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jeffnearlife's avatar

Has anyone tried going without cable? How has that worked out for you?

Asked by jeffnearlife (24points) September 26th, 2008

I’m thinking of cutting off my cable and going with a Netflix plan instead. I think I can watch stuff on the internet for free, if needed.

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17 Answers

delirium's avatar

Only my whole life.

GAMBIT's avatar

I never had cable and I limit TV. Books are nice.

Fieryspoon's avatar

I haven’t had cable for about four years, and I love the flexibility I have without it. I don’t have time to watch a ton of television, but it’s definitely nice to be able to relax after a long day by veg-ing out on the couch to be entertained. It’s cheaper and actually more convenient to watch the shows I like online than to deal with cable. There are a few ways that I get my shows, without cable:

1) Hulu. This has some shows, for free. This still has a few short commercials, but they are far shorter and and far less annoying than the ads on cable.

2) Netflix. You can only rent older shows on Netflix, since the DVDs for a show usually come out 1–2 seasons after a show has aired. But, there are plenty of great shows that I wouldn’t have time to watch when they’re airing anyway. I can watch entire shows without commercials, without needing to wait a week between suspenseful episodes (great for dramatic shows like Lost, 24, The Wire, etc, etc, etc). I watch most of my shows this way, which allows me to do it entirely at my own leasure. Netflix is cheaper than cable, too.

3) iTunes. You can buy season passes for shows on iTunes. A season pass will run you between $25—$35. A show will become available on iTunes about 1 day after it airs on television. If you’re not in a social situation that revolves around what happened last night on whatever show you’re watching, then this could also be cheaper than cable (depending on how many shows you’re buying on itunes).

4) You can also check out each network’s website, since a lot of them will air each show online for free, with the same ad style as hulu.

That said, there are also plenty of other things to do, without it, that are more mentally stimulating, more engaging, more fun, and encourage bonding with your family more than watching television shows :)

EmpressPixie's avatar

I currently am. I don’t miss it at all. I catch anything I wanted to see or try out online.

Of course, I also catch the news all day, every day at work so I still get cable. Just not at home.

Celeste00's avatar

I used to think I wouldn’t be able to live without it, but I’ve barely watched it in the last few months. Seeing how impossible Comcast makes life, I’m starting to think it’s not worth to have it in the future either….

EmpressPixie's avatar

Comcast? Just wait until you try to cancel it! Hahahaha! This is the laughter of an evil corporation. Or perhaps the maniacal laughter of someone who recently tried to cancel.

(Seriously: make sure you get a confirmation number for your cancellation and watch your card to make sure they don’t bill you again if that’s how you pay. And if they say they’re going to send you a box to send things back in, don’t believe them. Just go to the center and return it because they are LYING and will want to charge you for the equipment. And my complaints? Are seriously minor compared to some people who try to cancel with them.)

Celeste00's avatar

@Empress I’ve gone through every ordeal possible with Comcast. Believe me, at this point, I NEVER trust them.

sundayBastard's avatar

I do not watch TV. It watches me….........

jca's avatar

i don’t even want to start about comcast. they suck the big one. every time i deal with them it’s an ordeal. yesterday they came to upgrade my service with a new box, and the guy brought the wrong box, which i didn’t know till i spoke to customer service. now they have to come back which means another appointment. EVERY TIME i deal with them there’s an issue. i know this is off the topic but i had to vent. thank you.

JackAdams's avatar

jeffnearlife, you wrote, “I think I can watch stuff on the internet for free, if needed.”

Please describe how you have managed to be connected to the Internet for free.

BTW, welcome to Fluther! (Don’t piss off the moderators.)

jeffnearlife's avatar

Obviously the internet is not free, but I’m looking at cutting off cable in lew of keeping both.

stratman37's avatar

Amen to Jack’s last line there.

scamp's avatar

We cancelled our cable 2 years ago. the cable company didn’t turn it -completely_ off, so we get ABC and a couple other channels like weather channel HGTV, etc. I have Netflix’s biggest plan, so I get 8 movies at a time unlimited. I like being able to choose what I watch and when.

There have been times when I considered getting cable again, but decided agaisnt it. I live in the mountains, so without cable of some kind there is no reception at all. It will take a little while to get used to no TV if you are an avid watcher, but it is quite doable.

Snoopy's avatar

I haven’t had cable in years. I cannot believe how much people pay for cable… have access to a bunch of shows they never watch. Every time we go somewhere that has cable (e.g. on vacation) our decision is reinforced. Sure it is nice to watch stuff right as it comes out…..but it really isn’t that big of a deal to watch it later. As a matter of fact, I prefer to watch stuff back to back (e.g. 2 o 3 episodes of the Wire in an evening) as opposed to trying to keep track of when it will be on next the following week.

As Scamp said, I watch when I want to watch. I too have Netflix and have used Hulu (I found Sons of Anarchy on there and it is really good…..)

I have not yet tried but also recommend checking out the websites of ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. Looks like they have stuff on there too. For free.

You might also want to check out this question I asked recently. I haven’t checked out all of the websites just yet….

Bottom line….do something else w/ your $700 each year.

Bri_L's avatar

I don’t have cable. It’s no problem at all.

skord's avatar

I think a few people need to qualify the question with “I don’t have cable TV”, but anyway… I work in television, I watch it all day, I work with it all day, and when I come home, it’s the LAST thing I want to do. I don’t even want a screen bigger than a computer monitor in my home, alas my wife and son don’t agree.

Even if I didn’t do TV related things all day, the experience of having worked in it just reminds me of how everything on it is just too… busy. It’s like having a piece of a noisy Las Vegas casino right in your very own home. When the family has gone out of town or I go out of town without them, my overall stress level is lower because of no TV. A one week power outage was AWESOME.

Just try it. Keep the TV unplugged for a week and see how it goes.

An alternative would be that most cable companies offer a “basic” tier that they don’t even tell you about. It’s usually less than 20 channels and includes your locals for a small fee. Keeping that tier + a cable modem costs the same as a cable modem alone in these parts.

dblgeek's avatar

Where I live, if you don’t have cable you only get ABC, CBS and two UHF channels. I watch very little network TV, because it stinks.

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