A year without watching TV

More than a year has gone since I last watched the television, and I must say that it was not an experience I miss.

By watching TV, I mean staring blankly at the gossip talks or reality shows or news frenzy which offer nothing else but a report and a simple exploitation of the forays of human life (with commercials every 10 minutes). Playing game consoles would not be considered as "watching television" then, since there is no outside information showing up on the screen other than my Wii game display.

I do own a TV set, albeit a used 680p one a friend sold for $20 earlier this year. In a small Midwest US town such as where I live, you need to buy at least a small dish (regardless of having a membership to any cable/satelite) in order to get any channel receptions on your 680p, because the only TVs that receive free channels these days are the HDs.

I could have easily purchased a dish for $50 at the local electronic shop, but since I only bought the TV in order to play Wii, I considered having a dish as an unnecessary expense.

So I decided to stick to playing DVDs on my laptop and Wii for my home entertainment purposes.

One of the drawbacks (or perhaps benefits - as one might see fit) of not watching TV is that I am never updated with the outside world. I did not know anything about the Haiti earthquakes or the 2010 Indonesian tsunami until I chanced upon either stories on Yahoo! News.

Some people might wonder.

How is it possible to live without the mightiest invention of the 20th century?


You only need two things: a computer set and a working internet connection.
For occasional news, browse the internet. That way, you only get to see the relevant stuff. I mean, if you are a middle-aged businessman, news about the Wall Street or Obama's economic policies are indeed relevant, but you would also waste at least some 30 minutes a day going through commercials and a heap of rubbish like Justin Bieber. But if you are a 15-year-old girl, the reverse might be true: you find Justin Bieber as the walking deity while all the foreign lingo they have about Wall Street just doesn't make sense.

For watching reality shows or TV series or 80% of movies that has ever enterred circulation in the Western world, subscribe to Netflix or rent movies from Blockbuster. I have a subscription to Netflix where I can have as much as 3 DVDs shipped to me at any time for $17 a month. Every time I am finished watching a DVD, I can mail it back to a Netflix centre in its prepaid postage envelope and receive another DVD I have pre-ordered on the next day. That way, I can rent as many as 25 DVDs in a month for that same amount of $17 (Oh and by the way, that subscription also includes unlimited Instant Streaming thru the net, where you can stream almost any movies on circulation more than 2 years old or full episodes of any informative channels such as History, National Geographic, and Discovery without commercials).
Hence, if you feel you don't need to know any new bombings in the Middle East or flood in China or the latest gossips about Sandra Bullock (which are going to be have new updates every week anyway), why would you need a TV?

P.S. The Netflix is excellent, I know, but too bad as of today they only exist in USA and Canada. I know everybody elsewhere can stream movies instantly thru websites such as Surf The Channel . However, Netflix does not redirect you through a third-party Chinese website or obliging you to watch some Korean language commercials first. And yes, Netflix does have complete seasons of True Blood, Smallville, Lost, Alias, or House from Pilot to Finale.

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