Here’s something I never, ever thought I’d say: we are considering cancelling our satellite TV.
I love TV, it’s…well, I was going to say my only vice, but I don’t want to invite a chorus of comments pointing out my other vices, so let’s just say it’s my biggest vice. It’s how I relax, it’s how I keep in touch with the world, it’s how I birth new fantasies of dinner parties featuring Ken Jennings and Dr. Joan Watson and Eli Gold and Jeff Probst.
Last year, we got Netflix, mostly because Sir Monkeypants and I, once avid movie goers, hadn’t been to the theatre in years, and we thought it would help us catch up a bit, plus we both really wanted to watch Orange is the New Black. This isn’t a sponsored post or anything, but having Netflix has really changed our whole family, in that we are now addicted to the concept of the Binge Watch. The kids are working their way through old seasons of Star Trek, Drake and Josh, and every animated superhero show ever made, while Sir Monkeypants and I are digging through The 100 and Sherlock and House of Cards. It’s so immediate and thrilling and a totally different experience to be able to watch the whole series within a short period of time, as much as you want with no waiting.
Side note: I read (okay – I saw a headline) for an article going around Facebook last week that claimed that the immediacy of Netflix is ruining our children’s ability to wait for stuff. I am worried about this, yet they will pry Netflix from my cold, dead hands. Thoughts?
Second side note: Watching Netflix like this has me wondering if we are raising a generation that won’t have a common pop culture platform to share. Like, know how you can find someone at a party that’s exactly the same age as you, and they the the exact same memories of running to put on their PJs during commercials of Charlie’s Angels and The A-Team, and watching G-Force and Spider-Man And Friends on Saturday mornings, and knowing all the words to the Growing Pains theme song? That kind of thing might be gone now, because my kids know everything there is to know about Drake and Josh and iCarly, but they are technically just outside their age range because they’ve been off the regular airwaves for several years. And now that we have access to old TV shows and movies in a way we never did before, their pop culture education is such a mish mash of stuff that WE loved as kids, and WE want to watch, as opposed to natural discoveries in their own time. Possible PhD dissertation? Discuss.
So! Back to TV. Friends of ours got a digital TV antenna, and with this antenna, which cost them perhaps $125, they get all the major local stations, in HD, just over the air. NO ONGOING COSTS. With these major local stations, they get just about all the major network shows.
We’re currently paying over $80 a month to Bell for our satellite, which, thanks to Netflix, we are now only watching half the time, at best. Sir Monkeypants and I watch perhaps four network shows on a regular basis, and we would continue to get all these with an antenna.
We’d be giving up TSN and some other live sports; my beloved Game Show Network; and a bunch of kids’ channels, like Disney X D and YTV.
For the last month or so, we’ve been recording our daily TV watching to try to determine just how often we watch these alternate channels, and we’ve also been trying to redirect the kids’ interest away from Disney X D to Netflix programming, with mixed success. But overall I would have to say…it is looking good.
One potential problem is that giving up satellite means no PVR, which is my love and lifeblood, but there’s a company right here in Ottawa that makes PVRs for antennas or something (Sir Monkeypants is the tech guy around here), and said company is physically located about three minutes from my house, so we can picket them if we run into problems.
So…TEMPTING. The idea of being totally free from Bell AND Rogers seems like some kind of crazy 21st century fantasy.
Do you think you’d ever walk away from cable?