We have canceled cable! Goodbye, DIRECTV. Hello, $40 more per month in my pocket. I've wanted to get rid of cable/satellite for some time now, because they charge too much and don't have a package small enough for me. I really only want the networks and PBS, and not all those crappy kiddy channels.
Now we have finally freed ourselves from the cable monster, not by installing an antenna and paying a small monthly fee for Tivo, as we had originally envisioned, but by simply using Hulu.com. Hulu has more shows than I could ever have time to watch (including several of my favorites, like Friday Night Lights, Lost, The Office, 30 Rock, and Bones), and I can watch them whenever I want. I frankly prefer shooting the breeze with my husband for 30 seconds (during the Hulu commercials you can't skip) to fast-forwarding through commercials on my DVR. Since we have a small home, my desk resides right next to the TV in the living room, and it is easy-schmeezy to connect my laptop to the TV for Internet viewing.
What was the impetus for this momentous shift in TV-watching behavior? I made a little deal with my husband: new digital LCD TV in exchange for cutting cable. I figured that way the TV would pay for itself. I'm too embarrassed to tell you how big the screen is or how much it cost exactly. I will tell you that the picture is crisp and gorgeous and large enough that my husband doesn't miss our 2-ton Sony Trinitron TV behemoth. Seriously, it weighed like a million pounds, but it did have a nice big screen. At first it looked like my no-cable aspirations would never reach fruition, however, when my husband decided (after purchasing the new TV) that he didn't want to install an antenna on our rental property. After watching one show on Hulu, however, my husband said, "This is awesome. You can cancel cable. As soon as the World Cup is over." And that was that. And we didn't even have to install an antenna, nor do we need to pay a monthly DVR fee.
Anything I can't get on Hulu (movies, some of last season's TV shows), I get through my $9/month Netflix account (which includes on-demand viewing). Netflix I have loved for some time now. Because sometimes it takes us 2 weeks to finish watching one movie. And now I never have to pay late fees. Or drive to the video store. Netflix is a parent's best friend.
I'm not really sure if replacing my Sony Trinitron with my Panasonic LCD TV was really a green move. But I know that using Hulu and Netflix and canceling cable will save me money in the long run.
I always hated you a little bit, cable. So long forever.
This post is part of Things I Love Thursday and Frugal Fridays.