Sunday, July 19, 2009

7-19-09: Cutting Cable

Now that I'm in my first month since my Comcast starter 6-month package is over, and I'm paying quite a bit more, I've begun to think more seriously about whether or not I'll eventually cut my ties with cable. My friends Sam and Chris, who recently moved into a new house that Chris bought, are now going without cable, sticking primarily with Netflix and online TV shows. So far, so good.

The catch is, for me, sports. I watch the Red Sox and Bruins, and I'd have to be convinced to switch to the online video. My buddy Tom has MLB.TV, which is nice. I just need to find a good site for the Bruins, which would probably end up being through I'll have to look into pricing.

The other minor catch is that I'd still like to use my TV. This shouldn't present too much of an issue, though. All I need to do is buy an HDMI cable and put together a media center PC (or just buy one). My co-worker Rob is offering to sell me one that I should easily be able to use for $100, so I'll probably jump on that.

There are bonuses, on top of possible savings per month, to going with online video and Netflix.

The first is a recent development, which is that Comcast has reached a deal with ESPN to provide ESPN360 to cable and internet subscribers. This won't really come around 'til the Fall, though, so I have time until I can enjoy that. This will allow me to see a good number of European soccer matches, which is a bonus. I'm excited for that.

The other is Spurs TV, which would allow me to watch my favorite English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. Right now the annual pass for that is 39.99 British pounds, or about $65. That's a decent deal that I'm strongly considering doing. I don't watch many of their matches. I used to be able to watch some back in the days that I lived with my folks and they had Fox Soccer Channel. But that's too expensive now, and I'd rather just watch Spurs games. The only problem is that, if I don't get the annual pass, I'm not sure if I'm eligible for the 3.99 pound per month subscription because it's debit only (and they're an English club). I'll have to see. Their season starts in less than a month.

Plus there are all the free sites. Websites like Hulu are great for free TV content, and Netflix has all the movies I'll ever want to watch. I don't have the movie package with Comcast cable right now, anyway. I do have Netflix already, so all I'd really need to figure out is how much I'd want to pay, monthly, to watch my three teams. I'm not a huge Patriots fan (don't get me wrong, I like seeing them play), but they aren't on every week down here anyway. I can still probably catch some of their games online.

If I do decide to ditch cable, at least temporarily, it will probably be in time for the Bruins season, which starts October 1st. The tough part is, I'm having issues finding an online service for them. I'll keep looking.


Xenia said...

did you ever solve this bruins viewing without cable? I'm looking into this now, at it seems more complicated than it should be.

Pat said...

I looked into it some more, and, alas, could not find a solution. I'm going to stick with NESN for the time being, and will hope some day they get their act together and offer online viewing.