to tv or not to tv: that is the question

…Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of paying a fortune,
Or to take arms against a web of troubles,
And by unplugging end them: to Wi-Fi, to stream
No more; and by a stream, to say we end
The buffering, and the 320+ premium channels
That Dish is heir to?

Clearly I have a bit too much fun with this stuff.

My point is – I haven’t owned a TV in eight years.  But I’m moving very soon, and Time Warner is dangling the cable carrot at a very palatable price if I bundle it with Internet.

Ach!  What to do?  I’ve developed an identity around being TV-free.  I’m kind of attached to it, even though I try to practice non-attachment (“practice” being the key word).

There is a certain cachet about not having a TV.  It’s like being an ex-pat, which I’ve been.  Or not drinking coffee (which I gave up in January, with very good results.)

Yet my choice not to have a TV has been about other factors – it all started while I was living in London and decided there were other things I wanted to do with my time.  And I really like seeing movies in a theatre.  Since then, there’s another reason I’ve been happy to go sans TV:  information overload.

I must admit, there are times I’ve missed TV – during the Olympics, oncoming hurricanes, and the Oscars.

Now the question is, do I go there?  And, if so, in what form?  I definitely don’t need a bunch of channels.  I just want to be able to stream Netflix and finally watch Downton Abbey when the next Snowpocalypse hits – on something larger than my laptop.  And have an Oscars party.

But there are so many options, my head is spinning.  Internet + basic cable?  Internet + Smart TV?  Regular TV + Apple TV?  Or some weird thing called Roku?  Then there’s the issue of suppliers.  RCN is out since it’s not supported by my new building.  And Verizon would mean I’d need to get a landline, another thing I’m happy going without.

Bottom line:  I like to streamline.  And stream.

Of course, all this means that I’d also need to, er, buy a TV.  But not necessarily cable.

So I’m opening up the floor – I’d love to hear your solutions and recommendations.  Do you hook-up your computer to your TV or use an external device?  If so, which one?  Am I hopelessly disconnected for asking this in the first place?  What’s the minimum Internet speed I need to be able to watch streaming content seamlessly?

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