On Memorial Day I did something I thought I’d never, ever do. I cancelled my cable. Like many, many people, I looked at my cable bill (about $100/month) and wondered if I really watched THAT much TV. Unlike most people, though, I’m not trying to create a cheaper alternative by watching TV via the internet. I’m trying to create a better solution.
I mean, if I just bought every episode of every show I watched for $2 on iTunes, would that even come close to $100? I work in TV, I grew up with TV as my babysitter, I truly believe TV is in a golden age of quality right now (reality TV aside), and I still don’t think I watch 50 episodes per month. So if I just bought every show a la carte, not only would I get the same time shifted content I get via a DVR, but I’d also have the choice to watch it wherever I want — on my TV, on my laptop, on my iPad, or even on my iPhone.
That right there is an improvement.
The two downsides? No live content. And no option to start watching things the same night they aired (iTunes content doesn’t appear until the next day).
So it’s not a perfect system by any means. At least not yet. Like I said, it’s an experiment, and I’m going play with different variables all summer. I’m giving myself a $100/month budget to acquire as much content as I can through legal means.
Here’s the equipment I already have to work with:
- A desktop computer already hooked up to a large TV
If I have to buy any new equipment, like an Xbox or an Apple TV, I’ll divide the cost by twelve and count that amount against the 100 bucks/month I’ve allotted myself.
I’ll be checking back in over the summer to share tips and tricks that I’ve found…
ps – so you know, I don’t consider having to actually load up a web page just to watch a single TV show an improvement over cable… I’m going to avoid that as much as possible.