Why I Don’t Have Cable TV

We live in a time where the need for subscription cable TV service is far gone.  I haven’t had cable TV service for over a year, and I don’t plan to ever get it in the future.  I’m not a crazy person who’s sacrificing all entertainment for the sake of a cause – I’m just a frugal guy that knows how to enjoy things for less money, with less time wasted.

One of the main arguments I hear for keeping cable TV service is, “I need the DVR so I can watch my favorite shows.”  My wife reminded me of a great quote from Frank in You’ve Got Mail, yesterday.

“Technologically speaking, the world’s out of hand. Take the VCR. The whole idea of a VCR is that it makes it possible for you to tape what’s on television while you’re out of the house. But the whole point of being out of the house is so you can miss what’s on television.”

Isn’t that really what the DVR boils down to?  It really seems like a ridiculous cycle.  The thing is, keeping your cable service for the taping of your favorite TV shows is not cost-effective.  Let’s go through this.

Save Your Money

Let’s say you have four favorite TV shows that you consistently record with your DVR.  Each show airs once a week, therefore each show airs four times a month.  If you have a DVR, you’re likely paying for digital cable (plus renting the box), and I’m guessing the price is around $60-100 per month.  We’ll round that to $75 per month.

Now what if your favorite shows are House, Lost, Ugly Betty, and Lie To Me?  Here are their most recently DVD released seasons’ respective prices:

Add it all up, and what do you get?  $120.65.  And those are the brand new DVD versions.  You don’t even have to buy them brand new; you could buy them used, and they’d likely be just as good.

TV seasons usually last about eight months.  So if you were to pay for the use of your DVR for that whole eight months at $75 per month, you’d be paying out a total of $600; whereas, if you had gone the DVD route, you’d only be paying $120.65.  What will you do with your extra $479.35?  Perhaps open a mutual fund, and REALLY get earning?

Next time, I’ll explain in detail how I live without cable TV service, talking about the applications and services I use to make a cheap alternative into a Rich Life substitute.

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