Friday, April 27, 2012

Netflix Killed the Cable TV

(ok, first off, imagine the title of this post sung to the tune of "Video Killed the Radio Star")

Just got a notice from our local cable company that they are "upgrading" their system. In doing so, they are restructuring the cable packages. Currently we're paying about $40/month for about 40 stations (basic cable). The new basic package is about $20/month and includes about 20 channels. The Tier 1 package is about $60/month and includes about 80 channels.

So, we have the option of a) paying $20 less a month and losing half our channels, including pretty much all of our favorites or b) paying $20 more a month and doubling our channels, gaining a ton of really good ones.

I didn't want to make this executive decision without at least consulting the kids, so I brought it up to them last night. Surprisingly, Mark -immediately- voted to drop to the $20 plan. Kira's first reaction was to vote for the $60 plan. (Great, I'm the tie-breaker. Sigh.)

Then Mark explained his reasoning. We have Netflix. Streaming and DVD. Between those two options we have a ton of shows already available to us, not to mention movies, and Netflix is adding new stuff all the time. That got us thinking, and what we discovered is that not one of us could really remember the last time any of us watched "regular" TV.**

We also -do- have the option that if we find we can't stand having "only" basic cable, for $35 we can upgrade our service. So as long as we can survive two months of basic cable, it will have cost us nothing to try the experiment of having much fewer channels available. Case closed, we decided to drop down to 20 channels.


I got thinking after we all went to bed, and it's $45 to reconnect after complete removal of services. We're paying $40/month now. That means that if we cancel our cable altogether, one month later we can have it hooked back up and not be out any money. And meantime, we'll have a chance to see if we can survive today's world without a cable TV package.

Between Netflix and our computers, I am betting that we can. New family meeting tonight to see what say the children.  ~mk

** The kids were recently gone for ten days on a vacation with their father. In that time, I turned the television on -once-, to watch a movie with a friend who came over. I've never been a big TV watcher. I'll be -just fine- without cable. :)

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