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This 112 message thread spans 4 pages: 112 ( [1] 2 3 4 > >     
Is TV relevant anymore?
No, really, how many people here even watch it?

 10:37 pm on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

About a two months ago, I got a call from the local cable company, who were pushing their Digital Cable services. It was a slow day, so I decided to have fun with the telemarketer.

I told her that the two people who lived in our house, didn't watch TV, and could care less (which is essentially true)... The telemarketer then went on to push their broadband service, which gave me a chuckle, because we get our broadband from them already.

She then informed me that we actually got basic cable (almopst 60 channels) included with our broadband service.

Oh? Now THAT was news to me. We've had the broadband here for nearly two years, and it never occured to either me or my fiance to try plugging the coax into the back of the TV (yes, we do have one - for Videos and DVDs).

I mentioned it to my gal later that day, and she was equally surprised. We both then stared at the box in the living room suspisciously for a moment, then got on to reading Nat Geo and Sci-Am.

Two weeks later, we actually got around to plugging the cable into the back of the TV. For a half hour, we sat stuporously flicking through 60 whole channels of.... Stuff we had no interest in. We turned the thing off and went to the pool for a swim.

In the month and a half since we plugged the cable into the back of the TV, I think we've watched a total of 5, maybe 7 hours of TV.

Are we freaks? Out of step with the pop culture? Or are there more and more people out there who could really care less if they had cable? Even if it's free?



 12:02 am on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Over, roughly, the last two years, I've watched about an hour of TV a month - if even that. The only purpose the equipment serves is as a mechanism to play the occasional video or dvd - and even then that's quite rare (or I can play dvd's through my computer, of course).

An increasing number of people I know don't watch 'it' either. There is little or no point, and, what goes around comes around. I find that, in my social circles, personal interaction in someone's home counts for more - "just like the old days" (so they tell me).

TV - in its traditional format - is on the wane (imo).



 12:38 am on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I still watch, and watch and watch. Maybe not as much as I used to. I also multi-task with the tv on, I did not do that in the past.
Love digital cable, and can't wait to get a tivo.
Working on getting a large hd tv in the spring.

So my answer.... yes tv is still relevant.


 12:59 am on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

My TV is constantly on. I pay $70/month to listen to MuchMusicRetro in the background while my computer is on.

I get something like 350 channels of nothing.

I don't watch TV at all.

MMR is on all of the time because I feel like I have to use the cable because I'm paying for it.


 1:38 am on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I haven't had cable for 9 years. Put up rabbit ears and I get enough local stuff to keep up on news. I prefer the public broadcasters like TVO, PBS and (though not quite public) CBC.

My brother has the digital cable nonsense. 500 channels of nothing on and he happily pays for this.

Sometimes more is less.


 2:07 am on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've never had cable in my life... haven't watched TV regularly in 5+ years...

...I don't miss it. But listening to the BF's kids whining for brand-name "stuff" in the store, or singing commercial jingles in the back seat of the car (even though they only watch TV on weekends at mom's house) keeps in the forefront of my mind that it's still VERY relevant and insidiously effective at crawling inside the brains of those who DO partake.

Automan Empire

 3:27 am on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I killed my teevee in 1990 and it has been no looking back.

For a while, I'd drag it out for wars, earthquakes, and other emergencies, but finally stopped even that. The coverage was inane, inaccurate, and insulting to intelligence. Upon finding this out about me, some people plain don't get it, and continue to talk about a teevee show like I'm just half a sentence from being on the same plane as them. Never saw one Friends or Seinfeld, and am much richer for it.

I'll say this though.... whereas I hate the sound of a teevee yammering in the background, if one is on in my field of view I get mesmerized because I'm not jaded to all the little attention-grabbing tricks. Not long enough to get hooked, mind you, just long enough to wreck a conversation.


 3:54 am on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

We have one - ONE - tv. It's ummm.... 11 years old. We have it because my husband watches sports and OLN. If he wasn't around I wouldn't own one. I "hear" the games in the background while I'm writing or working on websites or games, but I don't watch anything. We have dish, because that's the only way to GET tv here, so we also have a bunch of music channels, but I'd rather run one of the programs in the 400-cd changer....

I haven't watched tv since about 1965. I haven't missed it. It's the biggest timewaster ever invented.


 7:20 am on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Bought my TV in '87 beat that!

I dont have very good reception in my flat so tend not to watch it at all, I havent watched it since March last year thinking about it.

I dont miss it, get the news from the (serious) papers its great NOT knowing what (banal) famous sports stars have been upto!


 9:49 am on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Our telly is about 15 years old and I don't want to waste money on a new one.

We don't have satellite TV, just the five terrestrial channels, all of which spew forth programmes of the most inane calibre.

