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In November of 2003, I unplugged my television, put it in a garage and with that I was done watching programmed TV.

We had some great times together. Saturday morning cartoons, the Thunderbirds, the Flip Wilson Show, the introduction of MTV, Michael Jackson's moonwalk, the Eddie Murphy era of Saturday Night Live, the Cosby Show.

By the time we got to the 1990s and 2000s, our relationship had lost that loving feeling. With a few exceptions, like West Wing, the Daily Show or Space Ghost, I didn't really have any shows that constituted Must-See-TV.

It wasn't just the state of television--chair-throwing reality shows and yelling, lying political shows like FOX News, but the sound of television began to annoy me and I couldn't just sit and watch whatever was on as I had done since I was a kid.

Instead of a whole meal of television. I started going a la carte.

The incident that ended the fun of TV for me, was the mundanely grim end of a reality show that I had been watching unfold on television since the 70s.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003 Posted: 3:35 PM EST (2035 GMT)

Michael Jackson surrenders

SANTA BARBARA, California (CNN) -- Michael Jackson was booked on suspicion of child molestation Thursday, posted a $3 million bond and released in less than an hour. The pop star flashed the peace sign, waved and blew kisses to cameras as he left the Santa Barbara County jail.

http://www.cnn.com/...

That was it. I was done. TV wasn't fun or interesting anymore watching that arrest on television.

It turns out other people, for reasons that had nothing at all to do with Michael Jackson, had unplugged their TVs, never to return.

Neilsen has just started to seriously track us, the so-called "Zero TV" people.

For the first time, TV ratings giant Nielsen took a close look at this category of viewer in its quarterly video report released in March. It plans to measure their viewing of new TV shows starting this fall, with an eye toward incorporating the results in the formula used to calculate ad rates....

The Zero TV segment is increasingly important, because the number of people signing up for traditional TV service has slowed to a standstill in the U.S.

Last year, the cable, satellite and telecoms providers added just 46,000 video customers collectively, according to research firm SNL Kagan. That is tiny when compared to the 974,000 new households created last year. While it's still 100.4 million homes, or 84.7 percent of all households, it's down from the peak of 87.3 percent in early 2010.

Nielsen's study suggests that this new group may have left traditional TV for good. While three-quarters actually have a physical TV set, only 18 percent are interested in hooking it up through a traditional pay TV subscription.

http://news.yahoo.com/...

I don't feel like I am missing anything. When I hear that Rachel Maddow or Lawrence O'Donnell has a must-see segment, I can watch it online.

In fact, all my weird tastes that no single network could satisfy with programming, I can find online--Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Star Wars Clone Wars, Boardwalk Empire, Alphas on SyFy (now sadly ended), Sherlock, Misfits, the Key and Peele Show.

Like an increasing amount of people, I use the internet as my TiVO and watch shows the day after they have broadcast on television or cable.

Cynthia Phelps is typical of this new kind of watcher.

For Phelps, it's less about saving money than choice. She says she'd rather spend her time productively and not get "sucked into" shows she'll regret later.

"I don't want someone else dictating the media I get every day," she says. "I want to be in charge of it. When I have a TV, I'm less in control of that."

http://news.yahoo.com/...

I am curious about the full implications of this trend.

Right now, the rationale for the FOX News business model and the surplus of reality shows like Real Housewives of Fill-in-the-Blank is that they deliver more eyeballs to the TV than their competitors.

How will popular and political television programming change in the years to come, when Zero TVers become a majority, instead of the minority they are today?

Poll

Have your TV viewing habits changed since you began watching television?

20%24 votes
32%39 votes
15%18 votes
13%16 votes
5%6 votes
3%4 votes
10%13 votes

| 120 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (47+ / 0-)

    "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

    by FiredUpInCA on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:14:29 PM PDT

  •  KILL YOUR TELEVISION (19+ / 0-)

    Were the three words on a bumper sticker that graced my first car, years ago.

    The car and the sticker are long gone, but the sentiment remains.

    I'm a zero TV person, through and through.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:23:58 PM PDT

  •  I have cable (13+ / 0-)

    mostly because it makes my Internet cheaper. The Comcast subscription I'm on (enhanced basic digital cable + middle-grade cable Internet) is cheaper than the same speed of Internet by itself.

    I also kind of like having access to On Demand, because it has most shows earlier than Netflix.

    But I can't remember the last time I watched a TV show when it was actually on TV. It just doesn't make sense to me to schedule my life around the TV when I can watch the exact same show on my own schedule.

