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Would You Drop Cable Completely For Hulu?

Tough times call for tough measures. Many people look at ways to cut costs during a recession and one look at the cable bill (mine runs $82/month just for cable) makes cable a big, fat cost cutting target. But does ditching cable mean limited access to the wealth of TV programs (in general) and SF TV in particular?


Hulu has been around for just over a year now and they have a wealth of science fiction in both TV and movie form. And now with the release of Hulu Desktop, Hulu aims to make your viewing experience easier than ever. How do you get Hulu on to your TV? There are a variety of ways, from streaming the content to your TV via a media device (Xbox 360, PS3) to a PC able to output video directly to your TV. Of course, Hulu isn’t the only way to stream SF to your TV. The Bittorrent networks usually have the network shows available shortly after they air and with better video quality and you can stream those video files to your TV after you’ve downloaded them.

I’ve toyed with this idea a lot recently. The only thing stopping me is that there are some shows I, and my wife, have to watch the night of, next day just won’t cut it. That means an over the air antenna and some sort of TV Tuner and DVR software for my PC which equals a bit outlay than I want. But, I’d ditch cable if I could.

Would you ditch cable completely if you could?

About JP Frantz (2323 Articles)
Has nothing interesting to say so in the interest of time, will get on with not saying it.

19 Comments on Would You Drop Cable Completely For Hulu?

  1. Actually you may have to wait more than a day to see some of your shows if you got rid of cable. Many networks don’t post episodes until 8 days after they’ve aired, so if you want to watch on Hulu or the newtwork site you have to wait. I don’t have cable (or even broadcast tv) right now, so waiting a week to see my shows…well, I don’t always wait. I’ve never had cable, and my roommates and I decided we didn’t want to get cable b/c it’s so addictive, so I don’t know about quitting. However, as someone who has been watching cable shows like Santcuary, Dr. Who, Torchwood, Burn Notice and In Plain Sight via the internet for well over a year now, I can tell you it’s doable.

  2. No HULU up here. But I havent had cable for yahrens anyway.  DVD boxed sets are more efficient and come with subtitles.

  3. Smoking Robot // June 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm //

    I dropped cable for Netflix 7 years ago and never looked back.  

    I think anyone who pays fifty bucks a month so they can watch a show with ‘LAW & ORDER, SEASON PREMIERE THIS TUESDAY 7:00PM CENTRAL’ splashed all over the screen for the entire duration of your program is crazy. 

    The station logos (known as ‘bugs’, presumably because they bug people) in the corner of the screen were bad enough.   But the advertising of other shows THAT IS CONSTANTLY ON THE SCREEN means it’s time to give up cable.   Get your news off the web and your favorite shows from Netflix.  

  4. Not yet for myself, but I know a lot of people who have dropped cable either for Hulu or Netflix.

  5. Because of Hulu and Blinkx I’m really close to dumping cable, or at least not upgrading with the upcoming conversion to digital trasnmissions (the tv is that old).


    I’ll miss watching sportintg events live, but between Hulu, Blinkx and Netflix I’d be able to wtach most of the television and movies that I want to see.  The hard part is remembering to go online to watch them (ex: Warehouse 13 and Burn Notice).

  6. I stopped paying for TV several years ago and the availability of HULU as well as over the air HD televsion was a major factor in my decision.

  7. We tried this last summer, and then I waffled. But last weekend we did it again – dropped our cable down from “expanded” (which used to be just regular) to just the basic local stations. Saves about $30 in these parts from the bill, which we’re going to reapply elsewhere. Best way to know if you can do it, though, is to go cold turkey for a week or so – first few days are rougher than quitting a crack habit, but after that you either dig it or come crawling back for more. Me, I got plenty of other stuff to occupy myself with until netflix gets the dvd’s for the seasons I miss πŸ™‚

  8. Ruth Ann // June 1, 2009 at 3:27 pm //

    I haven’t had cable for over 10 years, since leaving college and I rarely miss it.  Between watching shows on broadcast via a VCR and now a DVR that works over the air (not great, but it works) and watching things on the web, I’m rarely hurting for things to watch.  And I’ve saved tons of money.  Where I am, the most basic of cable packages is at least $30/month (broadcast, weather, some local access, home shopping and like TBS).  If you want a package with something you’d like to watch, it’s closer to $50 and just goes up from there. 

    There have been a few shows that I’ve missed and aren’t available online.  Most of those I pick up on DVD or iTunes.  There’s a few more that I’ve wanted to watch as they were ongoing that I’ve been able to get through the kindness of coworkers (with cable, DVR and VCR)…mostly Battlestar before it went on the web for free.

    Waiting an extra 24 hours to watch something had never been a big deal with me.  I generally have a backlog of shows I’m wanting to watch.  Having to wait 8 days is a bit more annoying but even that’s not a huge deal.  Hardest part was avoiding BSG spoilers for a week, but there was always someone at work who was further behind than I was, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.  With friends we just  prefac spoiler-filled discussion with “have you seen X yet?”. 

    I figure that I save at least $600/year by not having cable, probably more even factoring in some DVD and iTunes purchases.

  9. Dropped cable several months ago for Hulu and Netflix.  Have to say it as gone surprisingly well.  Losing live sports is the only real downside, and there are adequate workarounds for less cost.

  10. We ditched cable completely years ago, long before Hulu. We look for used DVDs.  It’s a much better use of the same money as far as watching movies is concerned.  Sports is another issue…

  11. No Hulu in my country, unfortunately.

  12. Basic cable comes with our internet.  Right now we have expanded cable, but as soon as we move we’re dropping it for netflix and hulu (or some hulu type thing, we’ll see).

    It helps that they keep canceling the shows I watch (or killing off all the regular cast and replacing them with people I don’t care about).  So there’s going to be little I’ll miss anyway and it will save about 50 bucks a month.

  13. Anonymous // June 1, 2009 at 7:04 pm //

    I already dropped Cable.

  14. We dropped cable programming and rely on Hulu and Netflix Watch Instantly.

    Now wait a minute: How can we play Hulu through an XBOX like we do Netflix? I didn’t know that was possible! Please tell, JP.

  15. Hulu is a great solution if you live in the United States. Not so much for most people.

  16. What aesmael said.  Hulu is only available in the US.  Those of us outside are going to keep our cable.


  17. Hulu isn’t availible here in Canada. Not that I watch a lot of TV anyway πŸ˜‰


  18. Biscuit // June 2, 2009 at 11:13 pm //

    I’ve been toying with this idea for a while, and even discussed the technicalities with the SO.

    I’d do it in an instant if the cost of broadband in New Zealand wasn’t so inhibitive. So far, keeping cable is more cost effective that upping our bandwidth.

  19. I used to pay over $150 a month for cable and many times my husband and I would give up in defeat and just the tv off – nothing worthwhile on! I purchased an XBox 360 about two years ago for the gaming for my son, but after finding that he preferred online computer games, it bacame a hi-tech bookend (literally). When I discovered the possibilties of streaming through the XBox, I purchased a PlayOn software package (one time fee of $39.99), ditched my cable connection, and now have more interesting programming available than I have time to watch.

    For those people complaining about the fact that Hulu is only available in the U.S.; BBC Player is available everywhere else BUT the U.S. I guess there are tradeoffs to everything.

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