In order to justify our decision-making, it is always nice to find someone who has done the same thing, with the same results. Like David and his wife eBeth, I had delusions of grandeur that I would someday be able to cut the cord [cable or otherwise], and live a happy peaceful life knowing all of the money I was saving. But like David, sometimes in life you just throw in the towel and surrender to the TV Gods.
I had cut my DishNetwork subscription to the bare bones package. I was going to rely on my Roku to stream programs using either Netflix or Hulu Plus to make up for the programming loss. I tried my best for just about a month. What I found was similar to what David encountered. It was a hassle to try to find programming to match what I had discontinued. The streaming from Hulu Plus left much to be desired since it sputtered and spurted unstable pictures to my HDTV. I finally stop using Hulu Plus after the initial free experience ended.
Here is what David said:
I chose to replace my full slate of cable TV with a combination of over-the-air antenna programming, available for free from local broadcasters, and Internet TV services. eBeth and I experienced first-hand a few big disadvantages to this arrangement, not all of which will apply to other prospective cable-cutters.
Spotty antenna reception. Despite purchasing a $180 antenna that’s appropriate to my location, installing it on the rooftop, and orienting it properly, I couldn’t get reliable over-the-air (OTA) reception of the local CBS station in my area. Other major stations came in well most of the time, but during windy days we experienced outages and breakup even on strong stations–frustrating, to say the least.
I had the same problem. Though I didn’t spend $180 for an outdoor antenna, I also experienced reception problems. I recall one Sunday watching an NFL game when the station went dark. After several minutes of no picture, I changed channels which worked just fine. Back over to the football game which finally came back on. But it was spotty for the remainder of the game which was annoying. FYI. I live about 20 miles from the local stations.
Less programming than cable. Even if I achieved perfect reception by securing the antenna better or cutting down a tree or two, the five major networks available over-the-air aren’t enough for my household.
It wasn’t enough for my household as well. Both my wife and I missed programming that we thought we could live without. It soon became evident that we were a spoiled pair who needed our programs back.
Lack of a DVR. We also missed DVR functions previously taken for granted, such as fast-forwarding through a program or rewinding to catch something we missed–actions that were less convenient or impossible with streaming video.
Not being able to record live TV was my biggest disappointment.
My household is now back on the pipe, dumb as it may be, and I’m back to being able to watch Knicks games legally. More importantly, my wife eBeth can watch CBS daytime shows and Bravo prime time without having to deal with streaming video from TV.com, a wind-tossed rooftop antenna, or paying for individual episodes via Amazon VOD.
So is mine. I am enjoying DirecTV and it is good to have returned to the programs that I liked. My wife is happy as well.
I still use my Roku to stream from Netflix only. I give Hulu Plus a try once they have a more reliable service.