TV is dead, long live TV

I grew up in a house without cable TV. (In fact, they still don’t have cable! I’m not sure what they’ll do when all broadcasts go digital, but we still have a few years to go before that happens in Canada.) When I first got married and moved out, one of the first things we did was get cable. My wife grew up in a house with cable. (See how these things happen?)

When we had our own kids we made the decision to cut the cable, figuratively and literally! It was pretty hard at first, and we found that we really missed things like the news, and the food network. But that was five years ago, and we’ve never looked back. We still get some channels via antenna (but only on the second floor), and if the kids want to watch something, we only watch selected DVD’s and videos with the them. They get to watch TV when they’re at the in-laws in the afternoon, but only 30-60 minutes of kids programming. And because the kids go to bed at 8:30PM, we don’t catch any grown-up shows during primetime. We don’t turn on the TV till after they’re asleep.

While I have no regrets about our decision, I have been tempted by the DVD rental by mail services lately. For Valentines Day I rented a movie from Blockbuster, the first rental in a number of years. I was a bit shocked that it cost me $6 and change to rent a new-ish movie for a week. I’ve done the torrent thing in the past, and I don’t want to anymore. Firstly, it’s in a grey area of the law, and secondly, the video quality is mediocre. I’m a really visual person, and I enjoy good films and shows, how they’re shot, the lighting, and so forth. I don’t really enjoy compression artifacts that much. I can’t wait to get a Blu-Ray player and a 1080p TV, but that’s another story.

Since there’s so many TV series on DVD now, joining one of these mail rental services makes total sense. It’s cheaper than cable, you can keep the shows/movies for as long as you want, and you can essentially rent them as fast as you can watch them, depending on the type of plan you get. You can watch shows without commercials, and in high quality. What’s not to like?

Next time: which DVD mail rental company is the best?

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2 responses to this post.

  1. itunes rentals?

    Reply

  2. maybe, but not really in Canada. There's no movies to speak of, and
    the TV shows are very limited.

    It is the way of the future, though, so look for it to take off in the
    next few years. David Pogue just wrote an article about this: http://snipurl.com/2055z
    [www_nytimes_com]

    Reply

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