Life After Television

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The problem with your television is that you have to sit in your living room, den, or bedroom to watch it. What if you want to take your television with you to the park or the laundromat? With the advent of websites like, Apple TV, and even Netflix, you can watch what you want anywhere you have internet access. Is this easy access to network shows and movies making television irrelevant? Kevin Purdy, senior editor of joins The Takeaway to discuss life after television.

When you can watch "Better Off Ted" on Hulu, do you really need a television?:


Kevin Purdy

Comments [17]


my wife and i ditched cable tv about 6 months ago and haven't looked back. we are big tv watchers, but we're able to get our fix, like all of you, from netflix, hulu, et al. we bumped our comcast connection from 6mpbs to 20mbps and are still saving over $80 per month.

Jul. 10 2009 07:09 PM

Wow! I'd feel good about being on the same page as the senior editor of life hacker.
But, I have never, ever paid a cable or dish bill - Now I have a computer dedicated to streaming Hulu and netflix to my HD TV and of course the awesome quality of the new OTA digital signal. I made it through the rough years of it snowing on the survivors of flight 815 and now the tech geeks are joining me.

Jul. 10 2009 06:02 PM

I have been without TV since the last episode of Lost this year. It was a little hard at first but now my family is starting to figure out new things to do with our time. The best part of getting rid of TV is that my 3 and 5 year olds stopped asking to watch all the time.

If you ever want to watch a bunch of people get defensive, tell them that "I don't have a TV." You will never hear so many "oh, I only watch a couple hours of TV per week and it is only education programming" statements in your life.

Jul. 10 2009 12:36 PM
Paul In SF

It's been nearly a year since I canceled my nearly $100 a month Directv service. Here in San Francisco a cheap rooftop antenna brings in 28 channels of over the air TV. I get my Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert daily fix from Hulu and Olbermann and Maddow from MSNBC's streaming site. I also discovered that my $4 a month VPN service has a server near London, so I am able to access everything on the BBC's IPlayer site. All in all I have far more TV available than I do the time to watch it all.

Jul. 10 2009 11:54 AM
Jason Nelms

I have been on Boxee for quite a while now. The only reason I have not dropped cable is that I am a College and Pro football fan and there is no solution for watching games live(and preferably in HD).

Jul. 10 2009 10:52 AM

I'm right there with all of you, except with regard to sports... I love watching all kinds of sports in HD and couldn't imagine giving up ESPN, TNT, TBS, etc.

Cable is worth that for me.

Jul. 10 2009 10:08 AM

I will still need cable for a while yet, mostly because I CAN'T WATCH HULU IN CANADA!! Thanks, jerks.

Jul. 10 2009 09:13 AM
Mim Song

I swear I would do this if I could get MSNBC live somehow.

Jul. 10 2009 09:02 AM

then how do you watch a bunch of sporting events?????????

Jul. 10 2009 08:46 AM

[] and NETFLIX ($9.95 month Free Streaming with Roku (
[] Joined OOMA.COM for my Phone service, using my existing phone and answering machine (FREE)
[] My CABLE BILL is $29.95 per month
[] Gave Up on TV back after 9-11 after I realized I was watching 22 minutes of Commercials and HOUR on TV.

** The Rise and Fall of Television... bye bye ** I Don't Miss You! :+\

Jul. 10 2009 02:32 AM

I quit watching TV about a year ago. I don't watch online either. I simply eliminated it from my life - and I would say that it's probably been even better for me than quitting smoking. Honestly. Stop watching TV for a month, and you'll wonder why you ever did.

Jul. 09 2009 11:48 PM

Last Thanksgiving, we moved and the area doesn't get cable, and its very windy where we are so sat is out of the question, but we get DSL.

We have netflix, we get hulu, we also have a few other sites we get movies, and found a site that streams scifi channels and others. The converter box gets us the local channels and the CW.

Really, we learned cable/sat is paying the PREMIUM to watch a movie the exact first time it is out. Aside from the 'water colloer conversation' where everyone talks about what happened last night, or the live sports event (I still saw plenty of NFL football and the Superbowl, and see Nascar, and Golf, and Tennis), cable TV is pretty much as bad as some of those scam sites.

So, we are saving $60 a month, which we've put away into an emergency fund.

Jul. 09 2009 10:54 PM

We returned our DVRs and cancelled our cable when we realized that for the same money and less, we could watch what we want to, when we want to, and where we want to using an HD antenna, Apple TV, Netflix and our computers.

Jul. 09 2009 10:13 PM

My wife and I recently ditched cable after our promotional period ran out and the rate jumped too high to justify what little we watched. We bought a conversion box and restarted our Netflix subscription. We'll be buying a Roku box soon and so far we haven't missed cable a bit.

Jul. 09 2009 09:27 PM

"We're sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed within the United States...." Apparently us Canadians still do need cable...:-(

Bittorrent has no such restrictions. Oh well, if the networks only want US advertising dollars I'll pirate to go cable free.

Jul. 09 2009 08:46 PM

We replaced cable with a bigger netflix subscription and their streaming movie box. each member of the house can pick a single dvd for them, watch and send back without wondering if they are next in the family queue. Not to mention that Starz play comes free too if I wanted to watch it.
I also use Hulu and fancast with the occasional torrent of a few UK shows I like (only because they lack legit options for us US viewers).

I'm also thinking about apple TV so I can rent a new release or two as needed/desired. its a thought but not currently a priority.

What we did notice is that with the TV off, that is to say, not on for background noise, we (the family) are outside more often, have fewer excuses for exercise time and really have more fun together instead of staring at the TV for hours a day. Oh, and we save over $100 a month on our cable that we really never watched.

Jul. 09 2009 08:39 PM
James Campbell

I have been cable free for six
months and love it. I replaced it with hulu and boxee on my apple tv and some hdmi streaming from my MacBook pro and Sony vaio. Never going back

Jul. 09 2009 07:44 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.