Kill Your Television
I did it. The impossible dream. I don't have cable for the first time since age 6. While this is no grand acheivement for you normal folks out there, the Television has served a key part in my life and my entertainment while slaving away over my keyboard for 8 or 9 hours a day. We only have one option for cable in our neighborhood, and because of building rules, we can't have a Satellite dish.
From the time we moved into our little two story palace in Glendale, the cable modem and television have been sub-par at best. The internet was crapping out every 7 or 8 minutes, and the HiDef and Digital Cable Channels would do the same. Even the basic cable picture quality was horrendous. It got to a point where we just download or Netflix everything instead, because watching anything over the service was so fucking irritating.
So, what are we going to do now? Well, there's a couple of things we've used to replace it thus far, and I think our shift to full-on time shifters is complete.
First, the basic stuff. We have Netflix and Blockbuster Online accounts. This allows us to have a non-stop stream of movies and tv shows coming in and out. Blockbuster are a little bit incompetent (I've received the wrong disc at least 4 times over the past two months), but being able to walk over to the Blockbuster on the corner and rent Mansquito for free is a big plus.
Secondly, the interweb. I've been using the Netflix Streaming service for the past few weeks now, and really enjoy it. It manages to not slow down my machine too much, while providing some good background noise (like today's viewing of Across 110th Street). The selection's not great, but, there's a suprising number of things I'm interested in and like watching, so, hooray.
I also bit-torrent or stream many BBC shows (Doctor Who, Jekyll, Life On Mars, etc.) so, that's stuff that Cable or no, I'd be doing anyways.
Which leads me to the number three... we're about 80% in to get AppleTV. I'm concerned about the lack of HiDef signal (what's the point of having a HiDef TV without any HiDef inputs.) But, my theory is that we can buy the box, and download season passes to all of the shows I watch on a regular basis for about the price of four months of cable service. Considering it would take eight months of cable service to watch those self-same seasons, it seems to be a savings. The picture quality on those big giant TV's at the Apple store seems to be pretty good, but, who knows what that translates to practically. Now, if I could find a way to import my BBC downloads into AppleTV format and not have it do that irritating shitty framerate, I'd be sold.
And so, the mighty experiment begins. Three days without TV and counting. Now if you'll excuse me, I got Yaphet Kotto to watch.