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Cutting the Cord

I was intrigued by this article on the return of rabbit ears. Glenn Reynolds says “It really is the 1970s all over again.” I’ve decided it’s finally time to stop paying wildly inflated prices for 500 channels and nothing on. Who needs it when there’s Netflix and Hulu Plus?

19 Responses to “Cutting the Cord”

  1. Countertop says:

    We have little kids so the equation is a bit different. But if there was a way to get nickelodeon, Disney, noggin, etc and nothing else we’d just pay for the kids channels and drop the rest (well, I’d keep ESPN and NFL network.

  2. NJT says:

    I resorted to rabbit ears and a digital converter to watch a Giant’s game during Fox’s disagreement with cablevision. The picture was as good as standard def cable.

  3. Rabbit ears…..I had them up till a few months after HDTV took over the airwaves…..whenever that was….funny thing was, I tried to get some reception, and was like *WTF?*, then I remembered….so I tossed the rabbit ears in the trash…..and decided to listen to some Black Sabbath…..cause paying $40 for a HDTV converter box is meaningless when you can watch programming free online.

  4. Dannytheman says:

    I would die without HBO anmd Showtime. Add in FX channel and I am a happy Comcast Customer.
    I have their triple play, phone, Internet and cable with HBO and Showtime. 139 a month. But I have kids at home, too. Wife loves Lifetime and shopping networks, I am sports fan. So different strokes for different folks!

  5. Miguel says:

    I’ll stick with my DirecTV. The best TV shows can be found on cable nowadays and not in the premium channels either. Eureka, Warehouse 13, Burn Notice, the now defunct Saving Grace, The Closer, etc. beat anything the big four have via broadcasting in HDTV. And let us not forget that we have shooting shows in a couple of sports channels.
    We have been without HBO-Showtime-Starz-Cinemax-Et Al for over 8 years now and we don’t miss it. Anything interesting coming out, we wait for it to come in DVD and rent it from Netflix. If it is good enough, we buy it.

  6. Anon says:

    I’m wondering if the cable and satellite will figure this out and realize that it’s a price point issue. My local provider wants something like $68 for 200 channels, of which I have interest in watching about 12. I’d willingly pay a $5-$10/month access fee plus $1/mo for each of the dozen or so I’d actually watch. Until they do wise up, my digital antenna works just fine, thank you very much, and the cost for the 30+ channels it gets was less than one month of what the cable idiots wanted. Now, if live feeds of Fox News was available via the internet for a couple bucks a month…..

  7. Bill Twist says:

    Countertop Said,
    December 8th, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    We have little kids so the equation is a bit different. But if there was a way to get nickelodeon, Disney, noggin, etc and nothing else we’d just pay for the kids channels and drop the rest (well, I’d keep ESPN and NFL network.

    Why is it any different? Unless you are using the TV to babysit your kids, the entertaining but educational shows available over the air on PBS should be perfectly acceptable. I have a 7 year old son, and my wife and I got rid of cable when he was an infant because we just weren’t watching it anymore. He gets to watch entertaining but educational shows like Arthur and WordGirl, and we don’t have to shell out $40+ a month. I figure that in the last 6.5 years, we’ve saved at least $3,120. Also, no commercials!

  8. Mobo says:

    Turned my cable off two years ago. We just got directv for $40 because we watch Dexter. Netflix filled the gap nicely.

  9. Bram says:

    I had rabbit ears until we moved too far from the city. It would be hard to go back but it would be nice to have options.

  10. Nylarthotep says:

    I’m going to wait until the FCC decides what to do with Net Neutrality. At the moment they are dithering around with changing the rules and if they go the wrong way the internet service providers could very well change their billing method to force you to pay per kilobyte. That would be pretty bad for Netflix and Hulu.

    I don’t know what they are going to do, but jumping into a internet only solution probably wouldn’t be good for me.

  11. Ditto Anon. We gave up Dish Network a few months back, and rely on rabbit ears and Netflix. I am going to put up an external antenna, replacing the Dish dish, just because we are a bit out in the boonies, and rabbit ears aren’t spectacular.