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:24:54 PM PDT

  •  I haven't had TV service since 1991 (9+ / 0-)

    So there was a long gap between that and being able to watch TV shows online!  I wonder how Nielsen plans on tracking us Zero TVers. I watch clips of the events people talk about online.  I "Oatmeal" the shows worth watching by finding them now and paying for them when the channel (invariably HBO) deigns to actually sell it.  There is no way I'd pay for cable service for 100 channels of crap I couldn't care less about when all I'd be willing to buy is HBO.  And if they won't sell it to me direct, then the shouldn't be surprised their stuff is available in all the usual places.

  •  Do you have links for the block quotes? (5+ / 0-)

    It would be interesting to see them in context.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:32:44 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for pointing out that error (4+ / 0-)

      Sorry about that.

      Here's the link to the article. I have updated the diary too. Thanks again.

      Broadcasters worry about 'Zero TV' homes

      A growing number of TV viewers don't watch over cable, satellite or antenna, says Nielsen

      By Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writer

      http://news.yahoo.com/...

      "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

      by FiredUpInCA on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:47:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We gave our TV away when we realized that (14+ / 0-)

    we hadn't turned it on in two years.

    We watch stuff online for free, because most of it is just as enjoyable the day after it aired. I enjoy not scheduling my life around the TV, and when I feel bad can sit down and, using netflix, watch entire seasons of shows to pass the time, and no damned commercials.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:37:32 PM PDT

    •  I love my Binge TV! (8+ / 0-)
      When I feel bad can sit down and, using netflix, watch entire seasons of shows to pass the time, and no damned commercials.
      You're a card-carrying member of another other trend in television: Binge TV.
      Instead of watching live each week by "appointment," viewers are taking a full day (or weekend or even week) to watch a show's entire season or a series from beginning to end. This may sound gluttonous and monotonous, but bingers see it differently -- a richer and more contemplative form of TV watching in which every nuance is savored and analyzed.

      Providers are adapting to this craving for deeper, heartier, 22-course meals. Netflix recently premiered, all at once, the entire first season of its new political thriller "House of Cards," and the TV streaming apps HBOGo and HuluPlus have salad-bar layouts that make it easier than ever for viewers to immerse themselves fully in an entire series.

      http://www.cnn.com/...

      I enjoy the commercial-free aspect of Binge TV too.

      I am very interested to see how stories will be told differently, as broadcasters adapt to these new habits.

      "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

      by FiredUpInCA on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:53:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I mainly use my TV to watch Netflix and other (5+ / 0-)

      online streaming.  I think it would suck to have to use a tiny computer screen instead of a decent sized TV for that.  Of course, I have a PS3 with custom firmware so not only do I not need Sony's PSN for Netflix but I have a pretty decent media player on it (Showtime).  I personally would have kept the TV and got a Roku/Boxee so you can enjoy Netflix without having to get up and sit down at the computer.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 11:35:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No TV since 1984. (14+ / 0-)

    Well, except for two brief periods, one in 1997 and the other in 2004, to placate my ex-wife and wife.  I think watching that first season of Lost in 2004 convinced me that there was really no need to ever watch television again.  Seriously, that was the most radical and interesting thing on TV?

    I watched TV sporadically in college, mainly MTV, Letterman, and SNL, but once I graduated and was away from TV watching roommates it was easy to just read and listen to the radio.  Those activities seemed to stimulate me, while watching TV just made me feel tired.

    I had a "Kill your television" bumpersticker back in the 90s but didn't have a car (those two things combined made me a serious outlier!) so I put it up on a bulletin board.

  •  a link would be very helpful please. (5+ / 0-)

    I'd like to see what you are quoting from.
    thx.

    ..."For beauty," I replied. "And I for truth,-the two are one; We brethren are"... E. Dickinson

    by peagreen on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:39:32 PM PDT

  •  The overall effects of TV-watching is to numb (22+ / 0-)

    the mind, to confuse it with lies, falsehoods, false narratives, and carefully-designed propaganda benefiting the ruling elite.

    The American mainstream media is the most harmful and powerful propaganda machine the world has ever seen.

    •  I agree with this assessment (11+ / 0-)
      The overall effects of TV-watching is to numb the mind, to confuse it with lies, falsehoods, false narratives, and carefully-designed propaganda benefiting the ruling elite.
      I wonder though, if one of the necessary skill sets to break through the noise of new media, is to be a skilled propagandist?

