I Pay $7 Per Hour to Watch TV?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Posted in category Just Stuff

I’m what you would call TV ignorant. I don’t know what cable channels I have, I don’t care, and I never remember what channel is what each time I turn the bloody thing on. I watch the local Detroit news at 10pm sometimes, Judge Napolitano on FOX Business News when I can, or occasionally, a movie, musical, or documentary. Otherwise, my 36″ Samsung LCD exists only for the purpose of playing DVDs – movies and documentaries – and hooking up my computers and electronic devices for a big screen view.

I’m the kind of person who occasionally presses a wrong button or two on one of the three remotes and the TV screen goes blue. It takes me three days of randomly pressing buttons, as I find the time, before the picture comes back. Now I’m not a technology idiot – just the opposite. I can multi-task on several electronic devices at once without skipping a beat or burning the green beans and almond slivers in the wok behind me. I once overcooked my grape tomatoes to the point where they looked like shriveled mini-blueberries (the kind found in kid’s cereals) because I was working on my website so intensely. For the most part, I end up teaching people how to use their computers and smart phones, along with all the tools and apps they don’t know a thing about. But TV remotes seem to present peculiar problems for me.

Not too long ago, I didn’t have cable because I didn’t have a TV. My old-fashioned Toshiba (people made fun of it!) turned up its toes, and wouldn’t you know it happened as I was watching a Detroit Red Wings game? I thought my dogs had sat on one of the remotes, causing the snow disarray and blue line wiggle-thingies that came dancing across the screen. Several attempts at juggling 3 remotes and all of the buttons that seemed important made no difference at all. A house call from the TV man got it fixed for $160. The second time it petered out (just out of warranty repair, of course), it bit the big one. Another house call to take a look at the expired patient showed no heartbeat, and Mr. Toshiba was pronounced dead on the spot. He was carried to the curb where some garbage picker took him home for a potential pacemaker.

Some time passed without a box in the house until I broke down and got a Samsung LCD. I had missed watching movies and documentaries on something other than a computer. This TV is a dream team along with my 20-year-old Bose AM5 Series II speakers. And so the cable bills started coming again.

So, forward ahead. I get another $90 bill this month (bundle for TV and Internet + DVR + cable modem) in the electronic mailbox, and I realize, again, that I am sick of paying $1,000 a year for crap I don’t watch. So I call Wide Open West and try to finagle a cut in my bill, and they reminded me that I already receive a monthly discount that is $5 over the maximum discount …… which is the discount I asked for last time I called. Yeah, I do remember. That was the last time I got sick of my cable bill, back in August 2010. Occasionally I seem to have these “why am I wasting my money on this?” moments when these bills arrive in my email and I start slashing. So each time I get agitated I calculate my approximate cost per hour of TV watched which is $70 (approximate TV portion of monthly cost) / 10 hours per month = $7 per hour, and that seems a bit overpriced to me. So I call WOW and tell them the price is unacceptable and I tell them I need to cut the cost.

According to the latest Nielsen ratings, the average American watches 34 hours of television per week, and that puts their cost of TV at .52 per hour if they are paying the same rate as me. I suspect that someone is not being fiscally responsible here, and that someone appears to be me. The gal on the phone tells me I can move down one package, cut out 50+ channels, and save a whopping $10.50 a month. For 20 cents/channel, I’ll just keep them just in case I ever want to watch more TV at some point. But cutting back to the cheap-ass package would cut a whole bunch of channels off – I mean, who cares, except one of them is FOX Business. I can’t cut Judge Napolitano’s show! I often catch the Judge on the ‘Net, but if I am home, I like to have him on the tube. Plus there’s the Bloomberg channel, which is a decent channel when I don’t have a Sirius receiver around or when I need a break from podcasts. Even worse, when the WOW customer service lady suggested we could cut my bill by dropping the Internet speed (horrors!), I almost had a spaz moment. Don’t touch my junk or my Internet.

So I started to look at the channels I have available to me. I had no idea there was a Lifetime Real Women channel. Is that the former Lifetime channel (castoff chick flicks) on Oprah dust? The last I remember about that channel, Jaclyn Smith was doing about 10 movies a month, and each time her character was raped or beaten or discriminated against by some evil man. The Word Network sounds interesting, but I have no idea what it is. Is it a vocabulary channel for word geeks? The Military Channel? – I’ll pass. The Hitler Channel has all I need should I want to cheer on Churchill or remember the name of all U.S. WWII battleships.

