Cutting the Cord… the Sequel

A while back, I wrote about my desire to cut my cable television service. I just didn’t see the point in the cost, paying for dozens and dozens of hours of programming on dozens and dozens of channels that we never watched and never had any desire to watch. Factor in the lack of moral standards that continue to be prevalent on the tube… cable makes less and less sense.

It didn’t work out last time I tried. But with our recent move, we decided to give it another go.

Couldn’t be happier.

Getting our programming solely via the Internet has actually worked really well with our lifestyle and preferences. Here’s a snapshot of how we are making it work…

ISP

I won’t name the provider, but they have provided a very speedy connection with no contract and no data caps. VERY cool for what we are trying to accomplish.

Tech

There are actually MANY more options for viewing programming when not tied to a cable box/DVR. Here are some of the tools we use…

  • Blu-ray player. We have a Sony player that is able to access our online providers with a wired connection. We use this on our main living room TV.
  • iMac. When the main TV is in use and someone else wants to watch, we use the iMac that is also stationed in the living room for secondary viewing. It is also useful for watching web-only programming, podcast video, and the like.
  • Portables. My wife and I both have iPhones, I use a Kindle Fire and a MacBook Air, and my kids each have an iPod Touch. These work well. We also have an app called Air Video on our iDevices, which allows us to stream any video files from the iMac. I have most of our DVD collection archived on the iMac..
  • HD Antenna. We don’t really watch sports or miss local channels, but there are times when we want to see something locally available in real-time. I picked up an HD antenna at Walmart, and it works just fine.

Providers

  • Netflix
  • Hulu Plus
  • Crackle
  • Public Library
  • Redbox

Downside?

The only real downside is a lack of parental controls at the provider level. Netflix has parental controls, but when you exclude NR material, you also exclude many cartoons and other shows. Neither Hulu nor Crackle have any controls. (HEY NetHuCrack! Here’s a request for improvements in these areas!!) We are training our kids to ask every time they want to watch something they have not watched before, and we keep tabs on the Recently Viewed history.

All in all, the immediacy of content, lower costs, and flexibility have made our experience well worth any downsides.

Question:

Have you ever considered cutting the cord? What stopped you?

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