Now that we’re about a month into the new TV season I thought I’d give an update on our cable-free experiment.
So far we have had little to no trouble finding most of our favourite TV shows. At times I do have to wait a day or two for certain shows to become available for download, and certain ones are not always easy to find, but once I figured out that my shows will show up eventually it quickly became part of everyday life.
The price of individual iTunes episodes turned out to be a little more expensive than we had originally thought, so we did cut back on a few shows that, while interesting, didn’t seem worth the extra two to three dollars per episode. Small amounts here and there can add up quickly by the end of the month! I’d like to see the price come down for individual episodes on iTunes in Canada, especially for the half-hour programs. Right now it costs less to rent some movies that it would to rent two episodes of a sitcom that, added together, only provide about 45 minutes of entertainment.
It doesn’t make sense and I honestly think they would make more money if the price for individual hour-long shows went down by a dollar or two and if half-hour shows were just a little less expensive than that. At this point, viewers have a real disincentive to choose shorter programs when we can watch an hour long show or a movie for the same amount of money.
Download speeds do seem to vary quite a bit depending on the time of day. We’ve learned to download our shows first thing in the morning if at all possible, as they seem to finish more quickly that way. Downloading more than one show at a time also seems to help speed up the process. (Or maybe it just seems that way because I have more than one show to look forward to? 🙂 )
If there’s one thing I haven’t missed one bit, it is commercials. I can’t stress enough how nice it is to avoid these interruptions, especially in our drama and scifi/fantasy shows where it is very common to cut away at the most inopportune scenes. Once or twice now I’ve stumbled across a traditional television program while away from home. No sooner do I begin to become interested in a program than a commercial pops up. These interruptions are becoming an excuse for me to wander away from the screen and do something else every 5 minutes. I think I’m losing my tolerance for commercial breaks as I don’t remember noticing them so often in the past!
As the weather grows colder, Drew and I are spending more and more time indoors watching our shows, reading and surfing the Internet. The temptation to follow more and more interesting shows is only going to grow for us as winter approaches and the average daily temperature drops closer to freezing. I’ve been trying to come up with alternative (and free or inexpensive) indoor activities so that we don’t spend too much time staring at computer or television screens.
Honestly, I wish we’d done this a year or two ago. The benefits far outweigh the occasional slow download time, new episodes that take a little extra time to show up, or the temptation to begin watching more and more programs over time.