Perhaps my title has a bit of hyperbole, but it’s true! I don’t pay for cable and I don’t I have the 5 local channels in my apartment, and people plainly think I’m an asshole for it. They probably think I’m some neo-intellectual who is trying to enact some half-smart vision of what I might consider an enlightened existence.
Why don’t I have a TV? When TV, as I had grown up to know it, disappeared in 2008 (antenna broadcasts were replaced by a mess of digital converter what-whoozels) I refused to pay $40 for the technology that enabled me to watch the shitty local programming I’d always gotten for free.
Truth be told, I watch more programming than I ever have before, and I would still kill for cable or even normal TV, but it isn’t worth the price. I watch streaming services (Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, etc…) and my monthly bill doesn’t even come close to what cable would rack up to in my area. Whatever those don’t cover I acquire by other means… I’m sort of ashamed to say. I’m not alone in protesting that if I had a viable option to pay for all the content I’d like to watch, I would.
Take HBO: That’s some of the best programming I’ve ever seen in my life. I am hopelessly addicted to Boardwalk Empire. If I could pay HBO a reasonable subscription fee I would in a heartbeat. The time savings I’d incur from not having to track the show down online would make it well worth a “normal” streaming charge (round $8-$12/month). Hell, they could even serve me ads after I pay them if they want (I’m looking at you Hulu Plus), I don’t care. Instead, to watch HBO online, I’d need to buy cable, then buy a HBO package, and THEN buy the privilege to then watch it online. What gives?
Isn’t it just a matter of time when content providers will realize a screen is a screen, regardless of the method of delivery? Why not treat them all basically the same? How long will we have to wait?
Back to my original point, people think I’m some hipster elitist who scoffs at the idea of frying my brain with an afternoon of cartoons, when in fact I love doing precisely that. It’s time to change our vocabulary. TV no longer exists. we’re plugged in 24/7 and have access to content whenever we want. When will everyone else catch up?