The Golden Age of Hollywood

How I'm Surviving Without Cable TV (but not without TCM)

I finally got thoroughly fed up with my provider and canceled not only my cable but also my land line. I now have only Internet.

The thing I was most concerned about was losing TCM. It's really the only channel I care about. But because of another account with a different provider, I am able to log into Watch TCM, which is live streaming of the channel over the Internet. This is the most amazing thing. Here I am in my quiet house, without TV or telemarketers calling all the time, and I'm still able to watch TCM. Not only that, but I found an HDMI cable I must have bought at some point, and I hooked up my laptop to the 42" TV screen, and now I can watch TCM on my TV without actually having a TV subscription.

If I get tired of TCM, I can dig into my own collection of some 800 classic movies, or I can watch stuff I've never seen on Archive.org. I am loving this! I should have done this long ago.

I do not miss at all the "infotainment" news shows that report on innuendo and rumors as if they are facts and interview people who should not even be taken seriously as if they have something important to say. I didn't watch those anyway. I also do not miss the endless commercials on every channel except TCM. I don't even miss the weather channel. I have an app for that on my cell phone.

I'm happy that I finally pulled the plug on the cable and the land line.

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Comment by Stephen Butler on July 2, 2017 at 11:25am

I would be glad to revive something where collectors could trade.  I too have several hundred movies on DVD, but in addition to that I have built up a library of some 2,000 titles on my external hard-drive, these are titles from 1896 until 2017, with the emphasis being on Hollywood's Golden Age, that is to say, those films made between 1918 and 1967.  Like you, Rosie, I try to focus my attention on rarer titles, although I do have the classics too.  In my mind I have my own TCM - I call it BCM - in which I screen all the films I love on my TV to my heart's content.  Sad, I know, but I don't get out much. x  

Comment by Rosie Sayer on June 30, 2017 at 12:31pm

I lived in the Netherlands for 12 years, from 1997 to 2009, and we had TCM (the European version). You're right, it's pathetic. I taped a few movies off it, but the programming never varied much, and I tracked it for 12 years. There was no Robert Osborn, in fact no introductions at all, no special holiday programming, just the same stuff, month in, month out. I started collecting DVDs because it was the only way I could get access to the old movies I was interested in. Fortunately, I had a friend in the US who would record things off of TCM for me and send them to me. I could look up the guide online and tell him what I wanted him to record. I also bought DVDs at Amazon. Later on, the library in our town started a DVD rental service, and they had a lot of classics. I used the library to whittle away at those titles on my "List of Shame" (movies I should have seen but haven't), like To Kill a Mockingbird and others. And sometimes they had old American classics in the local DVD and record store. But my real passion was for titles that were much more obscure, especially comedies from the 30s and 40s. There are still titles I would love to get my hands on, but they're not commercially available.

I'm really glad I have my collection, because no matter what happens, I have an awesome selection of movies I can watch whenever I want. But given the current cable situation, I would like to expand my collection more so that I'm less dependent on these expensive services.

Kevin started an invitation-only group for collectors years ago here on GAOH. It hasn't been active in a long time, but I think we should revive it. I have done international trades with other collectors, and sometimes that's the only way to get a particular title.

Comment by Stephen Butler on June 30, 2017 at 9:38am

I do so hate to go on about this, but we in Britain have no access to TCM at all.  That is to say, no access to the wonderful channel that was made for the US.  We have a channel called TCM in Britain, but it's an insult to those who love true classic movies.  First off, the channel's library was decimated in October 2000 after they suddenly realised they had no licence to screen the movies outside of the US.  After that, the highlight of the week would be a premiere of something like Jerry Stiller's A Fish in the Bathtub.  Check it out - it really exists!  Secondly, the channel repeats itself every twelve hours or something - for example, films screened on a Monday evening would be repeated on a Tuesday morning, and so on.  Thirdly, after the October 2000 'crash,' TCM began riddling the channel with commercials.  That's right.  Not only do you have to pay to get the channel in the first place, you then have to sit through commercials every twenty minutes.  On TCM!  I know!  

All of this means that I do not subscribe to TCM, and I haven't for many years.  In fact, I don't even watch television.  Our TV set is not rigged up to any cable or satellite provider.  Any programmes I do watch come from the channel's online player.  Anyway, it seems that TCM is run by idiots who just want to run the channel down in every territory except the US.  However, I'm glad that it is still going strong there.  I would rather it was still available in the US than nowhere at all. x

Comment by Erin Shaffer on March 14, 2017 at 10:36pm

I'm curious how you're able to get TCM over the internet without cable. I haven't had cable for a few years and deeply miss TCM. I have both Netflix and AmazonPrime, and I saw there was a TCM app, but I couldn't figure out how to access it without cable. But why get a TCM app if one has cable? I'd love to know. :)

Comment by kareng on February 1, 2017 at 9:25pm

Smart move Rosie.  We pay a fortune here where I am in Sydney for our cable provider, like $100.00 per month!  We're being robbed.  Now that our house is 2-storeys we'll be able to ditch the cable (which originally connected to some 23 years ago, and have a set top box for digital TV which is free.  Can't wait. I will just use youtube and amazon to watch and buy any movies.  Our cable provider cancelled the TCM channel entirely some months back. Paying a bunch of $$$ and watching mostly the free channels anyways.  Even the tennis, for example the Australian Open which was played in January, I can stream live via my mobile phone, and the 7 Tennis app.

Comment by Rosie Sayer on January 21, 2017 at 12:37pm

Thanks, Ken. Have a great 2017, and I hope I'll see you around here.

Comment by Kenneth Walker on January 14, 2017 at 7:08pm

Rosie, it looks you did the smart thing.We have sattelite tv but thats just for my wife. I use the small tv that gets regular programs.I watch a lot of MeTV old programs but Im happy with that.. She watches a channel from another country. [shes from the phillippines]. Like you Im a big TCM fan but can only get it on cable which isnt too good here and sky high costs for good programming. . so ill stick with the internet. Good luck with your entertainment. Have a safe and joyous new year.
Ken Walker.

Comment by Rosie Sayer on January 14, 2017 at 3:25pm

Yes, it's true, you have to have a valid provider. I'll message you.

Comment by Ktrek on January 14, 2017 at 3:03pm

How are you able to get only TCM? I thought their app only allows you access if you have a valid provider. I got DirectTV streaming for $35.00 a month but I'm not sure it's worth it just for TCM and HGTV because that's all we watch on it. If I could just stream TCM I'd be happy. 

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