Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Musings: TV or not TV

I will confess right off that I do not have TV hookup. No satellite, no cable or any other means. None at all. But that’s not possible, is it? It’s like the year 2005 not 1905 man - get with it! Well I did have TV hookup until eight years ago, then I gave it up and have been much happier ever since. Don’t get me wrong I watch TV shows and movies but they are brought to me through that technological wonder - the DVD. Now as a struggling writer I think one of the best choices I ever made was to abolish the TV feed to our home. Sure I miss out on the myriad of Reality shows (yawn) but I read so much more now and find better things to do with my time, like write

I’ll run down a short list of negatives and positives about having no TV hookup.

The Negatives: I do miss out when I hear about a quality show like Veronica Mars that I can’t see. Let’s take last night for instance. I think Veronica Mars is on Tuesday nights, but instead of watching it I dug into Brian Aldiss’s novel "Hothouse" instead and it is very good. Oh, and no commercials. Now if I had TV piped directly to my home I may have been tempted to waste 1 hour watching a 42 minute show. Hmmm, not good time management, especially when time is the writer’s friend and wasting it is the writer’s enemy. I wouldn’t mind catching some shows I’ve heard are good as they happen, but the wasted time and cost of TV hookup just doesn’t make it worth it for me.

The Positives:. NO COMMERCIALS. Oh my lord how I hate commercials. Maybe I’m just getting older and out of touch with reality (who me?) but any commercial I see these days (we have big screens at work and I get exposed them briefly during breaks) do the exact opposite of what they are intended to do I think. They repulse me with their utter stupidity. Harsh comments I know, but those are my feelings about them. Commercials grate on me so much I really can’t stand to watch them at all. And no monthly hookup fees which are not cheap.

Which brings me to the beauty of the DVD, at least the current ones I have. Let’s all hope and pray that commercials don’t worm their way into every DVD set like they have done in movie theaters - yuck. I have the B5 series, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Star Trek: TNG all on DVD. But that costs a frikin fortune doesn’t it? Well I’ve been saving forty five dollars a month for over eight years to the tune of some forty five hundred dollars and those series did not cost anything close to that - Oh, and they don’t have commercials on them. I also have several dozen movies too so I do get my fix of the TV screen but save a good fifteen minutes of my time for every episode I watch. Did I mention no commercials?

Well enough said. For me no TV hookup is a blessing and has provided much more time for me to write and read. And as a struggling writer that is what I need most of all. I will leave a great quote by Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.

Gandalf - "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

Short Story Alert: I will be posting another short story this Saturday

1 comment:

  1. Al H.3:31 pm

    Ahhh...the old commercial TV debate. I confess to having such a monster in my life, but like you I find it largely a waste of time and money.

    Using the VCR (or the latest and best TVo) does present an alternative to some of the time waste matters...not to mention that you can zip through the commercials.

    In all fairness I sometimes find a commercial or two that is actually fun to watch. Once or Twice. But after the gazillionth time none make the grade.

    Probably the most aggravating part of commercials for me however is that they interrupt the flow of a show or movie I am watching. In fact sometimes they go on so long that I forget what I WAS watching.

    So, I rarely watch live commercial TV and stick to the few non commercial shows that are available or record via VCR those favorites I like to keep up with.

    Keep those stories coming Mr. D.

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