Do You Really Hate Cable/Satellite Enough to Cut the Cord?

BlogHer Original Post

The cable-guy service windows, the shoddy satellite reception with a slight westerly breeze, the 107-minute hold times. Ah, cable television. You've been screwing the American people since the eighties. But your reign of terror just might be over. If you love TV but hate cable and satellite, you need to read this.

The days of cable-or-nothing are over, and Americans are starting to sit up and take notice. According to American Couch Potato study, cord cutting is all the rage:

Based on our TV Cord Cutting Model (takes into account economic conditions, annual subscriber additions, digital transition), we estimate 2.65 million (2.6%) US TV subscribers cut their TV subscriptions 2008-11 to rely solely on Online, Netflix, OTA, etc, 1.05 million (1%) in 2011 alone. We forecast cord cutters will reach 3.58 million year end (3.6%) 2012.

Are you ready to cut the cord? My husband and I have had just about every service known to man in our ten-year marriage. After watching our dish lose service every time the neighbor's cat breathed on the satellite and the cable company charge us $5 more for existing every month and staring hard at our three-figure cable bill when we only watch one show a night, my husband and I yanked that puppy right out of the wall. And then we danced on its little brass head. That is how much we hated cable, in all its dubious forms.

One of the satellite companies wanted to put a dish on a pole in the middle of our yard.

On a pole in the middle of our yard.

I in particular had a lot of fear over letting go of cable. I was raised with three channels, four when FOX came along. (God, that was soooo exciting. If I only knew then what I know now.) I worried my beloved TV would be unavailable to me, completely ignoring the fact that since 1984, some things have been invented, such as The Internet. Nobody will keep me from my MTV!

We now have a streaming subscription to Netflix, which is great if you have kids or are enamored with watching bad movies from the mid-nineties. I try not to get too married to Netflix because they are bat-shit crazy. We use ours for the eight-year-old. We also have a subscription to HuluPlus, which we use for all series except premium (like HBO). (Although if the rumor is true and they start making you sign on with your cable or satellite number, we'll just find something else, and I bet so will everyone else.)

To get our Boardwalk Empire fix, we have to buy it from Amazon, where it's not cheap at $2.99/show in HD. However, then I remember that HBO cost $20 a month and Boardwalk Empire was the only show we watched. I would've had to be mainlining Keanu Reeves movies to make that charge worth it. So four shows a month = $12 on Amazon versus $20 on cable. Huh. Don't I feel like an idiot now? (Also: I can't remember the last time I watched a movie on HBO. It was not in this decade.)

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