Before I get into the reality of not having cable TV, I feel I need a bit of back story to put my situation in context. So I am married with three children and for a time my kids really loved watching the Disney Channel and my wife liked watching the home and Garden Network specifically house flipping shows like “Love it of List it”. But once my kids turned about 13 they no longer watched TV, they did however love watching NetFlix on their iDevices and were perfectly happy with all of that. I would get my Rogers Cable bill and was paying $67 a month for the basic cable package and I knew we were not watching much from Cable TV. We would watch TV but most of the time it was just NetFlix with the occasional hockey game. So as a test I setup an antenna and decided that if I could switch over and nobody complained too much then I would get rid of cable TV. I did the switch over just before the 2014 FIFA world cup and thought if I can watch that without too much hassle then I would be good.
So fast forward a year now and this is what I have found. First off my children did not notice I cancelled the cable, the first time they noticed was in the fall when one of them went on the TV and asked me where the channels were. When I explained that I got rid of cable TV my son shrugged his shoulders and said “ahh – cool”. As for myself and my wife – we find it fine that we have cut the cable and we really do not miss it that much. Sure sometimes where there is nothing going on it is nice to flip through a bunch of channels but in the end we don’t miss it. My wife and I really thought we would miss it a lot more than we do. I find that there is more than enough local programming so I can get my local news. Following that we watch shows that are broadcasted online – like “The Daily Show” – we just watch it through our Apple TV.
CAVEAT OK so here is the big caveat – what I do miss is watching hockey because not all the hockey games are broadcasted at the same time. So there is the odd time that I want to watch the game and it is not on and I do miss that. I have thought about subscribing to NHL Game Center Live – http://gamecenter.nhl.com – but it is kind of expensive per year so I have passed.
The bottom line for me is that now that I do not spend $40+ a month on cable TV I don’t feel bad when I want to rent or even buy a movie from iTunes. In the back of my mind I rationalize it all by realizing how much I have saved already and as long as I don’t rent a ton of movies every month I am still ahead. Also what I really like is that more and more TV content is made available via streaming so it makes it easier to justify getting rid of cable for me.
One tip or note to pass on was that I found the first couple months the hardest and that is when I was not so sure I made the right choice. I recall wanting to watch a breaking story via CNN and realized that I no longer has CNN – for a moment I thought, “Why did I get rid of my Rogers Cable?”, but then I went to my computer and found live updates from multiple sources and then it was fine. Old habits take time to break.