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Talk to me about mostly TV free?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Come February 2009 we will be TV free because we do not have a HD TV or cable and I *refuse* to buy one of those converter boxes (some highfalutin principles on my part...I don't notice a difference when I watch HDTV and it ticks me off that CONGRESS passed a 'law' requiring me to buy something I don't *want* or else have no TV. I don't need another box on my TV stand. I've been JUST FINE with regular TV for the last 24 years, it pisses me off that I'm not given a choice as to whether I want HDTV or not so I'm protesting by not buying a box and we'll just not have a TV)

Some issues that I can see arising...

1) DH

2) We're in tornado alley and I turn the computer off during electrical storms for fear of it being struck by lightening...we have a surge protector but it still freaks me out...we unplug it so not being able to *know* the storm is coming scares me a bit

3) DH

4) DH

5) Other peoples reactions

6) Did I mention DH???

I'm going to keep the TV for DVD's and stuff so we'll not be 100% TV free...but we won't be able to watch standard broadcast TV.
post #2 of 17
Oh yeah, the tornado thing does sound scary, but I'm sure there would be a radio broadcast or something...right. As far as the DH goes, are there certain things he likes to watch or does he just channel surf? There are lots of sites on the web where you can watch all your fav. shows and with far less commericals. Also netflix has tons of tv shows not to mention movies you could rent. Maybe that would be appealing to him.

As far as other people go, don't let there reaction effect your choices. I know it is never fun to get rude or unwanted comments from people, but no matter what you do people are always going to have an opinion, and share it if you want them to or not. Let this be good practice in not letting other peoples reactions effect you....I know much easier said then done.

Good Luck hope this helps
post #3 of 17
I've known people who have those radios that go off when there is inclement weather in an area. Maybe that would be an option?

We are not completely TV-free, but last summer we put our TV in the closet for 6 months. We would have to physically haul it out to watch something. It really got us out the habit of watching it. Now it is back in the living room (we brought it out for American Idol and it never went back) but we hardly watch it. DF watches Jeopardy! daily (we call it the "smart people show") but that is about it. We aren't used to it being a constant source of entertainment or background noise, so we just find other things to do. DF used to be a total channel-surfer, and he broke the habit.
post #4 of 17
We have a tv with a dvd player but no cable or satelite service. We do Netflix and most of the better tv shows are available. We love watching stuff without the commercials and it feels less like tv. I have some control over what the kids watch and it tends to be less because we'll put on one episode and then its over. It feels exciting and like a treat when the kids get a new show from Netflix or the library. Netflix also now has a lot of movies available on instant play on your computer which is included in your membership.

For things we have to watch such as election stuff - CNN has a live feed online and most important stuff is on youtube by the next day. We also like LOST and so we watch that on abc.com. You can also hook up your computer to a tv screen if you want to watch it that way.

Anyway, we like this lifestyle cause it feels moderate. We save a little bit but we still spend $40 a month on high speed internet and $20 a month on Netflix. Better than $100 a month that most people pay for tv. Most nights we actually don't watch anything but read and talk but this way when we feel we need the escape its there...it feels like a good balance to us.

Edited to add - Dh was a TV FREAK and now he's the one more adamant about not having it. I think he recognizes his own addiction and feels happier and more balanced without it. The only time its hard is missing sports - world series, olympics etc. But he also feels that its worth the tradeoff.
post #5 of 17
Tornados - radios, definitely. No you won't get the pretty picture, but you'll still have the knowledge of it coming (or passing by you).

DH - I dunno, what's he like? I was a major TV addict, but like the previous poster's partner, I feel so much better without it. We too watch some Netflix/DVDs, and some things online, but the longer we go without broadcast TV, the less we watch those things. We just don't have the time!
post #6 of 17
Here's a list of local phone numbers for weather forcasts:


Also, remember you'll (uh, hopefully) hear the sirens go off if a tornado is in your area.

Kinda funny - a couple weeks ago we were in the basement because the sirens went off. I was glued to the computer watching the storm pass. After awhile, dh went up and looked outside and said the storm was pass. I wouldn't go up though until I saw it say so on the weather web site I was on. LOL.. I laugh now - duh, just look out the window. (Of course my disclaimer is that I do think its important to check the weather service whenever possible.)
post #7 of 17
We don't own a TV, but we do watch DVDs on my laptop & we have a family cell phone plan where I get unlimited online access for $30/month -- includes full episodes of a bunch of prime time, etc. TV shows + weather info, etc.... & you can watch full episodes on Netflix, too.

