Two weeks without cable

Tomorrow marks two full weeks without cable TV. This is a status report of how it is going.

Prime Time Viewing

With the holidays here there are not a lot of new episodes of the shows that we like to watch. And, with time off from work, we have more time to watch TV later into the night. Last year at this time we really got into Dexter on Netflix. This year, there are still plenty of good serial shows from the last few years of cable and broadcast TV that we never saw. So, I think we will be looking into those to fill the gap. I am pretty excited about this because our old cable TV standby at night was to watch HGTV. That became kind of a rut.

Last night we looked for a show that we watched a few episodes of on Netflix sometime earlier this year – Pushing Daisies. Unfortunately, it is no longer available there. But, having the Mac Mini attached to the TV finally realized its value. Season 1 of Pushing Daisies is available online on TheWB.com. The only apparent drawbacks to this were two. First, the commercials pretty much alternated between the same two from HP. At each ‘commercial break’ there were two commercials. Often the two were the same commercial repeated twice. They could have at least played one of each commercial. I don’t know if advertisers realize it but by making your commercials repeat annoyingly might go against any benefit from having people view them at all.

The second, and most problematic drawback was that the first episode that we watched twice ended abruptly and the player went to the next episode before the one we were watching completed. This seems to be a bug in the player.

ESPN

The Monday night game this week 16 of NFL football was the Falcons vs. the Saints. Neither one is my team so, technically, I would have been OK if I had missed it. But, I was looking forward to watching Drew Brees attempt to break Dan Marino”s passing record. I was aware of the availability of streams for watching this that are not so ‘on the up and up’. My wife actually enticed me to find one suggesting that I should be savvy enough. I took it as a challenge. In about 15 minutes I was able to find a way to view it. The quality was viewable but poor. The picture was less than Standard Definition but a solid enough stream that it was up for the entire game. It was difficult to follow the action on passing plays but, heck, it was good enough to count as having watched this important game.

Kids Shows

I caught my son trying to change the TV to the channel that used to be the Cartoon Network while it was on the antenna. At 7, he still doesn’t quite understand what not having cable means. The kids still enjoy Netflix content but were missing their Scooby Doo. A couple weeks ago, I had purchased a couple of episodes; one from iTunes and one from Amazon Video on Demand (VOD) to see how they worked. I settled on Amazon VOD as the choice going forward. Even though I like to have the content I buy locally on my computer instead of in the cloud, since DRM is used for both I saw little advantage for the iTunes way of downloading it. It just makes my iTunes library larger and impacts backup sizes.

So, today we purchased a season of Scooby Doo. It’s the classic one that I grew up watching in the 1970’s. It was $16.99 for 16 episodes. My plan is to buy one season of something for them each month.

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