Friday, February 28, 2014

Kill your Television

I am not going to escape this time suck anytime soon, but I am making a little bit of progress.  Last year in January & February I watched 122 hours of television.  This year that number is 83 hours.  That represents 40 hours of my life that I have to repurpose.  That repurposing has been in the form of community involvement.  I have been attending PTO meetings at my daughter’s school, am on the HOA board in our community and have been more active in the Triathlon Club.

Given that pull back, my family has finally made the decision to stop getting premium Comcast cable with HBO and instead get HD television signal from an external whole house antenna.  My weekly scoop of programming is now:

Criminal Minds (CBS)
The Blacklist (NBC)
Intelligence (CBS)
60 Minutes (CBS)
The Following (Fox)
The Americans (FX)
Person of Interest (CBS)
Modern Family (ABC)
Sons of Anarchy (FX)
The League (FX/FXX)
Frontline (PBS)

That is a pretty extensive list, however being seasonal, not all of them are active at any given time.  I also do a lot of time shifting courtesy of Tivo.  In any given week, I will probably still pull 10 hours of screen time with the shows I regularly check in on and Netflix movies.  We have had “Enders Game” in the house for a week and I have not made time to watch it.

Our plan for the antenna is a professional (albeit part time) installer we found on CraigsList.  I have had mixed experiences with CraigsList so it is too early to put this in the win/loss column.  However the guy seems knowledgeable, the price is in the ballpark I expected, and we should be able to wire into our existing cable networking throughout the house.

I am not sure how many channels we will get, but I expect to get ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS.  Fox would be a bonus and my FX programming will have to be courtesy of Amazon Prime.

We are not cutting the cord and will still have high speed internet and home security.  However the upfront cost should have us breakeven in 2 months and have us saving $1500 annually in the future.  While the savings will be mixed into the coffers, it could represent a nice vacation, maid service, a season of skiing, or a new car every 15 years.

Stay tuned for a follow-up post.

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