Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back to the Early 1980s

The Poor Man's Legolas,
from "Hawk the Slayer"
Sometime in late 70s or early 80s, we made the transition from a TV with chunky VHF and clicky UHF dials to a big ol' set top cable box. It meant I could watch rated-R movies on HBO after school before Mom got home from work (sorry, Mom) and it was awesome. At least, that's how it seemed at the time. Hawk the Slayer, Ruckus in Madoc County, An Officer and a Gentleman (Rated R!) were on all the time and were irrevocably burned in my mind, for better or worse. (Jack Palance, Dirk Benedict: yeah! Richard Gere: meh.) Sure, we had some little TVs on the antenna in other rooms of the house, but since those halcyon days it's been cable, and then digital cable with the DVR, all the way. No looking back.

That's coming to an end. TWC is freaking jacking us on the rates. I like TV, I mean, who doesn't, right? But I don't like the options I'm getting from cable or the dish networks. The packages are garbage. There are maybe a dozen channels or so channels up and down the dial I really like and if there were an à la carte option where I could get the channels I wanted to pay for, I probably would've. But it comes down to the expense not being worth it, not with the other options out there.

Dirk on Dirt Bike
Sure, I'll miss BBCA and new Doctor Who. This is the one that really hurts (because there's no other way short of downloading it to see it, and I like watching it on the big TV, not the little computer screens) but is that really worth $75 a month (or whatever they were charging ... that's the ballpark) to get my Who the first Saturday night it was available on BBCA? Nope.

I'll miss DVRing the daily showings of The West Wing on Bravo but I've cycled through the whole series the last few months (and then some) so I'll be OK.

Rachel, Keith, Jon, and Stephen. Ouch. They're on the web though, or at least the best bits are. I won't miss much.

Hulu and Netflix streaming will keep me in touch with a few other shows I like to catch don't feel bad if I don't get to before the expire.

And it's not like we're going without any TV at all. We'll do broadcast cable for a little while and maybe switch to a digital antenna for the networks and PBS. See how it goes.

I feel a bit like a survivalist, hunkering down in my bomb shelter with tinned meats and water bottles; how's that for First World (Lack of) Perspective? Has anyone else done this? Taken the step back and lived to tell the tale?
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