Adventures in Cord Cutting part 5 – 2 weeks in

Cutting the cord part 5. But it’s really just an update. Or supplemental. Or aside. 

It’s been a couple weeks since we got the tv in the media room and added the sectional. And last night was a milestone of sorts.

As you may have read before, the addition of Tivo and the digital antenna made it possible for us to have all of network programming without being attached to the satellite. 

Yesterday I searched for a show that my wife was really interested in. It’s a french zombie show called The Returned. It ran on Sundance. And its not rerunning.

It’s available for purchase on Amazon and on Vudu. I think the Vudu is cheaper.

We almost bought the season. What stopped us?

We have SO much other stuff to catch up on.

Downton Abbey. Sherlock. Network shows. Movies. And, as the new season ramps up there are stand bys like Amazing Race that will fill the queue. And, dammit, I wanna catch up on Doctor Who!

Then, last night, we found ourselves needing to watch the Sag Awards. I won’t argue the merits of the broadcast because I have friends who were there, were part of the show and this article isn’t the forum for that. But, the Saggies are on TNT. And that’s on the tv downstairs.

The thing I noticed and am reporting is that, after deleting everything off the DirecTV DVR that we either already have upstairs, have already watched or can watch on Hulu, all that was left was a couple episodes of American Horror Story.

I’m paying a monthly satellite charge for this? Seems cray cray. Especially since we are parents of kids with busy schedules. By the time we get the kids down and settle in, it’s after 8 and we are generally in bed before 10.

Suffice to say that I think this transition is going to be easier for us and people like us because we don’t have an entire Prime Time block to devote to entertainment.

And, by the time we get around to carving out some viewing time for The Returned, it’ll probably be available on Netflix or Amazon.

This takes work, mind you. The transition isn’t super simple. One reason is how to figure out where anything is.

For instance: My Roku box downstairs has a search field that scans ALL downloaded apps for a show. So, if I am looking for, say, The Returned, Roku will tell me which app it’s available on and a quick scan tells me if it’s part of “Prime” or free.

My Tivo does the same thing, except that it doesn’t integrate with Amazon Prime or Vudu, or any other apps besides Hulu, YouTube and Netflix.
[UPDATE: Tivo included these apps in its service and now offers the opportunity to add them to your list via streaming. And you can stream directly from the wi-fi on the Tivo main screen. 1/2/1917]

So, in order to find The Returned, I kind of have to either go to each app and look for it, remember the cost and decide on the best value OR use some app on my phone like, CanIStreamIt, which is not totally comprehensive or trustworthy. (I’m on the lookout for another app to help with this)

But, once you get past the struggle to find the show you want, it’s all relatively easy.

I am intrigued to see how the various channels and outlets will react to cord cutting. I’m not really missing a thing. Well, yes, I can only watch the first three episodes of Girls when HBO puts them on YouTube, but, save for the fact that the show is excellent and I’m not just saying that because friends of mine are working on it, I’m not really, truly the demo for that show. (However, since we will definitely keep cable through True Blood’s season, I’ll be able to watch. This year.)

In a strange twist I have found that I am more inclined to want to watch network programming ON the network than on Hulu. I can watch or fast forward through commercials, but that’s not the reason. Somehow I just feel a bit more connected to the network that way. Odd.

As a footnote to this piece:
There has been discussion among other friends about which app to pay for: Netflix or Amazon. I think both have value, the latter being not just the programming but the ability to order a $6 package of picture hangers and have them delivered, for free, on a Sunday. (They are coming today)
But, as a reminder, Netflix has signed a deal with Disney and Disney has all the Star Wars stuff now. I imagine that there will be a big synergistic push from the two companies as we get closer to the nerdgasm that will be the JJ Abrams Star Wars VII.

Previous cost of just DirecTV with HBO and Showtime: $117+ per month.
Current cost of DirecTV without HBO/Showtime: Approx $80
Cost of premium apps + TiVo: $35 or so. This number will decrease over time, since the cost of the Tivo lifetime service will be prorated over 5 years and come down from about $12 p/m to $6 p/m

We are paying about $2 less per month for the experiment.

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