Wednesday, February 10, 2010

TV or NOT?

Lately, it seems like a lot of the conversations I've had with friends (both online and in person) have had the topic of television come up in them.  About 6 years ago, when we had two little girls who seemed to think that our lives revolved around what was on TV, Brian and I made the decision to cut off our cable.  The price was going up anyway, and we weren't real thrilled with the selection of channels that was available.  We thought that we'd go without cable for about a year, then maybe look into getting a dish service. 

Six years have passed, and we've never once looked back or regretted our decision.  We never did get a dish.  We live in a valley and, as a result, we get NO channels whatsoever.  We still have TV's in the house (3, to be exact), and we subscribe to Netflix.  We made the decision that we'd be willing to spend a little bit of money on movies now and then, since we were no longer paying a cable bill.  Even with Netflix and occasionally purchasing a movie, we spend much less than we ever spent on cable.

Occasionally, we'll get a notice in the mail about some special "not-to-be-passed" up special from Dish Network or some such company.  Right about the time that we start to think maybe we're ready for this, we end up somewhere exposed to TV (maybe in a hotel or visiting with a friend).  Just the commercials alone are a turn-off for me.  We're so used to watching commercial-free things now, that commercials really get on my nerves.  Plus, I see such a change in commercials just over the past few years - it's amazing to me some of the things that they advertise on television, for the very youngest of viewers to see. 

So, we continue to be TV-less and we're good with that.

Thing is, though --- for the past few weeks, our tv has been acting up.  The screen has been really fuzzy and we've been thinking that, one day soon, we'll probably have to go TV shopping.  Then, last night, when trying to play a brand-new DVD, we realized that our dvd player is also on it's last leg.  My parents are out of town; so rather than rob Ashley of her brand-new VCR/DVD combo, we borrowed a DVD player from the parents.

Guess what?  The TV picture is now crystal clear!  Maybe it wasn't the TV, but the DVD player that was going bad all along.  However, now there is this horrendous buzzing sound that comes and goes - sometimes getting so loud that you can barely hear the voices over the buzz.  Talk about frustrating.  So, what's up with that?!  Do you think it's the DVD player or the TV? 

I'm thinking we need to go shopping for a whole new home entertainment system.  Thing is, these new flat screens are really nice and save space BUT I'm not ready to give up my recently acquired formerly-owned-by-Max-Lucado entertainment armoire!

Tell me - what is your TV status?  Do you have a TV and/or DVD player brand to recommend?


Katy~The Country Blossom said...

hi Heidi! Thanks for the suggestion about that heater! I will have to look into that!! :)

We have the smallest package on Dish. I like to watch Fox News and Chris likes to watch sports stuff sometimes....but we aren't TVaholics. My kids have to ask permission to ever watch the TV and they are only allowed to watch PBS or Qubo. I am pretty particular about TV....there is soo much JUNK on there!

Debra said...

We gave up DirecTV in early 1999, part of the plan for me being able to stay home. We used to be able to get a signal for 2-3 broadcast stations, but with the digital thing, we don't have that anymore either. There are some things I miss. I like the news. We like History Channel. When we visit family, it is fun to see things like Discovery Channel, and some of the home-improvement shows.

But we see plenty of television via the library and Swap-a-DVD. We don't need to be paying for service.

Angie said...

We just bought a new television this past weekend. Ours had gotten to the point that you had to turn it off and on 20-25 times before the picture would come on and stay on. It was a process that we jokingly began to refer to as "firing up the TV", lol. I was almost sure that the new TVs would not fit in our old entertainment center, but I called home and had my son measure the cabinet and I measured the tv I was looking at. Amazingly, it fit perfectly. So, you may be surprised.

Now, I am interested in hearing the story behind you having Max Lucado's entertainment center! :)

Tricia said...

We are sort of the opposite. We had only network TV for YEARS and finally, about a year ago we signed up with Dish. We got the package with Speed because my boys wanted so badly to watch the Dirt bike race series. It lasts about 3 months. It was our plan to only have dish that long...

The thing is, it came with this wonderful DVR. Now I can never go back, for all the reasons you mentioned. We fast forward everything! I can's stand to watch anything in Live tv.

We'll even pause football games at the beginning of a game for a bout 30 to 45 minutes so we can fast forward commercials. It's really changed the way we watch TV.

We watch what's on the DVR and that's it. We fast forward all ads. The kids have their shows that are recored and we have ours. NO flipping around to find something on. Love it!

Tonia said...

You've got an armoire that was owned by Max Lucado? How cool is that!

We've got a satellite but tape everything we want to watch so we can fast forward through commercials. One of these days I'd like to upgrade to a DVR.

Heidi said...

I agree with Tonia on the armoire - very cool!

I've wanted to give up cable, but I can't convince my husband! The kids don't watch TV and always have to ask first.

I haven't tried this yet, so can't speak to the picture quality, but you could get a cable to hook your computer to your TV and watch shows from Hulu if you want some more viewing options without breaking your budget.

Breezy Point Mom said...

Heidi, I could have written your post! We stopped viewing TV in March, 2003, when the U.S. military entered Iraq. There were videos shown on the news of bombings and explosions, and I just didn't want it in our home any more. We have never looked back, and it has been nearly 7 years. We just rent Netflix videos, too. Think of all the money we've saved, among other things! Occasionally, when I catch a glimpse of TV in a public place, it is a real turn off! Anyway, we recently had to replace our DVD player. We ordered a Toshiba SD4200 Digital Progressive Scan DVD player for about $37 shipped through Amazon. It works great for all our Netflix videos. Happy Netflixxing!

Berry Patch said...

If I had the choice to make alone, I would get rid of our satellite TV. I'd do only movies or I would use hulu (free TV!) or YouTube to see anything I really wanted to see. I watch very little myself. But hubby & the kids watch more. The boys would rebel at first I think but get used to it fast. Hubby likes sports though & so we continue on. However, I second the DVR thing. We got ours about a year ago and it's wonderful. ;-)

Lori said...

Sometimes I feel like the odd one out because we actually like TV! I love a well told story in any form and have a fondness for science fiction, so watching TV together is a great way of relaxing with my husband. We do the DVR thing though, so we can watch what we want when we want it and skip all the commercials. I LOVE that.
We had no TV in college and it was great at that time. For this season though, it's been a good thing. We even have friends who we watch TV on DVD with. We'll hang out with them at least once a week and relax together over a TV show and then discuss and analyze and otherwise act like frustrated English majors. And we love it. Weird, I know!

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