Thursday, November 18, 2010

We Finally Canceled Our Cable

We have sometimes intended to shut off our TV service over the last few years but it has never quite happened.  In fact, the last time I meant to cancel our cable, I just switched from Comcast to U-Verse and added more channels.  Wha?

So what made me finally cut the cord?  I think several things came together.  We have Netflix instant streaming through our xbox, and the kids get most of the TV entertainment they have from there (or all of it, in Hank's case).  Netflix keeps adding more and more stuff that's streamable.  We never get actual discs in the mail anymore.  

Actually, sometimes I've felt that having easy access to cable and network TV has kept me from watching better things on Netflix.  Like, after the kids go to bed, I'll mindlessly watch an episode of "House Hunters" instead of mindlessly watching "Damages" on Netflix, which is way better.  

Somehow, my having finished my Ph.D. also made me want to ditch the cable.  It seems like I should be ready to watch more TV without guilt, but it's happened that there are now so many more things I want to read for pleasure, and TV is getting in the way of that.  

And, finally, we played with an xbox Kinect the other night, and I said to Matt, "I want one of these."  He was like, "Ugh, it's all too much with the stuff."  I said, "How about if we cancel the cable? And he was like, "Deal."  I made the mistake of letting that slip to Laura, so everyday since then, she's asked me, "Did we cancel the cable yet?"  The girl wants a Kinect.  

Matt was into the plan because he always loves to save a dollar, and he watches literally no TV besides the Celtics.  

The only sad part of losing the cable and the shows we'd recorded with our DVR is that now I need a way to preserve my "FRINGE" fame.  Did y'all know I was this famous?  Last week my name was written into the screenplay.  See here!  The writers of that episode, "6955kHz," are two friends of ours from college, and they gave us a heads-up to look for a surprise in that episode.  I thought it might be like, my name is given to one of the characters, but it's never spoken and would only appear in the credits.  But no!  Lance Reddick (who, to me, will always be Mr. Abadon in "Lost," said my full name, and then all the characters were like, Becky this and Woomer that.  It was such a trip, I was giggling for two days.  

I thought the actress who played me really got to the emotional core of my character.  That part where the short wave radio transmission gives her amnesia and she pulls a knife on her husband? OMG, that's exactly what I would have done!  And my TV husband Laird Woomer (our friend Glen said it was going to be "Matthew" but they'd had a Matt he week before) was a total hunk and obviously deeply in love with Becky.  Fame! So I had it saved on my DVR to show my parents when they get back from Australia, but now I'll have to find it online somewhere.  

Fame!

So that's what's going on here.  Have you guys cut the cords on your TV already?  I mentioned it on facebook and everybody was like, "OMG, you are so two thousand late, none of us has watched TV on an actual TV since Howdy Doody."  But I never claimed to be a digital pioneer.  

31 comments:

Bren said...

Ha! I glanced at the script, and saw Joseph F, too! Very cool surprise.

We haven't had cable forever, which at first made us tv-less puritans, who read and our children played with wooden toys oblivious of anyone in square pants. But now we have Netflix and I feel like I've poisoned them all. Ike has gone through all the hello kitty episodes just this week. They big boys have watched mostly mythbusters, though.

Mental Momma said...

I so want to do this. Congrats on cutting the copper.

My Kids' Mom said...

So close. But not quite ready. We've got the Netflix streaming, and we use Hulu sometimes,... but other shows that still aren't available.... Nope, just not quite ready.

Jenni said...

We've been talking seriously about canceling our satillite for a month. Our land line too. But for some reason, I'm afraid. Like something awesome is going to happen on TV (like your surprise FRINGE appearance, WHAT? It makes me wish I watched that show so that I could have been all shocked by it.) and I'm going to miss it.

Scott said...

I looked it up later and it turns out number stations are real. ZOMG.

Kelly said...

We should probably cancel ours because we never watch anything live anyway. I hate commercials!

Sylvia said...

We cut the cable, upgraded the UVerse speed and went with antenna, hulu and netflix streaming several months ago. You can get a number of channels (incl PBS) with a good antenna in the ATL area. My husband has found that most of his fave sports can be found on one of the ESPN sites. While I sometimes miss some of my background fluff, I don't miss that bill AT ALL!

Rebekah said...

Welcome to antenna world! I hope you enjoy it. We tried the Google TV thing by Sony for a while too, but took it back because it's too hard to surf the web from a distance. It was fine for watching programing, but we can use Netflix and Pandora from the regular Blu ray player, so it was overkill for us. I look forward to reading the Kinect post after you get that in another month or so!

Meghan said...

You are so very brave. I don't even contemplate canceling cable. Ever. I sometimes think that could change if I had kids. But for now...zee TV makes me happy!

Elle said...

We have never had cable. That said, Netflix-insta + my 27-inch monitor make for some tolerable movie-viewing when I have knitting to slog through.

About a dozen years ago, an old friend wrote the young, boozy-tramp me into a whole recurring character. I watched one epi & was mortified, like, I am someone's mother now!!! Your experience sounds much cooler. xo

Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress said...

Say what?! That is SO AWESOME! That is one of my favorite shows and I really liked your character last week.=) She was, by far, the most interesting amnesiac. And her husband was a hottie.

chnault said...

I'm going to have to watch the episodes of Fringe, but does it have monster looking characters still? I didn't like those.

