According to this article, more and more people are dumping their TVs and cable/satellite services, and watching whatever they want online. This, of course, is causing some sphincters to wink. Specifically: the sphincters of people who make their livings via the old ways of doing things. Change threatens their livelihood.
I’m sympathetic, to a point. I worked in the music and home video industries for 17 years, and it was a hell of a ride. During the last five years, especially, I made great money, and we had a good quality of life. But, during those five years, the writing was always on the wall. Everybody knew it was only a matter of time…
So, I understand. But shit changes. The music industry made a huge mistake trying to attack and demonize the early adopters of change inside their industry, and succeeded in alienating everyone on planet Earth. Their approach made otherwise honest people want to stick it to ’em, just for spite. Well done!
The secret, I believe, is to roll with it, and try to adapt. Not exactly a revolutionary notion, I know. But the automatic reaction inside affected industries is usually to try to squash change, and protect the status quo. It’s a losing proposition.
Anyway, I’m interested in how your TV-watching habits have changed over the past few years. Is there any difference, from… say, 2005?
I don’t watch much TV. I’m home every day until 2:00 p.m., and never turn it on. It doesn’t even occur to me. Occasionally, the boys will ask me to watch something with them — usually Tosh or Workaholics — and I’ll do it. And I sometimes watch a movie via Netflix streaming on Saturday nights. But beyond that… I watch almost nothing.
I’m all about the internet, music, and books. If I was forced to choose between TV and computer, I’d say goodbye to the television without one second of hesitation. But, the hooligans watch the hell out of it, so we’re nowhere near becoming a “Zero TV” house.
How has it changed for you, over the past few years? Do you watch stuff as it’s actually broadcast anymore? We don’t. The boys put the DVR through a vigorous workout, and Toney and I sometimes watch things on-demand. You know, like House Hunters. We on-demand it whenever we need a fix of “Oooh! Two sinks!!”
So, there you go. Please tell us about your TV-watching habits. Also, which would you give up, if you were forced to choose: television or computer? Are you anywhere near becoming a “Zero TV” household? And finally, has technology threatened your livelihood yet? Please bring us up to date, in the comments section below.
And I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.
Have a great day!
Now playing in the bunker
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Swami Bologna says
Man, oh man, I’m really on a roll.
I have one TV with an HD antenna to watch local news and sports on networks. And my kid uses it for her Wii. I was tired of paying Comcast $80 a month for the privelege of watching a bunch of annoying commercials.
Now I watch all shows and movies on Netflix or Comcast online since my friend pays for cable and gave me her password.
I havent watched ANYTHING live since I got DVR’s. Fuck commercials (and especially political ads). The weirdest is sporting events – even things like bowl games, baseball playoffs and other championship-type events. I wait until a suitable amount of time has passed from the actual start (90 minutes for a college football game, for example), then start watching from the beginning. I not only get to skip commercials but I can also skim through the ‘bad guys’ at-bats or ball-possessions. If my team is going down the toilet, or things don’t look good – I can fast-forward even more and get right to the ‘bad news’. Somehow it lessens the impact. And it’s totally ruined the sports-on-television experience for me too. 🙁
I DVR everything but my husband refuses to DVR sports, he said it’s just not the same if you’re not watching it live.
He’s absolutely right. :-\
Buzz in Wheeling says
The man speaks the truth.
Lee Harvey Ramone says
All I watch on TV anymore is sports. Unless I’m on travel, and watch whatever is on HBO from my hotel room bed. Pacino was pretty dang entertaining as Phil Spector.
The Qweezy Mark says
Almost totally disposed of traditional network TV in favor of classic reruns, news programming and Squidbillies.. Can’t stand that I know while watching ” the popular shows” that their political/social views are totally divergent from mine, and I would like to kill them because of it.
“Don’t touch the trim”
The Qweezy Mark says
I’ve gone from 100% DirecTV real time watching to 90% DVR, 9% Netflix and 1% DVD.
The only time I let the TV play in real time on commercial TV is to use it for mood lighting while I’m having sex.
“The back of your head looks so lovely in the blue light coming off of the TV.”
Nothing quite compares to the simulated outrage of Sean Hannity when trying to set a mood.
I thought I recognized your performance on xhamster. Well done. Search ‘amateur’ ‘mom is that you?’
