Why I Gave Up Cable TV

Circa 2007, “watching something” inside the house would mean watching what’s on the cable TV. Now, it could mean that my two kids are watching a video in their tablet or my wife streaming a video in her phone or me sitting on the couch, enjoying a downloaded movie in a wide-screen TV. Media consumption has changed dramatically over the last decade.

Cable TV has never really worked for me. First, you need a mental schedule of what’s on; it is such a chore. There are hundreds of channels and thousands of shows, it’s impossible to keep track of anything. Stumbling on a show you’re interested in is almost serendipitous. Discovery of a new show is pretty much through flipping channels and hoping that you stumble in something. Second, cable TV is an island. The only way to watch it is through its archaic cable box. It doesn’t play well with its digital cousins (on-demand and streaming videos) which you can enjoy with any screen. But the main reason why I have given up on cable TV is because it’s been in a rot. Shows have become predictable and formulaic.

It took longer than I anticipated (specially here in the Philippines) but for more than a year now, we are officially a cord-cutter. Internet is now our primary source of entertainment.

You can find most, if not all of your content in the internet. You can watch news in Youtube (even live ones!), rent(or buy) movies in iTunes and Google Play, watch TV series in Netflix, iflix, or Fox+. In fact, internet offers all of the cable content plus so much more. For example, if you like short indie films, you can find them free in Viddsee. If you enjoy informative talks, there’s a million in Ted.

Binge watching is awesome.  There is some nostalgia in gathering everyone on the couch and waiting for your favorite show to come up but watching it in your own time is godsend. More importantly, catching up with your shows is no longer a chore.

Streaming videos often have better resolution.  With the proliferation of high-resolution screens, internet videos are first class high def citizen. Most of the streaming content providers have 720p or 1080p HD version. Some even has 4K.

Built-in DVR, intro-skipping, subtitles, and all the little things. Apps get updated all the time to get all these awesome features. Software is continuously improving this new TV. This is the holy grail. We are now starting to talk to our TVs, who knows where would that take us in the next decade.