Netflix: Life Without Cable

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I’d about had it with *****. My internet, home phone and basic satellite TV charges had incrementally and infuriatingly risen each month until I was red-faced steaming every time the outrageous bill appeared in my mailbox. I needed to reduce that burden, but….I needed some sort of plan.

The first step, I thought, would be to get rid of the TV portion of my package. I didn’t think I could go cold turkey though, so I had to come up with a solution for replacing what I was going to lose. I continued to stew and pay the bills, but in the meantime I started exploring what I could get for free online. I also experimented with some old-school rabbit ears, but those things didn’t really cut it.

Then, out of nowhere, like manna falling from heaven, the sweetness known as Netflix became available in Canada. I pounced. Now for only $7.99 a month I have an all-you-can-eat buffet of TV series and movies right at my fingertips. It’s all available through my wireless internet, works in combination with my Nintendo Wii (you can also use an xbox360 or Playstation3) and is viewable on my television. All for the price of two video rentals.

Once my mind was suitably blown by Netflix, let me tell you how satisfying and liberating it was to call ***** and cancel my TV service. It went something like this: “Hey, *****, just wanted to tell you that you can go screw yourself. Instead of dealing with your over-priced and over-rated service, I’ve got something that meets my viewing needs at next to no cost at all”. Ahhh. Now that was nice.

***** has since been mailing thank you notes for my long time patronage, encouraging me to “give them a call” to learn about all the “savings they have in store for me.” I mean really, give me a break. Couldn’t the money they’re spending on that embossed greeting card, and postage, be better used? And why don’t they offer these “great deals” when you’re already a subscriber? Oh man, I’m starting to burn again…

Okay, with Netflix there are some serious sacrifices that you might not be willing to make. First of all: no live sports. For some this may be impossible to accept. However I’ve been a staunch Toronto Raptors fan since their inception, and I thought I’d miss them big time. But I found that I just stopped caring. Of course the Raptors extreme ineptitude certainly made things easier.
Overall, I found that if it’s out of sight it really is out of mind. Trust me, your mind will get filled up with something else. No American Idol? Maybe it’s time to challenge yourself. There’s always YouTube if you absolutely have to see that results show. What about reading a book as an alternative?

The movies on Netflix are not “right out of the theatre” but that doesn’t seem to bother me. There are so many genres to choose from, and so many films I’ve missed or forgotten about, that it’s all new to me anyway. If you still can’t bear the thought of losing your cable, consider using Netflix as a supplement.

Next on the agenda is to get rid of my home phone, another huge part of my bill with *****. When I called to cancel my TV they delighted in telling me I was under contract for telephone service until June, and would have to pay a $200 termination fee to cancel it. Like, whatever. Why am I even surprised?
Johnny McIntosh is a regular columnist for The Silo. Johnny also does a little singin’ and strummin’

2 Comments to Netflix: Life Without Cable

  1. Hey Mike- word on the street is that many Canuck netflickers are finding workarounds and rebooting to US stream. When will the CRTC wake up and give us the same programming options as our neighbours to the South? Not only are our choices limited but our fees are much higher….

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