It’s amazing what you can get away with getting rid of these days.
Recently, Jennifer and I discussed discarding services at the house. After some discussion, we decided it was time to get rid of two home “mainstays” that we realized we no longer needed anymore: our land line phone, and our cable TV service.
Getting rid of the land line was a no-brainer. Essentially, we only used the number as a spam trap, and the only people who would call us on that number (other than solicitors) were Jennifer’s parents. It also helped that our cordless phone system had support for two cell phones via Bluetooth, so we could make and answer calls while our cell phones were in their normal charging locations. Since canceling the land line, we almost literally have not noticed a single difference outside of our phones not ringing that often anymore. :-)
Getting rid of our cable TV service, on the other hand, required a little research beforehand. We had to make sure that we could access all of our shows through other methods. Fortunately, most of the shows we watch are available on Hulu. Other than those, the main shows Jennifer and I watch that would not be available on Hulu right away are Doctor Who, Star Wars Rebels, The Big Bang Theory, Elementary, and those shows on the Food Network. We decided that we could wait a season on The Big Bang Theory and Elementary, and catch them when the archives hit Hulu or Netflix. Doctor Who and Star Wars Rebels are both available to purchase on Amazon Instant. Food Network shows appear to be completely unavailable, but for me at least, I can go without them.
In the end, we replaced cable TV service with over-the-air, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant. Fortunately, our home theater receiver in the living room already supports all three apps. The only hardware I ended up purchasing was an HD antenna for the living room to receive over-the-air broadcasts, and a Roku 1 for the bedroom TV in order to watch the streaming services. It’s only been a couple of days, but I honestly can’t say we’re missing the cable TV at all. In fact, the thing I miss most is the clock that was on the front of the DVR. :-)
All in all, we’re happy with our decision. There was no point in paying for a land line that we didn’t need at all, and Hulu and Amazon Instant are much cheaper than cable TV service. That might change later down the road, but for now, I think we made the right choice. :-)