Guest Post: Why I Bought an Apple TV Rather Than A Cable Subscription

Today I'm doing a blog swap with Carrie from It's Frugal Being Green; she has kindly consented to discuss her experiences with a great potential alternative to cable TV over here, while I write about the top 10 sources of free-and-legal MP3s over there. Carrie is a blogger buddy from the opposite coast who shares a lot of my favorite obsessions, so be sure to check out her site for more great ideas and material!

Guest Post: Why I Bought an Apple TV Rather Than A Cable Subscription

I've never paid for cable TV. The one year I spent living in a college dorm, cable TV was included and I found it to be a total mind suck. I'd stay up until 3am watching reruns of early nineties sitcoms.

However, there are a few cable TV shows I enjoy. I could wait until a year or more after their release and buy the DVDs. Or I could buy an Apple TV and then download the episodes of the TV shows I want to watch the day after they're originally aired and skip the transportation and packaging costs on the environment involved with buying physical media.

Apple TVs are boxes manufactured by Apple that hook up to your TV and sync with your iTunes library so that you can enjoy your media on your television rather than on your computer. They start at a cost of $229.

Over the past year I have purchased the following shows:
Birds of Prey (an awesome show, that unfortunately only lasted one season, from the creators of Smallville but with a Batman theme rather than a Superman theme) - $24.99 on iTunes
Sex and the City Seasons 1 and 2 - $22.99 each on iTunes
Stargate Atlantis Seasons 4 and 5 - $36.99 each on iTunes
Tin Man - $4.99 on sale at the time on iTunes
True Blood Season 1 - $34.99 on iTunes
The Tudors Season 1 - $19.90 on iTunes

I spent a total of $204.83 on media over the past year. For the equipment to get started and a years worth of media, I spent a total of $433.83.

The cheapest cable package available at my location would have been $29.99/mo or $359.88 for that year. Add in HBO (which is a premium channel) so I could watch several of the shows I'm interested in and I would have been paying $15/mo more for a total of $539.88 a year.

Not only did I save $106.05 in this first year (and I'll save more in future years because I won't need to buy a new Apple TV each year), but I've saved my valuable free time. I'm watching exactly the shows I want to watch at exactly the time I want to watch them, everything is commercial free, and I don't feel obligated to watch things I wouldn't otherwise want to watch to feel like I'm getting more for my money.

Carrie blogs at It's Frugal Being Green. Carrie is a 25 year old woman living alone in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her blog explores frugality and going green as methods to live within her means and fight the occasional obsessive compulsive hoarding urge.

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