I always turn on the TV when I get home from work. And I usually watch TV shows starting at 8 pm – just like the olden days.
I don’t have a DVR or whatever it’s called. I do like the free sections on the On Demand deal though.
I’ve never messed with Netflix either. If I am looking for something that is not on TV, I can usually find it on Youtube or Daily Motion. And of course, a lot of the networks are putting up their shows online – legally.
I also watch things on Hulu. They recently got me good. I was working my way through Quantum Leap, and at some point – ZAP – you have to pay to see the rest.
But – I understand. People have to make money.
DVR all the way, except for timely cable news shows that I regularly watch live. Sometimes when I’m watching the DVR I still forget to fast-forward past the commercials and then I realize it and say to myself, “Idiot!”
Or you’re actually watching live TV and you go to fast forward the commercials without even thinking.
” And finally, has technology threatened your livelihood yet?”
Not a bit. I work for a NEWSPAPER!
Buzz in Wheeling says
Then, you *know*.
Print newspapers are going the way of the buggy whip.
Or TV Guide.
I am at damn near 0 tv. Part of that is because I refuse to pay for television anymore, so the only free television here is beyond terrible and in Italian. The only time my husband watches is the motorcycle races which are like a religion here.
I’m a 100% internet girl and I’m goddamned pissed that I can’t opt out of watching ads on some of the streaming now. Fuckers.
I watch a LOT of TV. It seems we always have the news on. And, if I happen to be home during the work week, I’m elated I can catch Judge Judy. Thank God for the “Recall” button because if one channel has a commercial, you can flip back and sometimes you get lukcy and the actual program is on the other channel.
And it’s a red letter day if I can watch (uncut and uninterrupted): My Cousin Vinny, Jaws, The Big Lebowski, etc. Yes, I know I have the DVDs but it’s not the same….
I do the same thing, watch the movies on TV but won’t watch the DVD’s.
I watch less and less live TV and more On Demand and on the internet.
I want to watch Game of Thrones but I’m not going to subscribe to HBO just for one show. I’m giving them until the end of this season to wake up, look at the calender, and realize that it’s the 21st century. If they won’t make it available for legal download (either through iTunes, Amazon, or their own portal) I’m going to torrent it.
Buzz in Wheeling says
Garrett - g1g3m says
Thrones on torrent is available LESS than a minute after the show ends. How does that happen (I’m not complaining).
Average Jane says
I have a handful of shows I like (including Game of Thrones, which causes me to get HBO for a few months every year), so I don’t think I’d ever go Zero TV, but I would definitely pick the internet over TV if it came down to it.
We went cable-less for a couple of years, but that’s still an enormous hassle even with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon streaming options. The TiVo is the real lifesaver in the equation – we were super early adopters and upgraded the hardware to HD later on, retaining the lifetime programming guide for which we paid a small lump sum back in the day.
I don’t think I’ll give up the TV machine itself. I use it for way too much. I play various murder simulators and watch too many bad old movies to do without Phallux 320 LED Retinal Burninator. However, I could do without television programming pretty easily. In fact, we’ll probably have a TV (as a monitor) in every room of the new house we’re building. Only one will have cable routed to it.
The only reason I still pay for cable is because I’m so far south in AZ that I don’t even get Tucson stations anymore. Without cable there would be no emergency notifications of wild fires, wild Mexicans, or wild white college aged kids to scare me from going outside until BIG GUBMENT tells me it’s okay.
You don’t even have to force me to choose really. No gun to my nards needed here. I’ll go without TV. Then radio. Then internet.
I have two TV’s in my house. One in our computer room and one in the bedroom. We do not, however, have cable. Hell to the no on that fee. We have a computer hooked up to the TV in the computer room and a ROKU in the bedroom. From both we watch our TV using Netflix, Hulu (not plus) and Amazon Prime. We’re always a season behind on shows, but don’t care. While our friends pay upwards of $200/month on phone, cable and internet we pay one fee of $41/mth (internet), $8/mth (NF) and one yearly price of $75 for Prime.
Plus, the only TV viewing that is going on in the house is me catching up on Doctor Who and the occasional Grey’s Anatomy episode. Beyond that we don’t watch anything.
Comcast Cable is one big bone of contention in my house. Wife and daughter insist on having 5,000 channels including HBO, Shotime, the big DVR box, and upgraded Triple Play sports channels. I need the internet, but refuse to change over to VOIP phones because they suck. Our cable bill is about the same as the house payment.
