The TV Experiment

This month, we’re conducting an experiment. We are trying to go without watching ANY live TV. The plan is to stick strictly to Netflix, Hulu (Plus, maybe), and what’s available on the internet. If this experiment is successful, we’ll consider canceling our satellite TV.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law did this and, at the time, I thought they were insane. Cancel TV?? What madness is this!? But when I actually think about it…99% of my TV watching is DVRed shows (likely available on the networks’ websites) or Netflix. Caelan has never even watched “real” TV, only Netflix. Maybe it really wouldn’t be that different.

There are a couple of downsides. For one, we wouldn’t be able to watch any live sports. We made an exception for the Super Bowl, but really, we don’t watch a lot of sports so this wouldn’t be a huge downside for us. Although, I’d like to watch more sports, so I’m not sure how I feel about eliminating the possibility all together. Maybe we could stream them from somewhere – I’ll have to look into it. We wouldn’t be able to switch on a Sunday afternoon movie (National Treasure for the 1 billionth time? I love that movie :)) or see what’s on the Food Network or the DIY Network.

My sister actually just inadvertently clued me in to an advantage of this set up. She was surprised that I haven’t seen a Valentine’s Day commercial for some creepy, giant teddy bear. But since we aren’t watching live TV, we aren’t watching commercials either!

About halfway through our experiment, we’ve cheated a couple times. I don’t think our internet connection via Evil Company #1 is fast enough for us both to watch something on 2 separate devices. So occasionally, I’ll be watching Netflix on my iPad and Bill will end up watching regular TV (sorry hon!). Of course, either he or I or both of us could choose to use that time (Caelan’s precious nap time) to do something productive around the house instead of watching TV. But generally we don’t. Nap time may be as short as 30 minutes, and we like to relax during that time. We may need to switch to Even More Evil Company #2 for a faster internet connection. That’s another downside.

I think this experiment will have to extend into next month as well. We’ve yet to even try our new set top box that would allow us to watch our regular shows online rather than DVRing them. It’s in the basement and right now we mostly watch TV in our bedroom. We’re gonna have to switch that up if this is going to work. I’m still on the fence, but it would definitely be nice to save a bit of money every month by not paying that satellite bill!


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