I was an early cord cutter, a combination of my nomadic lifestyle of late and the limited funds with which I’ve been living it. After the first year or so without basic cable, I not only didn’t miss it but I was grateful to not have that time suck on my radar, a DVR filling up with hours of television I didn’t really want to watch but would instead of doing other more creative, productive and rewarding things.
For a long time, my viewing habits were satiated by whatever I could find time for on broadcast channels and Netflix. I cannot overstate how big a PBS nerd I am. And the best Sunday mornings are spent in the company of CBS Sunday Morning and the network news shows (hey, Chuck Todd!). And for quite a while there, Netflix was killing it with acquisitions and their early original programming. It was the platform for streaming TV shows, new films, you name it. I had no need for Amazon or Hulu, and I never rented or bought anything digitally via iTunes or Google Play. Occasionally I’d stop by a Redbox kiosk, but even that dipped to a scarcity after moving back from Utah.
But recently, I’ve noticed that the shows and films I want to see are so spread out and exclusive to so many different platforms, the consumption landscape – or at least, my own – is very different than it was even just two or three years ago, let alone five or more. It’s no longer a guarantee that if I wait long enough a title will show up on Netflix. And so much good content – Game of Thrones! – isn’t on broadcast TV.
So recently I’ve turned towards additional options, spreading my viewing across a variety of platforms. Which likely isn’t news to anyone but me. Clearly iTunes has been a go-to for movies for ages, just not for me. It’s only been in the last year that I discovered the convenience of clicking through to the store, finding some new title at my fingertips and, with just a tap or two, having it there on my laptop to watch.
I also gave in and signed up for my own HBO Now login. With GoT returning in about a month (and having lost my previously pilfered access), I was missing John Oliver and Veep and all the other great content that network is known for snapping up.
Add in to that the previously noted occasional stop by Redbox and my own infatuation with utilizing the library’s resources for especially hard to find stuff and suddenly I’m getting my visual media from more places than ever. The best part is I can take all these new sources with me wherever I may find myself. I’ve become quite fond of watching iTunes rentals on the train when I head down state to visit family. I can stream Netflix from the laundry room while I wait for my clothes to finish.
I’m still happiest with fresh coffee and a nice breakfast in front of my Sunday shows. Call me old fashioned. But it’s fun, this new expansion into diverse content delivery. You’d think I’d have been more into it given what I do for a living, but there you have it. Better late than never!
How do you see your favorite movies and TV shows? What platform haven’t you tried yet that you know you should?