When I wouldn't have the computer plugged in for extreme weather, I wouldn't have been able to sit in front of a TV either anyway.

Board games & such are more fun anyway
post #8 of 17
We're like you were--we have a TV, but it's not hooked up to anything. We only use it for watching movies.

Netflicks, baby! All the way!

Also, you can download stuff off of iTunes, and a lot of the major cable channels have some means for you to watch their most popular shows.

We've been tv free on and off for the last 15 years. We often get cable in July for the Tour de France, and then we shut it off again. It's not about saving money for us, though having no cable most of the year saves a little. It's just that there isn't anything we REALLY want to watch. Like, our lives go on, they are just as fulfilled without TV.

Go without cable for a while, and then watch some of the shows. They are so boring! I find most of them simply insulting to my intelligence. I didn't feel that way when I watched tv all the time...I'm not smarter now, just have a different perspective. It's like, when you step away from them, you can see how bad they really are.

ETA: we live in tornado alley. We can get all the info we want on the radio. If we hit the basement, we bring the laptop down, on battery backup so there isn't a problem with a power surge. If you are really concerned, get a weather radio. We can't hear the sirens if it gets windy, so we dont' consider them any sort of help at all.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
We got a weather radio! Damn thing is driving me nuts already...but o'well. Apparently we're in a tornado warning now so I'll be shutting off the computer shortly. : I went out to look and didn't see anything (yup, I'm *that* Iowan...the one who shoves the kids in a closet (no basement) and then runs outside to see whats going on. Only for a sec...gotta come back and keep the kids entertained in the closet.
post #10 of 17
Just an FYI, the government will send you a check to get a converter box so you don't have to pay for it. I think you get 2 per household.
post #11 of 17
I have cable (came free with apartment) but I'm still mostly tv free. I watch the hgtv channel when something is interesting, educational programs, law and order...and that's mostly all. Sure, there are a few days I junk out in front of the tv (bad!) but I kinda consider it brain junk food, so as long as I don't do it often..

If and when we move, my tv will be for movies and dvds only again. I had it that way for about two years, and I really didn't miss tv at all. I was able to watch movies and if I really wanted to catch a season of something I could always rent it. (I never really keep up with modern sitcoms anyway so it's not a big issue for me). I think that tv is like one of the many conviences in our lives...if you take it away it sucks for awhile and then becomes second nature.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
Just an FYI, the government will send you a check to get a converter box so you don't have to pay for it. I think you get 2 per household.
Yeah, they send a card for $40, all the boxes I've seen are $50...I don't even wanna pay $10 for it just cuz it annoys the crap out of me that I *HAVE* too...

If you can't tell I have a wee bit of a problem with authority.

On another note, it has been like 4 or 5 days and I think the TV has only been on for James to watch a LBT DVD like twice. Otherwise I haven't even turned it on (and I made him watch LBT in spanish because I'm trying to teach him spanish)

Oh, DH might turn it on in the AM to catch the weather but he has a radio and I think he listens to talk radio in the AM
post #13 of 17
Get a battery powered radio tuned to a local station. You should have one even if you do have broadcast TV. That's what I do and the coverage is just as good as TV.

You can get a weather alert radio.

We compromised in our family by keeping Netflix.
You can also watch some TV shows online. That is how dh and I watched The Office.
post #14 of 17
For over 8 years, we used our television for movies and video games. We watched television when travelling (hotel) but that's it.

We can always watch something online if we really really want to see a television show. But we're happy the way it is right now.

And actually, at the moment we don't even have a television. We moved in mid March and haven't purchased one yet. We plan to buy one in the winter (and a Wii and DVD player). Right now, we watch movies on my laptop.

And if you think not watching television shows has harmed my daughter socially, think again Just not true in our case.

(oooooh I love Netflix!!!! LOL)
post #15 of 17
You only need a converter box if you have an older (analog) tv. If you tv is less than 20 years old you will probably be ok.
post #16 of 17
Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
I've known people who have those radios that go off when there is inclement weather in an area. Maybe that would be an option?

We had one of those at my parent's house in TX. Whenever there was a severe storm alert/update, it would go off like a little siren and do the emergency broadcast thing. Very handy.
post #17 of 17
just a clarifying thing, the new digitial signal is not the same thing as HDTV. Its a digital signal instead of the current analog signal. You may already have a digital converter in your current tv and I bet a lot of people are going to order converter boxes and then realize they don't need them so in March I'd check craigslist if you want one.

Another vote for netflix and online tv shows. And a weather band radio.
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