I haven’t had much time to watch television over the past few years. My charity work kept me from having any big blocks of hours available, at least during my regular work week.
The Internet connection I have is through the local cable company, and I had a standard package of channels for my viewing pleasure. A few years ago that meant I’d watch The History Channel and the news channels, with the SciFi Channel on Fridays to see what new happened on Battlestar: Galactica and Stargate.
My interest in The History Channel has been on the wane for some years now, mainly because they endlessly replay old material. It seems that every time I turned it on, there was something playing that I had already seen. Why bother, then?
I’ve been blogging for a long time, and it is obvious that most of the major stories are brought to light through blog posts about three days before the big mainstream news outlets get around to telling the public what is going on. I was increasingly bored when watching the news since they were just going over ground that had been examined, endlessly bloviated about, and dismissed as past events by the blogs long before the major networks were even aware of what was going on. Why bother watching the news, then?
I started to skip The SciFi Channel on Fridays when the original Stargate series wrapped up. The final nail in that coffin was when I realized I could catch Battlestar: Galactica on Hulu.com at my leisure. Why bother with any broadcast channels at all, then?
Yesterday I finally bowed to the inevitable and canceled my cable service. I kept the Internet connection, obviously.
This seems obvious in hindsight, but I still hung on to my subscription for close to a year even when I noticed that I never bothered to use it. This was mainly due to a hope that I’d come across something entertaining to watch late at night on my day off, a hope that has been frustrated for the past ten months or so. Thank goodness for all night video rental stores, huh?
The only other reason I clung to this dinosaur of media delivery was, because of the bundling scheme for services that my cable company uses, I would only save a few bucks a month if I got rid of the cable TV feed. It became obvious that even that pittance was wasted money when I noticed that I had only watched about 15 total minutes of cable TV the last month. On the few days that I wasn’t busy and didn’t feel like reading, I’d flip through the channels to see if there was anything interesting, and then go turn on the computer.
Does anyone else out there remember when cable TV was the wave of the future? Most cities had three broadcast channels, and that was it. The first cable services would usually bring in an independent channel station or two from larger cities, TBS, CNN, and MTV. If you were lucky you got ten extra channels coming through the wire, which seemed to be pretty amazing at the time.
The world turns, though. Now I am dissatisfied with close to 100 channels, all because they don’t provide the content I want when I want to watch. Instead of cable, I now look to free video-on-demand to entertain me for the four hours or so a week where I actually want to watch television.
Seems to be a step in the right direction.
(This was cross posted over at Hell in a Handbasket.)