Or to be more exact; we do not have any digital or analog TV channels. That’s correct, no Xfactor, Big Brother, Dances with the stars, Masterchef, The apprentice, #VinB, no commercials, no infomercials, no editorials, no reviews and no sports.
Be we do have 5 kids.
So how does that work?
It didn’t come about as completely conscious decision. Some years ago we moved into a listed (protected) property which meant we could not mount a satellite dish on the building to receive Sky TV. Hence we were left with nothing but the terrestrial channels. Which in Ireland are 3. If you’re lucky. Which we are not. hence we had 2.5 TV channels. RTE1, RTE2 & a fuzzy TV3. And you know what? That was enough. Combine those channels with a healthy mix of DVD’s and you get a fairly healthy viewing package. Even for our 5 kids ranging in age from 5 to 14 years. Sky TV or a different satellite service was sometimes mentioned but there was no big long lamenting for such a service.
Cue our most recent move. Our nice big 42″ flatscreen TV was damaged during the move and we have so far not replaced it. What we have for now is a small portable CRT TV. Additionally there is also no antenna for terrestrial TV mounted on our new house. Net result is that we have a big fat ZERO channels. Does it bother me? Does it bother my kids? I have yet to hear the first complaint.
So are we neo-luddites wary of any technological advancement? Not at all, we have just grown to be more selective about our viewing. Rather than just watching what our TV is being fed via the various channels we actually actively decide what we want to see. We rent DVD’s of movies we want to watch, download documentaries and series, and get our news through a variety of sources most of which are Internet based. In short we get all the good stuff without all the crap. We are no longer bound by dates and times of broadcast. Yes I know that a lot of people pre-record programmes but the way we are doing it now we can see stuff that isn’t yet or won’t be on TV here. If there’s anything on the regular channels I can still watch it either live using one of the many web based streaming services or delayed using such things as the RTE player or BBC’s I-player. In short my viewing quality has gone up and become a lot more liberated.
Now for my kids. Do they “suffer”? Not really. They have their DVD’s and their game consoles (Xbox, Wii and DSi’s) and the eldest kids have their desktop computers, laptops and Touchpads combined with a healthy Facebook & YouTube addiction. No serious complaints apart from the fact that they would like a dedicated fiber internet connection each. But again, they have a choice in what they watch and use it. Their viewing is not dictated by the limitations of location and/or service. And in hindsight they seem to be more balanced and less obsessed by the trivialities that are touted on a lot of the commercial TV channels.
Will we ever get a commercial TV service? I really do not know. I rather upgrade the computer network in my house so that I can stream movies straight from my server AND also view streaming internet services directly on my TV.
Before I do this we will however splash out on a better TV though.