Life Without Cable TV




By: Debbie Closurdo 2006 ©

For those of you who cannot imagine life without cable TV- we have a word of encouragement.

We are proud to say that our household has been cable-free for two years now. The year preceding our decision to dump cable was filled with episodes of what we called “cable rage” every time we would sit down to watch TV.

We watched helplessly as the commercials got exceedingly more numerous and repetitious (can you remember back to the days when there were little or no commercials on cable TV??) and while the channel choices were abundant, we simply found it hard to find something of substance to watch. Channels that we never wanted in the first place were continuously showing shows with objectionable content- continuously “bleeping out” foul language. So many of the available shows glorified human vice and conflict rather than showing good family values.

Why, we asked, should we pay for these endless and annoying commercials and for the objectionable channels we didn’t want. Nights on end we would scroll through all these channels with nothing to watch and end up settling for anything, just to watch “something”, saying repeatedly, “What a TV Wasteland”!!

While it was true that there were also many good channels available that fit in with our family values, the cable prices continued to increase, the commercials also seemed to increase, and the TV Guide Channel seemed to shrink down to nothing, with the miniscule scrolling channels taking forever to scroll by and the commercial in the center spot growing larger and more annoying as time went on. Where was the service?? Why should we be paying over $525.00 per year (when we could listen to commercials for free?)

So we took the challenge and cancelled our cable service, replacing it with a large rotary house antenna. We were amazed at the good clear picture we could get and a wide variety of local channels, including many great Canadian stations, and channels from Toledo. We found that TVO Canada has a wonderful Saturday night movie program which plays classic movies “back to back” with no commercials. Their public TV channels (as well as our local PBS Stations) have great nature shows, documentaries, as well as non-sensationalistic news programs. It is also an interesting cultural experience to get channels in French and Spanish.

Limiting our channels has made us more selective about what shows we watch and we have found many excellent shows “over the airwaves”- all for free! We often use our DVD recorder to record quality programs during the day to be viewed in the evenings when we have time. It has an excellent “TV Guide” program built in (it receives signals from the TV stations- you do not need cable for this and there are no commercials!)

If we want to watch classic or modern movies we frequent our public library where we can rent movies for free (or for a nominal charge). Also, for classic episodes such as “Welcome Back Kotter”, “The FBI”, “Wonder Woman”, “Maverick”, “Head of the Class”, etc. we can watch these and many more choices over our DSL Internet connection whenever we want (and very few commercials!).

Although people have told us we are “crazy” for going back to a TV antenna, we are very happy with the switch. We feel that we watch far fewer “mindless” TV programs and have regained more control over TV content and our finances. Can you believe that we are now saving over $525.00 per year?

We want to encourage those in our area who are considering disconnecting from cable to be brave and to tell them that “yes, there is life after cable TV”.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.