The question of the day is this:
Do you need cable tv?
I'll start with my twitter survey of whether people have or do not have cable: So far, everyone who has answered does not have cable...it could be because those who do are watching tv instead of online. Those without cable have noted that they watch tv on the internet, on hulu, and have netflix to get their fix. I will say this...my experience without cable gets me out of the apartment more than not. Life DOES exist outside of Sportscenter and the Food Network. Hanging out with friends and not just sitting in front of the television can lead to cooking dinners, going hiking, hitting up the beach, shopping (although I wouldn't recommend that activity if you're trying to save money), working out, or just having a leisurely chat while laying out in the sun (come on, you know you want to savor every minute of Summer we get here). All these options...they are ALL easily doable in Portland.
Secondly, I have read numerous articles on "reducing costs" and most of them have cutting cable in the 1st or 2nd spot. I have looked at the local cable offerings and you can get basic cable for around $10. You can also get cable for about $200. I don't think I have to tell you which option will save you money. If you can't live without cable and don't want to get a converter box (which works great by the way)...then get the basic $10/month plan. If you have time to be watching 900 channels of television for $200/month I am not sure if you can actually afford to have that package...but if you can, then by all means. I surely don't have $200 to spend on channels I will never watch. Of course there are options in between these two which are always there but anything over $100 is gonna put a pretty big dent in the account for bills.
There is the other side of this of course...everyone is too busy to hang out, you don't like to do things by yourself, you don't like to read and tv has always kept you company. AND you have a great tv so of course the natural next stage would to get cable so that you can host tv watching gatherings at your place. Can't do that without cable...or can you? Tv keeps you company? So can the internet...so can internet tv. Want to watch it on your sweet tv?...get an S-Video cord or any other cord that will be a one time purchase and hook your computer up to play video on that. Many sites are offering their shows in HD too.
Want to host that finals game?...Sometimes they stream that online too. OR they play it on a channel you could get with a converter box. Neither of those are options?...then yes, it's a bit of a drawback but you can still host...just perhaps at someone else's place. Better yet, you can help stimulate the local economy and go to a sports lounge that has the game playing on one of their sweet big tvs!
Overall, lots of options to reduce your monthly cable bill...
1. Cut cable (zero cost)
2. Downgrade from the expensive HD/Movies/NFL/Sports galore package to basic
3. Call your provider and see if they'll lower the price for you...otherwise you will downgrade
Get your fix like so many have said so at www.twitter.com/umpqualouie and watch tv online and netflix those movies (keep on eye on how much netflix would be compared to what you pay for cable). I love watching tv online...less commercials.