Cable TV & Me

If you frequent my blog, you may have read about my war with Comcast.  The end result of everything is that I built my father a PVR using digital tuners, and he’s able to record six programs at a time on the channels broadcast in the clear (essentially 2 thru 78 plus a handful of other random channels, plus the HD versions of all the local channels), while I, not able to afford to replace my PVR, canceled cable TV in favor of various streaming sources.  With Hulu, network websites, Netflix, and the occasional torrent, I can watch pretty much every show I care to watch.  Yeah, it is always a day late, but I was recording and watching most of them a day late anyway.

The main reason behind this decision wasn’t just to save the $60 a month that cable TV cost me, although that is nice, but mostly in that cable TV isn’t serving me properly as a consumer.  To me, the single most important thing is to be able to watch the shows on my schedule.  Since networks insist on putting good shows on opposite each other, and I don’t want to not watch good shows, recording shows has always been something I needed to do.  And while recording shows for later viewing meant I could fast forward through commercials, that was always a side effect and never the point.  Time shifting was the point.  Right now, if for that same $60 a month, Comcast were to offer me the ability to watch any program at any time, even if I was forced to watch the commercials and couldn’t skip them, I’d do it.

On Demand programming is where the future is, and networks need to catch up.  And charging me $3 or $5 per episode in addition to my cable bill just to watch it without commercials isn’t the answer.  Leave the commercials in and let me watch it for free, just like when it is broadcast, but on my own schedule.

I want to watch your shows.  I even want to watch your commercials (they help me discover more shows and sometimes even products to buy).  But I just can’t do it on your schedule.

Either the networks need to jump on On Demand, or the cable companies need to invent the 10 tuner DVR that works with ALL their channels  so people can create their own On Demand.

One comment

  1. I work in an IT dept, and several of us dropped cable earlier this year.

    My wife was reluctant to drop cable cold-turkey, so I told her we would go to basic cable for a month then re-evaluate the situation.

    I immediately hooked up a pc to our main tv and got a $45 wireless “webtv” keyboard (with a built in mouse) off Amazon. That was last spring. We now watch most of our shows on Hulu or other streaming/downloading methods.

    I haven’t put up a TV antenna yet, and we still pay $13 a month for basic cable through Time Warner Cable so the kids can pop on and watch something from the other tv’s in the house.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *