Monday, July 18, 2011

Dropping Cable

It's been a long, long time since I've written on here, so here's a much-needed update. Last month Shayla and I moved to Lynnwood, WA to work at Boeing. So I'm back home and Shayla is further away and unhappy about the weather. And I can't argue with that, the weather has been mostly terrible ever since we got here. Jake is 7 months old and drools about 40 gallons a day. And he just got a tooth on the bottom. I only noticed that because he bit me and it almost hurt.

So that's us.

Part of moving to a different state is disconnecting all of your utilities, internet, cable, etc and reconnecting it at your new place. Obviously this is a huge pain, especially when you're dealing with Comcast and their notorious customer service (note that their Wikipedia page has a section titled "Poor and substandard customer satisfaction levels").

So we're ditching Comcast and not looking back.

A lot of people have been writing recently about losing cable/satellite TV and getting all the same stuff from somewhere else. It's not that hard to do. That's what we've been doing for the last month and we're never going back to cable TV.

Right now our home entertainment system is set up with Netflix, Hulu+, and Apple TV. Between those three things we have instant access to 1) all of the movies that we own, 2) any movie we want to watch, past or current, and 3) almost any TV show we want to watch, past or current. And as a bonus on top of that we can also view our photo albums and home videos on our TV, and all of the music that we own streamed through our TV speakers. That doesn't sound great now, but it will when I get my awesome surround sound system.

So the way it works is that our Apple TV lets us access the media on our computer and iPad and streams it to the TV. So I'm in the process of loading all of our DVDs onto an external hard drive so we can just scroll through a list and watch movies without having to swap out DVDs in the player (shout out to Dehn for the info on this). So our Netflix, movies, music and pictures are controlled using our iPad or iPhone as a remote.

The only hole in the plan so far is sports. I haven't decided how to solve this one. If I were a huge baseball fan I would get for $100, and if I were a huge NBA fan I would get the NBA equivalent for about the same price. But I'm more of a football fan and the NFL equivalent is an outrageous $350 per season. Hopefully the NFL '11 app or WatchESPN app are updated with more options as the season gets closer. Worst case scenario, I'll have Comcast for 4-5 months for football season.

Anyway, so here's what it boils down to:

We used to pay about $80 per month for Comcast (including internet and cable). Now we pay $8 for Netflix, $9 for Hulu+, $25 for internet, and a one-time $99 for Apple TV.

So the yearly total (amortized over the projected 3-year life of the Apple TV) is $960 for Comcast, and $537 for getting rid of Comcast. For that we get the convenience of watching whatever we want whenever we want, no commercials, and never having to go somewhere else to rent a movie. And we lose sports until I find a way to get them.

This is just what I've done so far. We've been really happy with it for the 6 weeks we've had it. We never channel surf and rarely (only with Hulu+) watch commercials. If anyone knows anything else that we can add to make it even better, let me know.

1 comment:

  1. Too bad Blake cant set you up there. Actually he could but thats a long drive so forget about it. How are the midgets?