When we speak about dropping cable television and replacing it with “new media” options that have evolved to provide an excellent, alternative space through which to view programming, the discussion is invariably tied to the matter of saving money. However, many report that dropping cable has actually made them better TV viewers…precisely because watching television ceases to remain as lazy an effort as it has been, once they have changed course and dumped cable.
Financially, the decision to drop cable with a minimum of effort should be a no-brainer; it is not unusual for premium cable television…meaning, cable with all of the premium channels, like HBO…to cost in excess of $150 per month, once taxes and associated fees are factored into the mix. Purchasing a Roku device and taking advantage of platforms like Netflix and Hulu Plus (among several other quality choices) can save serious money for the person who’s been willing to pay a lot for his favorite premium-based shows on cable, and for those of us who’ve never watched quite at that level, the savings can still be very substantial. Beyond that, cable, with all of its channels piped through to your television, makes it easy to be a less discerning…even non-discerning…TV viewer. Most people with cable have to admit that there are countless times they’ve found themselves sidetracked from doing something more meaningful, because it’s just too easy to quickly gain a marginal interest in some mediocre program over which they’ve just tripped while channel surfing. Plus, the DVRs cheaply supplied by the cable company simply encourage one to record a bunch of different programs he might not make a specific effort to otherwise watch, and then spend hours in front of the set going through all he’s accumulated.
With Internet television, there remain a lot of terrific options for the viewer, but the nature of the mechanisms actually makes for better and smarter TV watching. Jim Paris and I hope you’ll join us at 8:05 pm on Wednesday, August 27 to find out more about just how to say goodbye forever to the cable company, and become a wealthier…and better…consumer of television.
Robert G. Yetman, Jr.
Managing Editor, The James L. Paris Report