I can’t remember the last time that I had cable. It has been at least five years, if not six years, since I last had any kind of cable where I lived. When I lived with roommates we all agreed it was an unnecessary expense and we were all pretty strapped. When I moved in with Roy (my husband), he had basic cable I think, but between other viewing options like DVDS and Netflix I never really watched it. I only remember that we had some type of cable package because Roy was able to get his Judge Judy fix. Then we bought a house in October 2011, got married in June 2012 and had other things come up that made cable seem just out of reach (and for me, still unnecessary). Roy is on the other side of things. He doesn’t find cable essential, but until we bought the house he had always had it.
Well, tomorrow we’re getting cable. It wasn’t that I was ever anti-TV, but I am practical (and frugal) and it just didn’t seem worth it. But I recently did some research, thinking that perhaps next year we would get cable (I know Roy has been wanting it for awhile) and realized that while it is more expensive than what we are paying for DSL and phone with Centurylink, it is not as bad as I thought. If we got cable’s top tier package with every channel they offer including HBO, Showtime, and all of the other special channels, along with phone and internet, the additional cost is about $90 per month.
It isn’t that $90 every month is pocket change, but another thing that prompted me to look into it is our current subpar internet. Our internet service has been one of those gripes we have had since we first bought the house. Our current speed of 12Mbps means that things take forever to load. Recently, Centurylink started offering speeds of 20Mbps, but if we wanted that we would have to pay an extra $25 per month. The cable internet speed we will be getting is 105Mbps. Obviously, no contest.
We looked at getting satellite TV, both from Dish Network and DirectTV, but their most basic packages added onto our current phone and internet bill (where the internet is still ridiculously slow) would be $30 more per month than the ‘every channel we offer, 105Mps internet speed, with unlimited nationwide calling phone service’ that cable offered. I’m not a fan of huge cable companies (Time Warner and Comcast) but why would I pay $30 more a month for basic TV and terrible internet? The answer is simple: I wouldn’t.
We were going to get a basic cable package but we did end up going with every channel because that package included all of the equipment costs (modem, DVR, etc.) which the other packages didn’t, so the difference in price was only about $15 a month. So, why not? Heck, the HBO subscription alone is $15 every month if we added that on, so this was kind of a no-brainer.
Of course, I am kind of torn about what getting cable means to me. I have a lot going on. Work is keeping me busy, the house is keeping me busy, and my never ending list of books I have to read is keeping me very busy. I hope to get my manuscript back soon, which will be traumatic I’m sure, but also keep me busier still and I’m not even factoring in other writing projects or just miscellaneous life stuff. While I love watching some TV shows, I realize that like video games, it can be a terrible time sucker. And when I saw exactly what we are going to be getting, I was like, “Damn.”
With the provider’s general On Demand channel I can watch some of my favorite shows from the nineties that have never been released on DVD and aren’t in syndication (“Step by Step” and “Blossom” for example). AND I will actually be able to watch shows I love like “Grey’s Anatomy” when it is broadcast, or depending on my schedule the very next morning and not have to wait for it to be available to watch online somewhere.
The biggest difference when it comes to watching anything though is the subtitles. As my hearing continues to deteriorate, I rely on subtitles to understand what is happening on the show; otherwise it takes a lot of pausing and rewatching to get the gist of what is happening. For example, on “Grey’s Anatomy” last season two characters hooked up at a wedding and I could see this in future episodes by how they interacted that something had happened. Well, they had secretly eloped, but because it was a secret no wedding was seen, no proposal took place and no rings were worn. So, I had no idea that they were married until I saw it again the other day on DVD!
I had decided back in May that I would just have to start waiting for DVDs because when I watch things online or do Netflix streaming on our TV, it does not have subtitles. Well, this takes care of that. Everything will have subtitles and I won’t miss out on such a major thing (like two lead characters getting hitched) ever again. So, long story short, I am excited to get cable (and even when I used to have cable back in California or in college, it never made me excited before now). And I hope, it doesn’t become the time-wasting black hole that I know it can be, if I let it. Everything in moderation… 😉
Ready or not – here comes cable!