For many years, my wife would suggest (sometimes STRONGLY suggest) that we simply “get rid of cable”. Truth be told, I agreed with her for the most part. Even some of the best deals offered by Cable Operators (Time Warner and Cincinnati Bell in our case) can get costly in the long run for the simple pleasure of watching television. But for the longest time I simply couldn’t bring myself to do it. At first, I was always hesitant to get rid of the Premium Channels such as HBO or Showtime. Sure at one time I had 6 HBO channels – each showing pretty much the same things only at different times. And for the most part, most of the movies that were being shown on these channels were already available for rent at video stores (hey – remember those!?). Fact is, the only thing that kept me from getting rid of these channels was the exclusive programming they would produce – from The Sopranos to Weeds, we just HAD to see these shows. But even those shows were made available by other means, even if that meant seeing the latest episodes later on.
Finally, I decided that the Premium channels simply had to go. I could no longer validate paying extra simply to see made for HBO or Showtime series. But, I still HAD to hold on to my good-old basic cable service with my DVR boxes. There were shows I just HAD to see, right?
One other thing to mention is viewing habits. You see, I’ve always been the type of person who simply has to have background noise – whether it’s the TV being on or music playing. To me, a completely silent house is somewhat creepy, although we now have 2 sons, so that’s not an issue any more! And oddly enough, I’ve never been able to concentrate in the full silence. While in school, I had to have SOMETHING on while studying or else I couldn’t concentrate. My wife on the other hand loves to have things completely quiet. She would always ask “why is the TV on if you’re not even watching it?”.
But back to the matter at hand – why should I cut the cord? Everyone will have different answers to the question of course, but for me it simply boiled down to 2 things –
2. Quality of programming
Surprisingly, even to me, cost actually wasn’t a factor as one might expect and as many people will blog or post about when they talk about cutting the cord. I’ll talk about that more in Part 2: Equipment and Cost.
As for choice – in all honesty, my number one complaint about all cable services is the actual lack of choice. Cable operators offer bundles of channels and usually we are forced to choose the bundle that ALMOST matches what we really want. I’ve always wanted to be able to pick and choose each channel I want and pay accordingly. But, such a-la-carte service simply isn’t feasible in the real world of cable.
While researching and experimenting with cutting the cable, someone mentioned to me a fact that I hadn’t actually considered before – the quality of programming I actually watch. This person mentioned to me that what he had noticed is that not only had the quantity of television he was watching fall, but the quality of the television he was actually watching rose as there is less garbage to come in contact with in the streaming world. This has been especially important to me with regards to my afore mentioned children. Not to mention, as more and more networks continue to center a large majority of their programming around affordable “reality” television which I don’t particularly care for, I began to find it harder and harder to justify paying for even basic cable service for such programming.
So, though your reasons may more than likely be completely different from mine or possibly the same, I have found that these 2 factors alone are justification enough to Cut The Cord.
Up next – Part 2: Equipment and Cost.