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Cutting the Cord - Why I'm Cancelling My TV Subscription

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Underwriting support from:
Will Hartwell

Will Hartwell


Will Hartwell is a local attorney and a Partner in the Grand Rapids Technology Partnership (GRTP).  To promote the GRTP's goals of providing technology education and promoting technology use in the region, Will is writing the "Cutting the Cord" series.  In this series, Will discusses how he has replaced traditional paid television service with free alternatives through the use of an Over-The-Air antenna and a Home Theater PC.


I love TV 

I’ll be honest, as much as I enjoy spending my free summer hours outdoors, my ideal day is one spent revisiting Season 1 of Arrested Development or trucking through any one of Filmspotting’s many film marathons.  That’s just how I am.   So it made sense when I subscribed to U-Verse – AT&T’s wonderful new(ish) IPTV service.  With U-Verse, I get quality television delivered to my home through state-of-the-art technology.  It’s awesome.

However, as of late I find myself with less and less time to actually sit down and watch TV.  Recordings quickly pile up on the DVR and I continuously find myself having to choose between Timothy Olyphant’s crime-fighting adventures in Eastern Kentucky and Captain Picard’s bold journey through the 24th century.

There’s also that hefty monthly bill.  I am of the opinion that if I’m gonna do it, I better do it right.  With TV, this means HD programming, the all-important DVR, and at least the second-tier channel subscription (what would I do withoutNFL Network?).  When it all adds up, I end up forking over about $85 a month for my TV programming.

I’ve had enough of it.

It’s not that I’m unsatisfied with my service; in fact, I have nothing but great things to say about AT&T U-Verse.  It’s that bill – and the fact that I don’t have the time to get my money’s worth – that make U-Verse no longer worth it.

So I’m cutting the cord.  Over the next few weeks, I will write about my transition from paid TV service to free over-the-air (OTA) and online TV.  In the process, I will cover topics ranging from selecting the appropriate antenna for OTA service to building a capable yet inexpensive Home Theater PC (HTPC).

But now, its time for me to go catch up on Season 9 of The Biggest Loser before I turn in the DVR and forever lose the opportunity to see who gets sent home in Week 3.

Stay Tuned.


About Will:  Will is an Associate Attorney at Paparella & Associates, an Intellectual Property Law Firm here in Grand Rapids, MI.  Will lives with his wife, Becky, in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids.  He can be reached at [email protected]


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