With time running out before Netflix’s price increase takes effect, I’ve been doing a little evaluative thinking about where my $$$ has been going, and where I’d like it to go in the future.

I currently do the 1 DVD at-a-time plan, which includes unlimited streaming for $9.99 plus tax.

I also subscribe to Hulu+ for $7.99 plus tax.

I do not have cable – and haven’t for a year or more.

I’d like to say I use Netflix and Hulu+ frequently enough that I feel my $18 and change are well spent, but lately… that’s not really the case.

There was a time when Tyler (my ex-boyfriend/friend) and I were watching shows on Hulu+ constantly. We watched almost all of Arrested Development, frequently enjoyed Ms. Hargitay kicking ass on SVU, got our Glee fix, laughed and cried (okay, the crying was pretty much exclusively me) with The Office, and dabbled in Parks and Recreation.

As for Netflix, I have an Instant Queue of over 200 titles, and I often watch Star Trek: TNG now that they’ve made it streaming… but I actually own all of TNG on DVD. And the instant movie selection has become somewhat depressing.

Sure, I can check out the highly recommended Mad Men, or finally watch Desperate Housewives. And yeah, it’s easier for me to stream the next episode of TNG than it is for me to dig for the next disc in the box set, but… I just don’t know if I use it enough.

Not to mention the DVD side of things. I just sent back The Mist (which I wasn’t really a fan of, for the record) today… and I’m pretty sure I received it at least 3 months ago. Now, I’m excited to get the next DVD on my list (To Kill a Mockingbird!), and my queue for regular DVDs is over 200 long as well, but if they just sit around for months at a time, I don’t even have to ask if it’s worth it – it’s definitely not.

As for cable… it’s really about the same situation as Netflix and Hulu, except in a more obnoxious way. With Hulu and Netflix, there are plenty of things I’d like to see them offer – but they just don’t (at least not right now).

Here’s a probably familiar tale: I had cable for a while, but when my promotional rate ran out, it was too expensive to keep. The problem is not that there aren’t shows on cable I would watch, the problem is paying a bunch of money for a shit ton of channels I never watch (save perhaps two or three, maybe), and the stuff I really would watch is on Showtime or HBO, which costs an even larger bunch of money. It becomes harder and harder to justify paying the first bundle of money to get the “basic” channels just so you qualify to get the “premium” stuff. So, I cancel my cable. Stick with the internets.

If I could pay $10 a month for streaming HBO or Showtime, you can bet I’d do it in a second. Hell, I’d pay $20 (maybe even $30) for HBO and Showtime together, and get rid of both Netflix and Hulu+ in a heartbeat.

I like to think that’s the direction we’re moving. If you have HBO, you can get it streaming online (at least somewhat?) already, but I’m just waiting for us to get to the point where you can get it without having to pay for crap you don’t want.

So, where does all that leave me? Hell if I know. I’ll probably cancel at least part of my Netflix plan, if not all of it – and Hulu+ may be on its way out, too. Just have to figure out which I use enough for the money to be worth it.

What are your intentions with your Netflix/Hulu/Cable? What’s your ideal channel/movie/show selection?

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2 comments
cable tv companies
cable tv companies

This is interesting. I was just writing about NetFlix and DIY indie film producing as somewhat similar to the new eBook publishing and marketing model earlier this week.

Jodi Anderson
Jodi Anderson

I'm so disappointed with Netflix. First off, this is the third time that we've had Netflix. We got it when it first came out and again a few years later. Ultimately, we ended up ditching it when we ran out of new DVDs order. This time around, we've liked it a lot better because of instant streaming. There are so many series that we've been able to watch because of this, like Stargate: Atlantis. Then, along comes their pricing change. I'm straight-up ditching the DVD option, but will probably keep streaming, at least for now. Because I'm a little irked at them, I wish that there was a program that I felt could truly replace Netflix because, as far as I know, there isn't one that will allow our family (three people) stream Netflix in as many places as we do (three computers, one Wii, one PS3). I could be wrong?? Also, it's starting to get to the point that we're running out of things to stream, especially when we want to watch something new. I also have Amazon Prime (because of the free two-day shipping), which now allows for some instant streaming, but I'm unimpressed. In the end though, we do have cable with almost all available channels on our line-up. I'd ditch cable in a heartbeat, but my husband probably wouldn't be able to handle it. I don't know about your library system, but they are my best free resource. I go online and place holds on DVDs that I want to see, and then I have them shipped (again free) to my local library. Granted, there's quite a wait on newer titles, but if you're thinking ahead, you can place a hold early to get ahead of the queue. I'm sort of thinking out loud here, I guess, but mulling over some of the same options as you. Sorry about writing a novel here. :D