Scaling back the media buffet

Oct. 18, 2013 @ 02:38 PM

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This week, we turned off most of our cable service. We’ve pared back to the basic broadcast network package and internet.

Part of it is simply a family cost-cutting measure – it should save our household about $1,000 during the next year to go without the full-fledged package that included the digital DVR and a few premium channels like HBO and Showtime.

But mostly it’s the result of recognizing that we simply don’t need hundreds of channels that we rarely watch.

We’ve got a few shows that we love to watch when they air, such as “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead.”

But we don’t need a half dozen channels with talking heads chattering and speculating about events in the news.

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We don’t need a bunch of sports channels.

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I can’t remember the last time we used any of those music channels.

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Sometimes we enjoyed movies on demand. That’s especially important now that we’re parents of an infant. We steadfastly refuse to inflict our sometimes squally child on theater audiences. We can live without on-demand movies, though.

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I’ll miss Comedy Central, but…

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What struck home during the past summer, as we watched shows such as “House of Cards” and “Breaking Bad” on Netflix, is that we’ll find more content than we can consume just by keeping an internet hookup and subscribing to a couple of streaming Web services.

We can still catch up on a bunch of shows without spending all that money each month on extra channels with shows like “Duck Dynasty” and “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo.”

Between Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon’s streaming services, we should be able to watch what we want, when we want, without any pointless channel surfing.

Meanwhile, we’re free to spend more time paying attention to the entertainment coming from that crib in the corner.

Don’t think we’ll miss much at all, really.

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Wes Platt can be reached at wplatt@heraldsun.com or 919-419-6684. Follow on Twitter at @HS_WesPlatt. Connect on Facebook at facebook.com/wesplattheraldsun.