"I'm A Celebrity...", "Celebrity Fat [sic] Club", "Celebrity Wife Swap", "Celebrity Big Brother". I use the word *celebrity* very loosely as most of these people I've never even heard of. Call these programmes intellectual stimulation?!?!

And anybody who can sit through an episode of "Big Brother" and call it entertainment seriously needs their head seeing to.

Give me a good book any time :-)


 10:02 am on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I Love MY 'TV'

30' Flatscreen , surround sound , Sky Plus (like Tivo), DVD Recorder, VHS....

It is a social thing in our house. We get the best of the worlds sport and it's brilliant for watching movies (something I do almost daily).

That's about all though. TV in the UK is made up of reality-soaps, Docu-soaps, soaps and more soaps & they're all dirty!


 1:50 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I watch Channel 4 News and Newsnight avidly but that's about it - apart from the occasional documentary.

I was captivated by the recent BBC documentary "The Power of Nightmares [news.bbc.co.uk]" which showed, among other things, how the training camps in Afghanistan were not being used primarily by bin Laden but by Islamist nationalists who wanted to go back and bring about revolution in their own countries and how Al-Qaeda, which has a different agenda with little support (to attack US military and economic targets directly) has a total core membership of about six people, if that.

There was a lot of expose and a lot of myth-busting - and some good explanation as to why there is so little questioning of the official line as defined by the neo-cons and their allies.

I particularly liked the part where one bin Laden video was exposed as having paid extras in it.

But if I had read this on an unidentified page on the web, I would have just dismissed it as more idle speculation.

That's what television is good for - if a programme is produced by a reputable company with a good pedigree, you can have confidence in the editorial control.


 2:34 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I watch about an hour of tv a week, and it's normally just looking in to see what family members are watching.


 2:57 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I dumped my TV for 3 or 4 years. I actually gave it away after awhile b/c it just took up space. Then, I moved in with my then boyfriend (now husband). The biggest fight we ever had to this date (don't get me wrong, we've had some dusies, this is the biggest though) was where and how many TVs would be in the apartment. I had none and prefered to keep it that way. He had 3 and prefered to keep it that way.

We comprimised at 1 and in the living room. I won't abide with TVs all over the place invading my life in everyway.

We also do not have cable. My husband would love to have it but when I tell him that he would be responsible solely for the bill, suddenly, the cost is too high. ;)

It's funny though. My husband started out quite the TV junky and now he watches very little of it. My kids are allowed to watch PBS and 2 hours of Saturday Morning cartoons (again a comprimise with my husband). I will admit that they are very easy to shop for. They don't have marketing crammed down their throats so they are happy with gifts they really want, instead of what they have been made to think they want.


 4:30 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ya - I pretty much watch the news (sparingly..who needs it when there's Google News?), and there's a couple shows I like (the amazing race, and the apprentice) and I watch them when I remember they're actually on.

Otherwise there's better things to be doing!


 4:36 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I used to hate TV until I bought a Tivo. We only watch about 1 hour each night but it's always something we want to watch and don't have to sit through the commercials. The advertisers aren't getting their $'s worth with us.


 4:55 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> TV in the UK is made up of reality-soaps, Docu-soaps, soaps and more soaps
You can tell a lot about a country from the TV it watches. I blame the education system. It doesn't teach kids to search for knowledge. It teaches them to gawk (recent GCSE question on Hamlet: If you were an agony aunt what advice would you give the characters?). The next generation will be even worse and I've got the unenviable task of ensuring my kids don't fall into that rut. The last weekend instead of watching TV they helped me make and edit a film. But, sadly, it was about wildlife and, as my 19 year old niece says: Oh My God! That's like sooooo outtait. You was like really shoo'in' wildlife?

And I'm the one who grew up with English as my second language!

>> if a programme is produced by a reputable company with a good pedigree, you can have confidence in the editorial control.
ronin, I've said this before: You're too trusting. :) The BBC is one of the most self-serving, biased, inconsistent, euro-cheerleading, left wing propaganda machines the communists never invented.

[edited by: Macro at 5:00 pm (utc) on Jan. 25, 2005]


 4:56 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm enjoying the "on demand" service our cable has begun providing. Movies and notable shows that start when I want, with pause (for up to 24 hours), rewind and fast forward. It's blurring the lines with video rentals and it fits my lifestyle.

Other than that, I mostly use the TV part of our cable hook-up for background while I work online.

News? I like to stay in touch with the spin that the media biggies are asking us to buy into once in a while, but I use the web for my "real news" so I can take in different perspectives.

The Cricketer

 5:03 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Bought my TV in '87 beat that!

