Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday TV: On giving up satellite

When we moved into our new house, Mr. Nomadreader and I made the choice to get rid of our satellite television package. I love television, but the rising prices became untenable for me, particularly as more and more is available streaming for free or very reasonable subscription fees. There are certainly things I'll miss, but I'm actually enjoying the change.

Binge watching is like binge reading
I adore binge watching shows, just as I adore binge reading entire series of books in a short amount of time. Even with satellite tv, I frequently let 3-5 (or more) episodes record and then watched them in spurts. I love devouring entire seasons of shows in a few days. Given that I prefer to watch shows in large doses, it made sense to abandon an increasingly dated television system. Although I broke up with Grey's Anatomy years ago, I began watching it from the beginning the week before we moved. I started season 3 last night, and that's in two weeks I've been packing, moving and unpacking.

DVR anxiety should not be a thing
If you're like me, your TBR pile is filled with more books than you can actually read in a given year. I'm the same way with a DVR: I fill it with shows, documentaries, and films I genuinely want to watch, yet I can only spend so many hours a week watching television. Our DVR regularly hovered around 90% fill. Trips out of town meant tough decisions about what to delete unwatched. DVR anxiety is the ultimate first-world problem, and my DVR should not be a source of stress in my life.

Aligning my tv life with my reading life
Ultimately, it comes down to quality of my leisure life. Some nights, I feel more like watching tv than reading. Other nights I just want to read. Other nights I'm in the mood for movies. Giving up satellite means I can be more intentional about how I use my leisure time. Far too often I got in the habit of coming home, seeing what had recorded on the DVR, and letting that plan my night. Now I come home and ponder what I most want to do with my time. Most nights, it starts with a glass of wine and reading on my deck. When Mr. Nomadreader is home, we opt to grill out. Then I spend a little time unpacking (it's almost done!) and wandering around the house imagining the short term and long term changes I want to make. Then I end the night with a couple (or five) episodes of Grey's Anatomy and another glass of wine. This routine is nice, but I'm sure it will ebb and flow as the seasons change and I run through the lists of tv shows I've been meaning to watch that are also available streaming.

Now tell me: what tv shows should I rush to watch first?


13 comments:

  1. I gave up satellite when I moved into my now-house in June of last year. I honestly have not missed regular network TV much (except for weather outlook). I read much more now than I would've if I had TV more readily available, and I can't see myself going back!

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    1. Thankfully my favorite local station lets you live stream their weather (and news) from a mobile device. I welcome anything to get me reading more again too!

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  2. I am contemplating the same thing but my husband refuses to let sports go. The kids watch shows on Netflix these days but it's the Hub that is holding out. We pay over $100 a month. We have two DVRs and a basic line-up. No movie channels! It's ridiculous how much it costs.

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    1. We were paying over $100 a month too, with only one tv. Although they offered us great rates when I called to cancel;-)

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  3. I'm so addicted to my DVR. If you're looking for new shows to binge, I'm not sure what you've already seen or love, but here are a few great ones...
    Freaks and Geeks, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Arrested Development, Pushing Daisies, Lost, Firefly, Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls.

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    1. The ones I haven't already seen are definitely on my to-binge list!

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  4. DVR Anxiety. Yes, that's what it is. I suffer from it and didn't know it! The only show I would miss if I gave up cable is Mad Men. And since everything eventually shows up on DVD, it wouldn't be a huge problem. But my husband won't give up cable. It's a guy thing I guess.

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    1. We had the opposite problem: my husband had to convince me. Ah well, he won, and he was totally right.

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  5. I haven't had cable in 10 years. I've never missed it. I now have a Roku and have watched way more TV than ever, but I sense that slowing as I run out of shows I just have to watch.

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  6. I have a smart TV connected to the internet and have been watching more and more on Hulu, netflix and amazon on demand. I have been holding on to cable for the news - I need to find an easy way to get that and then I am done with cable.

    I recently went on a Modern Family binge - love it! And right now I am into Ballykissangel.

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  7. I totally understand what you mean about planning your night around your DVR. I think I will probably get a lot more reading done this summer since there are only a few shows on!

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  8. I do most of my tv watching via Hulu and Netflix, which is great. We still have cable, unfortunately, but that's because we live so far out in the boonies I can't get football over broadcast in the fall. But if we had the choice, I don't think I'd pay for cable or satellite tv -- too expensive with too many things I'm not actually interested in.

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  9. We do have Dish Satellite, mostly because in the Adirondack Mountains we would not be able to get even one television station without it.

    What I love: We're huge tennis fans, so we need our Tennis Channel, ESPN, etc.

    Series shows: HBO's Enlightenment with Laura Dern (don't miss it!), HBO's Girl, Showtime's "Nurse Jackie," AMC's Mad Men, and on the Major Networks--The Good Wife, Grey's Anatomy, Monday Mornings, and Law & Order: SVU.

    Netflix: Streaming--Whatever good Masterpiece Theatre dramas we can get and good movies.

    We adored Season Two of Downton Abbey, which we borrowed from the library!! That was television watching at its finest.

    My husband Ken watches many more shows than I do. He has more free time and is the TV Nut of the family; hence, the reason why we have so many satellite channels. Ouch, the pocketbook is groaning!

    I'd love to try out Hulu and Blockbuster and other options, but I'm afraid to spend another cent!

    Thanks for this interesting question and theme!

    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!