Technology is changing faster than the speed of light. In an effort to reduce my cable bill, and keep up with technology, I spent 30 hours this month researching my alternatives.The first thing I googled was “life without cable.” After reviewing many articles written by people who had made the break, I went out and purchased the recommended Samsung Blu Ray players and hooked them up to each TV. They are very cool. The cost, $139. The benefits are that this gadget didn’t just play blu rays; it came with a variety of software programs, apps that allowed you instant access to anything that was available on the Internet. You can access any TV show you watch, through Hulu, a movie through Netflix, and create your own music stations.
On Hulu, once you set up a free account, they offer unlimited TV selections, series etc., on your computer. If you want to watch the shows on your TV screen, it is $4.99 per month.
Netflix for $8.99 per month sends you one DVD at a time and you can watch unlimited amounts of movies that are classified as “watch instantly” on your TV or computer screen. The “watch instantly” selections are usually older movies. You never pay a late fee because when you are done, you send it back, prepaid. Within three days, you have your next selection. You can also pull up Blockbuster, which supposedly has 20,000 less movie choices, Vudu which offers better quality movie streaming and better selections at a higher price, weather, YouTube, Twitter, a plethora of games, and my favorite, Pandora.
Pandora radio is a free application that allows you to input your favorite artist or song, and it will play that choice as well as other music like it. Once you hit 40 hours per month it shuts off, and you have to wait until the first day of the following month or pay $39.99 for the year to listen to it. Once I put my favorite artist in i.e.; Fleetwood Mac, it plays a Fleetwood Mac tune, Carly Simon, Stevie Nicks, “Have you Ever Seen the Rain”, and other tunes all of which I love. My opinion is, why go through a host of other selections when you have Pandora that plays songs you would think of, as well as songs that you love and have forgotten about.
Today, I would call the cable company and disconnect my phone. I was excited. I was moving forward and I felt strong that I could make the change.
My goal was to disconnect my cable which was running me $270 per month and subscribe to high speed internet and basic channels so I could get the internet services to stream content (my favorite shows). That also eliminates my need to record any programs, since I can go to Hulu and put them in memory for the next time I go to that site.
When thinking about my phone usage, I wanted to nix my home phone because the only ones to call were telemarketers. Otherwise I was always on my cell phone. In the rare instances when someone calls on the home phone, I can never find a phone to answer because my kids have left the neighborhood with out cordless and it is dead somewhere, not to be found until our next lawn mowing.
With all of my careful thought and consideration regarding this issue, when the time came to make the cut, I froze. It wasn’t just about efficiency. It was about letting go of a concept that I had grown up with. Short from when I was a little kid and had a TV with bunny ear antennas and three channels, most of my life was about cable, about rocking to MTV, holding that large cable box connected with a wire, and clicking away. My phone line was my lifeline. The big score when I was a teen was having your own phone number. If I were to give this all up, wouldn’t I be letting go of a valuable piece of my past?
The operators voice echoed in my ears.
“Ok ma’am that would be $142 with tax to eliminate your home phone and keep your basic channels, as well as keeping one cable box and high speed internet, so I just need a verbal ok to go ahead with it. “
“Yes, I am here” I answered.
“Give me a minute. My heart was racing. If I keep the home phone, can I change it next month?”
“No problem ma’am.”
“Ok, keep my home phone. Without my local number, I’m not quite sure what my identity would be.”
“Never mind. It is a long story. Just keep the home phone for now. If I am able to let go, I will call you next month.”
“Sure Ma’am, whatever makes you happy. Have a nice day. “
“You too” I thought. “You Too.”
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