When I was growing up in England we had the main 4 terrestrial TV channels. My dad was one of the first people in the area to buy a movable satellite dish which allowed us access to many television channels. Over the years with Sky, BSB and ONdigital even more channels became available.
Sky+ brought the PVR into our family home. Now we could build up our own stack of recorded programmes to watch at our leisure all without adverts. Then something happened. I found myself watching less TV.
How was this possible? I had the opportunity to watch everything I wanted when I wanted. The launch of the BBC iplayer catch up service and other on demand services meant that I did not even have to record the programme in question or scroll through the TV guides to see what I wanted to record.
I found myself recording stuff I would never watch. Overwhelmed I would purge masses of recordings.
When I got my own place the pattern just repeated itself. With total control with what was on the TV and I found myself watching old repeats or just channel surfing for hours on end.
Over the years I have often reread a book called Get A Life by David Burke and Jean Lotus which brought together lots of my thoughts about television in general. A good read if you have the chance. Not only was I wasting my time a whole industry was in place to battle to keep me doing just what I was doing.
At first I thought I’d get rid of the TV altogether. One sticking point was that I like to keep up to date and watched the live news channels a lot. Then I came to realise that I didn’t need live TV for this. Yes, live TV news does a great job of covering major events but a lot of the time it’s just filler. I found myself switching to online content.
With this out of the way I decided to pull the plug- completely. My Sky TV subscription was cancelled and I was saving a small fortune. Shortly after I cancelled my TV Licence sacrificing live broadcast TV and the BBC iPlayer saving more money. I used the money saved to pay for a faster internet connection.
I still have the TV with a Chromecast and a PC hooked up. Occasionally I may take out a subscription to Netflix, NOW TV or Amazon Instant Video if there is something in particular I would like to see. But often those subscriptions go to waste as I don’t use them as intended after the first few days. I always cancel the auto renewal as soon as I subscribe to avoid unwanted charges.