  12. jason says:

    What Bill Twist said.

    Also, for the life of me, I cannot wrap my head around the “but we have kids” argument. BS. Quit using the kids as an excuse, and just admit you LIKE spending your alloted 4.58 hours a day in front of the TeeVee.

  13. Blackwing1 says:

    @7(Bill Twist): Are you watching the same PBS that I am? “No commercials”?

    We just watched the half-hour “This Old House”, which had 4 minutes of introductory commercials, and wrapped up at 7:23…for another 7 minutes of commercials. That’s 19 minutes of show, and 11 minutes of commercials.

    Followed by the “Ask This Old House” half-hour, which started promptly at 7:34 (4 more minutes of commercials) and wrapped up at 7:54 (6 more minutes of commercials. That’s 20 minutes of show, and 10 minutes of commercials.

    I don’t care if they’re advertising themselves, power tools or trucks…it’s as commercial TV as the rest of them advertising stiffeners or lubricants.

    One of the reasons we’re contemplating dumping DirecTV is the fact that the major satellite channels all perfectly synchronize their ad time. The only channel we actually watch now is TCM, a TRULY “non-commercial” station. The minute that drops out of our line-up, or goes commercial, the dish is down.

  14. robert says:

    Yah, the over the air digital is great if you live near a big city or in the flatlands. Not so great out out in the country with tall mountains on all sides…

  15. falnfenix says:

    if we didn’t have the boyfriend’s mom’s spare dish box, we’d be relying solely on netflix and hulu…and i don’t think that’s a bad thing.

    does anyone else remember when cable didn’t have commercials? whatever happened to that?

  16. SidViscous says:

    I dropped cable years ago, and didn’t’ go to Rabbit ears. The TV in the living room sits alone. couple of years ago, while I still had basic cable, friend was sleeping over on the couch and asked to watch TV. Hunh, I guess it still works. Found the remotes, found some new batteries. Yeah, it works, I hadn’t used it in years.

    Turned off the cable shortly after that.

    And I still watch TV shows constantly. Thank you interweb tubes.

  17. Alpheus says:

    My wife and I don’t have a TV, and we haven’t for the six years we’ve been married.; we aspire to getting movies by NetFlix someday, but for now, we’re satisfied with borrowing DVDs from my family and watching them on a computer.

    I’d like to figure out how to hook up a game console to a computer, or perhaps a monitor; I don’t have any desire to get a TV, though.

    Our children like to play games on the internet; we’ve also enjoyed watching “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Slayers” (a D&Dish anime) together as a family.

  18. Douglas2 says:

    The digital TV transition gave each local channel the option to have additional subchannels, so my local PBS has is now main channel x.1 with the normal schedule and additional programming on x.2 so that daytime kids stuff is pretty continuous.
    http://www.antennaweb.org and tvfool can give you great information on what sort of antenna will work for you, based upon mapping both distance and topography between you and the nearest transmitter locations. If you have a fairly recent flat-panel TV it undoubtedly has the digital receiver built in, you just need to connect an antenna and let it search out the stations.
    For outdoor or attic antennae stay away from the ebay antenna. Buy from a vendor or installer who deals with Channel Master or Winegard antennae. An old outdoor TV antenna is just fine for digital if it is not broken, there is nothing special about the digitalness of the signal that requires a new antenna.
    For many TV markets a home-built Gray Hoverman antenna will work just fine even for fringe areas.
    We’re far enough out of town that our rabbit-ears would work most of the time. A good antenna from Solid Signal was on the shopping list, but then the TV watchers in the house discovered Hulu and Netflix. Now the office has had comfy chairs moved in and I have the TV room as a quiet office space with my laptop computer….

  19. Rob Reed says:

    We’ve never had cable. My wife never had it growing up and I only had it for a few years as a teen. Since we’ve been adults neither one of us, separately or together, has wanted to spend the money each month.

    With the digital switch we used vouchers to get a couple of converters and bought a new antenna and that was that.

    We’ve been together 20 years so imagine how much money we’ve been able to put to other uses in that time.

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