Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cable or No Cable?

That is the question.  I have been toying with this idea for a little while now.  Clint does not like me even considering it.  I would not say we are addicted to TV, but I do love my Sarah's House, Burn Notice, and NCIS.  Clint on the other hand likes anything sports related.  I would say we spend about 3 hours a night watching TV.

When he first moved into our paradise in 2007, I did not have cable.  I didn't mind it one bit, but I noticed he did.  After looking at the numbers, we decided to get it.  I was happy to watch HGTV again and he was happy to not have to listen to a sporting event on the radio.

As time went on, I felt us falling into bad habits of becoming couch potatoes and spending less quality time together.  Also, I realized how much money would be saved without a cable bill.  He acted like a toddler getting his toy taken away when I brought it up.  Don't tell him I said that. 

Part of me would like to give it up for awhile.  But it does help with the clarity of the picture on the TV and offers more than 5 channels.  Then again, I only watch about 10 of the 100 channels we have, and 4 of those I can get without cable. 

So now, I turn to you, my helpful blog buddies, to give me your opinion.  Let me hear your pros and cons to this idea.  Do you have cable?  Would you consider letting it go for awhile?  If you do not have it, how is life without it?


Scientific Housewife said...

I'm very biased considering my husband and I have about 12 shows going on right now that we watch. If you think it is becoming a bad habit, don't get it, but if you do, maybe put some sort of time limit on it or something.

jen @ homeinthecountry said...

We're sort of in the same debate now. I'm sick of paying for cable, and am pretty sure I could find other awesome ways to spend that $$ each month. But I can't give up internet, and we need phone for our home security system, so for now, we keep the cable since it's only a few dollars more each month. J just got the iphone, though, so we're trying to see if there's any way we can get the security system to channel that instead of the home phone, and then we can dump cable & home phone.

I think getting rid of cable would be really cool, but would it just be replaced by another activity? Like in our house, we'd probably just sit on the internet instead, or watch shows/movies on DVD/internet. Plus, our midwest winters can get long... might need the TV to distract us. In summer, though, it's totally unneeded. For now, we have an unspoken rule that TV doesn't go on until after dinner - that way we can get some stuff done in the hours between when J gets home & we eat. We try to cook together, or at least be in the kitchen together before dinner so that we spend time talking & laughing each day. It makes cooking much much more fun.

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

I think I could go without cable in a heartbeat. Between Netflix and Hulu, it's just not that hard to watch shows without it anymore. That said, Mr. T won't even discuss it with me. There's no way he's ever giving it up!

elizabeth holder said...

Seeing as I work nights - on my day's off we usually spend one night at home - and one night going to eat -
I love HBO, discovery, History channel and science channel and of course HGTV - so if I am watching tv - that's what I want to watch - so even though it's not often I wouldn't replace my Direct tv. If I only have a night or too to relax and watch a show I like - I want to be able to.

Kristi W @ life at the chateau whitman said...

We canceled about a year ago and don't miss it at all (except when we miss Monday Night Football, which is now on ESPN). You should start introducing some more fun ways to spend your evenings. Once he sees that he can have fun without watching tv, then he won't react so much tot he idea of getting rid of it. For instance, how about you got to a sports bar and watch the game and have a mini date (or invite friends too). Or go for a walk around a lake or just do something that gets you off the couch. We do watch shows on Netflix and Hulu a lot, so you can show him how easy it is to watch his shows (and more convenient because it's whenever he wants). it's pretty easy to hook your computer up to your TV too, so you don't have to watch on your laptop.

The Brick Cottage said...

We canceled our cable a few months ago when our promotional price ran out. We then got Netflix and we're still watching just as many shows as we were before, ha! But it does save us a few dollars a month without it and I'm sure one day they'll lure us back in with some unbeatable promo price.

May said...

We actually gave up cable about 4 years ago and don't miss it much. We have our computers which we use often and have taken the place of a lot of TV time.

The Pros:
1. We actually get a lot more done every night. The draw of the TV doesn't get in the way of our nightly chores (laundry, clean-up, prepare for the next day).
2. We save $$ (which is why we gave it up to begin with!)
3. My kids have a smaller case of the "I wants" than most kids I know because they just don't know what's out there. Of course, they still want stuff because, you know they'r kids. I never have to worry about character-themed parties or gifts which usually cost a premium because my kids are simply unaware of them.
4. I still know every single thing that goes on in TV land because my local radio stations and co-workers give highlights. So, I know all about these shows and have never actually watched any of them.
5. More time for new hobbies/activities

The Cons
1. Sometimes we miss certain shows (me-HGTV, the husband misses the Sci-Fi channel)

2. We do have to find other sorts of entertainment (i.e. reading, working around the house, taking up a new hobby)

It wasn't difficult to convince my husband since he's not a sports fan (thank goodness!) and he is deployed overseas for 12+ months at a time and has no access to tv during these deployments. I got rid of cable when he was gone and he never noticed it's absence since returning home.

the cape on the corner said...

i have to say that when we did not have cable, i didn't even turn on the tv. like, literally, didn't even turn it on to the point that i wanted to cancel the most basic of basic service. i still don't watch it all that much, but i like knowing it's there, should i need a bout of house hunters. good luck with your decision!

