This afternoon, I dropped my cable boxes and the annoying digital converters off at my local Comcast. This is the first night in the longest time I have had no cable television in the house.
Note: Only one person at the counter was threatening to sue Comcast if they didn't credit his account (the guy had like 6-7 cable boxes stacked at the counter) that he seemed to be returning.
I'm not entirely sure why I did it. Partly, I felt I was spending too much time watching TV in the evenings instead of being more social. Partly, I can get some of the shows I want to watch on the Internet. Partly, I got tired of having to call Comcast every six months to get them to reinstate the promotional price on my bill. Partly, I wanted to experiment without it - not just how differently I spend my time but the geek in me wants to see how much entertainment can I get digitally. My primary television has been a Mac for a long time.
I'll let you know how life is without traditional TV.
It used to be that a basic $25-a-month phone bill was your main telecommunications expense. But by 2004, the average American spent $770.95 annually on services like cable television, Internet connectivity and video games, according to data from the Census Bureau. By 2008, that number rose to $903, outstripping inflation. By the end of this year, it is expected to have grown to $997.07. Add another $1,000 or more for cellphone service and the average family is spending as much on entertainment over devices as they are on dining out or buying gasoline.
It's interesting to experiment with buying bandwidth (internet and video) in different forms. It was after all Comcast that forced me to get annoying digiboxes that messed with my Mac set up so they could deliver video in digital form.
I am also aware that Comcast, which I use for broadband Internet, recently capped bandwidth at 250 GB/mo. Partly, I believe they are doing that to prevent people from turning off cable and downloading video from iTunes, streaming from NetFlix, etc. I'm experimenting right now with a WiMax 4G Overdrive (for other reasons) which has no limit on bandwidth. I'll review this device over at Idealog soon.