I keep making these half-baked half-resolutions in late December of each year to watch more TV. I know that sounds backwards, especially for someone who takes great pride in hating television and not making New Year’s resolutions. The gist of that thought is that I am always on the go too much, work too much, task too much, and I am constantly in high gear. Some chill out time is needed. I need to relax and let my brain unbutton. Perhaps I should be watching a soothing TV drama or brainless sitcom at 10:30pm instead of another Gerald Celente or Peter Schiff video predicting the dollar collapse, civil unrest, sweeping bond defaults, massive food shortages, a profusion of bank failures, and a stock market collapse. Those videos might explain why I start writing furiously with blood surging to my temples at 11:00pm instead of going to bed when my alarm is set to go off at 4am.

Maybe I should watch House – he seems cool. Or Detroit 1-8-7. Boston Legal was the only regular show I watched in over 15 years, and it was gone for 6 months before I realized it was off the air. So now I buy the DVDs, and I never have time to watch those either. I suppose it really doesn’t matter because most everything I want to watch is on YouTube, Breitbart, Hulu, Bloomberg, or a gazillion other media and news sites. And most of it is free, with only the occasional, short commercials that tend to be better than the commercials I’ve seen on TV.

On the Internet, there are thousands of channels and there is never nothing on, and better yet, for each gatekeeper who locks down some controversial content, there are a host of others who can’t wait to make that content available. And I figure my Internet costs me about 18 cents per hour at my rates and usage. Now I just have to convince my financial advisor – me – to yank the plug on cable TV once again.

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51 Responses to I Pay $7 Per Hour to Watch TV?

  1. cousin lucky says:

    March 9th, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I stopped watching commercial TV almost 10 years ago!! Occasionally something may have been on that I would have liked to have watched; but that does not offset the joy I get from a commercial free life. The ” Idiot Box ” is an iseal name for the thing.

    I have never had cable because on Staten island there is only one cab;e company that charges a fortune. Just about every homeowner has satellite dishes on their roofs. I feel so much better away from the ” brainwashing ” of TV. Good Luck Ms De Coster!!

  2. Jeannie Queenie says:

    March 9th, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Karen, had to laugh at your description of juggling three remotes and taking days trying to get the tv to go. This has happened to me many times when the little grandkids are here and they mess with the remotes. It always drives me nuts when I can’t get them to work. One for the tv, one for the surround sound and another for dvd….not like we don’t have enough to deal with!

    I hear you on the communications/cost front. Like you I’ve told AT&T that jacking up the bill every few months and adding a few bucks more charge, just wasn’t cutting it for me..and that they were pushing me perilously close to just dropping the phone and using only the cell…they lowered the bill by several $$. Fact is, I’d never use just a cell for the info coming out on the damages to brain are just to scary for my tastes, and besides I have a cell mainly for emergencies on the road if I should have to contact AAA or police. But I finally reached my goal this past year…got my whole bundle of communication services down to a TOTAL of $100 for ALL…unlimited local and long distance phone, the cell phone, basic cable of only 30 channels (all I need, although I miss those HGTV/ Discovery/History channels) But can check them out online when I want. And amount above also includes high speed internet. To break this down, total phone bill which includes net and INclusive of all taxes (CT has loads of them), is $69. Throw in cable at 18 a month..and best of all, about a year ago I got sick of paying Sprint cell $39 a month for only 200 min a month which I rarely used, and they didn’t carryover minutes…and many times in my town couldn’t even place calls from the road for no coverage in certain parts of the countryside here. Sooo, I quit Sprint at end of contract and bought a little slick beauty of a Tracfone which bills me all of $12 a month for 200 min a month and also carry over minutes, so now I have close to 500 min which I’ll probably never use, but is nice to know they are there if needed. Better yet, is the reception is better than Sprint ever was and I can call from about anywhere around here. So add that $12/cell and 18/cable and 69/tele and net, for a grand total just under $100…and all includes taxes…good enough for me.