I cannot watch any network news. It’s the same shit every day: North Korea is going to nuke someone, seven guys got their dicks blown off in the Middle East, Obama want to tax the last 12 cents grandma has, and they are going to take your guns. They can all go fuck themselves, politicians and newscasters alike.
Personally, I could throw all 6 TV’s out in the street and never miss it.
I read all of the news I need for free on the net. Actually, the internet is $54.95 per month, but it is an All You Can Eat buffet deal.
I DVR all of my shows. We have Directv. I usually don’t watch any TV during the day because my daughter is watching her shows, we stream Netflix and they have a Netflix kids with any kid show you can think of. We have a Google TV that you can stream the Netflix, go on youtube or surf the web. You can watch regular live TV too of course. We love it. Given the choice, I would pick the computer over the TV. My husband would be the other way around.
TV for me is just background filler, something to glance at occasionally while on the computer. Food Network being my channel of choice (except for those god awful ‘Top whatever challenge’ shows). So yeah, if I had to give it up, good bye television. The only thing I have recorded over the past year is the F1 races that are aired at 3 in the morning.
The only way tech has challenged my livelyhood is 1) tiny components I can’t see for shit anymore 2) Cheaper to replace a lot of stuff rather than repair it.
The Qweezy Mark says
Kimi in China!
Buzz in Wheeling says
Now that I am retired, I’m asking myself WTF is up with this increasingly unwieldy cable bill. I’m home all day and can watch anything I want.
I don’t watch anything. During football season, sure, the Steelers, but really, I have hundreds of movies and several thousand CDs. I literally do *not* need TV anymore.
In the end I usually wind up reaching for one of my guitars. Much more rewarding, plus they don’t even need electricity.
“Champagne for my real friends; real pain for my sham friends.” Unknown
What is your rig set up?
Some of my friends still gather around their TV on certain nights because “that’s when all their favorite shows are on”. That seems like a foreign world to me now, a world I haven’t been part of for years. I still have cable, but every day I ask myself “Why?”. I will always have a TV, but will ditch cable eventually. As I once read, “If Newton Minnow called television a vast wasteland back then, he would certainly call it a toxic waste dump now”. Nothing but reality garbage and infomercials. If it wasn’t for Turner Classic Movies and my local sports channel [so I can watch the Pirates and Penguins], I’d cancel my cable tomorrow. As Buzz said, I have thousands of CDs, DVDs, and I even have a ton of VHS tapes that I still watch. Eventually my TV will simply be a monitor……
We watch a lot of Disney, Jr. while the rug monkey is awake. We also watch a lot of animated crap on Netflix. We DVR Justified and The Walking Dead, and I like Discovery ID. We only watch the networks if the weather is bad. I can’t rely on The Weather Channel if a tornado is in the vicinity. We only have 1 tv in the house, and it will probably stay that way for a few more years.
Garrett - g1g3m says
I use an HDHomerun to record off antenna. It uses Windows Media Center to record. WMC also integrates Netflix and Hulu. About $300 startup and Netflix+Hulu is around $20 a month. Never looked back to $90 a month Directv.
Buzz in Wheeling says
Regarding The Weather Channel, the late comedian Richard Jeni had an opinion there as well:
“Let’s go to the radar, hell; let’s go to the WINDOW.”
I am a TV junkie. Always have been. No matter what I’m doing in the house, I have it on in the background. Paying the Comcast bill produces the same argument between my boyfriend and I. “This is fucking BULLSHIT!!!” Agreed. Comcast should be charged for a crime. It’s a wonder they don’t charge for the amount of clicks on the remote.
He bitches that I manage to find and watch the same dumb movies over and over. My answer to that is if I am busy with something, I don’t have to concentrate on the movie. At anytime I can look at the screen and know exactly what’s going on. Mindless..I know. I guess it’s like a security blanket. I’ll never grow up.
I’m that way with The Golden Girls and the earlier Roseanne episodes (when she was funny and the kids were young). Just having that shit in the background I can go about folding laundry or whatever.
Buzz in Wheeling says
With my wife, it is “Sex & The City”. She’s seen every episode so many times she should have the dialog memorized. Hell, I don’t even watch it and *I* damn near have the dialog memorized.
