We’re cable-free. Again.
I grew up without cable. No MTV, no Nick, no HBO. The first time I ever had cable was an apartment I lived in my last year in college: the rent was dirt cheap and included cable. The first time I ever had to pay for cable was about seven years ago, at which point I finally met with sticker shock. For a service that had, up to that point, been free all my life, the idea of spending $100+ per month on TV was ludicrous. Then I became unemployed and the first, and easiest cut, was cable.
When we moved to our current home, cable and internet bundling through Comcast wound up being cheaper than just paying for internet access… for a little while. Once our promotional rates expired, however, I began to renegotiate with Comcast and found them unyielding.
I began to think about what we were watching on TV. Most of what we watch is on the broadcast networks: CBS, NBC, ABC, and PBS. The biggest exceptions: the USA shows, which are all available on iTunes.
Well, we already had a HD antenna (from our former cable-free days), TiVo (I can’t imagine life without a DVR), and I was in the process of ripping our DVDs. Since we live in an Apple walled-garden, an Apple TV made the most sense to get the USA shows.
So I switched us to AT&T U-Verse for internet access and cut out cable entirely.
Am I sorry? I’ve got to admit, saying adios to Comcast was truly fun. Broadcast channels are coming through beautifully (thanks in no small part to our new antenna) and we’ve spent a bit less on buying our cable shows ala carte than we would have on cable. But AT&T is its own kind of suck and our download speeds have not been consistent (which is supposed to be a selling point of U-Verse!). We’re getting a new modem from AT&T soon (because even they admit that our download and upload speeds are insufficient).
Still, there are days I wish I could join in the conversations about the latest Top Chef. I’ll live though. The number of books I’ve managed to devour since we cut cable is frankly astonishing.