      How else can you break through the noise of Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and blogs?

      Gutenberg's now modest invention was a tip of the iceberg.

      Now every schoolkid with a smartphone is walking around with a very powerful tool of persuasion, storytelling and broadcast that can be beamed around the world instantaneously.

      As broadcasters lose their hold on the collective narrative, are we becoming the propagandists we've been waiting for?

      "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

      by FiredUpInCA on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 11:05:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is cute. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA

      You do realize that your efforts to enlighten the masses generate ad revenue for corporatist propagandists, right?

      •  So what should he do? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA

        Give up because some company might be receiving ad revenue?




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 11:42:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He should write in a space that isn't festooned (0+ / 0-)

          with corporate ads, for starters. Lots of people do it.

          And why would you think that his only choice would be to write here or give up? There's a huge world outside of this place where people make a difference without putting money in the coffers of corporate advertisers.

          •  For one thing, there's no 'only' present in my (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, aughtomatic, basquebob, JVolvo

            comment. So you're making it a binary choice where it wasn't intended.

            And of course, there would be absolutely no incentive to write here at Daily Kos. No one reads this site, after all.

            Which sites would you suggest he write on that aren't contaminated by corporate advertising, but also have an audience/reach comparable to that of Daily Kos?

            I'm curious, because I don't get out much.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
            ~ Jerry Garcia

            by DeadHead on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:29:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Corporate ads? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DeadHead, Youffraita

              What corporate ads? I sure don't see any. That's because it's my computer and I have control over what it does, unlike passively watching television.

              Do you know what holds this country back from solving it's problems? The people who live here. --AntonBursch

              by aughtomatic on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:50:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That'll work... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Youffraita

                Same here, because....I'm a DK subscriber. So I guess I'm subsidizing Kos Korporation, which I'm glad to be doing.




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                ~ Jerry Garcia

                by DeadHead on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:59:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, and your subscription nullifies the (0+ / 0-)

                  ad revenue that does go to corporate news networks? I have a subscription too. That doesn't mean I'm going to pretend that this place doesn't also generate revenue for corporations. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that either. It's just silly for someone to talk about network news propaganda in a blog that generates revenue for those corporations. That's stupid.

    •  Commercials/TV in the USA will rot your brain..n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aughtomatic, DeadHead, worldlotus

      "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, U.S. Attorney General.

      by Mr SeeMore on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:10:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I went without a TV for about 5 years (4+ / 0-)

    Finally, about a year ago, I purchased a new HD Television and subscribed to Dish Network because I wanted to be able to watch the Presidential debates and other election related programming.

    I have the "Welcome Package" which costs me just under $15 per month along with HBO which costs just under $17 and that's all I want or need.

    The HBO subscription along with my ROKU box gives me the ability to watch a huge number of programs from HBOGO whenever I want and that's something I really like.

    I purchased the VIP211 receiver from Dish Network and have a month to month account that I can cancel at any time w/o penalty.

    The VIP211 allows you to plug in your own USB hard drive and pay a one time fee of around $15 to enable the DVR feature without having to pay for a more expensive receiver.

    Dish Network doesn't really promote the "Welcome Package" but I consider it a real bargain and in combination with HBO and HBOGO+ROKU I have everything I want for about $32 per month.

    I pretty much refuse to watch commercials and with the DVR function on the receiver I don't need to watch them.

    I record Chris Hayes, for example, and watch it late in the evening or the next morning so I can skip past all the commercials.

    I also take advantage of HULU, Amazon On Demand, VUDU and other programming that I can obtain via the ROKU box or on my TV.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:54:29 PM PDT

  •  Just called my cable provider and told them (10+ / 0-)

    I was getting nowhere near the value of my $70/month cable bill, and that I was going to cancel it.  They said, wait, let me see if there are any promotions... yep, we can reduce it to $29/month for six months.

    I took it, but half out of curiosity to see what they'll do in six months.  They could hear I was ready to quit -- because I was -- and I think they know they value of their product is plummeting.  If they try to hike it again, I'm out.  If just 5,000 subscribers did this in America's 100 largest cities, it would be the end of cable as we've loathed it.  A la carte would be on offer for the price we now pay for packaged, and pre-fab packages will go for $20/month.  Even then, these prices won't last, because we want our TV for free again.

    "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

    by Mogolori on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:54:58 PM PDT

    •  Nasty sales tactic (3+ / 0-)

      They're thinking that six months from now you will come to your senses and realise that you just cannot do without it after all, at which time they will hike the price back up. Count on it, and plan on doing without after the "promo" is over.

