Before it controls you
Published on May 30, 2006 By stutefish In Life Journals
I used to watch TV.

Of course, I couldn't watch regular broadcast TV, because the reception is bad.

So I had to get Cable.

Now, Cable TV is interesting. With broadcast TV, the shampoo manufacturers pay for your TV programs, you pay for the shampoo, and you get shampoo commercials on TV. For premium cable, you pay for the shampoo, and you pay for the programs, but you don't get shampoo commercials. And with regular cable, you pay for shampoo, you pay for programs, and you still get shampoo commmercials.

That's only the beginning, though.

Once I started paying for Cable, I started thinking that I needed to get my money's worth. And that meant rearranging my life to accomodate the show schedule. My friends want to go out? I can't, because I'm paying good money to get Adult Swim, so I damn well better stay home and watch it.

Since I don't want to be a slave to my TV, I had to get a TiVo, too.

And that right there almost doubles the cost of my Cable TV. It's starting to feel like throwing good money after bad.

So I canceled the TiVo service.

And I canceled the Cable service.

And I got myself a 3-movie Netflix account.

Sure, I'm about a season or two behind on all the latest shows: 24, Lost, Stargate... and that kinda sucks.

On the other hand, I have access to all the old TV show reruns I care to watch, without having pay for hours and hours and hours of old TV show reruns I never want to see again.

Out with the Friends, in with the Scrubs, I always say.

on May 30, 2006
I like your shampoo analogy there- it's dead on. In my house we hardly ever watch TV so all we have is broadcast anymore for free. I'm just not interested in shelling out $60 a month for what's on satellite or cable. Of course where I work we have a TV on 24/7 in our control room so maybe I get my fix there. All I really watch then anyway is the food network.
on May 30, 2006

The one thing I miss, with this system, is the really funny and interesting commercials, and any good programming (like the Food Channel) that doesn't tend to come out on DVD.

News I get from the Internet and from NPR during my commute.
on May 30, 2006
Cable cost about $46.00 and that's the local channels + the basic cable channels.

Too pricey for my blood. Just had it shut off finally on Friday.

Now both my son and I are going through withdrawal symptoms. I love the Discovery channel, the Learning channel, HGTV, Sci-Fi, and so many more...

they sure have corned the market up here since we can't even pull in the twin cities without them!
on May 30, 2006
Trudy, I cannot recommend Netflix enough.
on May 31, 2006

I dont watch TV.  My wife and sons do.  I just snore.  ON my own, I had the commercial TV and that was fine.  Now, paying a bunch (but looking at a phone company alternative!) for it.  Way to go!

The only thing I watch with regularity?  The 5am news on one of the local stations!

on Jun 01, 2006
Cheers to those who've given up TV. I thought I was alone here. We've been TV-free for nearly a year, as I have a horribly addictive problem with it so I'm better off without it. Plus the points you all's ridiculously expensive to receive any decent channels, and who wants to be a slave to the TV? Sure there are times I get that *craving* but I'm always happier (and so is my 2-year-old son) when I rise above that craving and channel my laziness into creative energy.

I always think back to the days before TV existed...those were some seriously industrious people back then...
on Jun 27, 2006
but! At least with tivo, you could pay for shampoo, pay for the programs, pay for the commercials, and pay to fast forward through them.
on Jun 27, 2006
I just got me a capture card for my computer and a big hard drive. The capture card came with a decent remote, too, and has an FM radio tuner.

Using the (free) GB-PVR you've got about everything Tivo offers, with extra for your other media libraries, FM radio, internet radio, etc.For what they charge for the Tivo box I basically made my own. You can also burn to DVD, but then I could NEVER suggest you do such a thing because OF COURSE that would be ILLEGAL.

I feel your pain, though. I still feel like I pay for more TV than I watch. Using the search features for the guide and such at least gets what I want to see in front of me instead of just flipping channels. If you ever decide to go back to cable, consider a setup like this.