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Musings On Cord-Cutting

Why must this be so complicated?

Here’s what we want: HBO. AMC. Local sports. Some kind of children’s programming. (My older one will watch just about anything, and my younger one mainly watches YouTube videos with talking trucks.)

Here’s what we have: Optimum, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, a Fire TV Stick, a Samsung smart TV, a PlayStation3, some iPhones and too many damn remotes. (Dear Amazon: Did you know your Fire remote is so small it can be easily hidden in a shoe for several days, rendering your device unusable?)

We sometimes have HBO, sometimes not, depending on what’s playing. “Game of Thrones” starts next week, and the goal was to figure this all out by the time it began.

Except everything keeps changing. 

When Sling said it would carry AMC, I wanted to sign up for the subscription service and cancel everything. Except, no, that won’t work. Too many missing pieces.

When Apple announced it would have HBO, I wanted to get a dongle that would let me stream my iPhone 5 to the TV.

“Will that work reliably?” my husband asked.


 So now I was getting closer, but I still wanted local channels for sports. It turns out that those small, flat, semi-discreet TV antennas wouldn’t work for where we live. In order to access anything, we require a powered antenna that needs to be installed on the roof.

“Will it work when it gets really windy or rainy or snowy?”


Now Sling TV has announced it will offer HBO for an additional $15, and I learned Optimum offers a Basic Broadcast package for $12.60 that will provide local channels without anyone in our family needing to climb on the roof, and still give us access to tech support when something goes wrong.

Perfect, right?

“Will our wireless network be able to handle all of this? Don’t things already get jerky when more than one device is being used?”

You get the picture.

When I add up what the service combination is going to cost us, I’m saving about $30/month. Certainly not pennies, but also not compelling enough to make the jump just yet, with real concerns about our Wi-Fi capabilities. 

We’re almost there. I can feel it. Soon this ill-fitting puzzle will come together in one glorious, non-buffering broadcast with a single remote.

But God help anyone who doesn’t have the time or patience to put it all together.