Author Topic: Television Purge  (Read 2333 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Television Purge
« on: October 15, 2017, 04:33:37 AM »
With the decades long decline in TV programming (from poor to completely mind-numbing), the near complete switch to online viewing via internet, who needs a television?  If we want video entertainment, we can each find it on our PC, tablet or phone via Youtube, Sling, download, whatever.  I don't mind an episode of Narcos now and then.  For a joint movie experience, we prefer to go to a theater (several we can walk to).  Some like news, but I hate being hand-fed video news when I can digest ten times the information in online print.

Nevertheless we have five televisions!  Three in this location, including two not even plugged in the last five years and one in the living room we rarely turn on despite cable and Amazon Fire.  Our rental house has two more giant flat screens which renters seem to demand (they came with the house when we bought it). When I'm there I whiz through a couple hundred channels of programming and find nothing but a wasteland of scripted reality crap, sports, online shopping, re-runs, and mostly wretched  films.  More time is spent searching for decent content than watching it.

Who has purged their home of all televisions?  How did it go?

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2017, 05:46:16 AM »
We are actually living through an age of wonderful "television." I put that in quotation marks because I agree that if you are just surfing through cable channels like I was at a hotel the other day, there is a lot of crap. But if you just stream what you want and avoid commercial-packed garbage, there is good stuff out there (in my opinion, but also in the opinion of many television critics). I don't have any TV sets (or cable) in my house, but I stream on my laptop. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that I think there is quality stuff out there to watch, I have lately found myself getting bored with it and thinking that maybe I need to go on a TV fast. With dark winter coming, that probaby won't happen until spring, but maybe I'll try it then!


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2017, 08:40:34 AM »
Yeah, I've been without a TV for years; must be about 8-9 years now? Have certainly never had one in this house.

It was easy, I gave up watching it over 10 years ago, and only kept it for guests; then it broke and I never replaced it. No regrets; I get my news from the net, and can stream things online if I choose to, and I save the TV licence, although you do get a lot of patronising letters from them accusing you of lying, like they can't believe you don't have a TV

My brother asks "what does the furniture point at", the fireplace obviously.


  • Bristles
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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2017, 08:53:48 AM »
I have removed all of the TVs from my house. It was fine. They were old tube TVs and we didnít have cable or even broadcast TV.  We mostly used them to watch DVDs. I sold them earlier in the year with  the intent of getting more modern flat screen TV and a Blu-ray player. I still havenít gotten around to doing that.

I would never bother paying for cable.  Even channels that start out with good programming like Discovery and the History Channel devolve in to reality show bullshit eventually. Plus you end up seeing the same commercials over and over again. How many times can you tell me about and Flex Seal tape?


  • Stubble
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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2017, 10:25:54 AM »
use the one tv for Pandora - it's a Samsung "Smart" ( lol! ) TV with apps included. (gift from in-laws, not a good idea to get rid of it, lol). Never bothered to get antenna for it; can't even remember when last time had cable, more than decade ago ( ? ). Watch content overwhelmingly, 80 GB/mo, on phone or laptop- Youtube, Netflix, Google Play movies, rarely- RedBox on laptop DVD player. occasional theater- the real imax preferably


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2017, 05:22:30 PM »
If it wasn't for the cricket in the summer, I'd probably ditch mine.

It often doesn't get switched on for weeks. I even ditched my Netflix subscription because I didn't use it enough :)

Dollar Slice

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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2017, 07:33:01 PM »
I got rid of mine a few years ago. I'd almost stopped watching it by then anyway, due to disinterest/being busy with other stuff.

I trashed it to save money and space, but what I didn't expect was the subtle effects it would have on my brain. I don't do any TV, Netflix, movies, etc. and I probably go see a film a couple of times a year (and it's always something like a low-budget documentary or a silent film from the 20s, not a modern feature). This has resulted in me never being exposed to the constant barrage of unreality that is Hollywood. All the unrealistic expectations that come from spending thousands of hours of your life watching that stuff: that it's normal for everyone to be attractive and healthy, that it's normal for a waitress to live in a million-dollar apartment, that it's normal for every home to be professionally and expensively decorated, that it's normal to eat sit-down restaurant meals every day, that it's normal for men to date extremely attractive women 30 years younger than them, that it's normal for high school kids to look 23, that being knocked unconscious by a blow to the head doesn't permanently damage your brain, etc. etc. etc.

It's been very freeing.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2017, 05:26:01 AM »
Also a no TV family for several years. It started when we moved and I was too cheap frugal to set up cable in the new place. Then we did the free via rabbit ears thing until we moved to a location with zero signal. TV was one of those with the internal DVD player (bought by my MIL); when it wouldn't play disks, the whole unit went.

The kids (6 and 8) so far love being a no TV family. We read books and play games. I can't imagine how we would have time to watch it if we did have one. We don't stream TV either or have Netflix. Just don't have the time. We do very occasionally watch a DVD movie on our computer and the kids like to watch Lawrence Welk reruns with their grandpa when we go visit. Hubby goes to the movies 2-3 times a year (too loud for me).

I second what Dollar Slice said about it being very freeing to be, well freed, from the barrage of unreality (great phrase!). We don't miss it at all.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2017, 07:06:20 AM »
I didn't own a TV as an adult until a few months ago.

