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Breaking up with the cable company part 5: The results show

I’m sorry it took so long for me to finish this series. A lot has happened since the last post, I went back to school full time, started a few podcasts, a production company, a YouTube channel and with easy access to Netflix I wound up watching Eureka, Warehouse 13, Lost Girl, Star Trek: DS9, Battlestar Gallactica, Jack of all trades, Dr. Who and a few other series from beginning to end.

With that in mind, let’s finish shall we?

The results:

The gear:

Watching on demand was a big selling point for the cable company, that coupled with DVR made for a much more controllable experience. Every single thing I watch is demanded by me and I don’t pay extra for it, in fact I pay less. The Roku boxes have been great. I bought a couple of Harmony remotes and condensed each room in the house to one remote because I HATE piles of remotes around. Every time I go to someone’s house they have 6 remotes on the table and I can’t so much as turn the volume down let alone change the channel. Anyway – The interface is easy to use, you can add dozens of channels if you like, though I witted my way down to about 5, being Netflix, Hulu , Aereo, and two specialty channels. The menus are easy to navigate and I have very little downtime on the boxes, normally caused by something else affecting the network.

The Xbox has been a god send. It holds the Netflix and Hulu apps and the menu design is phenomenal. I pretty much only use my Xbox in the living room because it works faster than the Roku and it’s already on most of the time anyway. XBOX + STREAMING = WIN

Aside from that, I keep up with everything I want to watch from anywhere, at no additional charge, thanks to my laptop and cell phone.

Technology is Awesome.

The Content:

Let’s start with movies, because it seems obvious.

Netflix gave me access to thousands of movies from all over the spectrum, I mean every genre new and old.  I started looking for my favorites and then went on to some of their suggested for me movies and it’s been great. I never watched movies really, still don’t see many, but they have had everything I’ve needed, so there’s that. The only thing I’m “missing out on” are really new movies that just released. I don’t have pay per view capability, but with things like redbox around, I wouldn’t really need it anyway.

Hulu also has a bunch of movies, though I don’t know what production companies they lack, between the two services, I only came across one movie I couldn’t find that I really really wanted to, The Princess Bride. Right? of all the movies….

So on to TV, cause really that’s what I’m into and it’s the reason I did this in the first place.

When I had cable I watched a few shows religiously, but that was kind of it. I found myself more often than not just mindlessly channel surfing for hours, especially at night when I should be sleeping. Since the change over, I have watched a broader range of shows than I ever have before. After the two month burnout of every title I could think of, I had to start watching shows I never heard of, hell even whole genres I never knew were out there. My wife and I found a few shows that we could both Nerd out over, like Dr. Who. Every night when we are both home we would automatically just put it on and watch til bedtime. Never an argument, never a question of what do you want to watch, just a silent understanding of “we need to see where The Doctor goes next”.  When either of us is home alone, we watch our own crap. The result has been glorious. That’s how it’s been for two years now, with various shows.

I wound up giving up on the TV antenna after a few months because of two reasons.

1. I got lots of channels, but none I actually needed or wanted, everything I want is on the other services I have and news I get online or on my phone.

2. I put it in my attic, and it’s hot in my attic.

So the antenna is useful, but not for me. If you want to watch live TV and live within 60 miles of a city, then by all means go for it, it does work and it is free. In the end, It was not something I needed or used.

The Cost:

Aside from the costs to set this whole thing up, which I admittedly over spent in a fit of passion about the project, My total bills are as follows:

Cablevision Internet: $55

Netflix : $8

Hulu plus: $8

Xbox live: $10

So $81.00 for all my entertainment, including TV, Movies, Video Games, and Internet Down from $166, saving 50% or $85.00 each month.

The Verdict:

Totally worth it, no regrets, never going back.