To Cable or Not To Cable

Back in September, Jay & I signed up for a Hulu Plus account.  Days later, Apple announced the new & improved Apple TV.  At the same time, we were having problems with our Time Warner account.  There were several occasions this summer when the digital cable wasn’t working and we had no channels, which sucks for the cost of it each month.  Time Warner also doesn’t offer a lot of HD channels beyond the standard ones in our area.  Jay was fed up and proposed that once our contract was up at the end of February 2011, we should just drop the cable option all together and switch to a system where we’d use Netflix, Hulu Plus, and either Apple TV or the Mac Mini in order to save the money of paying for cable each month.  Now that Lost is over, we basically only really watch sports games and award shows in real time.  Everything else Hulu or the DVR.

From a financial angle, it makes sense.  Hulu Plus is $9.99/month and Netflix is a little over $15/month.  Anything not on Hulu can usually be found on that network’s site, bought as a season pass on iTunes or even bittorrented.  Netflix is now streaming SNL episodes the day after they air.  Jay gets his football fix on his iPad with the Direct TV package and neither of our baseball teams typically air locally.  The only things we’d miss out on are World Series games, MTV stuff and award shows.  Apple TV is $99 for a box and you can stream Netflix and anything on your iTunes through it. The Mac Mini is a bit pricier but I believe you can stream anything through it.

I was intrigued but not completely sold.  After all, silly as it sounds, I love live Tweeting crap about the Emmys or MTV VMAs with people and I don’t know if I’m quite ready to let go of that stuff yet.  Clif’s happy on the Internet-only option.  Could we make that adjustment?

I had forgotten all about Jay’s idea until I read an article about it on one of my favorite blogs The Consumerist that talks about how more people are dropping their cable subscriptions.  After reading the comments, I’m definitely more open to the idea and think that it’s worth further, more serious consideration.  I think that the main deciding factor will be how much Time Warner charges us for a new, Internet-only contract.  Is there a provider out there with better rates?  So now I ask anyone out there reading this: What do you think?  How do you satisfy your television viewing needs?  To Cable or Not To Cable?

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