      Do you know what holds this country back from solving it's problems? The people who live here. --AntonBursch

      by aughtomatic on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 11:20:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've done without three times over the (9+ / 0-)

        past 10 years, for months or years at a time.  Usually they just let the cable pipe through because it costs more money to send someone out to flip the switch than to let me keep it.

        Seriously, the whole TV business depends on our 60-year national coma continuing, but there's just too much competition for our eyeballs for it to endure as is.  A modest consumer awakening could derail it, and permanently.  Might even happen this year.

        "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

        by Mogolori on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 11:29:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Heh... (6+ / 0-)

          If Comcast has come around recently, I wasn't at home.

          But they used to come around and try to sell me their bullshit for boocoo bucks...and one day I just told the guy "NO!"  In the hallway.  With my downstairs neighbors watching.

          "But don't you want--"

          NO!

          "But--"

          NO!

          Comcast sales rep finally left.  First-floor neighbors looked kind of shock & awed b/c I am usually mild-mannered.

          Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

          by Youffraita on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:53:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I did the same thing recently. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA, Mogolori

      I have cable, but only for telephone and internet. Our local telephone company sent out a flier saying they were now offering DSL packages for those, so I called the cable company and they offered about $30/month discount for a year. They said that they were going to raise it back up again then.

      I don't think so. The marginal cost of supplying service to one household are near zero, and there are now two companies with the infrastructure to do so. Unless there is collusion or customers don't threaten to switch the price is headed to zero.

    •  Tipped for comment, especially this: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA, ybruti, Mogolori
      If just 5,000 subscribers did this in America's 100 largest cities, it would be the end of cable as we've loathed it.
      Brilliant!

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:51:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But Everyone Tries To Give You a TV (8+ / 0-)

    They're all like "You have no TV? We have a spare in the guest room.  I'll bring it right over!"  and you just say "No man, it's not like a liver transplant or something."

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:58:17 PM PDT

  •  If you want to get important things done, (5+ / 0-)

    then you have to do unimportant things later, if ever. Television is one of those unimportant things.

  •  I gave it up during the Lewinsky fiasco (13+ / 0-)

    and got back on briefly during the 911/Iraq War and left it again in disgust only to return for Obama in 2008 and now I just cancelled cable a couple months ago.

    It's awful. Terrence McKenna was right: teevee is a drug.

    When you can see a teevee is on in another apartment but can't see the picture, it gives you a real good idea of what is going on with the lighting of a teevee in a room.

    It changes rapidly from brightening and dimming to flashing and twisting violently, especially when there are advertisements.

    It looks as if someone is being interrogated or brainwashed on the other side of the window.

    collards, meat, butter, sourdough, eggs, cheese, raw milk

    by Tirge Caps on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 11:09:16 PM PDT

  •  So if I understand this right, you still watch TV, (7+ / 0-)

    you just watch it on your computer instead of the TV right?

    You didn't have a category for me in the poll. I have TV's and watch them but also watch shows on my computer and Netflix (DVD's).

    I don't get the animosity towards TV. Mine has an off button and I can change the channel any time I want.

    I study the TV guide and watch the shows I like. There are always some great ones out there.

    I don't watch reality shows or those sort of fake news shows that play up the Michael Jacksons, Scott Peterson's or whoever.

    I find TV very entertaining. This season I've been watching Suits, Person of Interest, Go On and New Girl. I like The Big C and loved Entourage.

    I watched Jeremy Pivens in a new show tonight on PBS. It reminded me a bit of Downton Abbey. That show got me thinking about all sorts of stuff.

    It started with "Who the fuck mows these lawns?" which led me to a search of the history of lawnmowers. Pretty interesting.

    The new show tonight, for some reason, inspired me to look up when and how condoms were invented. Interesting and scary!

    I think a persons experience with television is what they make it. I make mine fun and educational.

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 11:13:40 PM PDT

  •  Sold the tv in a yard sale in 1980 (10+ / 0-)

    and been glad ever since.
    I see it sometimes at other peoples houses when I stay with them, and, as a yearly tradition, watch a bit of the Oscars with popcorn with my next door neighbors. For the last ten years, most years I stay several months with close friends in Wales, and I watch with them probably several hours a week. For the last couple of years I also watch occasional Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart, or Steven Colbert on the internet when there's something going on that I'm interested in how they'll comment on it.

