Saturday, December 19, 2009

Why I Want Cheaper TV

A couple of years ago I heard a news story about a woman that made about $25k a year. She had no debt, and actually managed to save some money every year. When asked how she did it, she said she didn't spend money unless it was absolutely necessary. She gave the example of paying for cable TV. "Why pay for TV, when you can get it for free?"

At first, I thought... how can you live without cable TV? I remember not having cable as a kid and how I would have to constantly adjust the antenna to get a decent signal. I thought about the channels she doesn't get... CNN, ESPN, TNT, History, MTV, VH1, HBO!!!... No HBO!!! Think of everything this woman is missing out on... the Sopranos... Weeds... Sunday Night Football... Flavor of Love!!!

Then I thought some more...

When I was a kid back in the 1970's... kids played outside. They weren't home all day watching SpongeBob marathons, Hanna Montana, or MTV. Cartoons were on Saturday mornings for about 3 hours, or about an hour or two after school during the week. I would watch Scooby-Doo or Magilla Gorilla for an hour, then I would go outside and play. At night we would watch an hour or two with the family, because all of the shows were family friendly.

and I thought some more...

I make a decent living, and I'm providing my kids with everything a good American family should have... 24 hour access to cartoons from Nickelodeon, the Cartoon Network, and the Disney Channel. My wife and I enjoy rated R content and terrific shows from HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Encore. Yet, how many times have my kids spent way too much time watching TV? I'm not talking an hour or two... I'm talking 6 - 8 hours a day on a weekend. How many times have I told my kids to go entertain themselves because my wife and I were watching something that was not appropriate for them? And how much money have I spent to bring my family all of this entertainment?

Then I realized, I shouldn't have felt bad for this woman that was living without cable TV... she should have felt bad for me!

Well, the time for change has come. I believe my family can be entertained, without paying for cable TV. My initial inclination was to quit paying for TV cold turkey, but I think that would be a little harsh. We have become addicted to TV, and there needs to be some sort of 12 step program to get over this addiction. Luckily, there are new technologies like internet TV and subscription services like NetFlix to help us bridge the entertainment void left by cutting the cable.

In this blog I plan to document my family's journey transitioning away from Cable TV. I welcome you to join me on my quest for CHEAPER TV. Here I will be discovering new TV entertainment technology, giving tips and suggestions on alternate entertainment sources, and documenting how my family adapts to life without Cable TV.