    Only problem I’m experiencing now is that last night I came home around ten and went to check my hotmail and found it had been blocked by msn, I gather. So last night I was up until two trying to work that out, but no luck..and today about six more hours…all to no avail, so if any of you techies have a clue as to how to unblock a blocked email address, would appreciate your expertise on this matter. Yes, I have been in a zillion sites and techie forums. One guy said that if you have a free hotmail account good luck on retrieving your mail at which point my heart sank…
    with over 10,000 emails in there and much private stuff galore from bank statements, investment statements, personal letters, tons of research of things I study, not to mention loads of emails from friends and family, I’m sick over this. Found a site tonight that revealed there is a hugh spate of this right now with hotmail and people not being able to access their accounts. Some of them professionals who kept their calendars and other assorted receipts, etc or school lessons/plans and all necessary stuff. I even tried the Microsoft site tonight and it seems that even their site is bonkers, espec the live windows page. So at this point, all I think I can do is contact the FBI and copy/paste info to them and the url of a page sent to me which tells me the acct is comprimised/blocked. Any of you who’ve experienced this, pls advise…sort of feels both scary/at losing all that info, yet freeing, not to have to deal with a growing library in one’s home!

  3. liberranter says:

    March 10th, 2011 at 12:39 am

    There is definitely still a LONG way to go in perfecting the digital media market in terms of making it actually serve individual customers’ needs. Whenever this topic comes up for discussion, the first thing that always comes to mind is that line from Bruce Springsteen “45 channels [the ceiling when this song came out in the early '80s] and nothing on TV.” The second thing that follows it is Howard Stern’s observation from a few years back that 99.99 percent of all TV is watched on just 25 channels. This of course means that the revenue earned from those 25 most-watched channels is subsidizing the hundreds of other channels of bullshit that nobody watches.

    Two questions that persist are:

    1. Why can’t we customize our own cable/satellite TV packages?

    2. Why do cable companies have regional monopolies?

    Of course regular readers of this blog know the answers to both, so I won’t insult your intelligence by repeating them here. I only wish that the media conglomerates would have the decency to just take the mitten off, show us the middle finger they’re waving in our faces, and tell us to shut up and watch what’s put in front of us or go back to watching six channels of broadcast (digital) TV.

  4. Iluvatar says:

    March 10th, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Have not watched Cable since ~circa 2008 -do not miss it.

    Don’t watch much regular TV either, since I hooked up the antenna.

    Don’t stay in touch w/ the real world anymore either – haven’t you noticedd that already?

    Don’t want to – I think I am DONE!

    Dude!

    I think that I am done! (I am so tired of the horsehsit!!!)

    Peace, brother – but I am also the world’s biggest Luddite – yeah man! And oh?

    I know how to seek peace in my life – I’ve already done the work.

    Have U?

  5. JJ says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Pay 56 for cell, 67 for TV and high speed internet and that includes all the HDTV channels that aren’t in any specific order and are difficult to find.

    Thought about not watching TV but I like sports way too much to cut it off.  I have to have my basketball games, football games, ESPN, comedy central.  Theres other stuff I see on from time to time that I like being able to watch as well.  History channel, AMC, Discovery, adult swim on cartoon network.  I have to be entertained and for 123 a month I feel its a fair price for all my entertainment.  And when I get out of my sprint contract I will most likely move my phone over to Boost mobile for their 50 bucks a month, talk, text, web, unlimited plan.

  6. Matthew Shrugged says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Cable television is a tricky best. Generally speaking, there seems to be three options in my area – two satellite companies and one conventional cable company. Satellite is cheaper through package deals, but the internet speed offered alongside it is very low. On the other hand, the cable company offers higher speed internet, but in a more expensive package.

    In time, cable companies will need to adjust to the Internet age. For seven dollars a month, you can get a Netflix subscription which gives you access to a lot of movies and television shows. I gave Hulu a try for a month, but didn’t like it as much as Netflix. Cable cancellations will continue to grow – there was one poll that said one in eight people would scale back on their cable or cancel altogether. Higher prices, a bad economy, and Internet access all contributed to that.

    I use my XBox far more than my cable box (It runs Netflix on my TV). I couldn’t be happier with the situation. While some shows would be missed (as you pointed out, the Judge on Fox Business), I suspect I’d be better off reading more.