(Of course, I have more sense than to bring it up as an *Issue*. One of the secrets of a long marriage is to know when to open your pie-hole and when to keep it shut – this goes for both man and wife, most particularly for the men. But, as always, YMMV.)
Jeff nailed the year…it was 2005 when I stopped watching tv altogether. I bought a big screen tv for my (then, fiancee) in 2011 so he could watch his favorite PBS stuff and we could watch dvds together. Otherwise, zero tv for me and it wasn’t difficult to give up. Most everything on tv is mindless, crap anyway and who wants to pay an exorbitant cable bill for that? So, my husband and I are book readers and when we want news, we read the internet.
But the mindless part is just the point, isn’t it? After 10 hours of doing math and science at the job all day, an hour commute and an hour of beating the kids into submission (umm… putting them to bed), I little brain deadening is just what the doctor ordered. And TV is easier on the liver than 3 Martinis.
Maybe (okay, definitely) it’s just me but I’ve always preferred to just read to wind down. Or, take a long bubble bath. TV is just too much flash and noise…a few days ago my husband and I were in one of those restaurants that have a few dozen tvs and I could not believe the “technique” on almost every channel: Zoom way in, zoom way out, maybe two or three seconds per shot then zoom far left then far right as quickly as possible…crap! It’s like the camera operators are on roller coasters, WTH?
Reading is like a movie, but it’s a much richer experience. Plus, you don’t need any kind of machine except maybe a lamp. Time for me to reread the “Baroque Cycle” – it’s been a couple of years.
I rarely watch TV and if I do, it’s generally something on PBS (Nature, Frontline, etc.). I have one flat-screen HD TV in my house (son gave it to me for Christmas because he said I need the latest “technology” Ha!) and I do not have cable. However, I do love to read and read a couple of books a week. For what I spend on books I could probably have a home theatre paid for in a year…if I wanted to watch the damn thing…which I don’t. YEA for books!
Root 66 says
We’ve never had cable, so I don’t miss a thing. I’m not steadfastly against it or anything like that, I just don’t have time for it. I do like to borrow DVDs at the library (FREE) or watch some from our own collection. I also like the classic TV channel that shows stuff from the 60’s and 70’s because it’s actually entertaining TV.
To answer, “has technology threatened your livelihood yet?”–I used to do a lot of runs for our firm to file pleadings in various courthouses throughout our state, but most of the courts are now electronic so we file most of our stuff over the internet. The mileage was good, and as a matter of fact, two runs to Cleveland or Cincinnati would make my car payment each month. Most of that has dried up now, but at least my car is paid for.
Gordion Knott says
I watch a whole lotta TV, almost all series like Game of Thrones or the Wire, but it’s all via Netflix streaming or Bluray rentals.
As for cable service, I haven’t had this since 2000 and I haven’t looked back. You can easily substitute the Internet, DVDs and Netflix for TV in ANY of the following categories.
-News. If it’s worth watching, you can see it at CNN.com. The stuff that doesn’t end up there isn’t worth watching.
-Sports. This is a tough one, but I get my NFL fix by subscribing to Game Rewind. Watch any season or post season game on your computer for 50 bucks, in HD.
-HBO shows. Get your Game of Thrones fix via Netflix streaming or Blurays from Netflix or wherever. Yes, you’ll wait a few months. Big deal.
-Reality shows. These eventually end up on Hulu.
-Movies. Youtube and Vimeo are cluttered with movies in all categories and eras. Lists are updated on Reddit every hour.
We got the roku, I think it’s called. So we watch tv online. I’m not all that fond of it and might go back to cable. The thing with roku is that you have to know what you want to watch beforehand and then look it up.
I have a TV, but I watch it less and less. I used to watch Top Gear religiously, then occasionally, then rarely. Nowadays I only watch for weather events, so that means I last turned on the TV in October.
The only reason I still have Dish Network is pure sloth. Well, that and my bog-slow vintage-speed DSL connection to the Internet.
T. Farty McAppleass says
Is anyone else seeing these strings of orange graphics all over the place?
That’s just the drugs taking hold. Pay it no mind, or enjoy.
Give me the computer every time. Nearly everything I want to see is on-line. Between Netflix, Hulu and the many different websites offering free links to pay per view events and pay channels I rarely sit in front of the TV.