It's not my tv that keeps me from reading BOOKS, it's my constant need to read all my bloggy friends, Twitter and facebook that are the culprits.

That's my life line we are talking about.
www.sasstown.com

Elizabeth said...

Um, well, does it count if I just kind of never got around to getting cable when I moved back to my hometown 13 years ago? I didn't feel like paying for it, and I really don't feel like much of it's worth watching from what little I've seen at the gym, friends' houses, etc. I do occasionally buy DVDs, mostly for the kids, and have a seldom used Netflix subscription (1 1/2 movies watched since August) I really need to cancel, but that's it. I honestly don't know what kind of reception my TV gets for regular channels, never having tried to use it. The interesting thing will be seeing how old my kids will get before THEY'LL be carrying on about what a freak Mommy is, and whether I'll cave at some point and get something for them..

Elizabeth said...

Sigh. I so want to cut the cable but just don't have the nerve. I watch too much HBO, I guess. But I'm going to think about it some more. The trouble is that I'm woefully deficient in knowing technology -- still get Netflix in the mail, etc. My kids have a Wii but I don't know anything about it.

On another note, I know two former writers for The Fringe and that last part made me laugh.

Dancer said...

We haven't had TV for years. I simply don't have time to watch it. Anything I want to watch I can find on the internet. And when the children were at home I found that they used the internet more than the tv and I didn't see the point in paying for two sources of elektronic entertainment.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Can you give us a link to your eternity flame of fame? Is it on youtube? Very cool.

"Like, after the kids go to bed, I'll mindlessly watch an episode of "House Hunters" instead of mindlessly watching "Damages" on Netflix, which is way better." --

Oh, Dexter. I watched it on netflix and was devastated when it stopped at the end of the 2nd season. How I love Dexter. Love love, love.

So what do you think about subscribing for $7.99/mo to hulu plus. I think I'm gonna'.

A Day That is Dessert said...

I'm going to show this post to Alexi. We watch no TV - none! - not the adults, not the kids. We only watch netflix movies, and occasional sports, and those can be watched on the computer or whatever.

Amy said...

We haven't had cable tv since we moved to Sydney, and haven't missed it! And we don't even watch much online. Maybe we can get a Kinect too!!

So wanna see that Fringe episode. Fame--you're gonna live forever.

Becky said...

Okay, that's the second or third rave I've heard about Dexter, I need to try that out.

And Sylvia, "background fluff" is a great description of the only thing I miss so far. Like, the times when you would turn on the TV and watch a Real Housewives show (which I'll never seek out online) or tune it to the weather channel in the background, that's the only thing I sorta miss.

Becky, we need to find out what kind of antenna you guys got, because if we could get PBS, I would be in clover.

Oh, and I will totally pay the $7.99/mo for Hulu Plus, but sadly it won't come to the xbox until the first of the year. Frown. But that's a good deal, it seems.

puncturedbicycle said...

Here in the UK, we only got proper tv (more than four channels) about five minutes ago, and I still find the reality junk and endless repeats of US comedy shows deeply gratifying. Oh, and it is cost-free, though one could say it costs me a great deal of productivity and time I could use to pursue loftier goals. Even so, may I keep it please?

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

I'm still so used to my TV! Recent issues with Comcast that I've been blogging about, though, are making me sort of reconsider. It makes total sense, and it's sort of the last bill we could cut if we wanted to. You're starting to turn me in that direction. Although the other bummer is I just redid my Tivo subscription so I have another 2 years.

Fran said...

I seriously have wanted to cut the Direct TV that we pay for. My husband needs to watch FOX news of all things!! Makes me crazy. $73.00 month. Someone please advise me how I can dump the dish and stream netflix. Through what? I don't have an xbox. And what IS hulu plus? How can I watch steaming video that then comes thru on the TV??? I only watch the history channel and that's about it. Any words of wisdom for a cave woman living with the FOX news addict. Help!

gretchen said...

Eek! I have that episode DVRed and haven't watched it yet! I kind of wish I hadn't read this, because it would have been fun to hear your name and think it was just an amazing coincidence. Cool beans.

gretchen said...

BTW, I am now officially caught up. That was fun!

nova said...

I've always wanted that to happen to me, but I don't think it ever will because "Nova Sawatzky" is too weird.

Andrew said...

Fran -

Becky pointed me to your question and asked for my help, calling me erroneously a "TV connectivity guru."

That said, you need to get your hands on a Roku video player. (www.roku.com) It's strictly a streaming player, capable of streaming Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video on Demand, and a whole mess of other channels designed for it.

I'm not too familiar with it, as my trusty Xbox and various torrent sites are my companions in TV viewing, But I know several people who have one and swear by it. It sounds like what you're looking for and the cost will be much more reasonable than DirectTV. Hope that helps!

Becky said...

Thanks Andy! Roku, hmmm, that's one of those words that I'm always hearing without knowing what it means, like Ke$ha.

Elizabeth said...

Laird = total hunk, if I do say so myself

Cheryl said...

I am getting really close to doing this. I keep randomly mentioning it to my husband in the hopes that when I finally do it he won't be surprised.

lnmorrow said...

We are SO close to getting rid of ours (ATT Uverse). Your post has inspired me. My husband watches sports occasionally, but that is it.

crazylovescompany said...

Love the idea of getting rid of cable. I didn't realize Netflix was an option. I think it all sounds good, except for live sports. Any solution there?