Why I Ditched Satellite

For those of you who have been following my Facebook updates, you’ve noticed that as of Friday, I canceled my Dish Network subscription. Some have expressed quite a bit of surprise at my willingness to do this. How could I, pop-culture freak that I am, unplug myself from the stream of Shiny? Well, I’m about to answer that.

First and foremost, I’m cheap at heart. I hate paying for something that I could get for free, or paying more for something that I could get for less. I really hate paying for something that I don’t end up using. I was paying $50 a month for Dish. That was as bare-bones as I could make it, and it gave me quite a few channels in glorious HD. It also got me my DVR fix, which was really important. But then I took a step back and asked myself what I was really watching. Network shows and Mythbusters, with a smattering of ESPN. Well, network shows are broadcast in glorious HD for free over this thing called an antenna. Ever heard of those? What’s more, the broadcast over the air is sometimes a better HD than the one you pay for via satellite or cable.

So let me get this straight–I was paying for something that I could get elsewhere in a better form, for free?

Okay, so that left Mythbusters and a smattering of ESPN. I love me my Mythbusters, but I don’t love them $600 a year. And I enjoy ESPN a fair bit, but again–not to the tune of $600 per year. But what about DVR? Well, that’s nothing more than a computer program that feeds information onto a hard drive. I gots me a hard drive, and I can do all teh compooter programz I wants. Why would I want to pay someone to do this for me?

So in the end, the cheapskate in me won out. There are much better places for me to put my $600 a year. A trip to Utah this year comes to mind, and trips to Florida or Slovakia or anywhere else also would be better uses for those funds. Voila–the Dish is gone.

I’ve now researched antennas exhaustively, and I’ll be buying a Channel Master 4228HD in the near future, so I can have those free broadcasts. I’m a bit in the boonies, so I had to find something that should work well. I have high hopes. And if I can’t get great signal, I can always watch things for free online via Hulu or the stations’ web pages. And in the end, I can also get them sooner or later via Netflix, which I continue to pay for. ($10-$20 a month is much more reasonable than $50.)

Honestly, I don’t think it’s too long before we see a massive change in the way programming is delivered to everyone. The days of paying for bundles of stations no one wants to watch are numbered, IMHO. This recession thing will do them in. I for one am all in favor of that happening.

Because maybe then, I can buy Mythbusters ala carte, and I’ll be 100% happy.

4 thoughts on “Why I Ditched Satellite”

  1. We haven’t paid for TV for about four years now. There are pluses and minuses. Most of the minuses are related to getting an antenna that works. We’ve been through five different models so far and each has been moved around in the house to find the perfect signal. The one we now have (Philips MANT940) seems to work and gets about seven stations, but this is in the suburbs of a pretty big city.
    As for recording on the computer, AMS has chosen to use Media Portal and was arguing with it again last night. However, we can now view recorded TV and movies from a laptop anywhere in the house.
    Pluses and minuses. Keep me posted about how things work out.

  2. Will do. The antenna will go outside on the roof. I already test a weaker model, and I picked up 7 stations. I’m hopeful this more powerful one will get 8 to 10. We’ll see. Not sure if I’ll do a DVR or not. I might just suffer through the ads . . .

  3. I agree
    Now that we have a wii, I’m re-thinking our cable. I’m not sure why the wii did it…
    but it did. ๐Ÿ™‚

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