Sunday, October 30, 2011

No Cable, No Problem

I haven't had cable for over a year now. When I moved to Atlanta, I lived with my best friend for the first five months. He has DirectTV, but a very basic package. When I moved into the apartment this past March, my roommate and I really couldn't afford cable, plus the fact that neither of us is really home enough to justify getting cable. The truth is, I haven't really missed it. Sure, there are shows on cable, like “True Blood” or “Game of Thrones” that I enjoy, but there are other ways of getting to watch TV in this digital age. Don't get me wrong here. I'm not advocating illegal downloads. But the internet is a vast and wonderful place, even with all the trolls.

First of all, there's Hulu. Granted, it doesn't have everything, but it is possible to find a pretty good selection of shows to watch, including old classics. Now, this isn't cable, but it's still my favorite source of TV viewing pleasure – CBS.com. I love that CBS posts all of their shows on their website the day after they air. See, not only do I not have cable, but I don't even have an antenna with which to watch broadcast TV. One of my favorite shows is 'NCIS', so I love the fact that I can watch it on Wednesday night on the website. I've also become a fan of '2 Broke Girls' which I would never have even known existed if not for CBS.com. In fact, I've been watching it as I've been writing this blog. The other networks, ABC and NBC have also followed suit and have their shows available on their websites as well.

Now, if we could only get HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and Starz to follow this same model. Sure, they would charge for it, as where the networks just put play ads like they do anyway, but I'd be willing to bet that people would gladly pony up the dough to watch cable shows on demand via the internet. I know, I know, HBO already does this, but only if you already have a cable subscription through your provider. That idea seems a bit silly to me. Why should I pay for cable just to be able to watch the shows online instead? I'd love to see HBO offer an online only subscription model. I'd be much more likely to pay for that than actual cable at this point.

Anyway, I not only don't miss cable thanks to the other methods by which I can watch my favorite shows (both old and new), but because it has afforded me more time for other pursuits like reading more, or building and painting Warhammer 40k models. It's amazing, now that I think about it, just how much of my free time in the past was wasted just sitting in front of the “idiot box” not really doing anything.

~ JC
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