Monday, August 8, 2011

A Week Without TV (well…sort of)

Goodbye Old Friend
Granted I cheated, I fell asleep to Sports Center.  I snuck a peek here and there, at work, in the guest room.  So naughty, but for the most part I haven’t watched the lazy box, at least in my living room for a week.  This TV fast would be nobler I actually planned it like a cleansing, a Triathlon training plan or giving up cold cuts and cheese, but it wasn’t voluntary.  You'd think I would've rode 60 miles every night after work, cooked homemade candlelight dinners and cleaned the house top to bottom with all the no-TV time on my hands, but that wasn't the case.

Hello New Friend
Like a dead redwood, our 10 year old mammoth 55 inch projection TV finally fell.  Boof!  It turned off by itself and never came back on.  In a week without TV, I had to build a shelf for a flat screen, buy a new TV and figure out a way to get the city bus sized projection TV out of the built in, down two flights of stairs and to the curb.  Because of me and the 400 pound monolith, Best Buy will probably end their free TV delivery and recycling program. 

Even with the construction project and bike riding taking up some time after work, I still craved a little TV at the end of the day.  Everyone needs a little dumb time in their day.  I turned to my laptop for the fix and had this revelation. 

Internet TV is a pain in the caboosus.  Internet TV requires input from the end user and a nearly endless cascade of decisions.  Ugh!  You have to lift your fingers and push buttons, type things, compare programs and read stuff.  So much work.  I think it increased my heart rate.  For the same reason terrestrial radio and TV will never die, people like their entertainment easy.  This is precisely the reason there’s a whole industry dedicated to TV programming with the sole focus of making sure the viewer doesn’t have to do more than push the on/off button and choose a channel.  It's why there are La-Z-Boy chairs with built in cupholders and coffee tables with cushions on top.  It’s genius. 

Naruto Shippuden is popular apparently
After powering up the laptop, logging on, and clicking on your browser, you log on to Hulu.  You click on new episodes and suddenly realize you must be the only person in the world who doesn’t watch Japanese Anime shows.  Not counting the animation, There are hundreds of “new” programs.  Right now Hulu lists 1000 shows as "new episodes."  Like having your choice of any single pair of shoes at Nordstrom, you end up wrestling with yourself by trying to decide exactly which of the 1000 22.5 minute programs is worthy of your time.  Rookie Blue, Project Runway, Wipe Out, Family Guy, Nightly News or John Stewart?  Which ones will look good with these pants?  That process coincidentally takes at least 22.5 minutes.  With regular cable TV I can watch half of Deadliest Catch, a rerun of Seinfeld and a few innings of the Reds baseball game in 22.5 minutes by pressing two buttons and never once engaging a single core muscle.  It’s a beautiful thing.

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