Do You Have Cable? Or Even A TV?

Quipol

I’ve seen so many different debates about having a tv set. Serena had written about the fact that while she did not own a tv herself, she did still watch tv shows (through streaming). She also discussed why she believed that tv wasn’t evil. I have to say, I agree with both views. In fact, not only do I have a tv but I also have cable. I have been using it less and less as I also use Netflix and internet streaming but the main reason why I still have cable is because many sports events that I want to be able to see are currently only available (legally at least) through basic cable. And even those sporting events that are available online are often of lesser quality.

Breaking Down Cable

That being said, I think it’s fair to say that traditional cable’s existence is threatened. Not only is our generation spending less time watching cable tv than the previous one (as we shift to gaming, internet, etc) but there are also tens of different alternatives to see tv shows and other events through the internet, our phone, an entertainment device, etc.

Can you imagine the day where a channel like ESPN or HBO would start going directly to consumers, offering to stream all of its content for a few dollars per month? I would without any doubt be up for it as there are only so many channels that I really need. While I sometimes start flipping from one channel to another, it happens so rarely that I could easily let go of that to save a few dollars every month but also make my tv selection more “minimalist”.

So let’s give it a go, here are are the main benefits and drawbacks of subscribing to cable in my opinion:

Benefits:

-Get more choice and convenient access to live events, etc

-You can actually see the tv shows live (unlike most streaming) and thus not get all of the scoops

Downsides:

-Rising cost

-I would argue that you might lose more time wandering around channels

-Wandering around probably leads to more tv watched = more lost time

-More commercials (no doubt, there is a big discrepency

-Not feeling obligated to watch tv shows at a fixed time since it’s on demand

What are your thoughts? Have you gotten rid of cable or even your tv? Considering it?

  • Tom

    I stream more than watch cable. There’s also something to be said for having a good ol’ AM/FM radio. I love the internet and all the technical marvels of smartphones and tablets, but I will always be packing along a good portable radio, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/san.wages San Wages

    Don’t own. Don’t like TV. I lots rather play on my phone or read books… REAL books. With pages & nice art work on the covers.

  • Gina

    We have never had cable. It is coveted by my husband during certain sporting events — but that is rare. Does anyone remember that the big sell for cable when it first came out was ‘no commercials’ because you were PAYING for it? We have Netflix though and watch lots of TV and cable series with our kids we otherwise wouldn’t see. It works for us. I could live without Netflix and read a book.

  • Cory Kowalczyk

    Is there not the word minimalist at the top of this page? Are we actually discussing the merits of not only owning a television, but a cable subscription? Watch sports at a bar, read from the library, work out at a gym. There are many things that a group of us can use that not each of us need not own.

  • Melanee

    I quit cable 2 years age… I always feel like I should be doing something more productive when I watch TV, so I never really enjoyed it when I had it anyway. I do have a decent size LCD TV taht I use for occasional movie nights and workout videos. I waited til I found a steal of a deal before I bought it tho. When my dad visited last year, I bought $10 bunny ears so he could have a few channels to flip through, he enjoyed PBS. lol Every month when Im doing my budget, I feel so good about all the money Im saving by not having a cable/satellite subscription. I understand sports fans like to have live access for the big games, but I really feel like having ALL those channels are a waste of time and money… my 2 cents.

  • http://msirismg.tumblr.com/ Iris M. Gross

    I am 51 years young and I have never had or paid for cable TV or satellite. As luck would have it, the only programming I enjoy watching is on PBS, and even after the digital changeover, that content is still FREE. So I’ve still got rabbit ears and a tube TV, although for the last few years a digital converter box has joined the outfit.

  • Ron

    I have no TV since 2010. Two Televisions broke one after the other and then I decided not to buy anymore since I have internet and opted for live streaming instead. I love to watch food network, ESPN, HBO, Cartoon network but then I realized I can live without them. You are right sometimes watching TV gets so much of my time and money too because of cable subscription. I did save money because of that. Sometimes you’ll never know the things that you can live without unless you lose them.

  • http://www.thebloommanifesto.com/ Bloom Oleary

    I’ve been largely without cable for 3 years now and I don’t miss it a bit. The next time I move my tv is going to be given away because I just don’t need it anymore. I’ve had so much more free time since it’s been gone, and shortage of great things to fill that time with.

  • Jennifer G

    We still have cable for a couple of reasons. The main reason is that we live in the country and our internet is extremely limited so streaming video online is not an option unless we only want to watch movies between 1am and 7am on any given day. The second reason is that we share cable with my inlaws and we cover the cost of their half of the cable bill as part of our rent. I would gladly give up the cable, however, and I think my inlaws would too, if we could just stream.

  • http://www.gingermandy.com/ Mandy

    I have a TV still but no cable, so it’s just sitting on the stand taking up space. I should probably just sell it. I’d love to get cable again but I can’t justify the cost, even though I miss it like crazy because I’m addicted to TV as “background noise”. I don’t mind streaming Netflix or Hulu instead because it requires me to find interesting things to watch as opposed to flipping on the TV and watching Real Housewives reruns half the day.

