Back in 2002 about 4 months before I gave up all my worldly possessions in preparation for a around the world sailing trip the people I was renting from switched from cable to satellite for TV service. They didn’t tell me the switch was going to happen otherwise I would have told them to get a dual dish so I could take part. In fact I didn’t know cable was going away until the day it happened. They stuck a note in my mail. I was unhappy about it at the time.
Thing was. I didn’t realize how TV dependent I’d become until it went away. What I was watching didn’t matter so much as to how much I was watching. I remember watching to watch the beginning of the Iraq war… And with the plug pulled it became KQED and static.
Four years later. Being unglued from TV for me is a revolution. It’s not how I spend my time. What I haven’t seen is staggering. I don’t have a TiVO. Don’t have a cable bill. I don’t have a shrine to 29.97. If I want to watch baseball I go to a place that has it on which has a byproduct of an endless supply of beer, food and no clean up. A movie isn’t just to pass the time. They’ve returned to being art and events.
I notice how people interact with a TV. If one is in the room all eyes look there. I’ve become immune to them. I don’t have to look. Because I know that nothing is there. But everyone else will keep glancing to the glass teat while having a conversation.
That being said I’m not totally disconnected from “the show” as I grew up in the TV generation. The small unnammed demographic between boomers and genx’errs. But I don’t watch TV on a TV. My Powerbook err MacBook Pro as become my window into media. Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica and even House MD have played on my 1440×900 LCD.
Thing is this is better TV then TV. And better then TiVO. The shows are generally HD rips so they look great. The built-in video scaler helps it even further. The sound is from my studio headphones. And the kind poster has removed the commercials. Once you see shows like this you NEVER want to see them any other way. That is: on my time without any of it being stolen by the MarketMen.
I’ve noticed that I value my time so much that I’ve become annoyed by the music cues in podcasts. And how DVD intros have become so much longer. Unneeded fluff in fact. I’m not enjoying the work more because of the FBI, Scottland Yard, Studio logo, or how the menus so cleverly aminate on the screen just so I can press play. Damn you, just get on with the show already…