Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Getting Rid of Cable

05 August 2011

Before we met, neither Rick nor I had anything other than broadcast television. Not long after we met, I started to work at TiVo. At that point, we started getting cable again, and haven’t stopped since.
Until now.
Back when I re-subscribed, basic cable inched up from the high $20s to the mid-$50s. What I hadn’t really obviously noticed was how it had further creeped up in the last two years to close to $70, even on a discount plan.
We added Starz recently so that we could watch Torchwood, but it was free for six months.
I checked my cable bill the other day: it’s now $95.64.
Not on my watch, it’s not.
So then came the math: how much would it cost us each month to replace cable?
I decided to start first and see how much it’d cost us to buy the shows we can outright. Granted, many of these we don’t care that much about, and some (e.g., broadcast shows) are available over-the-air.
Even with that, though, if we bought all of them (including The Daily Show and The Colbert Report), it’d still be a wash.
So, given that, and that there are various means of getting the shows we want to watch without Comcast, cable is going bye bye tomorrow, replaced by a newer Apple TV (already purchased) and probably a Boxee in the future, as well as perhaps another small media server computer at some point.
The real beauty of this plan is the ability to actually pay more directly for content that we want to fund, rather than aiming a gob of money at Comcast, where we’re paying for ESPN, Fox News, Soap Net, Trinity Broadcasting Network, the Brazilian Futebol channel (srsly), the Gospel Music Channel, and a bunch of other channels that, at best, we don’t give a rat’s ass about, and, at worst, we think are harmful to sanity and civilization. (I don’t mind paying for the multi-cultural channels: I think they provide value to their target markets. I just don’t happen to be part of that market.)

Available on iTunes, most are also available on Hulu:
Being Human (BBC America) ($10/$10) * CastTV
Being Human (SyFy) ($30/$20)
Burn Notice (USA) ($35/$25) * CastTV
Doctor Who (BBC America) ($40/$26) * CastTV
Fairly Legal (USA) ($26/$17) * CastTV
Falling Skies (TNT) ($17) * CastTV
Leverage (TNT) ($43/28) * CastTV
Nikita (The CW) ($50/$40) * CastTV
Outcasts (BBC America) ($21/14)
Project Runway (LIFE) ($34/23) * CastTV
Rizzoli & Isles (TNT) ($38/28) * CastTV
Sanctuary (SyFy) ($48/32) * CastTV
Suits (USA) ($30/20) * CastTV
Survivors (BBC America) ($10)
The Glades (A&E) ($32/22) * CastTV
Top Gear (BBC America) ($18/$12) * CastTV
Warehouse 13 (SyFy) ($35/23) * CastTV
White Collar (USA) ($35/$25) * CastTV
Colbert Report (Comedy) (special, ~$100/yr) * CastTV
Daily Show (Comedy) (special, ~$100/yr) * CastTV
$62/mo for all the above in HD; $50 in standard def
Available on iTunes but possibly also OTA with the antenna situation sorted out, most are also available on Hulu
Body of Proof (ABC) ($27, but the first season was a part season, so not included in numbers below) * CastTV * Hulu
Bones (Fox) ($60/40) * CastTV * Hulu
Castle (ABC) ($50/$35) * CastTV
Criminal Minds (CBS) ($43/33)
CSI (CBS) ($53/$36) * CastTV
CSI: Miami (CBS) ($53/$36) * CastTV
CSI: NY (CBS) ($53/$36) * CastTV
Fringe (Fox) ($30/20) * CastTV
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) ($50/$35) * CastTV
House (Fox) ($34/23) * CastTV
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) ($60/40) * CastTV
$36 / month for HD; $28 for standard def
Not Available on iTunes:
Antonio Treatment (HGTV)
Ashes to Ashes (BBC America)
Baltic Coasts (HDNet) — gorgeous photography!
Design Star (HGTV)
Dr. G.: Medical Examiner (FitTV)
Holmes on Homes (HGTV)
Last Chance to See (HDNet)
Mexico: One Plate at a Time (ABC Local)
Sarah’s Summer House (HGTV)
Selling New York (HGTV)
The Mentalist (CBS)
The Story of India (PBS)
Torchwood: Miracle Day (Starz)
World’s Coastlines from Above (HDNet) — this one I’ll miss the most, frankly, even though it’s only a few episodes. There’s no way to purchase them, but it is stunningly beautiful photography.
World’s Toughest Fixes (Natl Geo) ($16, but no current episodes)
Invasion (SyFy) ($40 for entire series; show’s canceled)
Others I haven’t had season passes for but do watch:
Covert Affairs

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