This is the first in a short series about alternatives to TV service. More coming on Friday.
DITCHING CABLE: Jeremy Baker gave up cable after he lost his job. But he still watches the latest shows thanks to services like PlayOn, Netflix and others. Photo by CINDY YAMANAKA
Everything changed when Jeremy Baker lost his job in November 2008 — including how he watched TV.
The Seal Beach resident didn’t watch a ton of TV but his cable bill had crept up to $130 a month. Scrambling to cut costs, he canceled cable and bought a Microsoft Xbox 360 game console.
“I know it doesn’t make sense but I did the math. After 6 months, the Xbox was paid for,” Baker said.
It’s what he did with the Xbox that helped him save money. By changing the source of his TV service, Baker was able to watch most of his favorite shows on his TV for half of what he had paid the cable company.
He purchased PlayOn software for $30 and got a subscription to Netflix. For $8.99/month, Netflix offers unlimited access to its online video library, which includes thousands of movies and TV shows, plus one DVD rental at a time. PlayOn gave him access to several TV shows plucked from sites like the popular Hulu.com, ComedyCentral.com (including ”The Daily Show with Jon Stewart“) plus an assortment of on-demand shows from MTV, Food Networks, HGTV, SyFy and Discovery Channel.
The best part? He can still watch it all on his regular TV, thanks to the Xbox.
“I got really into watching the old ‘Law & Orders’ and every ‘SVU’ and ‘Criminal Intent,’” Baker said. “I’m probably paying $60 a month.” Read the rest of this entry »