  7. benji says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 5:57 am

    We cut the cord a month ago and haven’t missed it. We get local channels in HD and have a PS3 to watch DVDs and Netflix or Hulu. I dont think we’re missing out andim saving $90/month.

  8. Mark Lang says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Public school and TV will turn you into a retarded psychopath (As John Taylor Gatto observed) and you will start refering to politicians as “Leaders” and think Parasite Obama is the Messiah and you might just end up a bratty little tapeworm like Rachel Maddow….Turn off their broadcasts!

  9. JR says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Cut cable-tv last month ~ and don’t miss it.
    Now using Roku + Netflix.
    $99.00 (1-time) Roku Wireless Player + $9.99/mo. Netflix.
    Savings = $780/year.

  10. Spook, RN says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Ms. DeCoster,

    I often joke that the only reason I have a TV at home is to watch Hockey (GO SABRES!) When Hockey isn’t playing, I usually catch up on Discovery channel, NatGeo, Science channel (which is now the new home for Firefly!) or ‘History Channel’ [TopShot anyone?] Along with Comedy Central, ‘Law and Order: SVU’ and the regular ‘Law and Order’ – that’s about it.
    Thanks to the lockout and the abysmal presence of hockey amongst the ‘major networks’ – I’m forced to pay through the roof for access.
    The cable folks ‘sell’ the situation by claiming that I have ‘bundled’ channels and proceed to list the other channels I can watch; ignoring my request that I have no desire to watch them!

    And as another commenter pointed out earlier, the regional monopoly is at the crux of the problem – who wouldn’t want a provider where you paid for only what you watched?

    cheers,

  11. Matt says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I can’t justify the prices either .Coincidentally I was just looking into ways to get out of my FIOS contract without paying a monstrous $360. early termination fee.  Ugh.

  12. Dan says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Thanks for this latest, Karen. You’ve prompted me to finally get rid of the extortionist Cablevision. Regretting not having the History/Science/Discovery Channels, for example, which are extremely propagandistic anyway, is an illusion now that you’ve told me they’re available on the Internet. A moment’s thought made me realize I would never actively choose to watch any of it if I had to locate it on the Internet and devote the concentration I do when I am actively looking for something informative or reading.

    I’ve can’t recall how many times I’ve been to people’s houses and they’ve got some giant flat screen on while adults are socializing. This isn’t a good sign at all. As Jacques Ellul points out in Propaganda, the better educated, widely read, and up to date on stuff a person imagines himself, the more likely it is that he’s been propagandized. Watching TV is being hypnotized on top of being propagandized, but everyone imagines he is immune to it. When you’re watching one of those games, do it in a darkened room, turn away from the set and watch the kaleidoscope of light effects on the wall, and then consider what the intent and unconscious effect is.

  13. reader says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 8:07 am

    The History Channel barely even shows WWII stuff anymore! It now mostly has reality shows and documentary series that aren’t even historical!

  14. Andy Winfrey says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Karen,

    We went through the same delima about four years ago. I even stooped to watching American Idol in 2007, just so I could communicate with the average fluoride head.
    After realizing that the Internet, and an antenna could provide me with virtually anything I wanted to watch, we shut off DTV, and went strictly Internet.
    Today, between YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and all the Networks websites, I can get what I want, when I want, and find the whole process more enjoyable because it can be customized.
    I highly recommend buying a used, high powered for the time, Desktop and connect it to your Samsung.
    Armed with a wireless mouse and keyboard, you will be surfing the future of TV, light years ahead of the average consumer.

  15. Janet says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 8:51 am

    We, too, cut cable TV about 4 years ago and I rely on Netflix and the local library for movies and documentaries. Because we need cable for the phone and Internet we still get the usual local & major stations. When I occasionally check TV for a weather update I can now see just how pathetic and manipulative MSM TV programming is/was. It makes me a bit sick to think of all the time I used to spend flicking through channels, and can only hope that all my previous TV watching didn’t completely destroy my critical thinking.

