We are a TV family. At one point, I would estimate that I had 30 different shows in my DVR queue. So you can imagine my husband’s shock when I suggested that we call DirecTV to cancel our service. How would we live without 150 channels? Without live sports? Without at least 10 episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood available at any given time and for any given toddler meltdown? To be honest, I didn’t really know the answer to those questions. All I knew was that the money going toward our cable bill would be very useful elsewhere.
When I reached out to my Facebook friends for advice on dropping our television service, I was shocked by how many had already taken the plunge. Most of them were far tech-savvier than I, but I felt confident that we could make this work. We already owned an Apple TV box and a Nintendo Wii that we could use to access apps on our two household televisions. Netflix and Hulu seemed like the obvious solutions, so I signed up for free trials. Most of the shows I watched were on network stations, and I was pleased to find out that the majority of them would be available on Hulu the day after airing. For the others, my husband bought a fancy antenna so that we could still access the local stations.
Another perk of Netflix is that it lets you set up a profile for each person in your house. For the kiddos, you have the option of setting up a profile that is restricted to children’s shows and movies only. Keeps me from worrying that my 2 year old might accidentally watch Game of Thrones. I imagine that sports will be a little more difficult once fall arrives and they pick up again. But, my husband works crazy hours at sporting events anyway, so he agreed that he isn’t home to watch often enough to warrant the added cost of keeping DirecTV. Even with everything “figured out”, it still took me a couple of months to finally get up the courage to bite the bullet (had to wait for the season finales of my shows, of course!).
So far, the adjustment has been relatively painless. We’ll see if it stays that way once the fall lineups roll around. I’m happy to report that I don’t find myself longing for the shows I once couldn’t live without. I had secretly hoped that dropping the DVR would lead to less time in front of the tube, but that unfortunately hasn’t been the case so far. Now instead of being able to watch one show per week, Netflix allows me to watch entire seasons at my leisure. I’m slightly ashamed to admit how quickly I made it through 3 seasons of Scandal, 8 seasons of Dexter, and 3 seasons of the Walking Dead. On the bright side, my bank account is thrilled that our television “needs” can be met for fewer than $20 per month. We are officially converted!
We ditched it 2 years ago. Goodbye commercials, fly-by shows that suck us in (though we encountered the vortex of Amish Mafia during a vacation), crummy kid shows with questionable role models (I am looking at you, Disney Channel). Life is good and kids are happy and watch about a third of the television their peers do.
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