Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cut the Cord - Tales from the Clipped.

One month ago we cut cable - so far so good.  I took this as a personal challenge to make this process as smooth and positive as possible. It still is a change, but with a little prep work it has gone really well so far.
Recap: We (a family of 5) cut our Cable TV provider, upped our ISP package and replaced our homephone line with a free VOIP alternative. We also employ a DIY antenna. For a full description of the setup see here.
Kids are definitely watching less TV. There are less occasions where the TV sits on as background noise. Those moments of respite where we need to occupy the kids were my biggest concern. More on that later.

I'm using subscriptions for TVO's the Agenda and the Big Think so I have something interesting to watch if I was bored. I'm most proud of the fact that we no longer live in the continuous "breaking news" death grip of CP24. I don't need live coverage of the Royal Baby's baptism or first bowel movement. In reality Netflix is a very dangerous thing. The ability to get so many full series on demand is something cable never offered. The wife loves having a full series at her disposal and is actually watching more TV now.

I've started watching the formal news broadcasts more on the antenna. We could raise a lot of money with a "wait rewind that" jar. The PVR for live tv is definitely a perk I miss. Investigating MythTV as an option to record off the antenna and pause live tv.

As with all change there is a downside. The biggest problem is the disjointed user experience. Content sits on different areas or inputs. Is it on my home media server? or accessed through a browser. Is it on netflix? How do i get to the antenna. For me it's not big deal, but for visiting family and friends, or less technical folks it can be a bit intimidating or frustrating. The antenna operates on one remote, google TV operates the rest. Even within the google tv you need to switch apps between plex or netflix. Cable itself has gotten a bit fragmented with ondemand versus live TV and a lack of great user experience. But for the most part you search for a show, or a recorded show in very similar contexts.

Related Links:
Cut the Cord - The Setup

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