  16. Lisa says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Karen, you just described me and my ‘relationship’ to TV perfectly. I want to cut cable and order series and movies by netflix. I spend much more time online reading news (yes, it’s depressing) and watching debates, etc. than watching TV. We watch a few series that I would just as soon wait until the season is over and order on netflix to watch all at once. For all the expense of cable, I don’t even get the one channel I want – fox business. Why haven’t I cut the cord? My husband. He watches the weather channel and a bit of some local morning show. Eventually we won’t be sitting in the same room anymore since I can’t read well with the TV gibberish and ultra-loud commercials. TV has become a propaganda machine and a true idiot box. But, it’s hard to quit something you’ve had your whole life and makes you feel like you have a link to the outside world. That’s why you and I are still paying these exhorbitant fees.

  17. Paul & Lisa says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 9:32 am

    When the posters started appearing in the Post Office a couple of years ago saying “Don’t let your TV turn into a dinosaur”, I had a good laugh. We had quit watching the Cognitive Dissonance Device several years earlier, and only played DVD/VHS on it. When the fateful day arrived that I could no longer tune in a station on it, I let nature take it’s course. After all, what kind of a world would it be if there were flesh eating dinosaurs roaming around without a leash? By the way, did you know that the scan/refresh rate of the picture is deliberately set to a frequency which induces a semi-hypnotic state in the human brain? The individual who posted earlier referring to it as an idiot box was closer to the truth than they knew. The semi-hypnotic state coupled with the deliberate cognitive dissonance of the actual programming, and any subliminal messaging, is very close to what happens when someone is actually hypnotized and given a post-hypnotic suggestion. Most people wouldn’t knowingly let a rapist or child molester into their house, but they turn on the tube and let it run for hours on end. Remember the “Just say no to drugs campaign”? I think it applies to TV in spades. Ironically those ads were on…..TV.

  18. anthony says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 9:46 am

    I got rid of my cable once I heard that the only show I had to watch on TV, Stargate Universe was cancelled by syfy (formerly the sci fi network) to be replaced by…. a COOKING show…. a COOKING show. That was the last straw for me. I only watch 4 shows in total plus Miami Dolphins football (which might not happen next year). Sons of anarchy, Mad Men, and Breaking bad are going to be purchased on itunes. I will be saving over $900 per year. Cable companies have jumped the shark for me. Looks like it has for many of your readers as well… Down with the cabletown cartel!

  19. nobody says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I guess turning off the cable is not an option? I haven’t watched TV in my home for 15 years. Can’t say I ever missed it. I do get a lot done, read, cooked, built though.

  20. Gary Carson says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I’m another one who gave up TV years ago. I don’t have cable, a cell phone, an I-Pad, an I-Pod or any of the rest of that disposable electronic junk. And now I’m thinking about cutting way back on my internet usage, if not giving it up completely. Constant exposure to the demonic media-sphere in all of its various manifestations turns people into brain-dead zombies, in my opinion.

    Constant exposure to the media-sphere in any turns people into brain-dead zombies, if you ask me.

  21. chris says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I also quit 10 years ago. I only have internet & netflix.
    I pay 45.00 for internet and 19.00 for netflix

    Upside no commercials and I get to pick what I want to watch and I never have a late fee.

  22. Zeke says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 11:47 am

    It is just a matter of time before HD TV content will be provided on the Internet. It is in the works. Cue and watch at your convenience.

    I could get free TV through my employer, but I’d prefer the Internet choice of video that stops after my selection has played. Less incentive to sit and subject myself to vile establishment conditioning.

  23. Melanie @TravelToast.com says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 11:50 am

    In the 11 years we’ve been married and in the several homes we’ve lived in, my husband and I never paid for cable television. We figured that it doesn’t make sense to PAY for something that makes you fat, dumb and poor. That said, 90% of the time, we found the cable company was too lazy to turn off the cable (probably never thinking someone might live in a house and refuse to order it!).

    So we found we could be fat and lazy for free!

    In the end, we hated having cable. A year before we hit the road fulltime in an RV (with four kids) we just ditched the television for good, free cable be damned.

    Paying good money so that you can assist marketers in reaching you to make you feel inadequate about your life unless you buy their products (the true goal behind television) reminds me of women who pay to see men strip. What the hell is wrong with this picture?

    Ditch the cable.

