As I stated previously in the original Luddite Chronicles, I am not an early adopter, nor am I attracted by shiny technology in general. However, when I began contemplating cutting the cable cord a little over a year ago, I knew that the last thing I wanted were more boxes or gadgets on my TV stand, and so I decided that if I was going to purchase a new TV (for once), I wanted something all-in-one: Enter the Samsung Smart TV with built-in wifi.

I. Love. This. System.

First off, it’s nice to finally have a flat-screen HDTV with a glorious picture. And I’m sure the guests for my annual Oscar dinner were thrilled with that development alone.

More importantly, I love having everything accessible on one screen, from Hulu to Netflix to YouTube (TableTop!) as well as other apps such as Euronews in French. And, with the purchase of one long HDMI cable, I am able to use the screen as a second monitor for editing work on my laptop (which has Blu-ray and can now serve as a replacement for my dying DVD player as well). After one year with this new set-up, I can confidently say I don’t miss cable at all.* I’m only sorry I didn’t do this sooner.

From a financial perspective, this has also proved to be a smart decision. I’m already well past the point where the TV has paid for itself with what I have saved on cable. The monthly numbers break down as follows:

   Original cable bill (Digital Starter): $73

   Upgrade to highest DSL for streaming: + $13
   New Hulu Plus subscription: + $ 8
   Netflix subscription change: – $ 1
     (3DVDs at a time => 1DVD + streaming)

   Monthly Savings: $53

Even buying the occasional TV series such as Mad Men, or upgrading my Netflix DVDs for film projects, I will still come out ahead. Plus, unless I switch Internet providers, no cable company bullsh*t to deal with!

Sadly, one thing my Smart TV cannot do is make the remaining films in my Spielberg project any shorter, or more interesting, so I fear it may be longer than expected before my next Film 101 post.

*Hulu is definitely what I use the most, especially since the user interface and queue works most like a DVR. In addition to being how I access old favorites like The Daily Show, I don’t think I would have discovered things like Braquo or Spiral without it. I realize I could have used Hulu before, but I really don’t like watching video on my laptop.