Conundrum: Quitting Cable?

It's really no secret that at our house, we love television.  And I mean really love it.  I think TV shows are one of the greatest forms of entertainment on this planet.  It's like reading a book that has a really good story, except you only get to read one chapter a week so you're always looking forward to the next one, and also the characters have all come to life and also you don't actually have to read any words.  We all know that I love books too, but there's just something about television...I adore it.

That being said, I've recently been having the recurring thought that I want to cancel our cable.  I know, I know, for people who love TV as much as we do, this seems really silly.  But allow me to present a list of pros and cons for my reasoning.

  • Cable costs us $89/month.  In a year, we could save $1,068.  That's basically the cost of a weekend trip we could take to an semi-exotic location.  Sounds pretty tempting.
  • Almost every show I would want to watch on TV can be found on the internet (Hulu, the network's website, or by otherwise shady means).  The real kicker?  We get the internet for free.  So watching TV online literally would cost us nothing.
  • I like to multitask as often as possible.  Unfortunately, I can't see the TV from my sewing machine.  If I watched all my shows online, I could easily set up my laptop next to my machine and multitask my little heart out while watching as many shows as I like.
  • Logically, it seems like not having cable would really free up more of my time to be productive.  Once you get started watching TV on a Saturday morning, for instance, it is extremely hard not to fall down that rabbit hole of Lifetime movies and ABC Family marathons.  (Harry Potter weekend, I am looking at you)
  • We have Netflix on Scott's Playstation, so any TV series or movie we might want to watch that's on there, we would still have full access to.
  • We have a gigantic and really nice TV, and it sure seems like a shame to not have it constantly in use.  Doesn't it?
  • Even though TV can be a wasteland of time sucking, it's also nice to just have it on for background noise.  Scott loves to keep History or Discovery on while he's working on other projects, just to have something on that he can tune his attention to or not depending on what he's doing.
  • Do I really want to do all my TV watching on my laptop?  Why watch on the tiny little screen when I could watch on a big one?  I know there is a cable you can use to connect your laptop to the TV so you can view whatever is on your laptop on your big screen, but we don't have that cable.  On the other hand, shouldn't we just buy it?  Whatever it might cost, I'm pretty sure it isn't $1,068.
So there are my arguments.  My pros outweigh my cons, 5 to 3.  And as I read back over my cons, doesn't it just seem like they are all weak excuses and justifications convincing myself we still need cable?  The truth is, I'm afraid to take the leap.  We've always had cable and I've always loved TV, so I'm afraid to even think about making the change.  Would it be worth it?  Or would I just go into television withdrawal and never find my way back out?

Do you have cable?  Have you always had it?  Does anybody out there not have cable and completely love it?  I'm just. so. confused.


  1. We watch shows streaming from the computer (usually the laptop) onto the TV all the time. You can get a cord for a few bucks and set it up. So your TV won't waste away if you decide to disconnect the cable.

  2. Yes!! Cut the cord! We just did it, and the savings are great! We also bought a 'digital antenna' ($30) which I didn't really understand, but it lets us get abc, cbs, fox, nbc, and about a million PBS and Spanish language channels. That way, we can get the news and major sporting events in real time. Everything else we hook up to the TV from the computer (or netflix instant or hulu on the xbox). Here's what I miss: recording shows on DVR and rewinding things so I can watch the last 30 seconds when I wasn't paying attention. Which you can still do, but is more complicated than the 30 seconds back button on the remote...

    This is Clare from OSU Theta. I'm not sure what this will show up as (I love reading blogs, but am not that good at figuring out how to comment on them!). Love your blog!!

  3. im not even going to comment (although I am) because we have had this convo many times.

    do it. but don't do it.

    miss you.


  5. We got rid of cable over a year ago and haven't looked back. Netflix, the internet, and an HD antenna provide us with all the shows we need. And I have a cord that I run from my laptop to the TV so we can see our shows on the TV screen. Definitely get this! I seriously watch all the same shows that I used to, but we're saving tons of money.

  6. Val! Yet another reason why we are the same... our love for tv! We talked about getting rid of cable for a couple years before finally doing it when Haven was born when every penny started counting. We got the digital antenna mentioned above so we get all the major networks, which most of my shows are on anyway. If I miss something, I just watch online or I just don't watch (gasp!). I also miss the DVR... but when I think back to my completely-full-all-the-time DVR, I can't get over how many hours in front of the tv I would spend! Granted, I do have a cute little baby to watch now, so that has obviously made the transition easier... but I think the savings are definitely worth it since you can find other ways to watch most everything!

  7. We downgraded to the "Economy" package and get basic cable plus several "popular" channels. Yes, I miss Bravo and those addictive housewives terribly, but I hardly think about it anymore. We pay $29/mo. for cable and it is a great compromise!

  8. We got rid of our cable 7 months ago and......neither I nor Geoff feel were missing out on anything we can't get online. We do have the basic Netflix and any shows we really want to watch (Downton Abbey or Teen Mom!) are available online for free - you just have to wait a day to watch them. We're happy with our decisions and the extra bit of money in our pockets! Good luck :)

  9. Do you remember when I didn't have cable and internet for a month? And I was pretty sad until I found the secret Bravo station that somehow came through like magic? All I needed was one network to keep me sane (sad, but true). So, with that said, I think the Internet capabilities, especially Netflix, are enough to fulfill your TV need!

    I can't believe I'm encouraging this :)

  10. When we moved to our new house in April we only signed up for basic cable which is ~$15/mo and is perfect for us! There are times when I miss all the chanels, but we get the basics so we can still veg out and watch tv if we want to :) We'll either watch shows we miss online or just skip them. The thing I miss most is the DVR!