is about $16 a month total. We can also use the Roku to rent/buy movies and television shows that aren’t on Netflix or Hulu through Amazon. There’s very little we can’t watch pretty soon after it airs, but the exception seems to be series from channels like HBO or Showtime.

If you are a sports fan or like to watch local news you might miss that without cable. We get our news online and aren’t into sports. I know people who get only local channels through cable and use a Roku for everything else. There are other devices like the Roku that stream to your television but I don’t know anything about them.

We have been very, very happy with the Roku. It was really easy to set up and works great. Even our kids didn’t complain about cable going away; they watch far less cartoons, more nature shows and documentaries, and see almost no commercials.

I don’t remember exactly what our cable was before but it included phone and internet. I think monthly it was about $175 for all three. Now we have only local phone service for $25 a month (we use our cell phones for long distance and only kept the land line for 911 calls because we have kids), cable internet for $45, and Netflix/Hulu for $16.

AshlynM's avatar

I went without cable for at least 6 months and it was a quite a refreshing change. I recently signed up for it again and am thinking of quitting. I agree, there is nothing on but reality tv. Most tv shows are re runs anyways, and most of them you can get on dvd.

I’ve had Netflix for a couple of years now. You can basically get anything on there you want, except your local news and live sports games. I really don’t follow sports that much so sports isn’t a problem for me. I can get breaking news online from my facebook account so I can pretty much live without cable for the rest of my life. There’s also redbox, but I never use it. Now if I can get a Wii to stream Netflix movies and tv shows I’ll be set for life.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I just paid my cable bill – ouch! And I haven’t watched a single thing this month except some on-demand shows, which I can probably get from Netflix. Thanks for all of your input, everyone. It might not be a good choice for everyone, but for me I think I will fire the cable company and get Netflix.

wundayatta's avatar

You know, I never look at my bills. They are mostly paid automatically. That way I don’t have to think about being ripped off. It happens all by itself, but I don’t feel any pain.

Of course, I may have to send my wife back to work soon. My income alone won’t support this level of spending.

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