Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The cable-free life

$93.16. That was the total of my last Comcast cable bill.  That was September.

Here I am three months later with NO interest in giving them my business again. 

If you are anything like my friends or family, you're probably wondering what prompted this shocking decision.  Why would a man that has had cable for 25 straight years and still enjoys solid TV programming turn away from this American household staple?

Here goes.

The immediate cause was 18 months of frustrating service with Comcast.  Overpriced PPV movies, channel package realignments, and continual rate increases all coupled with crappy customer service got my goat.  The only thing that kept me hanging on was the fact that neither DirectTv nor At&t U-verse were available at my residence.  They still aren't.

The next factor was the rapidly growing availability of legal, mainstream programming on the web.  Hulu, ABC.com, and other sites started streaming high-quality television episodes with limited commercial interruptions at no cost to viewers.  Oh, and did I mention that its being done with better picture quality than standard definition programming?

The tipping point (thanks Malcom) came when nbcsports.com streamed the Beijing Summer Olympics...live! This opened my eyes.  Why couldn't, and why shouldn't, all content be offered via this medium?!  

Give it another year.

Over the past three months I've consumed all of the content a television lover could ever ask for:  
  • Live broadcasts of the presidential debates and the resulting SNL parodies
  • Live college basketball games of my alma mater
  • Live NFL games in their entirety and highlights of every almost sport
  • Sitcoms, dramas, reality tv, music videos, cartoons, and late night talk shows
  • News
  • Films

Give it a chance and save yourself some money.  Pay off some of that credit card debt.  Put an extra gift in someone's stocking.  Here, i'll even help! I only ask that you help me find a way to watch my Yankees come September.

The Suite Spot's Guide to a Cable-Free World
  • Hulu.com:  NBC, FOX, Comedy Central, FX, and now films.  Try The Office, House, Arrested Development, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  • ESPN360.com:  Live college basketball/fooball and NBA.  Stick with the college sports.  The NBA is garbage.
  • NFL.com:  Thursday and Sunday Night Football
  • ABC.com / CBS.com:  Most of their network shows.  Try Lost and Survivor.
  • Netflix.com:  Films, TV Series.   Try The Shield, Weeds, Dexter, The Office
  • Sprint Phones:  Discovery Channel, NFL Network, NFL Radio, ABC, Music Videos  

3 comments:

Mean Gene's Progeny said...

You might be able to catch your Yankees play on channelsurfing.net.

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