Swearing off Television


Well, we’ve done it. We’ve suspended our DirecTV account for six months.

We haven’t totally cut the cord, as we will continue to watch DVDs, video on demand from Netflix (a pretty good deal) and a stockpile of TiVoed programs.

Still, canceling our service until October is a significant move, I think.

We’ll see how it goes. If nothing else, we’ll miss virtually all of the campaign commercials.


  1. MO, We have had only basic cable for about a year and a half. We have 4 or 5 local networks, 2 PBS stations, 2 shopping channels, C-Span, the catholic channel, and a spanish channel with sporadic programming. We kept the cable company’s DVR, but use it mostly to store children’s programming or nature shows from PBS for our son. I record American Idol, Hells Kitchen (I just like shows where people get dogged out), and the Simpsons, and just about everything else we watch is on DVD, owned or rented. Every so often I look at the menu to see what I’m missing on all those channels I don’t get anymore, and you know, that’s all it takes to keep it basic.

  2. It’s entirely feasible. I pitched the TV in ’84, right after the Olympics. Since then we borrowed one to watch 2 Super Bowls (Bears, Packers), 1 Indy race and 1 local debate (‘should we have off-track-betting?’). Sometimes the high schoolers get together to watch a Super Bowl (my traitorous son likes the Patriots…), but we get by on library videos, lots of books, *doing things*.

  3. murdoc, try hulu.com You can watch many current sitcoms like the simpsons and some movies too. I really like it.

  4. I grew up in a mostly TV-free household, and when I left home the habit persisted. As it stands we use our TV screens for DVDs, and that’s pretty much it. The last time we regularly watched TV was once a week to catch The Prisoner and Blake’s 7 on PBS. (T’ hell with this Battlestar stuff- no one writes villains like Servalan any more.) PBS around here doesn’t carry that, so we’re DVD-only. I happen to think life is better if you’re not cramming in time for your ‘must-watch’ shows. Here’s to your endeavor- may it succeed wildly.

  5. Well, I have everything that ComCast offers. Mostly, I need it for the NFL network, and for movies. I am also a bog fan of the 100 or so digital music channels we get. I crank it up when I am working here in the house, and sometimes use the soundscapes channel when I have difficulty sleeping. We also rent from Netflix, and I love their service. It’s gunny, but except for Law & Order, and the Simpsons, there really isn’t anything on the basic channel packege (and ESPECIALLY PBS) that I find worth watching. Where we lice, we have to have cable. The LOS to the sattelites are blocjed by tall cranes and large steel buildings. Seriously, I like having HBO, Showtime, etc. I do, however, understand where Murdoc is coming from. I need my NFL fixes, though. 🙂

  6. Sure you can turn off your Direct TV, limiting your ability for entertainment and to gain knowledge. It is certainly your choice. Only because of Direct TV, this 73 year old who thought he knew about as much about WWII as was possible to know, last night found out about: A. The marine sargent who took aircraft 30 cal. machine guns, changed the trigger mechanism, added a Garland stock, a BAR bipod and ended up with a 25 pound (including 100 rounds of ammo) weapon which had a cyclic firing rate of 1,220 rounds a minute. He was able to make 6 of these ‘Stingers’ before the invasion of Iwo Jima. Then I learned about the marine who used one of these ‘Stinger’ machine guns to take out many Jap pill boxes, kill over 20 japs and carry wound marines back to the beach during the 8 trips he made to get more ammo. (He would take off his boots so He could run faster.) He was later killed and received the Medal Of Honor. B. I learned some stupid decision was made to take ammo away from those who were to leave Iwo Jima the next day. That night, some Japs crept into a camp stabbing and killing over 50 Americans who really had no way to fight back. Then I saw Osprey’s on combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have seen many actual patrols and great re-enactments of various battles in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places. I get to see the FUTURE WEAPONS program and learned what an ex-seal sniper says about all kinds of weapons, including ones much better than what Colt is turning out. I get to see them fired and their effects on body armor. Kill shots at 2,500 yards. Get to see Metal Storm spew out tens of thousands of rounds and on and on and on. Fives days a week, I watch ‘Around the Services’ and see what is going on at military posts all around the world. And Thanks To Me, I am pretty sure this will be the first year, they cover the LARGEST Armed Forces Day Parade held west of the Mississippi River. It is a 3 day affair with military displays on all 3 days (Fri, Sat & Sun.) with the parade on Saturday. It is held in Torrance, CA. & will be held on May 15, 16, and 17. (This year is the 49th such parade in a row.) When I attend, I get to salute the heroes of Pearl Harbor, the Tuskegee Airman, the 442nd RCT (Nisie) and many other Vets from vearious wars. I’ve seen many fantastic science, history, travel programs. learning and enjoying them all. I’ve seen amazing explosions. how to extinguish fire with sound and how sound was used to disperse crowds and defeat pirates. How you can direct a sound wave just as accurately as you can a beam of light. There are MANY other great things I see and learn on Direct TV which I would NEVER be able to see somewhere else. Of course, I really LOVE learning and knowledge, I guess others do not love them as much as I do. >>Posted for Neil by Murdoc