    When we sold the tv, it was because we were going to have a child and we thought it would be better not to have a tv in the house. And I aways was grateful that we decided that because I do think it was easier to have a pleasant family life without a tv. I sure don't miss it. Back then I thought I was going to really miss Saturday Night Live, but really I didn't.
    The kids are long grown with homes of their own, but now that I'm used to a quiet house, I like it better this way. I plan to eventually live full time in Wales and I doubt I will ever convince them to get rid of the tv, so I guess someday I may be living with one again. I won't like that part, but I do want to live with them.

    When I mention I don't have a tv, most people respond by telling me what they think is good on television, but in some respects it really isn't about whether the content is "good" or not. There is a different feeling in a house that doesn't routinely have all those other voices in it, people talking but not really in interaction with you. (And so many voices trying to sell you stuff! I'm very grateful not to have that around.)
    I know people have widely varying feelings about this,
    I will be interested to read what other people have to say. Interesting thread.

    •  The sound of television (11+ / 0-)
      There is a different feeling in a house that doesn't routinely have all those other voices in it, people talking but not really in interaction with you. (And so many voices trying to sell you stuff! I'm very grateful not to have that around.)

      I know people have widely varying feelings about this,
      I will be interested to read what other people have to say.

      as I mentioned in the diary. The sound of TV, the sudden jump in volume for ads, the laugh tracks, the yelling, all began to turn me off, so I turned it off.

      Now I choose the voices and conversations--without commercials--that I want to hear.

      "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

      by FiredUpInCA on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 11:28:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have a monitor that can get TV if I want (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA, Andrew F Cockburn

      I like to see sports live and a few subscription TV programs live.

      Eradicate magical thinking

      by Zinman on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 11:31:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I must quote this again (11+ / 0-)
      There is a different feeling in a house that doesn't routinely have all those other voices in it, people talking but not really in interaction with you.
      I have a huge issue with this. Trying to have a conversation with others while the TV is spewing nothing but visual and aural noise is next to impossible. It leaves one with the feeling that that flashy ad trying to sell you some more shit is way more important than interacting with another person in the room that just stopped by for one of those old fashioned things called human interaction. There are two outcomes - turn it off, or I leave.

      Do you know what holds this country back from solving it's problems? The people who live here. --AntonBursch

      by aughtomatic on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:11:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In a 60 minute program you get 19 mins. of commerc (8+ / 0-)

      ials. TV is not, by in large, for entertainment or education purposes. TV is for enticing you to BUY stuff. It is, indeed,  a selling machine... which is its primary purpose.

      "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, U.S. Attorney General.

      by Mr SeeMore on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:24:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Worse than that on network news (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA, Another Grizzle

        I get to see the CBS and ABC "half hour" evening news programs. The actual news, minus the "coming up" previews prior to the breaks which are as long as the actual item, works out about 12 minutes of that.

        Incidentally, my total monthly outlay is about $19 for roughly 150 radio and TV options (admitted some are fairly rubbish shopping channels) but I do not pay a satellite or cable TV company.

        That outlay is a fairly minimal amount to pay for the electricity that runs the distributed terrestrial and satellite signals to the apartment but most is my TV licence (£145.50 p.a.) which I have to have to watch live TV even via the net.

        I use a combination of the two UK free to air services, Freesat and Freeview. There is a lot of overlap but the satellite system has many stations that are not on terrestrial and terrestrial has some that are not free on satellite. Even on terrestrial I get 24 hour news channels from the BBC, Sky, Al Jazeera and Russia Today and the satellite adds Euronews and Russia Today and NHK World from Japan in HD. (BBC News and Sky News transmit those two US news programs late night)

        I have a PVR which also accesses catchup services from the four main broadcasters seamlessly by using a "backwards electronic program guide". There are a couple of "YouView" boxes that do that currently, only one is available retail rather than part of a phone/broadband package. If you want an idea of how this works, Freeview's guide has a similar feature. Unfortunately the actual streamed programs are likely to be geo-blocked unless you have a VPN.

        "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:35:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Whereabouts in Wales? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Another Grizzle
      I plan to eventually live full time in Wales and I doubt I will ever convince them to get rid of the tv, so I guess someday I may be living with one again. I won't like that part, but I do want to live with them.
      We were in Snowdonia a few years ago.  Loved it! We've been to Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, and of them all, Wales appealed to me the most.  It was so beautiful--at least, in Snowdonia it was.