  24. Mike F says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Hey Karen! Long time no see! My wife and I go through this same run around. Oops, hit the wrong button, now spend agonizing minutes between 3 remotes to figure out what happened. Then a couple hundred channels of crapola.
    Satellite out here in the sticks works ok and is ultra- cheap compared to yours. No cable is strung out to the farm so we are out of luck with high speed internet. I feel like digging my own trench in the drainage ditch the 2 miles or so to the nearest nexus. Oh well, I bought the farm and I love living on it. Stay frosty!!
    Mike

  25. John Keller says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Karen - 

    House is good, but that and Bear Grylls’ Man vs. Wild are the only 2 things I watch other than occasional sports. House is actually like Scooby Doo for adults. The plot is always the same: “It’s Disease X, treat for it.” -> 15 minutes later -> “He got worse, it must be Disease Y, treat for that.” -> 15 minutes later -> House has a flash of insight and solves the mystery at the last second, saving the patient and the day. 

    As for relaxing – YES! You are in the Anarcho-Libertarian choir and could ghost write for Schiff or Celente or Rockwell or etc… Here is an interesting perspective from Paul Chek (not sure if you’ve heard of him, but you’ll like him) 
    https://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_interviews/deconstructing_paul_chek&cr=

  26. Pente says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Cable TV is obsolete and even the resolution sucks. I get internet service at about $50 per month. I rarely watch anything anymore and when I do, I just find a place to download it or stream it directly onto my computer.

  27. Burky says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Karen,

    You (given the value of your time) are paying WAY more than $7/hr to watch TV! As a hockey fan, I get my fix on Saturday night (the Leafs may be boring, but Don Cherry rarely is!). There are so many other more relaxing things to do than that…

    Go Wings!

  28. Ironhorse says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I got rid of the dish company years ago, and have never had nor ever will have cable service. I bought a digital antenna and a friend gave me a converter box. While I miss documentary programs, I refuse to be insulted by both the dish and cable companies and their “6 months deal packages”.

  29. John Foster says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Liberranter says “but I am also the world’s biggest Luddite”. He typed this on a computer and posted as a reply using the internet on a blog. Luddite? I think not.

  30. Robert says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Some years ago I came to the realization that virtually all TV programming falls into three categories, (1) statist propaganda packaged as “news” or “history”, (2) mindless down “entertainment” where I wasn’t even allowed to decide for myself when to laugh or (3) dumbed down “educational” programming. Given that I could find nothing in any of this that might be of any real importance to, I cancelled all TV services at once.

    For several years now I have lived happily without any access cable or broadcast TV. What I do have is a ceiling mounted high definition front projector which beams to a 9′ wide (!) screen which retracts out of sight when not in use. Both my Blu-Ray compatible laptop and my DVD player can be linked to the projector.

    This is movie and streaming video watching heaven. On the rare occasion that some news event is of such magnitude that I may be tempted to follow it live (think 9/11) then I have numerous live feeds via streaming video available. Discovering new and/or rare movie gems in the ever growing Netflix catalog is also great fun.

  31. David K, Meller says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    There are rumors that TV watching (even “informative” material) over times depresses IQ, and that internet viewing–especially libertarian-oriented sites–improves intelligence! I don’t know how true this is, but I would take the IQ and judgement of an “average” mises.com and antiwar.com viewer to be greater than that of the “average” viewer of idiot-box “public television” fare any day of the week! I’m not even going into network TV (they don’t call it “idiot box” for nothing)!

    If you also consider that you are also PAYING FOR time on TV that you could be enjoying LewRockwell.com (or one of their many links), not to mention the many informative and interesting sites (channels) regarding so-called “alternative” medicine and wellness, alternative energy technology, not just “solar power, windpower, and other green greed, but REALLY interesting stuff such as “vacuum energy”, “low temperature nuclear reactions” e.g. cold fusion, (you were TOLD they were fake, but the same people who told you that they were “fake” also tell you about “global warmings” inconvienient truth, so don’t go by that)!Infinite-energy.com, and aetherometry.com are two of my favorites.

    Save your time, save your money, and ENJOY LIFE!

    Happy web surfing!!

    PEACE AND FREEDOM!!–David K. Meller

  32. givejonadollar says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Great stuff Karen. I probably, like you, only watch TV about 10 hours per month, if that. Luckily, the apartment complex I’m in includes the cable, but I am miffed I don’t get to watch the Judge because I would like to help his ratings. :)

  33. Austin says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I definitely recommend Mad Men and Breaking Bad on AMC. These two shows are truly excellent, often better than anything I see in the theatres. Justified on FX is also very good, as well as White Collar on USA. And if you’re willing to shell out some extra bucks for Showtime, Dexter is another show well worth watching, along with Episodes.
    As for basic broadcast programming, Detroit 1-8-7 is good, not great. Modern Family on ABC is a scream, and 30 Rock on NBC is also quite funny.
    Word Network is a televangelist channel.

