Friday, September 28, 2012

I don't have cable and I don't care who knows.

Peyton Manning is the one who knocks

As I may have mentioned a time or two on the CSG podcast, I don’t have cable. I even mentioned it on the South Stands Denver Fancast when Nate and I were guests earlier this week. In fact, I bring it up all the time. The second time I brought it up on their podcast, John Reidy thought I was doing a bit. It’s not a bit, it’s the truth. I really don’t have cable (or satellite).

And while I admit that I may bring it up more frequently than it otherwise would come up during the natural flow of conversation, I don’t do it for the reason many of you think I do. Some people hear my proclamation as the equivalent of “I don’t have a TV” guy. You know, the guy who takes every opportunity he can to interject this fact in to a conversation as evidence that he is a more evolved person. This guy presumably spends his free time thumbing through the pages of a Walt Whitman anthology rather than subject his advanced brain to the drivel that entertains the common man.

That’s not me.

There is a huge difference between “I don’t have a TV” guy and me. I’m not trying to imply that I am better than you because I don’t watch TV. After all, I watch television programming all the time. I just don’t watch it on cable. I use a few of the many alternatives out there to watch it on my beloved flat panel HD TV.

I use alternative services like...

Amazon Instant, which uses a pay-per-view model that allows me to pick and choose what I want to watch, without paying for dozens of channels that I’ll never watch. And it also keeps commercials out of my life, which is especially nice during an election season.

The bottom line is that I can stream my favorite TV shows from my Roku on my aforementioned TV in HD, on demand and commercial free. (I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Dish Network subscribers don’t even get AMC, home to the greatest show of all time.) I’m also able to watch premium cable programs from HBO and Showtime as well.

So, as far as TV shows go I think it’s safe to say that cutting the cord on cable hasn’t been very painful for me. I still get to enjoy all of my favorite shows and in a much more convenient and cost effective way.

But I will admit that the transition hasn’t been entirely painless. The one area where I am missing out on is of course live sports. Not surprisingly, the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL have been a bit slow to react to the ever-changing world and increased demand for internet streaming of live events. Unlike the UFC, these cranky old sports leagues are unwilling to acknowledge that the world has changed around them, and thus they make it incredibly difficult for someone like me to enjoy their products.

Of course I am still able to watch my first love, the Broncos on an HD digital OTA signal. Even when it’s on ESPN or the NFL network. (Ever heard of channel 20.1?) As for the Nuggets and Rox? I can always go to a friend’s house, or to a bar. Which can be fun, but not always what I am in the mood for. I can even find one of the many website offering illegal streams. But those are usually inconsistent, of poor quality and constantly being shut down by the feds.

The most vexing aspect about this whole situation is that the MLB, NBA and NFL actually DO have this solution which would work great for me if I were a Cubs fan living in Colorado. But I happen to be a Colorado Fan living in… You guessed it. Colorado. So the games I want to watch are blacked out. Same policy goes for the NFL and NBA internet streaming options. So I guess that’s the sacrifice I make until enough people decide to cancel their cable and satellite subscriptions and thus compel the leagues to adapt. Which is why I bring it up so often. To convince people that they can cut the cord without fear. I did it, and I’m doing just fine. So to all who have been annoyed by my somewhat repetitive mentioning of this topic, I do it to inspire. Not to somehow imply that I am better than you. Which I am. Just for different reasons.

P.S. I have been able to successfully trick one of the major 4 pro sports streaming services in to thinking I’m watching from somewhere other than Denver. I don’t’ believe it is illegal, but it probably violates the terms of service – not that I ever read them. If you’d like to hear how I did it email me

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