Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Back to the Dark Ages...But Not Really

Like many people, J and I are desperately looking for ways to save money.  I clip coupons and hardly ever buy anything unless it's on sale.  I re-think every purchase I make before I make it- is it a need or a want?  (And if it's a want, by the way, it must come out of separate funds.)  I buy generic...gasp!  We try every conceivable way to stretch a buck.

And to that end, we recently underwent a major change...we ditched cable TV.

For the past two years, we have been subscribers to Dish Network...blech.  But they lured us in with a bill that was $30 a month cheaper than cable.  Turns out, we really disliked satellite.  The weather was such an issue- if there was so much as a gentle breeze or a misty sky, we would lose signal and be without television.  Annoying.  But we were stuck in a 2-year contract in order to get the great price.  So we suffered through it.

Well, the two years are over.  We couldn't wait to ditch Dish.  But we certainly couldn't stomach the thought of going back to Time Warner Cable for $70 a month.  So the solution?  How about nothing?

The switch was officially flipped last week, leaving us without any type of cable programming!  AAAHHH!!

This would be much tougher if J wasn't the computer nerd that he is.  In preparation for the big disconnect, he downloaded many-a-show.  I believe we are up to 374 movies?  And lots-o-tv.  We have full seasons of newer shows like Mad Men, The Big Bang Theory, and Modern Family.  We have oldies-but-goodies like Friends, Alias, and Boston Legal.  We have chick shows like Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls, and Felicity.  We have cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants and The Fairly Oddparents (J and I are big kids at heart).  We even have some trashy reality tv, like The Real Housewives of (insert city here).

As if this wasn't enough?

J spent months writing a program called PseudoTV.  All of our many movies and shows were categorized and put into "channels".  So I can turn on this program, turn to the guide, and select the comedy or drama or family channel. It's just like the real deal!  Only without commercials, and the ability to always choose the exact show I want to watch at the exact time I want to watch it.

The only downside here?  What about my current shows??  What about American Idol?  Grey's Anatomy?  Glee? 

No need to panic, folks.  That's where the antenna will come in.  It's on order, and once installed, should allow me access to local network TV without the monthly cable bill.  Whew.

I will miss the Food Network, and well, there's just no getting around that one.  Turns out there's not a big demand for Barefoot Contessa, so downloading that one poses a problem.  And this, my friends, is a hardship that I will have to suffer and overcome. 

So there you have it.  It's not a myth, after all.  This family fought the cable company...and won.

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