Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pocket Changes: Bye Bye Cable

One of the quickest changes we jumped on when reconfiguring our budget to lower our expenses was saying goodbye to the Cable. Although we are human and need some form of entertainment that we can just vedge out to now and again, there are just too many free or cheaper options out there these days for a cheapskate like me to keep paying the exhorbanent costs of Cable. In it's place, Don and I have been able to glean just as much viewing pleasure from the following sources. Not only do we find ourselves not wasting time watching things we don't care about, but programs are available at our convenience rather than having to work around a TV Schedule or pay extra fees for a DVR Unit.

Hulu - If you are a cable subscriber, you probably saw the adds for this website during the 2009 Superbowl and why haven't you canceled your service yet?! Hulu is an internet website that contracts with major networks to provide direct streaming of primetime and other television shows for your viewing pleasure. And the best part is that the service is entirely FREE with just limited commercial interruptions. For the most part, Hulu episodes include current seasons sometimes with a week or so delay from original air date and posts each episode for a certain length of time before it expires. It also includes some earlier seasons for certain shows as well as entire seasons of previously canceled shows such as Firefly and Arrested Development. It even hosts a limited selection of full length feature films. Hulu now offers a couple of different resolution options to accomodate your streaming capabilities and while not as crystal clear as cable, the quality definitely exceeds expectations and is sophisticated enough for everyday viewing.

Netflix - Netflix, an internet DVD rental service which ships through the U.S. Mail, is another good alternative to cable. If you haven't heard of them yet you are living in a cave. Most people use Netflix in addition to cable but with so many series shows now available on DVD, it can actually be a great substitute for television. The down side is that you have to wait for the shows to be released on DVD so you are always a season behind, but the positives are that you can watch an entire series back to back without having to wait for the weekly release. It is actually a much more rewarding viewing experience that way. Netflix also offers a selection of television shows for direct streaming as well. Their collection of "watch instantly" material is growing every day and is available in addition to with no interruption of your DVD service.

Netflix fees are as follows:
$8.99 a month for 1 DVD at a time with unlimited rentals
$13.99 a month for 2 DVDs at a time with unlimited rentals
$16.99 a month for 3 DVDs at a time with unlimited rentals
$23.99 a month for 4 DVDs at a time with unlimited rentals
And goes up another $6.00 per month for each additional DVD from there.
For an extra $1.00 a month to your regular subscription, you also get access to their entire selection of Blu-Ray movies as well.

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