No Turning Back

I have spent years with one philosophy – cable TV is not the devil. Some people I knew would brag about how few channels they had, and I would point out all that they had missed. I defended cable prices by saying that we got value for what we paid.

But over the past couple of years, I started to see things in a different light. First of all, my daughter, like a lot of teens, found her entertainment in places other than the cable box. Secondly, streams of shows on network sites or places like Hulu made the DVR almost obsolete for me. Lastly, some companies started to find new ways to offer cable channels.

That’s how we found ourselves downgrading our cable package to the lowest possible level – a level I used to mock – recently. We only get local channels and a few shopping networks. I had kind of wanted to go even further and ditch cable altogether, but my wife’s PBS habit and the knowledge that Comcast would jack up our Internet rate killed that idea.

So we now get our cable through Playstation Vue, which costs just half of the money we have saved by downgrading our cable (and getting rid of the DVR and the sports package). I can only think of one or two channels we don’t get that I wished we still had, but we will survive.

The experience has been great so far. I have had a couple of instances where the network cut out or the Roku box we use reset, but the disruptions have been minimal. I can use my PS Vue credentials to sign into a number of TV apps, including Watch ESPN so I get the full experience.

I do miss having a TV guide (we use the Roku, which doesn’t have that feature) or being able to channel surf easily, but those are small disruptions. I have had no problem watching sports via the Roku, which provides a solid stream.

We chose Vue because of the price and selection of channels. Sling TV just didn’t have enough and limited each subscription to one stream at a time, which just wasn’t going to cut it. But I am eager to see what other options come available. Being able to cancel one and start another without delay or penalty could be interesting in the next year or so.

I have already inspired at least one friend to do the same. Even if you love your cable service, check out Vue or Sling or keep an eye on the service Hulu plans to roll out next year. You might save some money without missing a beat in your viewing habits.

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