TV or not TV?

We’re coming up on a 1 year anniversary of some import: it’s been a year since we’ve had cable.

I haven’t thought much about it since we got it when we moved into the new house (and got a shiny new TV to boot), but I’d say our TV-watching has definitely increased since we got cable. We also have a DVR, which is an amazing thing, but I wish we didn’t have to pay so much for it.

This article about how TV is one thing that hasn’t been supplanted by internet got me thinking.

For three and a half years, J and I didn’t have cable. We paid for high speed internet (which we still do) and bought the shows we liked on DVD. This has turned out to be a good investment because we can watch any show we like whenever we want, and can trade with friends to see other shows (i.e. I lent a friend NCIS and I got to borrow Heroes and everyone got good entertainment). Having cable has introduced (or reintroduced) me to a number of shows I like, but I’m wondering if there are enough of them to justify continuing to pay for cable every month, or if we should just get Netflix and go back to buying the DVDs of shows we like.

On the plus side, we’d only get shows we know we’d like, there’s no waiting to see what happens next (you can watch three episodes in a row if you want) and there are no commercials.

On the down side, we’d lose the live sporting events (which are harder to see this far west) and run into a new dilemma that I discovered this past year: when you wait for the DVD, you get spoilers from people who have already seen the shows on TV. A perfect example is NCIS; it comes out on DVD on Tuesday, and we’re going to get it and season 7 is all new to us. Other people are gearing up for season 8. And while we’ll (probably) watch season 8 as it happens, I’m not sure if it’s better or worse.

I’m not sure how it will go. Maybe when we next move, we’ll go back to not having cable. I didn’t miss it too much when we didn’t have it, but I feel like it’s addictive and I’m not sure I could cut it now. Then again, since I watch everything on DVR anyway, maybe things haven’t changed all that much…

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