And Now Not a Peep from Our Sponsors

eli tvOur decision to cut the cord on our cable service had little to do with sticking it to The Man. The Man gets a bad rap, frankly. He probably needs a new publicist.

Our lives feature far fewer commercial interruptions in our cable-free world.

The clipping came down to a simple fact. Being a father of two leaves very little time for casual TV watching. My day gig requires me to screen lots of movies, so any down time involves either firing up the Blu-ray player or hunkering down in a darkened movie house.

My wife never watched much TV in the first place, so losing our cable connection didn’t impact her at all. When we first met, she told me she found her current television set at a local dumpster. The reception was so bad we could barely tell Will from Grace.

Our sons still demand their televised entertainment, and an hour or so a day of Barney, Dora or Curious George gives me enough time to decompress, fold laundry or even update a blog.

Thank you, Man with the Yellow Hat.

So earlier this year we went the streaming route, using our wi-fi-enabled Blu-ray player to bring Netflix content into our home for under $10 a month. Note to fellow parents: you may have to upgrade your Internet service to make this work. A slow connection means you’ll watch the word “buffering” far too often.

One upgrade later and … voila! A constant stream of kiddie fare for the boys’ amusement. One unexpected perk to our system is the lack of commercials coming into our home. No loud ads for sugary cereals, obnoxious video games or other products children must have rightthisverysecondorallwillbelost. We recently upgraded to a Roku 2 device and the sailing is even smoother.

I typically don’t sweat the darker side of our capitalist culture. Billboards, magazine inserts, radio spots … they all help pay the respective bills and let businesses make a buck. But avoiding commercial feels like a bonus prize. Plus, my children are growing up in an age without the traditional ad models of yore. TiVo-like devices let us zap through commercials, yet today’s youngster will come of age at a time when product placement is just getting started.

We won’t keep the commercials at bay forever, particular as our lives settle down and we reconsider investing in cable. Who knows what bargains we’re missing out on at HSN and QVC?

For now, the Kool-Aid Man and his fellow pitchmen aren’t missed at all in our home.

Have you cut the cord? Regret it, or are you loving all the savings?

Comments

  1. AKJ says

    As I get ready for parenthood I continually contemplate the cord cutting. Maybe I won’t have as much time for my usual shows so it will be easy downgrade. But the thought of not having live broadcast sporting events in my house on a constant basis frightens me a little. The interweb streams are ok, depending on some variables but not sure its good enough nor justified alternative cost. I didn’t grow up with cable so either so part of me says, “we’ll be just fine and the world will just have to go on without us.”

  2. admin321 says

    We use a digital antenna to draw in the network stations. For us, that means we can still see Broncos football, but we can’t see Sunday or Monday Night Football since both now live on cable. Sports fanatics will have a tougher time cutting the cord.

    I bought a MLB package last year to watch Yankees games, but the process was a little clunky and I likely won’t do so this year. Plus, I have little time to watch the games!

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