My years of cable TV are coming to an end. The combination of rising cable service prices and completely lackluster programming options led me to make the move.
It’s not that hard to do. I called up Comcast and asked to be disconnected. My rep said, sure, then went through the script to try to prevent me from leaving.
Why do you want to end the service? Um.. ever-increasing rates, too many PBS stations, way too many shopping and religious channels, Comcast is a cruddy company, and so on.
Maybe you need more channels, how about an upgrade to 40 channels? Uh, no thanks. It costs more and doesn’t solve the problem.
Can we interest you in internet service for streaming? Uh... no. I have internet service.
If the lack of quality programming is the issue, how about an upgrade to the all digital 130 channel package? Um.. no. That would cost more than what I’m cancelling for costing too much.
Okay, we’ll cancel it. You’ll have to go to Greenfield as the final step. To drop of your converter box. Or you could take it to UPS, in Greenfield, located next to the Comcast office. I’ll mail it.
And that was it.
My earliest cable experiences were in upstate NY as a kid, when we used it to get better reception of major stations compared to the TV antenna. Nice, solid, clean reception of about 20 channels in and around NY state.
In high school, paid cable movie channels became popular. Remember when HBO began and showed about 3 b-movies a month, over and over and over? Sometimes a breast or two would be shown after midnight!
There followed the explosion of cable offerings and specialty channels. MTV playing music videos all day long. A station that just did news! (CNN). Weather all the time!
Regular broadcast TV has struggled to maintain pace. Some of the best shows aren’t coming from TV anymore. They are being custom created for streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, and again, HBO. YouTube could keep one busy for a lifetime and it is free.
That said, the decision to cut the cord wasn’t entirely easy. I do like having a Weather Channel and C-Span available. There are times of national news that having access to a regular TV channel might be useful. And I’m abandoning local access TV via the cable, which weighs on me as a supporter of community media.
I’ll be replacing the cable with at least one streaming service - Netflix, for now. And I’ll need to track down ways to watch the other programming I like, probably on websites. The CBS site will let me watch current episodes of Big Bang Theory. C-Span has an archive. I’ll live.
I do have a question for others - has anyone tried a digital TV antenna in Brattleboro? Does it pick up anything?