Life without TV

Fifteen days ago, I contacted the blood suckers at Time Warner and canceled my cable TV subscription.

This is old news to those of you who are friends with me on Facebook (I feel compelled to share the details of my life there whether you care or not).

I was prompted to do this by the realization that I no longer watch TV the way I used to.

Way back in the dark ages when I was a kid, my parents had one black and white set. I remember the day my father came home from some conference with a color set–it didn’t matter if the programs were broadcast in color or not, you needed a special set to see color.

We had no cable. We had rabbit ears and occasionally there were fun adventures with coat hangers and tin foil. I have fond memories of being told to stand exactly in one position so that the picture would stay clear. I watched a lot of stuff in French in the early years–we lived near Canada and occasionally we could get the broadcasts from French Canadian stations (trust me, you haven’t really experienced Star Wars until you have heard some squeaky voiced actor dubbing Darth Vader saying “Luc, je suis ton pere”)

We didn’t have cable till I was in my twenties and my brother and I paid for it myself. I still remember the first thing I ever saw in my own home on cable. It was Lionel Barrymore in drag as a French peasant woman. And as Dave Barry is wont to say, “no, I’m not making that up.” (See below)

But that was over twenty years ago and I don’t use my TV the way I used to. I had digital cable and it cost me an inordinate amount of money. As much as I liked certain channels, when I sat down and thought about it, out of the over 200 I was paying for, I was probably watching 5 of them. It’s not possible to pick and choose. You have to get one of those stupid packages and along with the 5 you want, you have 195 you never touch.

I watch most of my content via streaming or DVD. I mainline TV shows now. There are only a handful of things I was watching through traditional appointment TV.

So fifteen days ago, I canceled it. I really don’t miss it. I bought an antenna and a digital converter box, but I think I’ll be returning them to the store.

The Time Warner person who handled my order to disconnect sounded resigned. I get the feeling I’m not the only person moving in this direction.

Snow on my set is not such a bad thing.

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