No More Cable

I come from a poor upbringing and put myself through university/college with limited assistance.  I’ve been working since I was 15 and putting in full time hours since 17.  Typing this I realize I’ve spent half my life working so far.  Depressing really…  Anyways, I know the value of a dollar.  I know what not having a dollar feels like.  It makes me extremely conscious of where I put my money.  The return on investment (ROI) has become a fact of live that I just unconsciously apply to everything.  Gaming fits into this.  F2P fits me in some cases, though I prefer the subscription model since it’s an all-you-can eat affair.

Up in my igloo, we have very limited options when it comes to telecoms and cable providers.  I’m not saying that other countries are better, just that we basically have 2 in urban areas.  Some have only 1.  Yay monopolies!

In recent years, cable prices have gone up by what seems 100%.  Basic cable ran me about $75 a month.  95% of the content in the past 5 years has been either sports, reality TV or news.  The last one, I can get everywhere online and in a better format.  The middle one, I’ve never really been much of a fan and the market saturation is disturbing.  The first one though, that’s the main reason I stayed with cable.  It was hard for me to argue $1000 a year for sports.  So I stopped arguing and cut the cord.

A few things to move me along.  First, I’m in the process of getting an over the air antenna.  That will give me a dozen or so channels for “emergencies”.  I’ve been 2 weeks now without any cable and it’s not as pressing as I’d have thought.  Second, I got a media hub device – Roku 3.  Boxee is an option too but it’s bigger and to really get it to work, you need a strong tech background.  I have that background but I’m lazy and the Roku does enough for me.  Using the myPlex app I can point to my network storage (any NAS will do) and stream from there.  I can also flag stuff on the web through Chrome for streaming later (on any PC, which makes Chrome awesome).

On the Roku I also have a Netflix account with a US proxy service (  I can swap between Canada and US with a button.  Free Hulu with that too.  Live365 and Pandora give me music.  Hockey (my sport of choice) is through HockeyStreams.  That one was $100 for the year.  All games, nearly all in HD, no blackouts, can watch a game a week later.  It’s awesome.  My wife installed a Fireplace app too, for those nights of calmness (and my own earphones).  The Roku controller also comes with a headphone jack that mutes the TV.  Hello awesome!

So, instead of paying $1000 for the year, I pay something like $200 for the content I want, when I want it.  I mentioned this to my hockey team over beers last week.  3 of the 8 had already made the swap, 2 were planning it.  These aren’t IT guys.  As broadband internet becomes more common and speeds more acceptable, I just don’t see how cable companies will be able to continue status quo.