Mr. Geeky and I are now seriously debating whether to cut the cable cord, which would save us close to $100/month. That’s some serious grocery money for us. As an experiment, starting this past Sunday, we’ve relied only on Netflix and HuluPlus, which we’ve had subscriptions to for a while. We’ve used Netflix for years and Mr. Geeky, especially, watches it a ton. We’re also Amazon Prime members and we own Tivo boxes (one of which is a lifetime subscription, so no fees; the other is $100 something/year). We’d get rid of the Tivos in our cable cutting extravaganza and probably get Rokus. But for now, Tivo gives us access to at least Netflix and Hulu while Amazon Prime we can only get on our computers and mobile devices.
Here’s what I’ve noticed so far. I am far too willing to plop myself in front of the TV and watch whatever is on HGTV or TLC. I’m a sucker for those shows, which suck a lot of time out of my day if I’m not careful. Just one more “Love it or List it”. This is usually daytime, usually around lunch or late afternoon when I’m taking a break. Obviously, during the school year, this isn’t going to happen. But, another time I’ve devoted to TV is just before bed. We usually watch All In and/or Rachel Maddow, usually not live, but shifted an hour or two. I can get both of those online but shifted a whole day. Not a huge deal, but still.
So, what I’ve done instead is I’ve either spent more time online at these times, often fairly productively, or I’ve watched something completely different. I’ve watched TED talks on food, Ken Burns’ Prohibition, last week’s episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, and I dove into Community, starting with the pilot.
From my perspective, I recognize that some habits will have to change, but I think that’s a good thing. It also got me to thinking about the stranglehold distribution companies have on TV and Movies (or whoever is in charge). So I found a couple of shows on Hulu that I wanted to watch, but they were only available on the web for licensing reasons. How stupid is that. There isn’t a huge difference between me watching something on my computer and me watching it on my TV, except that I have a remote and the screen is bigger. Why do it that way. I think the TV landscape will continue to change. We got Tivo way back when no one had really heard of it and it changed how we watched TV. Our habits are beginning to shift once again, and it doesn’t make sense to us to pay $100/month for a couple of shows that we watch regularly. I’d rather use that money to buy whole seasons when I want or go to the actual theater or buy clothes or whatever. I wonder what cable companies and tv networks will do in the future, if they’ll move to a more Netflix/Hulu/Roku model or if they’ll stick to the time specific format they’re stuck in.