In an effort to save money and spend more time away from the TV, my wife has convinced me to cancel our cable subscription in the very near future. I was originally quite apprehensive at the thought of losing access to the cable networks I faithfully watch. ESPN, TNT, FX, USA, and a few others were all in my regular rotation. We recently added HBO solely for the 3rd season of Game of Thrones.
A byproduct of our viewing habits is that our DVRs (yes, we have two) are always at least 50% full of recordings. We scour the cable guide for new shows to watch every season and schedule season passes. As much as we try to limit our consumption, only cancellations seem to curb our thirst for new shows. And should I mention the arguments over which one of us has the most ‘crap’ eating up space on the DVR?
We are trying to convince ourselves that this new endeavor will be relatively easy. With our iPads and the NBC/ABC/CBS apps, we won’t miss the major/standard network shows. We also have Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix subscriptions, so older TV series or movies will be available. I’m also a fan of the PBS app for more cultured and quality offerings.
We have 1st & 2nd generation Apple TVs and a Roku box. I have an iTunes library of more than 60 movies and 150 TV show episodes. I have eased up on buying new movies and want to avoid renting, as well. My wife wants to add DVDs to our Netflix subscription to make sure we have access to the latest movies and TV seasons rather than waiting for them to hit the streaming library.
When you look at all of this planning we are doing, does it sound like we’re just trading one style/form of consumption for another? Having less access doesn’t automatically translate to less use. The void created by limited networks can easily be filled with older series that we missed or ignored. I never got into Breaking Bad, Mad Men or Weeds and now it seems I will have an ‘excuse’ to binge-watch the seasons.
The social media conversations on the latest episode of the hottest show won’t bother me too much. I’ve already purchased audiobooks 3 & 4 in the Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire series so I don’t have wait 2 years to know what happens in season 4 of the HBO series. I’m halfway through A Storm of Swords and already becoming one of those “the books are better” jerks. Besides, I only tweet about the bad & ratchet TV shows, so this is probably a positive change.
My only real regret will be the loss of live sports. I can use the HDTV antenna to catch the Sunday football games and the high profile basketball games. No more pausing the action, though. I only care about the last half of games since that’s the time the real drama unfolds, but I like skimming through the early action for highlights. Going to be at the mercy of the commercials and commentary from now on.
On that note, it will be interesting to see how my young child reacts to no longer being able to “zoom” through the commercials. I remember growing up without a VCR, but this kid only knows the TiVo-style world. I anticipate some tantrums over missed moments and forgotten schedules. It will be interesting to see the new parenting pitfalls that are produced by this venture. It will get testy, I’m sure!
I’m considering blogging about this as we go along. I’m not sure how often I will post, but I’ll be sure to update you on the more interesting experiences as they happen…