Following my last post, I thought I would explain my personal cord-cut situation and highlight what is working for me (and what isn’t) as I try to enjoy TV without cable.
First off, the main source of video entertainment (both TV and movies) is Netflix accessed via a Roku box. Yes, we don’t get the latest content and yes, the selection is somewhat restricted, but there is enough there that keeps our interest.
I’m also a huge fan of webTV, which I access on Roku or online from my computer (my wife thinks I’m nuts, for a bunch of reasons of course, but my webTV hobby is one of them.)
The big gap here is sports. I get around this because I’m simply not a sports fan, so even if I had cable I wouldn’t watch a lot (or any) sports. (Full disclosure: I saw, and loved, the Vancouver Olympics on cable before I cut it)
I did get an MLB.com account (and jump on the bandwagon) to watch the SF Giants in the World Series. I loved the experimentation of it all and found the experience to be good.
The one sport I do enjoy (and miss dearly) is Formula 1 racing. Right now, I have no good way to follow my favorite fast cars. I read some of the updates online but that is a very sad alternative to watching a thrilling race live.
Also, HBO… That is another huge gap in my viewing pleasure that I miss. We get a lot of the shows on DVD via Netflix but it would be beyond fantastic to have a streaming solution.
As far as news and current events, I get that online, in magazines (I love magazines) and increasingly via electronic magazine purchases on my iPad.
My next moves? Well, I’ll be getting an HD antenna soon to watch over-the-air TV. This will let us watch some interesting shows and hopefully some big events, like the Oscars. I was considering Hulu Plus on Roku but it sounds like that offering isn’t as complete as it could be, so I may wait it out.
Two other disclosures:
1) I’m actually skeptical that this whole cord-cutter thing is a really huge trend. I think people will come back to cable once the economy improves and once cable companies up their PPV game. Cord-cutting will increasingly be a viable option, but it won’t have huge adoption in the mainstream.
2) For the record, I’m not a cord-cutter out of some religous hatred for cable companies. They aren’t my favorite companies in the world but they’re better than oil companies. I’m a cord-cutter for fun. I think it is fun to fiddle with gadgets and find ways to watch TV on my own terms.
Plus I’m super-cheap and I love saving the $60 a month. (If you cancel Comcast Xfinity triple play and get Internet and a landline separate, the savings is about $70… not a lot but I’ll take it.) Factor in the $10/month for Netflix and you walk away with $60 in your pocket and a chance to play with all the inputs on the back of your HDTV.