Family Essentials®

End of an Era

December 9, 2011

Posted in: Uncategorized

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported on all the ways you can stream movies and television in the wake of the Netflix change in business model and communications debacle.  Two months ago, my husband and I made a huge leap and canceled cable television in favor of streaming movies and television.

It wasn’t a quick decision by any means; months of planning and research and practice drills using hypothetical scenarios involving a new season of trashy reality show that may or may not be available through internet television.  And then there’s the airtight strategy to ensure we never miss an NFL broadcast. Gasp.

We now live in a house without appointment television or channel surfing.  When the television turns on, we need some kind of direction to go in.  Movie? Sitcom? Cartoon? Documentary? The up side to all of this: my kids are enjoying classic movies and cartoons I loved as a child through our streaming video service. I am catching up on full seasons of great shows that I missed over the last two years.  And, the television is no longer background noise. It is only on if we are actually watching something! 

Now the cons: streaming television uses a lot of bandwidth and slows down other web-enabled devices in your home.  That makes simultaneous iPad web surfing, smart phone status updates while watching a movie a bit challenging.  The horror.

I know many families have done this—some do it to save costs, some to make a statement against the cable monopolies and, well, some to just be those smug parents who say their kids watch higher quality television and less of it than ever before. Our reasons were a combination of all of these—except for that last one. My kids love television and I have no illusions to the contrary.