An Adventure in Cable Cutting – Nearly Three Months in

Geek Culture Internet

Time Warner remote, cable box, HDMI, coax, and my scissors cutting the cableTime Warner remote, cable box, HDMI, coax, and my scissors cutting the cable

Photo by Russ Neumeier

It was just over two and a half months ago that we called our cable company and had them come pick up their cable converter. We continue to tweak our cable-free existence and even with a couple rough spots, we haven’t looked back.

Day One things went well. Three weeks in things were good. Now we’re past the holidays (a rough patch) and have settled into routine.

The holidays were tough. The traditional Christmas movies weren’t available online – at least for “free” as if we had cable into our house. The weather in our area of Ohio has also been filled with rain and we found we went through the weekly updates to our favorite few shows pretty fast when we weren’t able to go outside… so another rough patch.

On the plus side, we continue to tweak. In what ways?

  • A wired connection. We moved the wireless router behind the TV and wired in our Ubuntu laptop. On the router, I’ve given that port highest priority no matter the traffic in the house. It’s resulted in far fewer buffering interrupts and a general improvement in viewing.
  • I’ve tweaked Ubuntu. No more screensavers and dimming of the screen. It’s steady-state and just works for us.
  • Hulu. We pull movies and old TV shows from Hulu as a stop-gap. It’s still not the experience we had with cable TV, but in a pinch there can be something to fill spots where someone wants to watch something.
  • Amazon instant video. We have purchased a few episodes of first-season shows we’ve discovered in later seasons. It does make me wonder if the Netflix streaming or Amazon Prime is the way to go in filling in the gaps. The GeekMom felt the same way and signed us up for a 30-day Amazon Prime trial yesterday.

So we continue to adjust and continue to refine our setup. At this time, we’re saving over $60 per month not having cable TV into the house – that savings will go down slightly if we do pick up Amazon Prime or Netflix streaming in the coming month; however, to me not having a bunch of TV shows at my fingertips isn’t that bad.

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