Monday, April 04, 2011

Television in our house

I don't remember if I ever wrote about it here, but several months ago we got rid of our cable television. Due to Comcast's weird pricing structure it was the same price to have basic cable and internet instead of just keeping internet, so we do have basic cable, which is all the NBC, CBS, etc channels plus a few more no one could possibly ever care about. We watch those television channels roughly 10 minutes per month.

What we have now is streaming Netflix and a Sony blu-ray player with Wi-Fi. With that player we can stream internet media like Hulu, Amazon video and Netflix, amongst other things that we don't use as much.

While I wouldn't say the girls watch any less television now than they used to before the big switch, they are definitely watching more select shows. Instead of turning on a channel, like Nickelodeon, and having it on half the day, the girls have to choose the shows from a menu on the tv. All of the shows I have put on there so the menu is only populated with shows I am okay with them watching. I would say the "worst" thing they watch these days is Spongebob, but lately they are fans of things like Oswald and Hurray for Huckle. Since Iris is almost seven, I'm pretty pleased she still loves stuff like that.

My number one favorite thing about the new television arrangement is NO COMMERCIALS! I forgot how invasive commercials are. When Iris saw an Easy Bake oven commercial at a friend's house before Christmas that one commercial cemented in her head that an Easy Bake oven was the only present she could possibly want for Christmas. I had (I mean, Santa had) no problem getting it, but it just goes to show how easily those messages really do stick. I no longer am begged for whatever toy or clothing item is being advertised on tv, which is pretty nice. They still beg for stuff, sure, but it's not as bad as when they saw a million commercials for it.

Matt misses Sports Center, but that's about it. I don't miss anything. I would mindlessly watch tv all day long and enjoy myself just fine, but I don't miss it. I watch great programs through Hulu and Netflix now and I have to consciously think about what I will watch instead of plopping down in front of any old show.


  1. I am SOO there! We also dropped first expanded cable and finally even our basic cable. We tried Hulu Plus, but have stuck with Netflix. Between that and DVDs from the library, we also avoid commercials. I hadn't even thought of or noticed the benefit since I haven't watched actual television in so long!

    I, too, could lost in any old crap on the tele, so I like not having it. I'm perfectly happy to have it OFF, but my husband likes to have it on all day (alternating PS3 and shows/movies).

  2. WOOHOO!! We haven't had television of any sort since we moved here almost 5 years ago and we haven't regretted it a minute. I still miss cooking channel, history channel or discovery, but not enough to be willing to put up with the advertising. Beyond just the annoyingness of the kids begging for everything on TV, I find most of it to be wildly innapropriate for small people, even on the channels specifically for them. I see the difference all the time in their friends.

    I think you will be happier and happier about the choice as time goes on. :)


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