Monday, September 30, 2013

why i don't miss netflix

When I wrote about dumping Netflix a few months ago, I closed with the following:
As of right now, I think I'll come back to Netflix someday. But maybe I'll discover that I don't miss it much at all.
Well, I was right ... about the second sentence. I don't miss Netflix, not one bit. Here's why: for the first time in my life, I'm experiencing the wonder that is the DVR.

When I moved, I intended to just move my internet service (through CenturyLink) with me. I hadn't paid for TV since I lived with a friend in Grand Island from 2005-2006, so I planned to move my antenna that picked up five stations (on a good day) with me, as well.

That all changed when I called CenturyLink to request a transfer of services and try to negotiate a better rate. I went through the appropriate menu options and waited. And waited. And waited. After 20 minutes without reaching a live person, I hung up and dialed CenturyLink's main competitor in my town: USA Communications. In less than a minute, I was speaking with a customer service rep, and I learned that, for approximately what I was paying for internet through CenturyLink, I could get internet, cable, and a DVR. These prices are the introductory 6-month prices, and the rep urged me to call back when those rates are close to expiring—she said they are nearly always running retention specials for their current customers. Sold!

When I called CenturyLink to cancel—thus pushing different automated menu options—I was on the line with a customer service rep in less than two minutes. So apparently you're much more important to the company if you're wanting to leave than if you're calling for any other reason. I get it, but it's still frustrating.

My introduction to the wonderful DVR commenced the next week, and I quickly fell in love.

What I love most about the DVR is it allows me to watch TV on my schedule. (Yes, the VCR I had hooked up to my parents' cable TV did this too, but the DVR is simpler and doesn't require tapes.) Rarely do I stay up late watching something—I can always record it! And if I have two shows on during the same timeslot? I can either record one and watch the other live, or I can record both and watch them later. This saved me last Tuesday, when NCIS (a show you know I'm obsessed with!) and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered at the same time, and I had a meeting at work. With the VCR, I would have had to choose the more important of the two (and NCIS would have won with no question), but thanks to the DVR, I could watch both!

Side note: The NCIS premiere was as great as I'd hoped it would be, and I can't wait for part two of Ziva's goodbye tomorrow night. S.H.I.E.L.D. was okay—I enjoyed the witty Whedon-esque dialog, but the plot didn't enthrall me. I still have it set as a series recording on my DVR, but I'm not sure if I'll keep watching.

The DVR is not essential—neither is cable, for that matter—but I'm certainly enjoying it! I realize that I've done this backwards—most people dump cable in favor of Netflix, not the other way around. But I didn't really dump Netflix for cable—the cable was just a happy, unexpected development. Seriously, though, with all of my expanded basic cable, DVR'd Hallmark and Lifetime movies, and Amazon Prime offerings, who has time to miss Netflix?

My current DVR'd programs. In between the girly movies and Lifetime movies-of-the-week, I do go for some culture. See? Henry IV!

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