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:57:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Aberystwyth (0+ / 0-)

        On the coast in mid-Wales. It's very beautiful (most of Wales is) and has a lot going on despite how relatively small it is. The university has a quite cosmopolitan atmosphere, and the Minority Languages Research Group brings a lot of interesting people in. Welsh culture in general supports a lot more art, music and drama than you might expect in a small population. Between Aber and the neighboring town Machynlleth, there's always more cultural events than you could fit into one social life.
        I want to be there because the people I want to live with are there, but I must say it is also an extremely nice place to live. It's not considered a true Welsh-speaking area, but there are enough native Welsh speakers and learners that you routinely hear it in the streets and the shops, which I really like.
        Snowdonia is gorgeous. My favorite part is Cader Idris, which is in the southernmost edge of Snowdonia, just north of Aberystwyth. I hope you get more opportunities to go. I've been visiting there for almost thirty years, for quite long stretches at times, and I still haven't seen everything.

  •  No TV or service since August 2008 (4+ / 0-)

    I go to a local bar for sporting events I want to watch. I will occasionally watch clips from Jon Stewart or Bill Maher, and that is about it.

    Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

    by kbman on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 11:29:56 PM PDT

  •  Actually, why not pull your TV out of the garage (4+ / 0-)

    and use it to watch your downloaded/streamed videos instead of your tiny computer monitor?  An original Xbox or Wii is pretty easy to hack and you can use XMBC/WiiMC with it.  Or get an Ouya when they finally come out and put Moboplayer on it (after installing Cyanogen so you can use the Google Play store, of course).

    You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

    by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 11:32:21 PM PDT

  •  We still have a beautiful flat screen tv, but (6+ / 0-)

    gave up our satellite service two and a half years ago.  But we have not totally given up using television.  Instead, we watch movies that we check out of the library on it regularly.  I have been very surprised at the great selection of movies that the library has.  We also watch two programs that we still enjoy via the internet on a one day delay basis.  Other than that, we have essentially given up watching television.

    The only thing I really miss is watching sports in real time.  But surprisingly, I have not really missed anything else at all. In fact, I am much more relaxed without the constant sound of the television in my life.  It has been a liberating experience for me.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:16:27 AM PDT

    •  I am glad that libraries do this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew F Cockburn, gulfgal98
      I have been very surprised at the great selection of movies that the library has.
       

      My closest library is huge, but the rows and rows of shelves are mostly comprised of books from circa 1978 or earlier.

      When they get the latest bestsellers, there is usually a waiting list so long that the book will lose its relevancy by the time you're able to check it out.

      What they do manage to stay fairly current on are movies and television.

      It's great to be able to re-visit classics and pick up recent flicks for free.

      My library also offers book downloads on some books. So who knows, maybe at some point they'll start streaming videos like Netflix does.

      "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

      by FiredUpInCA on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 02:03:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The library here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA

        has an index to all the movies they carry.  I personally do not care if the movie I check out is so current that it has just finished its theater run.  In effect, they may not be as current as what you can get on Netflix.  But there are many that are only a year or two old which is just fine with me.  And as a bonus, they are free.

        "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

        by gulfgal98 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:23:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I almost never watch TV, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA

      although we have one for the sports fanatics in the house. I didn't know what Romney looked and sounded like until the first debate.

      The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

      by ybruti on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 07:38:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I watch maybe five hours a week. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, Andrew F Cockburn

    Mostly Frasier reruns.

    I never watch TV news.  I'd rather pick the news I want rather than what somebody else thinks is important or interesting. Or sit through a bunch of stuff that doesn't interest me to get to a segment that does.  Same with radio.  No radio at all.

    If my TV was gone I'd be just fine.

    Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

    by dov12348 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 02:44:57 AM PDT

  •  you mentioned SyFi - H. P. Lovecraft? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    did you read him?

    i have some interesting links to philosophy if you are interested

  •  I cancelled our cable TV connection (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diana in NoVa, FiredUpInCA, ybruti

    about ten years ago. I first asked my wife and kids (then in middle school) and they said fine. We have a new flat screen and a Roku that we use for family movie nights (Amazon, Netflix, Redbox, library).

    It is funny because when I was growing up in the 60s TV was one of my favorite things, but my parents restricted it to one hour a night. I have seen some of those old programs and they really sucked.

    There was a TV in the lounge of our dorm at college but I seldom watched it except for sports. I think that the attraction of sports is social- I still like watching a football game with some buddies.

