I recently learned that my friend Nancy Pitkin cancelled her cable TV service and is making due without. Curious about what that’s like, I asked her to share her experience with our readers and she sent the following:
On September 26 we cut the cord – I cancelled our Comcast television subscription. We had basic service for many years and it was working fine. The only thing that changed was that Comcast or Xfinity is now scrambling basic television stations – like ABC, NBS, PBS etc. and requires that you use one of their boxes to unscramble the signal. Since we, like most people, have a cable ready TV, getting their box annoyed me. When I called them to complain, I was told that “people were stealing those TV signals” – like who steals channels 4, 5. 7 etc???
We had many discussions about cancelling Comcast and their response to my annoyance about scrambling was the one that pushed me over the edge. I sweetly told Comcast that since I did not want one of their boxes even if it was small, that I would simply cancel cable. All I had to do was return some equipment that we had for our 3 tv’s that we didn’t use which was theirs, and we would be done. I’m still waiting for my $7.96 refund on my last bill.
Life without television is fine – The internet works fine because we have a dsl line from Verizon which we have had for years and I understand that option is no longer available in Lowell – neither is FIOS.
I get up to the minute news and weather from Twitter, movies from Netflix, both DVD and streaming. We have digital subscriptions to both the Boston Globe and New York Times for news. We listen to NPR on the radio. We also inherited a Roku box and are learning to use that. It has movies, tv shows, games, music and more. Now I have a Pandora account for listening to music through the Roku box. New and current television shows I really want to watch can be down loaded on my lap top or tablet or on the computer attached to the TV.
We are still spending about the same amount of money per month but not to Comcast. We may a upgrade our Amazon account to a Prime one – Amazon seems to have more of the movies we like to watch than Netflix has available through streaming.
So far we don’t miss Comcast and current television at all though we have discussed getting an antenna (remember those?) We’re reading more too which is an added bonus. And sleeping better perhaps because we aren’t watching television.