So, my post-Christmas mania has been getting rid of services I don’t need. I’ve been chafing at my cable bill for almost a year now — it went through the roof, nearly 90 bucks a month (I had HBO and all that). For a while I thought about getting rid of the premium channels, but that would only save me about 10 bucks a month, so it hardly seemed worth it.
And then when sorting out a mess with my TiVo bill, I noticed that TiVo had a new thing — if you hook your TiVo to your home network (either with a cable or with a wireless adapter you have to buy separately — I bought the adapter since the TV is in a different room from the router) then you can stream directly from NetFlix. I love NetFlix but I have to say, sometimes what has arrived in the mail isn’t exactly what I was hoping to watch at that point. TiVo also claimed you could get content from Amazon and YouTube, so I figured I’d see if it worked, and if so, then I’d get rid of cable. Even though there were some startup costs — a new TiVo box, the wireless adapter, if I could get rid of that huge cable bill it would all pay for itself in about three months.
It works! So I called Bresnan and got rid of everything except the basic networks/PBS channel package. They were shocked, of course, and kept trying to upsell me, but I said thanks but no thanks — just the most basic package — 20 bucks a month. I’d consider getting rid of that too at some point — we’ll just have to see. But a girlfriend of mine who has Apple TV said they kept the basic channels for local news and that, so that seemed reasonable.
I dropped off the cable box yesterday and I feel weirdly like I’ve been liberated from something. I have a huge number of interesting movies in my Instant Netflix queue on the TV — some TV series too. And I’m no longer stuck with that awful thing where you scroll through the million channels annoyed because there’s nothing to watch. Or wind up watching something dumb because it’s on. I just feel like I’ve been set free.
I’m also getting rid of my land line and going to my cell phone only. I bought a Bluetooth device so I can talk to my two best girlfriends while cleaning the kitchen or folding the laundry — that had been my hesitation. Cell phones are so slim you can’t hold them with your shoulder. Well, although I feel like a huge geek with my goofy Bluetooth thing hooked over my ear, it’s much nicer than getting a crick in my neck.
So there’s three money-savers for 2009. Got rid of most of my cable bill. Got rid of my long-distance carrier. Got rid of the land line. Yay!