  • Hijadegaia

    Although I already posted that I don’t have cable or tv, I do have a NOAA weather radio. I found I needed something to get severe weather alerts when my Internet and power was down. The only thing I ever missed from TV: weather alerts and news. For weather, NOAA radio. For Tv news: NBC nightly news app. I dislike cable news stations for what I consider their fast-food like coverage and generally poor reporting these days.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Knottyneedle Judy Hudgins

    I got rid of my cable about a year ago and use local TV, Netflix and Hulu for the majority of my content. There are some shows I have to watch streaming on my computer. Do I miss cable and the high bill? No. I watch what I want, when I want to watch TV and the shows I want to watch. There are some I can’t watch the exact minute they come out, but within a few days can see them. Love my TV, hated the cable, so I cut it. Now if certain channels offered servie per channel I would probably subscribe to them.

  • tpej

    i have a tv but no tv signal or cable tv, instead, i have an apple tv and watch everything on my mac, no adverts. ‘oh did you see (insert crappy tv show here)?’ nope, i dont have tv like you do, not in the traditional sense

  • daffy

    i have cable tv, can’t live without it….. cheap entertainment.

  • Hijadegaia

    No cable. No TV. No DVD player. I do watch a little streaming over the Internet. Netflix and Hulu for entertainment. NBC nightly news has a nice iPad app I like. I watched some political convention speeches via bloggers linking to YouTube videos.

  • http://thehumbleminimalist.blogspot.com/ marie

    I am one of those people who grew up with TV and yet I haven’t been watching it regularly for over 5 years now. I agree we mostly don’t need it, but recently I have made a conscious effort to turn on the TV because I get more news watching out of a 30 minute tv show than I get trying to read articles online (e.g. at night, when sleepy, I can’t focus on reading but I can watch/listen).
    So I guess it all depends on what you use it for. One thing is for sure though, I am not going to sit through ONE HOUR of tv show with 30 minutes worth of commercials: in that case I just waste less time watching the 30 minutes online!!

  • librarygrrl64

    Ditched cable at the end of last year, and am using my TV* with free DVDs from my public library, and a ROKU device, which gives me access to Hulu+, Netflix, Amazon Instant, etc.. There are only a few shows that I can’t get via those sources (and web streaming). I watch Mad Men at a friend’s house because AMC is stingy with the online/streaming content, but I could buy the current eps from Amazon if I wanted to..

    I ditched because of the cost and because, with my schedule, I was watching very little live TV anyway; it was all DVR’d programs, on demand, and DVDs. And I don’t really care if I’m behind the curve with things like Game of Thrones (which is available for immediate purchase for those who want to pay); happy to wait for the DVDs. Overall, I am very happy with this arrangement, and am saving about $70 per month (I didn’t have any premium channels with cable).

    (*only one TV, in the living room; the bedroom TV went away when the cable did; no regrets)

  • Tabatha

    I haven’t had cable in almost four years. I do not really miss it at all. I occasionally watch some cable TV at a friends house and the commercials always fascinate me because I’m not used to seeing so many. I do use online streaming though and I still have a TV that I use for infrequent video gaming and watching DVDs.

  • shortER

    I have a tv and just one but I don’t have cable. I let go of it in January. I generally only watch a select few shows on tv and all of them have online streaming. I use Netflix and Hulu and that gets me by with pretty much everything I want to watch. I do sometimes miss being able to follow sports as much as I’d like. I however don’t miss the extra $80 I was shelling out every month for cable. I didn’t watch that much tv.

  • Noelani

    Seeing this post right now is so ironic. Considering, I literally JUST got off the phone with our cable company, to cancel our services with them. We rarely watch tv anymore, therefore, no need to pay the extra expense on a monthly basis.

  • http://twitter.com/byersj09 Julia

    We got rid of our cable subscription a year ago and don’t miss it at all! We do still have netflix and amazon prime, so we still watch tv, but we have to look for something to watch instead of just being able to turn on the noise (which was pretty much what I did). It’s much friendlier on our wallets and we have more family time. We don’t watch news or sports, so we aren’t missing that aspect of TV either.

  • Sandra

    I haven’t had cable in six years and finally got rid of my TV a year ago. Now I just watch movies, TV shows, etc either on my laptop or iPad.

  • http://twitter.com/SenseofCents Michelle

    We have cable. I don’t mind the cost as I enjoy what I’m watching, and compared to other things that we could be doing, it’s a pretty cheap source of entertainment.

  • Kimberly

    I cancelled my cable about 6 months ago and don’t regret it one bit! In fact, I wish I’d done it sooner. The amount of time I gained back (time I was wasting on the couch) is amazing. When I’m really craving some “Chopped” or “Hell’s Kitchen” I simply watch them on hulu. I still have my television because I like to have friends over for the occasional movie night. But really, I don’t miss watching tv and I’m saving over $110 every month. It’s a win win.

  • MoneyMateKate

    I went without TV/cable for 6 weeks last year. Day #4 was thr Royal Wedding and Day #6 was when they finally put down bin Laden. I missed TV really really badly.