When we rid ourselves of the television ...

It must have been at least four years now since we have rid ourselves of the idiot lantern in the corner of the room. Partly as we had one of those 28" Cathode Ray Tube monoliths. Mainly as we were fed up of the intrusion and mainly the inane television broadcast into our lives.

Already enjoying preferential bandwidth with our service provider, we upgraded our package and found that by having the television package (which we didn't want), we could save money on having the even higher speed connection.

So, being in a family where everyone already had their own computer/laptop, the loss of the box was no great tragedy.

Suddenly our television watching patterns changed, with iPlayer and emergent web streaming, we found that ...
  • We watched less
  • We only watched what we want to watch, not the other rubbish that was just 'on'
  • Everyone watched what they wanted, 
  • We still had communal time
  • But with two teens, everyone had personal time
Sometimes, we would still put a DVD on, one laptop worked between three easily. Occasionally a communial computer was used for watching some live television, Dr Who is essential watching after all.

Occasionally, we would have two people watch the same programme in the same time period, asynchronously. It happened, the bandwidth coped.

Occasionally in the early days we had some bandwidth issues, these are rare, they do happen, but then you can visit the programme later. Terrestrial television, along with satellite/cable still has occasional localised outages, its life alas.

Once LoveFilm came along, we started using this service, occasionally streaming movies. We do sometimes purchase TV series box sets, via Amazon, iTunes or eBay, it is more mood.

Often, one will 1/2 watch a live TV programme on tvcatchup whilst completing another task on my computer. Not a bad way to spend an evening, often my blog entries are being written whilst I listen to music, internet radio or streamed television.

When we started it was novel, now its normal, we know many that do this.

But ...

Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can simply go and drop your television license (if you are a UK reader). If you watch anything that is live via the BBC, then you are legally expected to have a license. It is a matter of conscience, as a very capable geek I know that your service provider knows what you are viewing. They have cache systems in place and know what IP address your home router has.

If they want to 'play TV detector van' they can, it is not difficult. There are ways around this, but if you are not geek enough, best not bother. If you are geek enough and possibly dishonest as well, the reality is that we can still monitor traffic patterns. This you cannot hide.

Will we ever go back to having a television, hard to say, chances are that we may adapt in time.


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