Dec 292008

Following up on a previous discussion, I’ve gotten rid of cable TV.  Installed an antenna up in the attic, ordered my $40/each coupon for two digital converters (at $60 per retail), and got Charter to cut the rate of my cable Internet to $30/month for six months, at which point they’ll offer it to me again, or I’ll go with DSL.

Getting rid of cable TV was one of the best moves ever.  The local PBS station has 4 channels, and one of them is 24-hour kids’ programming.  Channel 5 has a 24-hour weather channel.  “Lost” will start up soon.  I don’t miss one single damned thing on cable.

I intended to supplement my viewing with Blockbuster’s online program, paying $20/month for unlimited rentals, with three out at a time.  That’s still $240/year.  Cancelled Blockbuster online, and now we use Redbox.  Just go to the website, pick a location and a movie, and pay $1 to reserve it.  Walk in (McDonald’s), touch the “Online Pickup” button on the touchscreen, run your credit card through, and it chucks it out.  It’s a great way to keep up with current movies, but you can’t, say, rent the entire “Nip/Tuck” series as you could with Blockbuster.

The flaw in the RedBox setup is that there’s only one touchscreen on the red box, so you may have to wait in line behind some insufferable asshats who are reading the synopsis of each movie.  There should be TWO screens on the red boxes — one solely for receiving the movie, and one for the asshats to stand and browse and order.

Old setup was $140/month for cable+Internet, and $20/month for Blockbuster online.  $160/month.

New setup is $30/month for Internet, plus $8/month for two rentals a week at RedBox.  $38/month.

Happy about it, completely (except for the asshats).

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