    I detest TV "news" and will not stay in a room with a news show on. If I were dictator I would abolish all TV news programming and put the reporters to work doing something useful like cleaning up dog poop in parks.

  •  Forgive me for being unimpressed... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    ...but virtually everyone responding that they've "given up TV" is still watching TV.  What they're not doing is watching it on a television (your choice, but some shows are better on 40" or 55") or not watching it when it comes out.  If your goal is to complain about the extent of advertising or the cost of cable companies, go right ahead (just keep in mind that actors and film crews do generally like to get paid for their work, and the company that pays them likes to make money as well).  But lets not get into a chest-thumping match about how we've all given up the cesspool of commercial programming.  

    •  Here's the heart of it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti, native
      For Phelps, it's less about saving money than choice. She says she'd rather spend her time productively and not get "sucked into" shows she'll regret later.

      "I don't want someone else dictating the media I get every day," she says. "I want to be in charge of it. When I have a TV, I'm less in control of that."

      When I first met television I watched all the programming, including the commercials and continually switched channels to watch whatever was on.

      That ended for me:

      In November of 2003, I unplugged my television, put it in a garage and with that I was done watching programmed TV.
      The key phrase being "programmed TV."

      Rather than only consuming the fare that's offered on television during the time period that it's first broadcast, some people are tuning out of programmed television and creating their own a la carte programming--a neophyte sketch comedy clip on Youtube clip here, a Hulu SNL rerun there, a web only political ad here, a binge of an obscure, cancelled SyFy show there.

      So no chest-thumping. Just marking a profound change in viewing habits from the days when everyone seemed to be gathered around for Walter Cronkite or the Cosby show or some form of appointment television.

      The music industry was already hit and is still adjusting to the way consumers listen to songs and program their own playlists.

      But television is just now starting to really feel the effects of technology putting programming into consumer's hands and I think the change will have interesting effects on what television produces in the future.

      "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

      by FiredUpInCA on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 05:32:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting diary! Tell me, can I find the (2+ / 0-)

    first season of "Mad Men" online or do I have to buy a set of DVDs?  My daughter (in advertising sales) is crazy about the show but I've never seen it.  Wondering whether I should buy the DVDs.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:44:48 AM PDT

  •  If it weren't for live sports... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    ...I'd cancel my cable account too.

    But the cable companies still have contracts with the NHL and MLB that prevent me from watching Caps and Nats games live online from my home in DC.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:55:03 AM PDT

    •  Especially now that we are in FIRST PLACE (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JamesGG

      and Ovie is tied for the goal-scoring lead!

      Yeah, thats well worth a monthly bill right there.  

      As it stands now, we'd get Ottowa in the first round.  ...I'm actually okay with that match up.  Especially with the first two games in the VZ center.

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 05:18:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No kidding... I'm completely shocked. (0+ / 0-)

        If you'd told me 10 games into the season that the Caps would be leading the division in April, I would have asked you what you were smoking.

        I wouldn't mind Ottawa in the first round.... but I don't think there's a road to the Finals in the East that doesn't eventually lead through Pittsburgh.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 05:25:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I watch ALL my TV online (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    Hulu, usually.  The ad times are shorter with Hulu, usually only two or three, rarely four, ads, but mostly 15 or 30 seconds, and the ads are easier to mute.  If I watch the same shows on the network web sites the next morning, there are always five ads that take for friggin' ever to watch, and I have to remove the ear buds or the ear phones because if I mute the bloody ads I loathe more than I can say, the sound doesn't come back when programming resumes unless I exit and come back and try to get back to where I was - but there's always the maze of five ads to wait for before I can get back to where I was in the programming.

    I'm guessing the law that went into effect a few months ago about ads having to be the same volume as the shows does not apply to online ads..., or if it does, the networks are violating the law with ads that are waaaaaaay too loud.

    I only watch about six or seven shows per week, plus Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.  Not enough TV to warrant paying to receive ads I can get for free otherwise.

    I have always steadfastly maintained that if I'm paying to receive TV, then they can't show me ads AND I get to pick and choose the cable stations.  I would never accept bundled networks because I'm only one person, don't watch that much TV, and I never, never, never, never, never watch sports.  It's the reason I first turned off the TV every weekend.  Then Monday nights.  Then other nights with sports - none of which were broadcast on sports channels.  If they can't broadcast what I want to watch, fuk'em.  They can also do without my money, too.

