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Why I Don't Miss Cable TV, and Why You Won't Either
For many people cable television has become a necessity of life rather than a luxury. Imagine not being able to gossip about Dancing with the Stars or the latest CSI episode with your friends and co-workers. Wouldn't you be horribly disconnected from your peers and popular culture without the universal equalizer-cable TV? With more folks trimming their budgets though, many are starting to reevaluate the idea of cable television, and whether or not they really need cable to live a full and productive life. My friends, I am here to free you from bad commercials and an overwhelming amount of choices! I'm here to spread the word: cable is dead, welcome to the future of television. It's a free-spirited place full of choices, satisfaction, and happiness (and some ponies and cupcakes to boot). Let me enlighten you.
To preface this account, I'll start by saying that I have been cable free since 2006, the year I got my own apartment at college. It was either cable or the internet, guess which I chose? I never regretted the choice, and I fully believe that neither will you.
There is one caveat to ditching cable however, and that is the need for a strongInternet connection, probably with a wireless router too. I have county supplied fiberoptic at my house, and it runs the Roku box, phone, and World of Warcraft without too much trouble. If you have cable or any other broadband service, you should be ok.
Below are a few options which grant you freedom from cable oppression.
Do you Love your Cable?
Would you give up cable?
At Hulu.com viewers can watch full length episodes of their favorite shows, and even some movies, for free. Shows include primetime staples such as "Heroes", "The Office", "House", and newcomers like "Parks and Recreation". Hulu is perfect for people who love television, but can't stand the endless commercials and spousal channel flipping between shows. I love the fact the the site makes it easy to email and embed clips and shows too. Of course, nothing is perfect. Unless you have a dreamy office chair, sitting in front of the computer simply just isn't as relaxing as plopping down. Shows also don't appear the second that they air on TV, so you might have a small lag in time behind your fellow cable watchers, but nowhere near the wait of a DVD release. Besides, you can't beat free, can you?
Netflix and Amazon Stream to Your TV
If you love your big shiny TV (like me) and can't ditch it for a computer monitor, you do have options. I subscribe to Netflix, and in addition to my unlimited 3 movies at a time I also get access to all the free movies on the site. These ranges from oldies like "The Seven Year Itch" to new releases like "The Other Boleyn Girl". You can watch movies and TV episodes online, or with the magic of the Roku box you can watch them on your TV! The Roku box connects your Netflix account to your TV and displays the list of movies you have added to your instant queue, which you can watch at any time. For my $22 a month I get my rental movies plus thousands of movies and shows to choose from. With this little guy, I never miss cable.
Amazon also offers streaming through its Prime service, which also offers free 2-day shipping and perks like free ebooks at $99 for a year. Not a bad deal. I actually have both services as I shop at Amazon often enough to make it worthwhile and it's nice to have the larger selection.
Really, with so many choices you won't have time to get bored or miss cable TV. Oh, and you can find a Roku here. The initial price may shock you, but it comes with a warranty and my montly Netflix bill is WAY smaller than any cable bill I've ever heard of.
Sling and Apple TV
The newcomers to the game are Sling (provided by DISH network) and Apple TV which are emerging onto the market with services streaming live TC starting with a basic package of $20 a month with a'la carte add on options depending on your preferences. One of the things these services offer that have been missing until now are live sports, in the form of ESPN. This is a big draw and has me considering the service for my husband's sake, though I haven't yet pulled the trigger. These services are however missing big networks life NBC and ABC, though this can be remedied with a digital antenna. Nevertheless- services like Sling could be the wave of the future.
What Are you Waiting for?
Now that you know your options does an $120 a month bill and testy relations with horrible customer service representatives really sound so fun? Buy yourself a ticket out of cable pergatory and join the wave of the TV future.