Friday, September 06, 2013
Bringing back the TV feed into my life?
I have been "TV free" for a year now. I was spending about $70/month for a modest package of Comcast's television programming. I found myself watching stuff because it happened to be on. Or, I would use my DVR to record loads of stuff because it sounded like I might enjoy it. I was spending more time in front of the television than I really wanted to. Even when I managed to push myself away from the thing I kept thinking that $70/month was a lot to spend on something that I viewed as a vice that kept me from doing other things. So, I dropped the TV package.
I started watching video content on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. I tried to watch broadcast TV, but the only major station I could get was ABC, whose programming is well covered by Hulu. I still watched an hour or two of video content every evening and maybe three hours on each weekend day. My weekends were quite a bit more 'productive'. However, I realized that my weekday evenings couldn't be much more productive since my brain was usually fried by the time I got home from work. The entire arrangement really has been working pretty well. Every now and then I would lament the lack of a television feed. I always have to wait a day or more to see the most recent episode of the shows I like, Plus, there were some CBS shows that were not available, even on a pay-per-episode basis on Amazon. I don't consider this an actual hardship, just an inconvenience. Part of me misses the serendipity of discovering new shows or hearing about an upcoming program from a commercial. The one major thing that I do miss is the ability to easily switch on the news. Yes, I can get some news through my Roku and over the Internet, but local news is a bit more challenging. Again, I have an app on my iPad for the biggest NH TV station, but it's not quite the same on some level.
Since moving into my new house and hitting the 1 year anniversary of banishing "the feed" from my TV, I've been reconsidering. I know what shows I've been willing to pay for "a la carte" on Amazon, and what I've been watching on Hulu and Netflix. If I resubscribe to "the feed" from some company, I will no longer be purchasing shows via Amazon. I may give up Hulu as well. Netflix may get to stay for a while since I have enjoyed some of their original content and I use "CanIstream.it" to alert me when Netflix finally picks up some movie that I've been interested in watching.
I shopped around today comparing channel coverage, features (such as HD and DVRs), and overall costs. It looks like I'm probably going to go with DirecTV. With the introductory rate, I could be paying about $49/month for all the features I want and more channels than I need (though this is there lowest level offering). Beginning with the thirteenth month I'll be paying $76/month. That will put me back up to what I was paying Comcast a year ago. The entire thing involves a two year commitment. So, two years back on "the feed".
I actually tried to sign up online today. Unfortunately, my house was just recently built so they don't think that I exist. This means that I'll have to call them to execute the transaction. Another hurdle. I'm sure I'll do it, but it does make me wonder if the universe is trying to tell me something here.