A week without cable…

It’s a crazy (and forced upon us) experiment… we’ve spent the last 6 days without cable/satellite TV (for ease, we’ll just refer to it as cable). This is due to an outrageous storm that passed through the area last Tuesday – which split one of our massive trees in half and dropped it nicely on our roof and in our backyard (check out Ben’s post about it here). We were very fortunate that the tree didn’t do more damage (like fall on one of us or crush the backside of our house completely) and are incredibly thankful for that. The tree gouged a hole in our roof and crunched our Dish satellite – rendering it unusable.

So here we are – day 6 of the great experiment, and I have to say, surprisingly, we’re rather enjoying it. Ben & I are both a little surprised by the results of the experiment – the days feel longer and we feel like we’re getting more accomplished. Yesterday, Ben & I thought it was Sunday already… possibly because we got so much done during the day! It’s liberating, actually.

Don’t get me wrong – we’re not completely abandoning television. We’re still watching our favorite shows, but we’re using our mediabox and relying solely on the world wide web for television programming, so it’s much more selective, and we shut the TV off when we’re done. We’re realizing that we left the TV on far too much before – it was background noise, rather than being the occasional treat.

Websites like hulu make it quite easy to view our favorite programs with only a slight delay in timing. Since we normally watch our shows on a delay (after recording them to our Dish DVR), it’s not that much different than normal. The only noticeable difference is the lack of HD and occasional delays from internet “buffering”… two problems that could be remedied through tuning in to local HD programming by using the ancient antenna on the top of our house… had it not also been a casualty of the tree incident (which we could easily replace later if we really decide it’s necessary).

One other addition that makes the transition a bit easier – we recently signed up with Netflix again to gain access to their unlimited streaming content available online. There are quite a few great programs out on DVD already, so for those lazy days, we can queue up Netflix and waste our time away.

We’ve got to make the call of whether or not to keep our Dish service fairly soon – I don’t want to continue paying for something that we’re not using, but in order to continue our service, we need to get a new Dish and pay the $100 installation fee to have their technician come out and install it. Right now, we’re leaning toward cancelling the service all together. We’ll give it a few more days to make our decision and see if this is something we’re fully committed to before pulling the trigger.

It’s something I never saw us doing… but the idea gets more attractive every day. Bringing our little girl home to a cable free environment might work out quite well for this family. Just think of the opportunity for family bonding time…

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2 Responses to “A week without cable…”


  1. 1 Amberlee October 19, 2009 at 4:05 PM

    Joel and I have not had cable TV for quite a few years now and we love it. Its good for the kids & we get so much more done around the house and are more likely to go on walks after dinner instead of sitting down on the couch for a show. I use Hulu and Netflix too so I can stay up on my favorite shows. I do miss PBS for the kids in the morning. But it is such a special treat for the kids when they get to sit down and watch a movie :) Another suggestion I had from another mom is no TV Monday thru Thursday for the kids.

  2. 2 Ingrid October 29, 2009 at 10:09 PM

    Isn’t tv weird? We’ve lived without a tv for 11 years now, and MOST of the time, I don’t think I miss it. It isn’t that we were ever so against tv, it is just that we didn’t ever bother getting one and then all of a sudden 10 years had gone by. Really.
    What I notice about living without one is 1) it is really quiet and that is pretty nice. 2) Movies and dvds are super special treats around here. 3) We don’t know anything about popular culture 4) Sometimes that is good 5) Commercials are shocking to us when we do see them. Shocking and fascinating. 6) A tv on in any room or any building is totally distracting to us. Other people can tune it out and Brad and I agree that we just can not at all. 7) Every now and then (like in an election year) you want one. 8) Sometimes (like in an election year) you are so glad you don’t have one! 9) without one, you never have to argue with your kids about how much to watch. 10) We get way more done without a tv around.

    Interesting experiment.


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Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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