Nearly 5 million people now live in a “Zero TV” household.
That is a household with no incoming television signal. No cable. Not even bunny-ears. My wife and I aren’t quite in that category, but we did cut our satellite cord a couple of months ago.
The truth is we don’t miss cable TV at all.
We certainly don’t miss the monthly bill either. When we first signed up, the bill was reasonable. It was under $100 for both TV and the Internet. After a year, though, the bill seemed to increase every month. Finally, when it reached $145 (without any movie channels) we said enough and called to cancel.
Sure, money was a motivating factor but there were so many reasons to drop the service. I got tired of the daily routine of coming home from work, plopping into my favorite spot on the couch and turning on the TV. I got tired of saying, “There’s nothing on.” And I finally got tired of paying to watch a movie I’ve already seen 20 times, especially when I already own the DVD.
Ultimately, though, the deciding factor was the availability of the TV shows on the Internet. We have Netflix, which we have used to catch shows we might have missed. There’s Hulu and Amazon for current TV shows. It requires a little work and a little organization to keep up to date, but the savings alone have been worth it.
Amy and I now watch TV for a purpose. Not just because there is a flat-screen TV in the living room or because there is nothing to do. I couldn’t justify spending that much money on cable channels I’ll never watch. Sure, I miss watching live sports. I don’t get ESPN anymore. But I’m still able to catch some that air on the networks with our fancy new digital bunny-ears. Truth be told, dropping $145 a month to watch a couple Boston Celtics games per month isn’t money well spent.
I even understand that making great television costs money (about $3 million per episode to make Showtime’s “Homeland,” $2.5 million per episode of “Mad Men”) and I’ll continue to watch them wherever I can find them when it’s convenient for my schedule. Technology has made watching TV a reality without even needing a TV.
Technology has long had this affect of making goods more available and affordable. Before Henry Ford installing the assembly line, it took 12 hours to build one car. After, the process took only an hour and a half. Because of this new efficiency, the costs came down dramatically so that middle class families could afford their own Model T.
There’s no question technology has changed the way we watch TV. It brought hundreds of channels into our homes. With that came the expansion of original TV programming. But, unlike with the Model T, cable prices have only increased every year.
My hope is cable and satellite companies embrace these technological advancements by offering different packages that might cater towards my television viewing needs. Something more along the lines of what I’m willing to pay for it.
If not, Amy and I will be happy to stay cord-free and continue to watch the same TV shows without giving any money to a cable or satellite company, even if I miss out on a few basketball games.
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Water tips to save money, help save the Earth
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development