Does this mean I was just ahead of the curve? My family and I haven't had TV (well rabbit ears only that don't work 75% of the time) at all for about 4 or 5 years now. We cut cable completely about 3 years (no phone, no TV) and get internet through "DSL" (Not really, but it is a fibreoptic feed from the phone company so it is referred to as that). Working to scratch that too, but I don't see cellular vendors providing a reasonable cost or speed on their service yet, so DSL is the only reasonably priced alternative at this time.
I haven't watched network television for about 15 years now, so I can agree with where you're coming from. (I'm more the 'load a DVD' type.)
A short while ago, my GF cut her DirectTV subscription and got herself a Roku2 XS
streaming player box. ($99. Supports HD - and includes a gratis copy of Angry Birds
.) It connects via wifi to an inexpensive plain vanilla DSL connection from AT&T. She also has a Netflix account, which is what she bought the Roku for. (Guess she got tired of plugging in her laptop every time she wanted to watch a movie.)
The Roku works like a charm. None of the buffering timeouts you sometimes get watching movies on a laptop through a wifi connection. But what really turned out to be the 'big win' was discovering "channels" like Snagfilms
, and other non-mainstream/non-studio video sites. Some pretty amazing stuff to be found out there.
The reason I mention this is to address Renegade's earlier points about how it is not really practical to completely eliminate the desire for video entertainment; and, just how good non-mainstream media can be.
Some math. Dropping her DirectTV account netted an approximate $170/mo. savings for a total of $2040 annually right off the top. Deduct $100 for the Roku and there's still almost $2000 left in her pocket.
In return she got: better picture quality, a much greater choice of programming, access to 'real' independent shows and video producers, 100% on-demand viewing - and a copy of Angry Birds
She was debating getting a Hulu+ account to get access to regular TV programming. But so far she hasn't since she's happy with what she currently has. Even more interesting is how much her Netflix use has dropped off since she's discovered non-mainstream videos and movies.
So here's a good example of how you can (mostly) walk away from Hollywood and the networks, but still satisfy your TV jones. Maybe not as effective or dramatic as a total boycott of big media would be. But it's a step in the right direction. And enough to send the media cartel a message they're not the only game in town.
Even more important - it's doable
for most people.
During the American Revolution, not every fighter was a full time member of the Continental Army. Many fought when necessary, or if called upon. But the rest of the time they took care of their family farms and businesses. You can revolt against big media the same way. It's not absolutely necessary for you to completely walk away from mainstream entertainment. Or totally boycott them.
All that's needed is for you to get extremely selective
, and a bit more frugal
, about how you spend your entertainment dollars.
With the bloated salaries and ridiculous budgets mainstream media operates under, it doesn't take much revenue loss before these people start to feel the pain. And get the message it's no longer business as usual.