A little over two years ago, we cut our cable TV, and without cable, we eliminated TV from our lives. We were still able to watch many of the shows we cared about on the Internet, but we were not watching them live, which was actually not a bad thing. We could just go online and watch at a convenient time, as long as we didn’t wait too long and the networks removed them from their web sites. There were two things we could not do: channel flip and watch sports. Channel flipping is not a huge deal. You miss a few treasures you might stumble upon, but save yourself a ton of time watching shows you normally would not make any effort to find online. As for sports, it has been hard, but life seems to have gone on just fine (I am saying this with sarcasm; life has been just fine). Well, this past Christmas, we got a new TV (a Vizio 55″ LCD with LED backlight smart TV with built-in Wi-fi and Internet applications like YouTube, FaceBook, Netflix, and more) that allows us to watch the free over-the-air broadcasts, and I am a bit embarrassed to admit that it has been really nice.
After we cut the cable, we not only could not watch cable shows, but we could not watch over-the-air broadcasts because we owned the older style, non-digital TVs. We have been looking at getting a digital TV for awhile, even a couple of years before we cut the cable, so we can connect our computer to it and so we can watch over-the-air shows, but it seemed like an expense we just didn’t need. Well, we finally got the TV, in fact with the deal we found, we bought two TVs, and it has been a lot nicer than I could have imagined. I guess I missed TV more than I realized, and now I act like a person coming off a starvation diet at a buffet.
First of all, it has been nice to be able to connect our computers to the TV, then we can watch shows we watch over the Internet in a larger group, instead of huddling around a 13″ laptop screen. It has also been nice to watch DVDs as a group before it is dark – we own a projector that requires a pretty dark room to be effective. Finally, we can watch TV shows over the air, so I could watch the Super Bowl, basketball, volleyball, and many other sporting events. I have also enjoyed watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory each day after work and Friends just before I go to bed.
What about productivity? Yes, it has not helped with that, but how does TV help the billions of people throughout the world? I have just regained their ranks. I liked saying I do not watch TV, but I also want to be honest that I missed it and liked it. I can say that I watch less TV with over-the-air broadcasts than I did with cable, because we have fewer channels and we do not have the ability to record shows to watch later. Ideally, I want to be able to say that I can watch TV but I don’t want to. This is something I can consider doing in the future. For now. I need to do a bit of feasting after my two year fast.