2006/05/28

Kill Your Cable

We've all heard it, "Kill you TV"! But I'm here to tell you that TV is great. Technology has advanced to the point that you can have a movie-like experience in your home, only without stale popcorn, the smell of sweat, and bozos talking behind you like they own the freakin' place.

Television is not evil. Television is just a box. Cable...now that's EVIL! 100 channels, 75 of which are devoted to bedazzling your sweaters and melting away 50 pounds without exercise, is EVIL! A four-hour installation window is EVIL. And vacuous content interspersed with inane advertising that they actually get you to pay $70 bucks a month for...IS EVIL!

But let's not pontificate. Let's apply mathematics to Satan's push-medium.

How much television do you watch? 10 hours a week? 15? For me it's a bit less than the former, but lets use that higher figure. So...'bout 65 hours a month. That works out to a $1.00 an hour, and it's not even really an hour of entertainment. It's really about 40 minutes of entertainment and 20 of commercials. For that price you could buy a song from iTunes and keep it...forever. At on third the price you pay for cable you could join a movie service like Netflix and get all--and I mean all--of the television you normally watch plus a ton of movies, commercial free. 4 discs/week x 4 hours/disc x 4+ weeks/month...yup 'bout 70 hours of entertainment a month for a fraction of cable's price.

The only wrinkle here is seeing shows the moment they come out. But I'm here to tell you that watching a whole season of your favorite show over the course of 4 weeks is eminently more satisfying than watching it in real time, and it's totally a pull medium. I get what I want when I want it.

Yes indeed, until the IPTV standards mature, I say kill your cable not your television! (Unless you're a big sports fan, and then I've got nothing.)

18 Comments:

Some of us in the sticks can't get any reception without "basic cable." And as we all know, reading a book hurts your TV's feelings.
I'll take the book anytime. I didn't realize that the TV cared, but now I know I will up the reading rate.
RB, all I'm saying is chuck the cable altogether! Wouldn't you rather spend less and get to see The Sopranos in beautiful hi-def, crystal-clear DVD than with expensive, crappy cable?

Just saying...

Cartledge. Yup, me too, but as the Frogette likes to say, "sometimes you just need an explosion".
Well, all I watch is sports and cooking shows, and I live in the sticks. So I'm a slave to cable. Damn.
You know, it strikes me that television is really not necessary. I once used to say very often that television sucks you in and spits out your soul. On the other hand, when all else fails, it's a great pacifier for the kids and adults. Just attend any post-turkey day football fest...and you might find several adults and children splayed out sucking on the teet of comercial America.
I gave up the cable two years ago, and now I can actually think. And while I never get to see the Sopranos, you can't miss something you never had.
Good post, froggy. I also gave up cable about a year ago when I looked at the bill and thought, "Why am I paying $50 a month for a pile of channels I never watch?" We have the rabbit ears on the tv now, and we do watch a lot less of it. I've definitely gotten used to it. I miss having channels like History and Discovery but I guess I can survive without them. The blog takes up too much of my time to be watching a lot of tv, anyway.
PT...I don't think there a thing on Discovery that you can't get on DVD, but then I'm a huge fan of Netflix. I never watched 24 while it was on broadcast but now can devour 4 episodes at a time. It's great.

Lew, where you are Netflix might be a bit harder, but there might be some similar kind of service.
Testify!
Just attend any post-turkey day football fest...and you might find several adults and children splayed out sucking on the teet of comercial America.

You would definitely find that at my house! Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday as it marks the convergence of two of my favorite things -- food and football. :-)
You make some good points Kvatch, but I don't think I could part with my cable. I would miss The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, BBC, History Channel, PBS, etc. I would go through Jon Stewart withdrawals! And I would miss my beloved Red Sox games - not that I watch all of the games - but I do enjoy watching - especially in HD.

But I have done what you mention. I saw the first season of Arrested Development on DVD - no waiting and already had tivo'd the entire 2nd season - also no waiting.
Kill your cable or apeothosize your TiVo... Or better yet, just get Netflix.
The Wife and I are moving shortly--it'll be interesting to see what our reception is like. Maybe the rabbitears might work out after all. BUT, I think we'll be to far off the line to get DSL. So I might have to go cable modem after all.
For me, TV died when I got broadband a few years back. I don't give it a minute of my attention anymore.

And I agree, watching your fav show in one stroll is a blast!
One summer, I watched almost ALL startreks (with exception of TOS) :falldead:!
I'm embarrassed...I have cable and Netflix. The Mr. is a real life couch patater. Our cable is nearly $150.00 a month...but that includes roadrunner for two computers and a modem between us. I feel guilty spending that...but HE is the one that has to have it. I think we need Tivo because he tapes lots too.
Romunov, I'm just waiting. I figure that everything will stream over broadband within 5, or so, years. Then the only thing cable will be good for is delivering the bits.

Sumo, I've got a little media computer that I built to deal with recording shows (serves my music as well) but the recordings just never looked that good. So much better on DVD. The Frogette and I just got rid of the cable. So we're just at the beginning of this experiment.
I don't have cable at the moment. I agree with Betty Cracker, I like to watch cooking shows, but not enough to pay for the cable.

If you absolutely have to watch a show when it's current, I recommend iTunes. I refused to pay Comcast for the sci-fi channel, I watched all of Battlestar Galactica for $20 as opposed to $10 per month for 3 months.

And I watched an episode while out to dinner. Pretty cool. I hate Comcast.

Thanks for commenting on my blog.
Thanks for commenting on my blog.

No...thank you. But to the point. I really do believe that you can get just about anything through Netflix. Just requires a little bit of patience. I'm about to embark on Deadwood myself.

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