With a baby on the way, Lady Jessica and I have had to start thinking about ways to cut our expenses. In budgetary discussions in the past, the notion that cable would be the easiest expense to cut always lingered with Jessica being in favor of booting Comcast, and me wanting to keep it. Now that Noah Sherrod is on the way, we have parted ways with Comcast cable TV (though for now we’re maintaining them as our ISP).
I had known this move was likely coming for quite a while, and several months ago purchased an HD interior antenna. It’s ugly, and looks like a relic of the 1950’s, but it gets the job done remarkably well. Even though we’re over thirty miles from Nashville, I think we get more than twenty channels over-the-air, many of them in HD. (This is the model I got, or one very close to it.) Most importantly, we get all of the major broadcast networks, which is where we watch most of our shows anyway.
If we miss a show, we can catch up with it the next day on Hulu. If you’re not familiar with Hulu, they are a central place to watch free, streaming TV shows from most of the major broadcast and several cable networks. They have a premium service as well, but if you just want to catch an episode that you missed, the free version works fine unless you wait several weeks to try to watch it.
But what really took away most of my lingering remorse over the loss of cable TV was Netflix. Jessica gave me a subscription for my birthday, and we have really enjoyed it! I feel like we’re pretty late to the game in some ways. For years Netflix has been offering a membership whereby you pay a monthly fee (I think it’s $8.99/month), and they send you DVDs. For that price you get one at a time. We’ve watched a few movies that way already. You just go online and add movies to your queue, and they arrive in the order that you queued them. When you’re done watching the movie, put it back in the postage-paid envelope and send it back. Easy!
But wait, there’s more! One of the greatest things about Netflix is that they now also have a large collection of movies and TV shows that you can stream directly over the Internet through a variety of devices. We’re using our long-dormant Nintendo Wii almost exclusively for this now. I just had to download a free app from the Wii Store. It’s so convenient!
Given that Netflix + Comcast Internet comes out to roughly half of what we were paying before with Comcast cable TV and Internet, I really am not doing a whole lot of looking back these days. It really feels like the future of home entertainment. I just hope Netflix is able to continue putting up more and more videos available for streaming! Rumor has it they’re also interested in bringing a streaming-only subscription to the U.S. in the future.