Considering ditching the cable...

Over the last little bit, it seems like (legal) avenues for getting what I want to watch on television without continuing to subscribe to the ever increasinly higher priced cable (or alternatives…I actually use DirecTV now…) are becoming more and more available. Hulu streams a good little bit of TV, Netflix is awesome and is getting more so by adding its streaming service to the XBox (and now Macs apparnetly!) and iTunes and the AppleTV make purchasing HD season passes to shows like Lost easy as anything (with the bonus of a SD version for the ipod). A small hack to the AppleTV even now allows Boxee (and thus streaming Hulu) on the TV itself.
That being said, are there really any advantages to keeping cable service? The only downside I see now is Showtime. I am not aware of any legal method of streaming or downloading their shows (of which I watch Dexter, Californification, and Weeds) other than waiting for the DVDs. Since I timeshift everything anyway, I guess waiting a bit wouldnt be a huge loss. So, I’m looking for opinons from Dopers as to potential downsides, or advantages, that I haven’t considered in this idea…

Do you watch much sports? That’s the only thing that I missed when I ditched cable 3 years ago…my baseball games are all on cable.

However, my pro football games are still on broadcast TV and for the most part so are my college football games (but I’m into two huge-market teams).

I have learned to love baseball on the radio, though, and don’t miss watching the games on tv anymore. That’s due partly to our amazing radio guy (Tom Hamilton) but also I find it easier to pay attention to 162 games a year when it’s just on in the background on the radio as I go about my business.

I don’t think you’ll have a hard time timeshifting all those Showtime shows…DVDs come out SO fast now. You’ll find that if you make a point to go get all of the shows you want to watch on DVD, you will rarely find yourself without stuff to watch.

Also, as a bonus, you don’t have to wait a week (or more) between episodes. I found that really frustrating with Weeds! I wanted to know NOW!!!

Join us in the anti-cable revolution. It’s grand!

So are you talking about getting rid of any and all TV service? Cable/DirecTV/Dish all of that? Or just looking for an alternative to what you have now?

Looking at getting rid of pay cable or the also-pay alternative, and going with itunes, hulu, and netflix to provide my television entertainment. I really like the iTunes model of subscribe to just the shows I want to watch. Doing the math, I will save a metric shit-ton of money over the $85/mo DirecTV bill. The DirecTV was itself a response to the abyssmal and extemely overpriced cable here in Alaska.

Sports arent really an issue…not a big watcher, and when I do its mostly at gatherings at friends houses or sportsbars. It’s definitely a factor I hadn’t thought of, though…

Also, yes…this was very frustrating…I ploughed through the first 3 seasons of Weeds on DVD in small marathons…Season 4 was excrutiating what with the actually having to wait!

The problem with that…and I’ve thought about this myself…is that you won’t know what you’re missing. Sure there are those certain programs that I always watch, but there are also a ton of programs that I just happen to see while flipping through the guide. If I didn’t have the option of seeing everything available, then I wouldn’t know that particular show was even available. And how will you know what new shows to watch? Download one episode and try it out? A lot of programs have a so-so start but end up doing very well. While the SDMB is a good source for info, and there are a lot of dopers that have similar tastes as I, there are also a lot of things that I like that never get mentioned, and some things that are praised that I can’t stand.

With the exception of the year I rented an apartment where basic cable was included (free) I’ve never had cable. I use Netfix and the internet for all my entertainment needs and could not be happier. By queueing up 4 series and 2 movies at a time I find I almost always have something to watch and the 6 disc plan is at least $20 cheaper than cable.

The only downsides are that setting up the queue so I always have one disc from each series is a pain and since my favorite college football team is not currently in the top 25 their games are only on ESPNU so I’m relegated to listening to it on the radio.