28. May 2013 · Comments Off on Cutting the Cable · Categories: Ain't That America?

We took the plunge this last weekend – a step we have been considering for months; we bought a pair of Roku boxes (new) and a flat-screen TV (a slightly used model which had been a floor display unit and subsequently marked down) at a local Sam’s Club, and now we are going to cut our cable TV service. (But not cable internet, which is completely necessary for me as well as being totally reliable from our provider, Time Warner, if anyone cares.) Two or three reasons for this; for the first, the cost keeps climbing from year to year, and I am sick to death of paying through the nose for it, when we watch only a handful of programs regularly. Many of those same programs are available through Hulu, Amazon, or Acorn … and if we are willing to wait a few months, the whole darned season of a program will be available on DVD, with minimal commercial filler.

Really, I would have been happy to have a basic cable plus a certain amount for an ala carte selection of a few additional channels, but Time Warner doesn’t work that way now, and I can’t wait any longer for them to get a grip on reality and change. The way that it was explained to me was that Time Warner has to accept those little-watched channels from their providers in order to acquire the madly popular ones, and so they pass on the little-watched channels to the public and demand that customers pay through the nose for the whole ball-o-wax. But no longer; I dropped the land line last year, upon realizing that we both used our cellphones on a far more regular basis. We already had a wireless router, Blondie has been watching a lot of her favorite classic programs on her computer anyway … and it just seemed like a good time to cut the Time Warner monthly bill by two-thirds and starve a portion of the media conglomerate beast.

Installing and programming the Roku boxes went rather more easily than expected; I feared that it would take a couple of hours and several trips back to Sam’s or Best Buy for necessary cables or connections or something dire, but it was only an hour and one short trip to CVS on the corner for a box of batteries. Sometime this week, we’ll go turn in the two Time Warner DVR units and take Blondie’s big-screen and heavy TV set over to Goodwill. This was the only big purchase, other than replacing our computers, that we have made in years, so if the economy improves microscopically in this fiscal quarter, that would have been the reason why. No one can say that we didn’t do our bit.

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