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I won't for a second deny the fact that I loved watching TV when I was in high school. Sports, sitcoms, and news were always on at my house, and my multi-tasking usually involved working on homework and watching TV at the same time. I didn't mind watching the same episode of SportsCenter 94 times in one day, because the background noise was nice -- now watching TV drives me absolutely nuts.

It's bizarre that in a relatively short amount of time -- 6-7 years -- our sources of information have changed so dramatically. TV is outdated, and in many ways watching TV has shifted from a luxury to a huge annoyance.

TheKing's article about the new Netflix series "House of Cards" also got me to thinking about how rapidly television is changing. Now that I use Netflix and other streaming services for shows and movies, Twitter for news, and a slew of different sites for sports information, I rarely turn on my TV -- unless there's a good nationally-televised basketball game or it's NFL Sunday.

In fact, when I do aimlessly watch TV and click through channels -- and this is very RARE -- I actually feel my brain rotting. Turning on CNN, or Fox News, or NBC, or ABC, or "insert other media source here" for even a few minutes is disturbing, and we have discussed the current negativity of mainstream media ad nauseam on WallStreetOasis. Little real analysis, tons of shock factor and stories about Michelle Obama's dress at January's inauguration. I care so much. Oh wait...no I don't.

Non-premium channels, with the exception of AMC and FX, have absolutely nothing to offer in terms of quality series. The myriad cop dramas -- I think a new one comes out, and is subsequently canceled, each week -- are a testament to this rule. And the post-Writers Strike empowerment of "reality TV" seems to have not yet shifted, and it's looking like it never will. Aaaaaaaand everything that's good on AMC and FX is, once again, offered on Netflix, albeit slightly delayed.

Premium TV still has a place in the world -- HBO & Showtime do at least for the time being keep my attention. But the good stuff like Game of Thrones can be bought on Blu-Ray later for a hell of a lot less than an HBO subscription -- or someone you know has HBO and you catch it live at theirs.

All this is to say that I don't watch TV anymore, and I feel kind of strange about it, being that at one point it was THE source of entertainment for our generation. Until extremely recently, I hadn't had a cable subscription for about 5 years, and now that I'm back on the train, I can't say that the $50 per month is giving me the mileage I'm looking for -- but I don't care enough about a few bucks a month to argue with my roommates about it, so I guess it's sticking around. Probably wouldn't notice if it disappeared, to be honest.

So how will TV have to change to win the hearts of its future users? Sure, there are plenty of older folks who still rely on the TV for all of their info, but younger generations seem increasingly likely to eschew the more regimented and scheduled information you receive through the tube in favor of the instant and endless information source: the internet. Do we really need to pump out more reality TV shows to keep the numbers up, or are there other ways to rope people back in?

Look forward to reading your thoughts.

2

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Comments (23)

  • AndyLouis's picture

    i've lived without a tv for ~30 months and don't miss it all. i download or stream any movies/shows I watch (~30min/day), and find a friend or sportsbar with hd tv for sports (few times per month)

    all news is via blogs/newsletters/magazines (via kindle) & based on Eddie's recommendation have been using Zite (only available as an app) and absolutely love it for tailored to my tastes... from travel to world news to sports

  • link's picture

    I am still an UG, and watch at the most 2 hours of tv per month. When I try to give tv a new try in an useless hope that it will have quality content, I am surprised by the amount of biased, brain washing amount of information, even in news / business channels that are supposed to be the inverse of that due to the nature of their content.

  • BTbanker's picture

    The only things I ever watch are live sport events that I care about, and occasionally cnbc. Both of which you can easily stream for free.

  • VanillaGorilla's picture

    I haven't watched TV since last July and I don't miss it. The garbage that airs is unending. The downside is I often find myself a little out of touch with "social trends" when talking to random folks, but its not ever anything I would consider important.

  • Asatar's picture

    I don't watch any of it either. The only stuff I watch is streamed from my iPad which in turn is downloaded. Theres the occasional programme (Top Gear mostly) which I'll sometimes have on if I'm eating dinner etc but otherwise it's streaming downloads all the way.

