It seems to be all the rage, but I think we’re going to do it anyway.
I killed “cable” television a number of years ago, after having lost it during Hurricane Ike in 2008. I used Netflix, before streaming was really a thing people did, and binge-watched shows a disk at a time. Lost made a lot more sense when I watched four episodes a night, and not one a week. The plot continuity between episodes was a lot easier to follow and I really enjoyed it. I found that I read more and wasted less time. I was more productive and more relaxed than I had been in a long time. And, I really didn’t miss having all those channels that I didn’t watch to surf endlessly, trying to find something “good to watch”. In short, it was no loss to me, outside of the cost, to cut cable.
But, in early 2012, I met a girl and things changed.
Okay, so that’s a little poetic license. She’s not “a girl”, but is, in fact, a woman my age. However, like virtually all significant change that has occurred in my life, a woman, whatever her age, was at the heart of it.
Seriously, though, after four, solid years with nothing but books, the internet and Netflix for entertainment. But, before my future wife moved in, I got the television service for AT&T’s U-Verse again. I got the U-300 package to get her some specific channels that she wanted to watch. Most important to her was Turner Classic Movies, because she is an old-film buff and part of several on-line old-movie communities. To not have that would have been a “deal breaker” and, well, that wasn’t a deal I was willing to break. So, in the spring of 2013, I got cable TV again and got two wireless DVRs as part of the package. Wow, did she widen my horizons with the introduction to the DVR! I don’t know how I managed to get by without one before.
In any case, all of that is to say, we’ve decided for various reasons, including costs, to cut cable again and go to streaming services.
And, I’ve decided to document the transition, outlining the choices we made and why we made them. This post will anchor the series and give you a reference point for what we have now. Specifically, we have AT&T U-Verse, with the 6 MBPS “Elite” internet package and the U-300 channel package with one wired DVR receiver and two wireless DVR receivers. Additionally, we have Netflix streaming with HD and two-disks-at-a-time rental with the Bluray option. Our current total is roughly $200/month or $2400/year. I’m fairly confident that we can cut that in half with some judicious changes. And, also because a handy savings calculator told me so.
Want to run the numbers for yourself? Get your bills and click over to the “Should you cut the cord?” Calculator at Slate.com. You may be surprised.
And, keep coming back here for details and updates on how we do what we do, saving money and gathering information as we go.
Just do be warned, this is primarily a blog by geeks for geeks, so at some point I’ll probably get into some technical stuff as I work to replace or improve some of the systems we’ve grown used to having.
The updates won’t come every week, but I’ll try to keep them regular. And, they won’t normally come on Friday after this one, either.