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Summary:

My wife and I went through the fun exercise of evaluating our household budget this week. Quicken is a harsh mistress, and made no bones about the fact that one of our bigger ongoing expenses is the cable bill. Given the belt-tightening at casa Albrecht, is […]

My wife and I went through the fun exercise of evaluating our household budget this week. Quicken is a harsh mistress, and made no bones about the fact that one of our bigger ongoing expenses is the cable bill. Given the belt-tightening at casa Albrecht, is it time to cut that pricey cord?

REASONS TO CUT CABLE:

  • It’s expensive. That’s $80 a month that could be spent on something else (or saved).
  • Most of what’s worth watching on TV is online for free, and my Netflix Watch Instantly queue works like a charm.
  • Who doesn’t want to stick it to the cable company and their bandwidth-capping, access-metering ways?

REASONS TO KEEP CABLE:

  • What’s online is on my computer and not on the TV screen.
  • Even if it was hooked up, the free TV programming would not be in HD.
  • Cable is already hooked up and it always works; there no such thing as buffering issues.
  • I watch a lot of TV.

I’m sure there are other reasons, which is where you come in. What’s your advice; is it time to break out the scissors? Have you cut out cable, and if so, do you miss it?

  1. Miro loaded with HD torrent RSS feeds is HD time shifting TV for free. Cable news is all free and can be seen through the Miro client. The only thing you reaaly don’t get is sports (though of course you can ger very good HD baseball now from MLB.

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  2. I’m looking at bundles including mobile data, ISP, landline/cellular/longdistance telephony, and maybe tv. I’m also keeping an eye pealed and ear ready for Daisy Whitney’s explorations on this topic.

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  3. I cut the cable almost two years ago and bought an HDTV antenna for high quality over the air network broadcasts (even though I don’t have an HDTV the moment), and use Hulu and other network sites to catch programs I missed.

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  4. We lived without cable for about 7 years, got it for about 1 year and canned it. We seldom watched TV prefering Netflixs.

    It turned out to be a money and time saver. We do more now that we don’t vegetate in front of a TV screen.

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  5. We’re on special – 12 months of Comcast digital cable, a few CableCARDs, and broadband all for $60/mo. It’s up soon and our bill will pretty much double. Still undecided how we’re going to proceed. We need the broadband, but we might not need the cable. Well, I don’t. But Melissa watches a lot of the cable news networks at all different times – that’s something we can’t really replicate effectively via other means.

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  6. @Brad,

    I’ve pondered the HD antenna, but heard reception isn’t always so great with those.

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  7. RE: HD antenna. Its all about spending money on a good antenna. You need to pay at least $50+ for consistant quality reception. The cheaper ones are worthless. Unfortunately, cost really does dictate quality for HD antennas. Distance from broadcast tower is also probably a factor.

    Cannot cut cable just yet because to your point…it always works, but I suspect I will be done within a year and a half as Hulu, TV.com and others as well as broadband access becomes more reliable.

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  8. I doubt I’ll ever be able to cut the chord 100% because of love of live sports. I use a lot of on-demand, and the quality of Hulu on my 61″ screen is typically not so great.

    I’m an HD snob lately and the HD-DVR works very well. And there’s quite a bit of HD content available via On Demand but it’s haphazard. Damages and LOST are available on-demand in HD, while Burn Notice and Battlestar Galactica are available on demand, but only in standard definition.

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  9. @Robert — I too have become an HD snob. I can’t watch programming any other way. It’s why I bookmark the HD section of Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” and constantly check it to see if something new has arrived.

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  10. Also cut my cable 2 years ago. we catch all our shows on Hulu connected to our 50″ plasma and catch sports live at espn360.com (free if you have at&t adsl or verison wireless).

    Certainly dont miss my cable, I’m willing to give up a bit of quality for the cost. Also now we only watch shows when we have downtime, not when the TV decides to show it.

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