  • In reply to BTbanker
    Asatar's picture

    BTbanker:
    The only things I ever watch are live sport events that I care about, and occasionally cnbc. Both of which you can easily stream for free.

    Mind sharing a CNBC stream source?

  • In The Flesh's picture

    I am not a TV person at all. Music first and foremost. :)

    Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

  • In reply to Asatar
    link's picture

    Asatar:
    BTbanker:
    The only things I ever watch are live sport events that I care about, and occasionally cnbc. Both of which you can easily stream for free.

    Mind sharing a CNBC stream source?


    http://bit.ly/XgiXxG

    Sorry, for the double post...new user here

  • ptverdov's picture

    I moved into an apartment in Nov. of 2011 with my wife and we never set up cable. People thought we were crazy but we adjusted and are still going. We save $100 a month and she gets to watch whatever she wants by streaming it live through various websites and I watch my occassional sports games. I rather go to the gym or read or go outside than sit there and watch TV. I miss it on occassion, but $100 in my pocket is pretty sweet. I don't ever think I'll need a crazy cable package.

  • Ron Paul's picture

    dont waste money on tv when you can google image screen stills to look at while you read the wikipedia episode summaries

    takes some imagination but totally worth saving money

  • In reply to Asatar
    BTbanker's picture

    Asatar:
    BTbanker:
    The only things I ever watch are live sport events that I care about, and occasionally cnbc. Both of which you can easily stream for free.

    Mind sharing a CNBC stream source?


    You can download the TD Ameritrade ThinkorSwim Platform for free, and the CNBC live feed is integrated into that.
  • Art.Vandelay's picture

    I can relate to the sports part of it. I too used to watch sports center constantly, now I find it rather annoying and slow. If there was some major sports news, odds are I found out about it on twitter hours before SC or any other ESPN program aired anything about it.

    Now the only time I watch ESPN or sports center is if my team just won some sort of big game, and I want to bask in the glory by watching highlights over and over. And other than that, all I watch on TV is The Office, which will be over soon. In fact, people are always telling me to watch shows, mainly Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and Walking Dead. Walking Dead I find to be fucking retarded, and the one or two episodes of BB I watched were pretty good, but the idea of having a show to follow sounds like a chore to me.

    Of course I watch Seinfeld reruns on DVD whenever I wanna have a good laugh though.

  • computerized's picture

    I don't understand people that can sit on their couch and watch TV non-stop for multiple hours. Living away from home without a TV has shown that it really is obsolete to me these days.

  • paulanderson's picture

    Where do you stream sports? I would've dumped TV years ago but I still like to watch college/NFL on weekends. I'll frequently go to turn on the TV saturday to watch a game and it'll still be tuned to redzone from last sunday.

  • In reply to paulanderson
    ptverdov's picture

    paulanderson:
    Where do you stream sports? I would've dumped TV years ago but I still like to watch college/NFL on weekends. I'll frequently go to turn on the TV saturday to watch a game and it'll still be tuned to redzone from last sunday.

    Firstrowsports.eu or vipbox.tv it isn't 100% that you will get your game and sometimes the quality isn't great, but it is pretty much money for NFL/NCAA FB and March Madness.

  • BTbanker's picture

    FirstRowSports is the best for live stream.

    SolarMovie is like 100X the size of Netflix all for free.

  • littlebitconfuzzled's picture

    I don't watch tv. But I do watch tv shows. There's a difference. If I want to watch I certain show, I just watch it online on Netflix/Hulu/sketchy website/my friend's HBO subscription. My roommate actually has a tv, but we watch it very rarely. The last times were part of the state of the union and the superbowl. I definitely wouldn't miss not having it.

  • West Coast rainmaker's picture

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  • In reply to BTbanker
    accountingbyday's picture
  • snakeplissken's picture

    Remember, once you're inside you're on your own.
    Oh, you mean I can't count on you?
    No.
    Good!