The one is my bedroom was bought in 1985. Colour's gone purple round the edges but it does the job. Computer work for me takes up so much time it's not surprising that as computer ownership increases, TV viewing figures decrease.

We do watch quite a bit of sport on ours, can't beat a bit of sport.


 5:23 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I watch TV for entertainment only, and without commercials using a Tivo. While the vast majority of all TV is crap, each network has at least one decent show. However, the SCI-FI channel has three great series running: Battlestar Galactica, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate SG-1. Battlestar Galactica has the production values of a movie and the writing is very good. The History Channel and Comedy central have plenty of good shows too.

That being said, I never use the TV for news when I can find much acurate coverage from multiple sources online.


 5:25 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Nearly all of our family's TV-watching is actually movie-watching, using DVDs from NetFlix.

Ironically, we do watch the very occasional TV program, but only after it's appeared on DVD at NetFlix. :-)


 6:05 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't watch nearly as much as I used to. When I had a 'real job' I watched it a lot. For some reason I needed to. Once I quit the 'real job' my desire to watch tv nearly disappeared. My husband, who has a real job, watches quite a bit. I probably wouldn't watch nearly as much as I do if it weren't for him watching.

insulting to intelligence

That describes pretty accurately most of what is on.

Having said that, I love Adult Swim on cartoon network and a few fox shows (arrested development for ex.). I like to have the tv on when I exercise, but I would rather watch tapes with documentaries or something else educational. Although most documentaries are pretty dumbed down too, books are much better. And I've always had cable - any place I've ever lived is lucky to get any channels at all without it. I don't have kids but if I did, I'd have them watch Sesame street and that kind of stuff. I turn it on when there is severe storm and tornado warnings too.


 6:10 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

To be honest ,reading all this made me wonder how disconnected our lifestyle is from the normal public!...

You know the regular joe return from work ,get into his pajamas and just sit before the *BOX* until its time to sleep...And i dont think this is gonna change in the near future :).


 6:38 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I live in a country where I'm unfluent in the local language - my TV choice is BBC Prime, CNN, and 30 odd channels in Hungarian. I now watch Top Gear Extra, some of the news and my football (soccer) team, Norwich City being beaten in Hungarian roughly one a month (they show them when playing Man Utd or something cause there are bound to be a lot of goals). But I'm glad for this and wouldn't throw out the box yet - I'd even consider paying for it - if the cable co ever realise they are feeding it to me for free :)

I miss a lot of TV shows from the UK, Ray Mears, all the Micheal Palin travel shows, basically I'd like to have BBC2 and Channel4, I'd also watch some of those newfangled american shows - CSI, Buffy, ER, the odd episode of Friends.

So I guess I'm the odd one out - I want to watch more TV! but I can't.

> The BBC is one of the most self-serving, biased, inconsistent, euro-cheerleading, left wing propaganda machines the communists never invented.

May it live long and prosper! damn I miss star trek too.


 6:39 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

TV is perfectly relevant...

But only in HD during football season.


 6:58 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Television enables you to be entertained in your home by people you wouldn't have in your home.

--David Frost

I watch the commercials. ;)


 7:10 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

You're too trusting. happy! The BBC is one of the most self-serving, biased, inconsistent, euro-cheerleading, left wing propaganda machines the communists never invented.

HOOORAAAY! I'm SO pleased to read that - I was beginning to think I was the only person who'd spotted it. Now, at least I know there are two of us!

And the ads are often the best things on TV - which is another thumbs-down for the BBC really...

Quality-wise - it's pretty dreadful in the UK right now - mainly "celebrity who's doing up and selling their house now" shows.

The thing that scares me is this - you THINK the news and factual programmes are well-researched and authoritative. Then they say something about computers, or the net, and you realise they haven't the first clue... which gets me wondering - are they just as clueless about astronomy, ecology, economics, quantum physics etc - just that I don't know enough about those subjects to spot it....?


 7:12 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Battlestar Galactica has the production values of a movie and the writing is very good.

I saw the mini-series with the gal from "Species" as the hotty-bot. Didn't realize it had emerged as a full-blown series.

Glad to know that I'm not alone in non-TVland. Some of my extended family pretty much lives in front of the TV, and they kinda view me as a freak because I have no idea what third-world sinkhole the latest iteration of Survivor is in.


 7:21 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Bill O'Reilly (Fox News) sometimes is worth watching. The other 98 channels for 24 hours a day are simply moronic - "jerry, jerry, jerry" if you know what I mean.


 8:03 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I LOVE tv. I love TiVo. The Daily Show, Dead Like Me (cancellations be damned), The Amazing Race, etc. What I hate is people who talk about tv as if only stupid people watch it. It's entertainment, it's pop culture research for websites, and shockingly, people who watch tv read books too. <gasp!>

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