  34. Marie says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Mark,
    I totally agree with you about JTG. He is one of my favorite scholars. We cut the cord 3 years ago and have never looked back. The internet and Netflix are the best sources for all your news and entertainment.

  35. liberranter says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    To follow up my earlier post, as a resident of a rural area not served by any cable companies or broadband internet providers other than wireless or satellite, my own service options are very limited. While I’ve been a DirecTV subscriber for nearly seven years (we started with them back east while living in suburbia) and can’t complain about their QoS or the range of options in their programming packages, it’s still a lot to pay for (nearly $140 per month for the Premier[TM] package) when we 1) don’t watch more than about 20 hours of TV per week, at most, and 2) the package doesn’t include broadband internet service, which has to be purchased from another provider. On the other hand, the DirecTV Premier package does include nearly 100 Sirius/XM satellite radio channels, most of which are far better than any broadcast radio channels and offer a much wider variety of programming. I keep the tuner fixed on these throughout the day (and throughout the night, to keep my dogs calm), which, if you average the service subscription cost by hours used, might just make the package pay for itself.

    As for wireless broadband, even though there is now a little bit more competition than there was even a couple of years ago, none of the providers are cheap compared to land line-delivered services offered by cable or telecom providers. The cheapest wireless broadband service in my locality is $30.00 per month, but that is for the lowest throughput speeds and download allowances offered. As a teleworker who needs large amounts of bandwidth, upload and download thresholds, and decent throughput speeds to deliver products to clients (which often consist of immense files), the “low end” service packages don’t cut it. As it is, I’m paying nearly $80.00 per month, and if I want to download large (i.e., in excess of 325MB in size) files in a given service day, I have to do so during a four-hour window in the middle of the night. Otherwise, like all wireless customers, I’ll be slapped with a Fair Access Policy (FAP) violation and have my service slowed to glacial speed for 24 hours as “punishment.” Needless to say, Internet TV is out of the question under such conditions. I’m hoping and praying that Qwest (our regional land line phone service provider) will start offering broadband in our district, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Maybe a reader out there with satellite engineering experience can explain the difference in performance between satellite TV and satellite broadband (i.e., why the glacial speeds of the latter?).

  36. Karen De Coster says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    David K. – maybe you didn’t get the gist of my article? I truly do enjoy life (if you read my blog you’d know I don’t need advice for that), which is why I never have time to watch TV. But I thought my thesis was obvious, no?

  37. Karen De Coster says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Don Cherry rules. I have adored him since childhood.

  38. Josh says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Karen,

    Dedicate your least powerful computer to a “tv box”.  Buy an adapter, probably DVI to VGA, to display your computer screen on your TV.  Invest in a wireless keyboard and mouse (or buy a $2 app to use your iphone as a remote).   Downgrade your cable to high speed internet only.  Between ESPN3, hulu.com, nbc.com, abc.com, aljazeera.com, foxnews.com (Judge) a wide array of materials are available.  If you’re willing to spend the extra $8 on a netflix subscription you will be able to watch more material than could fill a lifetime.  

  39. Classical Liberal says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    You’re probably better off without the TV. I hardly watch it anymore and feel like I’m wasting time if I do. Only thing I like is the History Channel anyway. The internet is much better and you don’t have to deal with those media “gatekeepers.”

  40. Karen De Coster says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks for that Paul Chek interview, John. I’m a big fan of his. Have you read his book advertised in the article? Very good.

  41. Rich says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I don’t have cable. I’ve never had cable! I will never have cable.

    “Turn off the TV. Turn off the crap”! Jimmy Buffett

  42. Suzanne says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Particularly on the major networks, the advertisements seem to make up almost 50% of the airtime…so, if you subtract that from your viewing time (maybe you did already), could the price jump to almost $14 an hour? Yikes. I prefer the internet anyway…I feel like such a sheep when I watch the MSM.

