Cable TV

September 20, 2007

Last Saturday, I had cable hooked up. This is somewhat significant because I chose not to get it when I moved here, and only have it now because they offered it to me basically free (for the same price as Internet alone). I didn’t bother to get it because I watch downloaded content, or content on DVD. Fansubs, video podcasts, Flash video on the web, etc. I saw no reason to have cable. Even if there was a show I wanted to see, I can probably get it on iTunes (or BitTorrent). I watched a little bit this week almost as an experiment as to how I would respond to it after not using regular TV for a while. This was my primary reaction:

How the hell do people stand this? And why?

When I think back to when I was trapped watching commercial ridden broadcasts set to someone else’s schedule, I almost cringe. It’s like reverting to rubbing sticks together for warmth (Ugh! Fire!). I’m so used to watching shows when I want and only seeing an occasional commercial in a podcast. And damn, is advertising pervasive these days. Crap’s popping up taking up big chunks of the screen and making noise during the show. Absolutely unacceptable. It’s the same kind of advertising overload I experience whenever I’m forced to use the Internet without AdBlock Plus.

So much crap. Where’s the content? Even Adult Swim, the last bastion of programming that I watched on linear TV, is a pitiful shadow. This is of course a fate I envisioned for it from the beginning. After all, that kind of random comedy is hard to duplicate, so decent new shows would be few and far between (though I could stand some more Venture Bros. and Boondocks). Even the shows they had which were good degenerated, like Sealab 2021 and ATHF. The recent original shows are pure filth.

What’s that leave me with? The History Channel? Mythbusters? Sorry, Comcast, not worth the expense. When this 1-year special deal is up, I’ll be proudly turning my cable box back in. I can’t wait until TV on the Internet becomes as painless as regular TV. This way of doing things deserves to go beyond tech enthusiasts like me.

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