DirecTV: Canceled

Update: Wow! I am surprised by the number of people who have indicated that they have canceled or are canceling their cable/satellite subscriptions. Now, certainly, my peer group isn’t representative of the bulk of the target TV market. However, if this is any indication of things to come in the larger market, then cable/satellite TV is simply screwed!

We canceled DirecTV today.

They, of course, wanted to know why and whether or not offering us a lower price would keep us in the fold, etc,etc,etc…

Nope. Why? Because broadcast TV sucks, whether delivered by cable, satellite, or over the air. It is a decidedly anti-consumer environment.

I want to watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it. Period.

And, for that, I have a DirecTV receiver with TiVo built in. Yet, 9 times out of 10, the TiVo fails to record all of a show, missing the first or last 30 seconds to 2 minutes because the stupid content providers or DirecTV have time skewed everything just a bit.

That and the constant stream of commercials made the viewing experience unpleasant.

So, screw it. Kill it. I would rather spend the $50+/month (and that was a fairly basic package) on Apple TV rentals / purchased content and Netflix based DVDs (1 at a time is all we need).

We save money, get to watch what we want when we want, and don’t have to worry about a stupid commercial interruption or dealing with the never ending battle between content providers and TiVo.

In tweeting about this, I immediately had two responses from people canceling their cable subscriptions for similar reasons. And I know a number of others that have had the never ending Cable Card Doesn’t Work adventure.

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13 Responses to “DirecTV: Canceled”

  1. Luke Burton says:

    I’ve not hooked up cable since I came to this country. Smart people like bbum ditching their cable validates my obstinate stance 🙂 Netflix + Apple TV covers just about everything.

  2. K says:

    I’ve been trying to convince myself to do this since I bought the HD antenna and it actually gets reception. On my list of things to do this week. I also have AppleTV and Netflix. Think that is all I really need.

  3. Bill Brown says:

    We did it a couple of months ago and it’s been great. Well, almost great: we’re thinking about getting some DVD recorder with a hard drive so that we can pause, rewind, and fast forward. We definitely miss that.

  4. John C. Randolph says:

    I haven’t subscribed to any cable or satellite service for several years now. Once I was able to buy shows from the iTMS, bundling just pissed me off.


  5. spribyl says:

    Why I still have cable:Discovery Channel, TLC, Adult Swim on CN.
    Of yeah, I have basic cable($20) month. When the force digital on me the I will leave.
    I have NetFlix lowest level and still threaten to cancel that ever month because we don’t watch the movies.

  6. Matt Doar says:

    We dropped cable seven years ago and haven’t bothered with an antenna. I dislike what the commercials do for my children, I find myself disturbed by violence and irritated by patronizing programming. We watch DVDs from friends, the library and NetFlix. My wife still wants cable for the Olympics and Jane Austen 🙂

  7. Mike Laster says:

    I did this a few months ago, just when the writers strike started. I did the numbers and discovered that for as little TV as I watch, it is actually cheaper to just buy season passes off of iTunes and watch on my AppleTV. It comes out to about half of what I was paying for DirecTV and I never see commercials anymore.

  8. Alderete says:

    We gave up our expensive ($80/month) cable package almost five years ago now, as part of a budget downsizing effort. While I do truly miss HBO and Showtime (which we watched via our TiVo without any real issues), we’re pretty happy with the entertainment package we have now: $18/month basic cable (which doesn’t require a box), a rooftop antenna for the local over-the-air High-Definition channels (all the major broadcast networks), a HD TiVo to record shows, and a Netflix three-at-a-time subscription (also $18/month).

    Of all of it, the HD TiVo combined with the over-the-air broadcasts is by far the best value. Yeah, most of commercial TV is a wasteland, but there are good shows out there, and it’s entirely free (we have a lifetime subscription for our TiVo).

    Next is Netflix. At under $20/month, we watch at least as much “premium” content off discs as we would if we had HBO, for less than a quarter (1/4) of what it would cost to have HBO in HD, and with a much wider selection of shows and movies.

    AppleTV, as much as I want to like it, doesn’t do it for me yet. The selection isn’t there. Apple is famously ahead of the curve, and Steve Jobs has the vision and confidence (and track record) to make the move to online-only distribution before it’s truly practical, and build the market ahead of him. Kind of a Field of Dreams effect.

    If the AppleTV had a Blu-ray player built into it, I’d buy it in a heartbeat; great for today, ready for tomorrow. But for now, I’m sticking with my TiVo, disc player, and Netflix.

  9. The Death of Television? « Shebanation says:

    […] friends without kids rely on Netflix for everything now. I’ve seen a number of blog posts like this one where people have done similar […]

  10. Paul Lambert says:

    Ended my DirecTV contract yesterday. It felt good.

    Now I just have to sell my receivers and dish quickly, before the market it flooded by everyone else bbum knows!

  11. Papa Joe says:

    bbbbut u r gonna miss such enlightening shows such as “Trading Spouses”, “The Biggest Loser”, “Big Brother” and the ubiquitous “American Idol.” How will u survive?

  12. Amie says:

    I feel like such a prole for keeping cable. But my kids adore Noggin (still blessedly commercial free, which is more than I can say for their dvd collection with all of the ads I must skip every bloody time we put one in for them) and I’ve got my sci-fi shows that I am a bit too impatient for to wait on iTunes or whoever to release it up to 2 days later after all of my friends have already seen and dissected every scrap of meta. If it weren’t for the kids (and Catholic guilt) I might ditch comcast and go the torrent route. But I don’t think I could actually get away with something like that at this point; there’d be a rebellion in the Gillingham household!

  13. Benjamin says:

    The wife and I dropped cable a few years ago in an effort to cut our monthly bills. We’ve talked about signing back up a few times, but it never really goes anywhere. We’re back to the rabbit ears which manage to get most of the local affiliates in a pretty watchable condition. I’d seriously consider an Apple TV, but my television isn’t fancy enough for that (it’s probably 10 years old by now).

    We haven’t really missed it too much. I get a pang of regret when I see what Cartoon Network has nowadays, as well as when I consider the Daily Show and Colbert Report. I also feel like I missed out on an important geek milestone in not having a DVR ever.

    All the same, I’m not sure we’ll ever go back.

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