    Ergo, I've never subscribed to cable..., and more recently never turn my old TV on.  I just watch a few shows online.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 05:09:32 AM PDT

  •  I have a TV for the sole purpose of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    watching Netflix and DVD/Blu-Ray. I'm not connected to cable or broadcast TV in any way and do not miss a damn thing about it. I used to be a TV junkie, but had to go without for a long time in my life and just never got back into it. Don't miss it a bit-- I hear about stupid stuff like "Honey Boo Boo" and "Survivor: Asscrackistan" and continue my TV-less ways, glad I made the right choice.

    Rather, I have filled my time with video games. Much better. ;-) (Hey, at least they're interactive! And just try Sid Meier's "Civilization" series. It's addictive!)

    Seriously, though, TV is just a time suck. And a life without commercials is a far superior life, as well.

    The internet is ruled by cat people. Dog people are busy playing outside.

    by Canis Aureus on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 05:10:45 AM PDT

  •  It is the noise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    and the ads where you just sit there staring at these images or listening to some clearly paid person trying to hawk something you have in which you have zero interest and you think... "who buys all this shit?".

    I own a TV.  For one, I very much enjoy watching hockey.  I love the game and I like relaxing after dinner one or two nights a week to take in a whole game from start to finish in real time.  Same goes for tennis.

    I also enjoy a decent cooking program that focuses on the food and preparation methods and not the celebrity of the chef or the name-brand of the appliances behind her.

    I actually have no problem with the television since I feel in control of the relationship.  I decide that I want to watch a game on Wednesday, I turn it on.  I decide I want to watch an hour or two of cooking shows on a Sunday morning while I drink coffee and wait for my wife to wake up, I turn it on.  

    ...but I guess I don't understand how people think they have somehow evolved and are above and beyond the lowly television watchers because they stream it over the web, or watch the content on discs.  Yes, you have probably found a way to save money.  You have a much more control over what you will or will not watch (I guess...) and you can get around a lot of ads.  But...  ..you are still watching the same corporate product you snidely deride.

    The weird exceptions are amusing.  "I turned off my TV in 1991 and haven't watched that mindless drivel for YEARS.  I will NEVER go back.  ...but I stream Game of Thrones on HBOGO and use netflilx to watch entire series of shows that I decide are good."   ....whatever man.  

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 05:16:41 AM PDT

  •  Damn that television (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    What a bad picture! Nothings ever on she said so I don't know why you bother.
    We are just good friends, I'm watching everything
    from Talking Heads Television Man

  •  TV is usually not interesting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    The only TV that I own is a pre-digital model hooked up to the DVD player.  That's somewhat anachronistic, and I may get rid of it someday.

    I do not have a cable subscription, and haven't since 2005.

    I do have a TV capture card for my PC, that I use for some over the air DVRing.

    I do not enjoy the strict schedule of broadcast TV.  The pervasive commercials are also a huge negative.

    I do strongly enjoy sports and some special event programming.  I generally go to bars to see those.  NFL game rewind and NHL online are cheap enough that I sign up for them.

    I recently signed up for Netflix, but I am mostly using that to catch up on things I know my friends like.

    The product that I really want - full season sports archives - is not available in any way, shape, or form.  I would pay a fair amount to be able to buy every NFL game in an archival format - not streaming - every week.  And I would spend every weeknight watching them.  Something like the Olympics or the Tour de France is slightly less interesting there, but there are still events that I would like to have full archives of.

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:31:14 AM PDT

  •  I think that watching TV (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    puts one into a mild hypnotic trance that is very relaxing and enjoyable. The trance state itself is the primary experience, regardless of what's being viewed. So that whenever programming changes to a commercial, there is a disinclination to break the trance, by simply turning away.

    The trance state also makes one more suggestible than one would otherwise be, and more vulnerable to psychological manipulation. It can also be addictive, in many cases.

    TV producers, programmers, and advertizers are very much aware of these things.

  •  we still have a TV, but watch nothing live any mor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    we "Tivo" EVERYTHING, and watch (skipping ads) on OUR terms, when we want, sometimes dumping stuff unwatched...

    not exactly one of your choices but I marked the last item as being as close to our reality as was offered.

    Nielsen HAS adapted to "Tivo"; we did a diary a couple of years ago and it had spaces for the original broadcast date & time of each show, AND for when you actually watched it. I expect ours was fairly weird, because we never watched ANYTHING when it was actually broadcast. Some things we watch the same day, and most things we watch within 2-3 days, but some things take longer, LOTS longer, and some of those end up getting dumped off.

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 01:42:44 AM PDT

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