  43. Iluvatar says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    41 comments?

    Dude! Ya just hit the motherlode!

    To Rich & all:

    “Television is sucking on the glass teat”

    Harlan Ellison, circa 1978, University of Dayton, OH (author of “A Boy and His Dog” and the writer for the BEST original Star Trek episode ever w/ Joan Collins (see? M Terry? got it right this time (big-ass grin here!)).

    But he didn’t stop there, sucking on that glass teat was the means by which government gets to control your thought (the media as well).

    Dude was totally Rad Hard.

    Now here is a kicker – both of my sons lately have been railing about the media and cable/TV.

    It is so bad, that I have to wonder if they were libertarian out of the womb (hell, man! I didn’t teach that to them! They are getting this shiite ALL by themselves!).

    I guess I need to plan for our ultimate departure since: I ain’t a libertarian and THEY might be…

    Oh well…

  44. Iluvatar says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    To John Foster:

    It was not Liber who said that, it was ME!

    And yes, I am about the biggest Luddite around – no cell phone (phone bill is ~$7/month + $2/month for long dsitance service via Qwest.

    Dumped cable in `08. Have an antenna (gets 50+ channels that I never watch, until football – I JUST found out last November WHO Paula Abdul was – in a commercial during a game – how Luddite is that?!).

    Yes, pay for internet service (for the kids, and my rants on the blogs – that’s it – when I retire? I will go to the library instead (and buy a bike and moped!)). (I believe I just lost control of the parentheticals – doh!).

    Now Verizon has informed me that they are cranking the $42/month internet bill up $10!

    Assholes!

    Oh, and giving me more B/W (swell, f*ck you!).

    I am thinking of dumping the service for Clear (Wi-fi). I am thinking it should be OK since I live right next to Bodymore, Murderland!

    Humphhh…

  45. Iluvatar says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    To John Foster:

    Oooooops!
    Forgot to say that I don’t even do Netflix!

    I BUY the dang DVDs – building a retirement library (I watch them over & over again)!

    A conversation w/ a work colleague suffices in that regard, to wit: “Hell, Chris, I absolutely CAN NOT WAIT for BlueRay to get really popular, b/c when it does? I am going to buy up CDs and DVDs for 1 cent on the dollar when they DO! I am going to CLEAR the inventory (and I have the equipment to deal w/ that for the next 30 years – (absolutely giggling!).”

    That conversation happened last Monday – and – since he knows that I am “Mr Anti-Tech Guy” among him and his Prog friends, he just smiled and our conversation was over.

    But I think I got a real line into this!

  46. Lucius says:

    March 12th, 2011 at 12:45 am

    A cable provider typically saves you money over the cost of a traditional phone, plus offers feature rich services that are not standard with a Telco provider. WOW’s website shows Xcite 2Mbps Internet + Essential Phone is $55/month. So, if your monthly bill had been $90, your cable cost had been $35. No argument that cable TV is an added expense and is not the best use of time, but a little less spin might go a long way.

  47. John Venlet says:

    March 12th, 2011 at 9:38 am

  48. Steven Wayne Lytle says:

    March 12th, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I don’t pay anything for TV (it’s part of my house arrangement), which I rarely watch in any case, and for movies, I borrow them from the library. I keep a list of movies that I want to see and when the library gets it, so do I. It’s not as convenient as paying for it, but it’s a lot cheaper.

  49. Ted Turner says:

    March 13th, 2011 at 7:42 am

    TV broadcasts are just insulting…to the point where if you are not insulted by them, then you are just a dain-bread psychopath a few Hollywood movies away from Dahmerism.

  50. TomGinTX says:

    March 13th, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Karen, do not listen to these people!! They are leading you in the wrong direction. If you watched more TV, you could really cut down on that $7/hour. As much TV as I watch, it only costs me pennies a day. 8-)

    You might like Ninja Warrior on the G4 Network. It’s a show from Japan where contestants attempt to complete insanely difficult obstacle courses. You can probably find episodes on the web, too. 

    Can’t talk any more now. The Amazing Race is about to start…

  51. Stephan Kinsella says:

    June 2nd, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Re remotes, I am about to get an ipad/iphone/ipod based remote–there are tons of those on the app store. lets you control everything from your i-device touchscreen

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