Wednesday, May 03, 2006

netflix or DVR

When we disconnected the cable a few years back, we subscribed to netflix. It was cheaper than cable and we figured we'd be able to control our and the kids' viewing better. It has worked, sort of, but not entirely. Mariah still tunes into mindless TV most evenings for a while, but she's limited to over-the-air shows, which means America's Next Top Model or The Biggest Loser rather than, say, The Daily Show or my new boyfriend, Stephen Colbert. Nick has become a Friends addict, which just seems a very strange attraction for an 8-year-old. And we can't watch basketball, or any sporting event, except when the networks decide it's a game worth watching.

This has saved us a lot of time and probably some money as well, true. But it's not ideal.

So now dish network wants us to sign on for $50 a month with a free DVR. Could we then cancel netflix and just record cool stuff to watch when we felt like it? I know we wouldn't get as many movies (getting the movie channels adds another $20 or so to the monthly fee), but we'd get sports and comedy instead. We could force the kids to watch specials on the History Channel instead of Friends. (Um, in my dreams.) We'd spend more on entertainment, but would it be worth it?

Inquiring minds want to know. Should we join the 21st century?


blogolodeon said...

I think Netflix gives a better movie experience; DVR/Dish gives a better television experience. So get both!

I never thought I would get into DVR/Tivo, but I use it all the time -- mainly to put live TV on pause when the teakettle starts whistling or to "rewind" live TV when I didn't hear something (more often as time goes by). And I record my favorites (Boston Legal, Big Love) in case I forget to watch them, which is also often.

I think I'd rather have DVR than Netflix if I had to chose. The proof of that is three Netflix movies have been waiting for about six weeks to be returned, sigh.

caroline said...

Oh, get a DVR, absolutely. For most people that is a slippery slope to premium cable, but I know you, if anyone, can resist that! And even with basic cable you should get Bravo and some other good stuff.
I only signed up for Netflix this month, and I'm not yet convinced that it is necessary. Being able to pause or replay live tv, however, is something I can no longer live without.
But I wonder if the netflix vs dvr thing comes down to having older kids (who let you sleep enough that you can stay up to watch a movie, and who occasionally watch movies with you) vs having younger kids, who interrupt everything and also don't particularly sleep at night. Hmm.