So, I'm probably about to cancel my cable TV subscription. Why?
I've been a cable subscriber for over 30 years. Unlike what I hear from some other subscribers, my service has generally been good. And, while it costs more than I'd like, that's not the issue. So why am I doing this now, at a time when there is more good programming available than ever?
A few weeks ago we had a rare service outage. I connected an old set of rabbit ears to the television and was struck by the higher quality of the broadcast signal. In order to provide a large number of channels within the capacity of the cable, providers need to compress the signals. This causes a reduction in quality. Not a huge deal, but it jump-started my thought process.
With a cheap set of rabbit ears I receive 20 channels. Some of these channels are nothing but old re-runs, but then again, so are many of the cable channels.
I reviewed my viewing habits by checking the list of recordings on my DVR. Most of what I regularly record is on the free broadcast channels. The remainder are on Netflix or Amazon PrimeTV that is part of the Amazon Prime membership.
All of my TVs already have a ChromeCast or a Roku for convenient viewing of Internet based TV services.
- I'm not really taking advantage of all of the cable channels I pay for.
- Broadcast channel quality is higher.
- Much of what I watch is delivered via the Internet anyway.
- Oh, I'm retired now. I'm much too busy to watch a lot of TV.
- Other than a few sporting events I record almost everything I watch.
- I'm quite aware of the options to cable TV. I've been reading articles, listening to the experiences of others, and have been listening to the "CordKillers" and other similar podcasts for quite some time. So I'm not beginning this experiment without some foundation.
Over the next few weeks, I'm going to experiment with a few alternatives before making a final decision. Here are my criteria.
Can I get all or most of the programming I want to watch?
Free over-the-air programming is nice, but how do I record it?
Will the cost go down? I certainly don't want to pay more.
For me, TV is for relaxation, watched during down-time. How much work will I need to do this?
One thing you can say about cable TV, it's convenient. Plug in the DVR/cable box and you're done. It's all there and you don't have to do much work to watch. So if you're one of those people that can't figure out which remote control to use, or need someone else to set the DVR, just forget it. Stick with cable.
Otherwise, watch this space for the next few weeks.