Mrs. Chic said...

Same conversation going on in our home right now! We have Dish Network - and we only watch a few channels maybe like 12 of the 120 channels...and since we got our Roku (Netflix instant TV) we've barley watched any TV...since we can watch a TON or movies and TV shows on there....mostly likely we'll reduce of channels down to only a few and pay less

Michelle said...

We don't have cable, and don't really miss it. Between Netflix and hulu its easy to catch what you miss on tv...and so much cheaper! Plus my favorite shows are on the free channels, so when I do want to spend some hours in front of the tube there are always those options. Good luck making your decision!

MeredithDuck said...

We don't have it and we don't really miss it, the only thing I do wish we had it for was HGTV and baseball season. It turns out that when we visit my parents house we're glued to HGTV the ENTIRE day and are insistent on watching baseball games at night. Slightly pathetic, but it does save us a lot of money.

Since we're neighbors, heres the channels you will most likely get with just the converter box (yours may be better, we have such a crappy tv and antenna that I think we're missing out):
1. NBC
2. THIS a weird movie channel that sometimes has something good on
3. ABC
4. Some channel that seems to play Samson and Son and Night Rider ALL the time
5. A weather channel that never seems right
6. Channel 20
7. Religious Channel
8. Religious Channel that also shows sports from the 90's...wierd
9. Channel 50 (WB?)
10. Regular PBS
11. Kids PBS
12. PBS Create (Cooking, travel, and home improvement channels)
13. CBS
14. FOX

Not too shabby for free!

Amanda said...

I have never personally paid for cable. I've had it because roommates at the time wanted it, and I found that it did indeed suck up a huge amount of my time. Now that I'm on my own, I have the basic (free) channels and only turn it on for Biggest Loser! Netflix and Hulu satisfy all my other needs. True, you can't get all the shows that way, but hey, that's why it's called sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I could do it! Good for you though if you want to! I love my HGTV too much :)

Anonymous said...

No TV at all, I thought it would be hard and it wasn't. What We really noticed was we didn't feel so stressed out. All the negative stuff, when we unplugged it went away. We found this whole new world on the net and expanded our minds.

For us it was the best thing ever.

Danielle and Clint said...

WOW! Thanks everyone! This is really inspiring to read how you feel and live without cable. Clint and I are looking into other options besides cable and making a decision soon.

Anonymous said...

We haven't had cable since we've been married. We figure once we get the house in the condition we want it and the yard mostly fixed up then our home depot/house expenses will fall and we can pick up cable and not feel guilty -- but until then it living without it offers one less distraction!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

We didn't ever get cable. It was an adjustment for me, but I'm so happy we made this decision. I have a tendency to sit in front of the tv if it's on, and I prefer not to do this. The only bad part is that I miss HGTV and Project Runway. But, I've gotten over it.

Since cutting it, I read more, sew more and do other things that I find to be a better use of my time.

However, I think it's something that everyone has a different opinion on. What works for us doesn't work for everyone.

Amanda @ Little House on the Corner said...

Good discussion topic! When we moved into our house a couple years ago, we decided to get rid of cable (only keeping the very basic channel package). It definitely saves money, and we really don't watch much TV in the summer because we're outside so much.

However, fall and winter is when we're always tempted to get cable again -- it's college football season and we're indoors more. But so far, we're still going without it and doing fine. There's actually plenty of shows we like that are just on the network stations. Sure, having HGTV, Food Network, etc. would be nice, but it's a luxury that we don't need right now. And when it comes to watching movies, Redbox is where it's at for us!

Julie said...

We just made the jump a few months ago and cancelled! Now we have Netflix (love instant stream) and it saves so much money!

Good luck deciding!

Oonafey said...

We have never had cable. The last time I had it was when I lived with my parents. What am I missing? Jersey Shore, The Damned Stupid Housewives, The Nate Jackass Show? Meh.

We do have Netflix, though. We watch about 5 movies a week during the winter, maybe 1 during the spring/summer months. We are watching Benjamin Button as I type this; it's very strange.

Cait @ Hernando House said...

We don't have cable, and I really only miss it when it's football season. We buy a lot of shows on iTunes and watch them over and over on the AppleTV we splurged on with the savings from not having cable.

Jamie Lee said...

I'm not sure what you ever decided on this but Peter and I don't have cable and we don't miss it. Not watching TV gives us so much more time to do other things. We do have Netflix though so for $9/month we can rent TV shows and movies and stream a lot of things straight to our TV. Then again, Peter really isn't into sports. Good luck!