Firstly apologies for the lack of posts over the last week and a bit – work has been keeping me rather busy, and some social things as well mean I have basically only been at home to sleep!
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the number of people who use Sky / Cable of some form or another. You hear a lot on both sides of the Pond about “Cutting the Cable” and the financial benefits of doing it. I have a more simplistic view. There is so much cr@p on TV these days, why would I pay even more money to get even more cr@p?! Ok, we still have the TV, DVD (and assorted DVDs), and the Freeview recorder.
The recorder is great for recording things (you don’t say!) for when we want to watch it (and also therefore being able to fast forward through the adverts which means less temptations). We currently have absolutely bucket loads of stuff recorded. I could take a full two weeks off and do nothing but watch TV all day every day and I would still not get through it all. Don’t worry, I won’t be wasting two weeks of leave doing that!
I also have a problem with the business model (which to be fair was beautifully implemented) of Cable / Sky – spend a fortune buying up the rights to programmes / sports, and then charge people extra to watch it. To add insult to injury they then also throw adverts at you! Now I am not a football fan, but if someone is passionate about it then I guess I can see why they would want to pay for it, but still, its a huge expense.
I suspect it is cheaper than going to each game (given season ticket prices I did a quick bit of research on). According to Sky.com their package is reduced to £33.75 per month, then returning up to £47.50 after the fixed period expires. I did use their calculator to find a bundle for me – no football… £100 per month! £100 per month, just for TV to fill my limited spare time with more rubbish….. insane!
Don’t get me wrong – I was tempted to get Sky when the Formula 1 went over, but I didn’t. You know what, it hasn’t made a bit of difference to my life. I thought about it when the Cricket went over, but didn’t. Again, it has not made any difference to me overall. I thought about Amazon Prime when they took over Top Gear and rebranded it as The Grand Tour. Don’t get me wrong I would love to see it, but I am not paying for it!
We all have a limited time on this planet, and whilst I do think there is a place for some films or TV, it is all in proportion. After a long day or week, there is something nice to chill out in front of the box for an hour, or read the paper or a book. I have never got into any real series and yet I hear about people going through the entire Game of Thrones boxsets – just so they can catch up? From a time / cost perspective it isn’t bad value compared to say sitting in a restaurant for one evening and blowing over £100.
Look deeper inside you – not more time at the television. What makes you happy? I’d rather talk rubbish with my friends and family, travel, go walking or cycling. Even better of course would be skiing and scuba diving (not at the same time!) – but those aren’t cheap activities and not easy to do after work in London.
I do wonder if people take comfort from the noise of the TV as much as anything else, although on my no TV days I really enjoy the quiet. I always thought I would miss some of the sports, or films, but I just don’t need it, and haven’t noticed any difference.
Granted some people want to watch the latest thing immediately – but why? What’s the big deal? Just wait and it will be free – build up a large enough selection of programmes and films on your Freeview recorder, with no time limit on it, and you can watch what you want when you want for the cost of the box!
So, what activities will I be doing this afternoon after writing this? I will be having a(nother) nice glass of wine…. and watching TV! I justify it to myself as I was awake at 6am this morning, and since then I have done numerous chores around the house and some (grocery!) shopping. After a fairly heavy August I am actually going to enjoy doing stuff all now for the afternoon, knowing that tomorrow will be a busy morning again!