New City Movement

Future Forward Living in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since 1998.

Reasons To Cancel Your Cable

Current Affairs, Film & TelevisionJesse WalkerComment

According to Cancelcable.com, paying for cable is "like buying a new 50″ TV each year and tossing it in the dumpster." Lately I've been considering all the ways one can consume, neigh over consume entertainment in our present day as online streaming networks, downloading and Netflix evolve in prevalence and quality. I'm not a kill your TV kind of person, I love my "stories" as much as the next guy. But one thought keeps coming to mind lately. In a world where time and now money are so precious, why spend so much of it watching what is just on the telly at any given time, or spend it programming (and reprogramming in my case) the Tivo when you can see what you want, more or less at your leisure without cable or sattelite?

It's something to consider for those of us who enjoy TV but could use the savings. 20 years of not paying for cable could take $45,000 off your 30 year home loan. And who better to hate on in this bad economy than your cable company? They've been gouging you for decades to watch 30% commercials!

I know that Hulu.com isn't news to anyone reading this, but I've learned more in the past few days that makes me even more curious as to the possibilities. If you have a computer and hi-speed internet, you can practically watch any show out there on network specific sites or online hubs like Hulu. Since a lot of available entertainment on the net is scattered at best, a site called SideReel is helpful in finding what you want. Many shows are available on several sites including Hulu, Sling, Crackle, Fancast, TV.com or others (which was news to me) leaving you to choose the one that offers the best streaming quality and viewing control. Also, among the ways you can stream your Netflix is a new $99 device called 'Roku' which has been getting glowing reviews from Wired, the Times and The Washington Post. The small internet connected set-top box uses your computer as it's search and programming tool, leaving the simple on-screen interface to play what you've told it to download. iTunes and Xbox do this too but Roku seems like it's the growing method of choice. The quality isn't as good as digital television, but it's better than your computer and it rivals broadcast apparently, and you can always get the movies you really want to see in hi-def/DVD in the mail right?

Think about it. If you could unplug from the hype of premium channels like HBO and Showtime long enough to watch what was really worth seeing a few months later through Netflix or iTunes, you could beat the system, save your hard earned cash and have a lot more free time.