We watch about 20-40 minutes of TV a day and always have, but used to stream it online on our tiny, cheap laptop, which worked fine. Our furniture also pointed towards the fireplace :) and still does!  But we did buy one a few months ago because I didn't realize how cheap a new TV is? We have this smart TV that's like 3 feet across that we bought from Best Buy for less than $150. Cheap.

Anyway, we like it because if we ever want to veg out with someone else around (like a long term house guest) then more than two people can watch it together. And there's less futzing around with hooking up the sound and the streaming apps (Hulu and Netflix in our house) are seamless and easy to use. But pre TV, using only the laptop, didn't seem like a burden or anything. It's all what you get used to.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2017, 10:52:19 AM »
We still have one but that's only to stream family movies/ documentaries onto a larger screen for family viewing.  I can't believe how many people still have LOTS of TVs.  My kids friends come over and laugh and say "there's no way you only have one tv." 


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2017, 11:09:50 AM »
My own television journey is rather minimal, yet unlike most here it's probably at its peak now (at least in terms of ownership).

Growing up, my parents had one (hand-me-down wood-panel 70s-era) CRT 19" TV.  We had superbasic cable (just local channels) until I was 9, then a normal antenna after a move.

When I got a Nintendo 64 in fourth grade, they did not want that shit in their living room, so they stuck the old TV in the basement for me to use, and then bought a new CRT 27" TV for the living room.  My dad and I did a pretty involved project to split the antenna line coming from the attic so that it would go both to the "main" TV and to mine in the basement.  As the TV was basically a video games display for me, I almost never actually used said antenna line, but it was fun to set up.  After the ATSC transition, we only set up a box on the living room TV.

Then things got silly.  My grandpa gave my mom his "old" 34" CRT HDTV (bought around the same time as their 27" CRT, but way fancier/more expensive/bigger/heavier).  My grandpa thinks everything he buys is valuable forever, so they couldn't just dump it.  That TV took over main living room duty (and was watched maybe an hour or two a week at this point), the 27" TV was moved up into my parents' room, and was plugged in and used by my mom to watch Desperate Housewives for an hour one time during its multiyear tenure of sitting there taking up space.  "My" TV remained in the basement, but I had left for college at this point, so it was basically not used except maybe one every few months by my sister to watch a DVD or something.  Three TVs in that house at that point, definitely two more than needed.

At school, I never had a physical TV, but at this point had actually gotten into a few TV shows that I watched on my 22" (big at the time) LCD monitor.  I'd obtain them from either recording them OTA using my ATSC tuner PCI card and antenna, or from less than legal means that college students are notorious for.

After that, GF and I lived with roommates for about three years.  For the first year, we had no TV in our house but would watch Netflix on computer monitors.  In the second year, the four of us pooled together our resources and splurged on a $0.99 Goodwill CRT TV which was excellent for Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., and Netflix.

Now, GF and I live alone, and for the first ~1.5 years we would just occasionally watch stuff on her fancy 4K monitor (she's a pro photographer).

But this January we finally bought a real TV.  A fancypants 43" 1080p Sharp with built-in Roku (we paid $229 - TVs have gotten silly cheap).  We're still on GF's sister's boyfriend's Netflix account, our Amazon Prime account, plus we have an antenna (for a whopping one show a year) and an occasional rotation of fancy service that we'll subscribe to for a month or two and then cancel until we want it again (mostly HBO Now during Game of Thrones season).  We'll watch something on it usually about once or twice a week on average.  Also Mario Kart.

I've never had real cable service (and only even had fake cable service with a cable box in our closet for 12 months since it was cheaper than internet-only), and even the one show we watch OTA bugs me since it has commercials.  I'm just a dirty millennial that's grown up on pirated shows and ad-free paid streaming so shitty service or advertisements are just not options I'm willing to pay for.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 11:15:47 AM by ketchup »


  • Bristles
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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2017, 11:45:38 AM »
Some very interesting replies here...

I'm one of these people that is constantly planning, studying, thinking, executing without downtime, and I've found that pouring a drink and taking in a show/movie/TV/Netflix series on a device that's not a phone and not a computer is VERY good for my mental health.

Unfortunately, it's been over a month since I've been able to do that.  Now that we're moving into that time of year where it's dark when I go to work, and soon dark when I come home, and will nary pop above 32F for a month or two, the couch, blankets and Netflix are calling my name. Laptop put away and cell phone in the other room. I deal with that crap all day at work, time to consume rather than interact, and focus my eyes on something that's not 24" away from my face.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2017, 06:31:48 AM »
I watch TV and love it. Cheap entertainment in the big scheme of things.  I do my fitness, do my cooking do everything else i need to do so I will continue to watch my 60" flat screen. While there is more junk than good stuff there is alot of good stuff. Commercials do suck but plenty of ways of avoiding or at least limiting alot of that.


  • Stubble
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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2017, 06:35:02 PM »
I haven't watched more than 10 hours of TV in a year since 1996. 


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Television Purge
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2017, 07:47:53 PM »
We live in the years of some of the best television ever made and much of the worst television ever made.

I spent most of my 20s and 30s living without a tv of any kind, even a computer with the ability to play DVDs. Having spent well over a decade without, you may now pry my tv from my cold, dead hands. Of course, it spends most of its time off and we donít pay for even the most basic of cable or have it hooked to an antenna. If it isnít on Netflix, I donít watch it. Even so, tv on a nice big screen can be awesome.