Why? I finally packed up my set-top box and canceled cable. Digital cable is a nice service, especially on a hi-def TV. But it’s hard to justify spending lots of money on something I don’t really need anymore.
The maths is simple: My $80 cable bill adds up to $960 a year.
That’s a lot of money to spend on gadgets and digital media. For instance, I could buy an Apple TV (AAPL) set-top box, a subscription to Major League Baseball’s MLB.TV, 12 months of Netflix (NFLX), more than $400 worth of TV shows/movies/rentals from iTunes or Amazon’s (AMZN) digital media store, and still have some money left over for popcorn.
But even that won’t be necessary: Between the networks, Hulu, and other video sites, most of the stuff worth watching is already available on the Web — for free. Time Warner Cable (TWC) keeps me as a high-speed Internet customer, but I’m going pay a third of my old bill. And if I start downloading more stuff from iTunes or watching more episodes on Hulu, my increased bandwidth usage will probably make me a less profitable cable modem subscriber. No wonder TWC is trialing pay-per-use broadband Internet service in Texas.
There’s some stuff I’ll be missing, like HBO’s ‘Curb’ and ‘Entourage’ — those shows aren’t online yet. And besides March Madness and baseball, live sports haven’t really made their way to the Web. But as my colleague Peter Kafka figured out last fall, that’s where your local bar — and some of my $960 — comes in handy.
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