Posted by: jgurner | December 30, 2010

Bringing Down the Satellites

Okay, the only thing this post has to do with the song by The Orbiting is I thought the title was appropriate. Even so, go take a listen to the tune or any of the other tunes by a couple of my very favorite people at MacJams.

Now that that’s out of the way, we go onward to the point of this particular entry.

As of yesterday, I have said goodbye to satellite TV. That means I currently have no satellite and no cable. I don’t even have a set of rabbit ears, or the HD digital equivalent, to get whatever local TV stations I might be able to get.

I have completely cut the strings.

This is a decision that has been a long time coming. I first got the notion to do this a couple of years ago when my latest contract with DirecTV was up. I’d had satellite for more than 10 years and had no complaints, unlike cable, but I just wasn’t watching TV as much as I used to. And I didn’t watch it in the same way I used to.

Ever since I got a DVR, I used it more and more to record and watch later. At first, when I could only record 20 or so hours, I had to watch stuff pretty quickly. Then, as the storage capacity grew, I finally got to the point where I’d sometimes let an entire season of a show save up before I’d watch. Pretty much everything else I would watch would basically be background noise.

But, at the last minute two years ago, I chickened out and stayed with the satellite, switching from DirecTV to Dish Network. In the two years since, however, I found that even the number of shows I recorded to watch at some other point (a substantial portion of which I never watched.) And several of the shows I recorded were reruns, which, in the long run it would be cheaper just to buy on DVD.

Cable and network television also helped out a great deal by canceling pretty much every show I watched and quickly canceling new ones I became interested in. The Syfy Channel did more than its fair share by canceling or prematurely ending shows like Battlestar Galactica, Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate: Universe, Caprica, The Dresden Files, etc.

I think what finally put the nail in the coffin was The Science Channel. It was one thing when they started marathon after marathon of How It’s Made, but when I turned it on one night to find a cooking show on, that was the last straw. (Not that I’m against cooking shows, per say, but there are channels for cooking shows and the Science Channel isn’t one of them. Just like there are channels for wrestling and the Syfy Channel isn’t one of them. Or channels for movies with The Weather Channel not being one of them. What’s next? Comedy Central showing nature shows? I mean they already show things that aren’t even comedies, like Ben Stiller movies.)

This isn’t the first time I’ve gone without access to broadcast or cable TV, but it’s the first time I’ve done so willingly. I honestly don’t know how it will work out, though, with all the choices out there for entertainment, I think I’ll be okay.

Besides, with all the extra time I might finally be able to do some of the more useful and constructive things I used to do, like play video games…



  1. Congratulations!

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