Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kill Your TV

Television ownership has taken a dive in the US.
More people are turning off the idiot box.

I am one of them.
I haven't had TV in my house for well over a year.
The thought of spending over $75 a month for the drivel that was being offered on cable was repugnant. The news stations were just as bad - if not worse!
Anyway, Comcast wanted me to switch to digital because of government mandate. That meant buy a new TV set or buy the new accoutrements to be able to get digital signal. We just said "NO" to the whole lousy lot.
There isn't anything on TV worth watching.

The article in the New York Times
For the first time in 20 years, the number of homes in the United States with television sets has dropped.

The Nielsen Company, which takes TV set ownership into account when it produces ratings, will tell television networks and advertisers on Tuesday that 96.7 percent of American households now own sets, down from 98.9 percent previously.

There are two reasons for the decline, according to Nielsen. One is poverty: some low-income households no longer own TV sets, most likely because they cannot afford new digital sets and antennas.

The other is technological wizardry: young people who have grown up with laptops in their hands instead of remote controls are opting not to buy TV sets when they graduate from college or enter the work force, at least not at first. Instead, they are subsisting on a diet of television shows and movies from the Internet.

... If the current decline persists, it will have profound implications for the networks, studios and distributors that are wedded, at least in part, to the current television ecosystem.

...The transition to digital broadcasting from analog in 2009 aggravated the hardship for some of these households. Some could not afford to upgrade, Nielsen surmised, though the government tried to provide subsidies in those situations.

And some in rural areas could not receive digital signals as effectively as analog signals for technical reasons. In those cases, "if you're an affluent household — or most middle-class households — you're going to get a satellite dish. If you're a struggling household, likely you're not going to be able to afford that option," Ms. McDonough said.

Then there are the tech-savvy Americans who once lived in a household with a television, but no longer do. These are either cord-cutters — a term that refers to people who stop paying for cable television — or people who never signed on for cable. Ms. McDonough suggested that these were younger Americans who were moving into new residences and deciding not to buy a TV for themselves, especially if they "don't have the financial means to get one immediately."

Yup - we 'cut the cord" and we haven't regretted it in the least.
It's pretty liberating actually.