My Journey to Cut the Cable Cord
Now that I have Netflix and Hulu Plus, I'm closer to cutting the cable cord, but there are still some content gaps and a problem with live news and sports.
I’m sick of cable, sick of CableCard, sick of cable bills, sick of “60 Minutes” not recording because a football game ran too long.
So I’m on a journey to cut the cable cord, once and for all. Hopefully you can help me do it.
I’m not concerned about movies right now. I get what I need through Netflix.
So it’s my TV needs that must be addressed. I wish I didn’t enjoy mindless TV as much as I do, and I sure hope my mother doesn’t read this, but there you have it.
Here are some things you should know about me (and in some cases my husband).
Entertainment Content - Video
- We must have “House,” “Modern Family,” “Big Bang Theory,” “The Good Wife.”
- We enjoy the legal/crime/mystery shows but could possibly live without them: “The Mentalist,” “Law & Order,” “CSI,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Terrier.”
- We can really get into some of the good series such as “Damages,” “Flash Forward,” “Breaking Bad” (never got into “Lost”).
- I don’t cook or even shop for food, but I do enjoy the cooking contests including “Top Chef,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Next Food Network Star.” (My husband does the cooking and grocery shopping and wouldn’t be caught dead watching these shows.)
- I also enjoy the reality design shows such as “Project Runway” and “Next Design Star.”
- Showtime is our only premium channel and all we watch is “Weeds” and “The Big C.”
- We record “CBS Sunday Morning” and “60 Minutes” but don’t need to watch them immediately.
- I schedule my stationary bike rides around “People’s Court” or “Judge Judy.” I’m not proud of this.
- I work out of the home and have no water cooler, so I don’t need to watch any of these shows right away for social purposes.
Live Content - Video
- We need live news from the major news channels.
- We’re not sports fans but would like the opportunity to stream important games such as the Super Bowl and World Series, as well as events that feature my teams, including University of Michigan, University of Texas, state of Texas, state of Minnesota.
- Decent CD library, courtesy of my husband (I brought 3 CDs to the marriage)
- I like Pandora and have a killer Neil Diamond station.
- Audio and video quality are secondary to content availability.
- 60-inch Mitsubishi DLP with no Internet connectivity
- iPod Touch
- S1Digital Media Center PC
- Roku box coming
- Apple TV (currently disconnected)
- Vudu box (currently disconnected)
- Windows Media Server
- Gyration mouse/remote (love it),
- Wireless keyboard
- Hulu Plus
- Boxee (on Media Center)
So where do I go from here?
I only just subscribed to Hulu Plus yesterday, primarily so I could watch TV content through my iPad while riding my stationary bike or lounging on the couch.
I use Hulu a fair amount but I’m not sure yet if Hulu Plus fills the content gaps for me.
Netflix is nice for catching up on series and I’m currently watching Season 1 of “Damages.”
Can you help me cut the cable cord? What are some content tips? Where are the gaps? What products would you recommend? How about content navigation and universal search a la Google TV?
Please share your experiences in the comments section below and also let us know how you’re advising your clients on streaming content.
Meanwhile, I’ll keep you posted from my end.
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]
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