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Helping Canadians with Personal Finance Since 2006

Living without a TV

This is a column by our regular columnist Clark.

For all the purported benefits that TV provides, I still haven’t found a compelling reason to get one (new or used, CRT or LCD or Plasma or LED). I’ll summarize my views in the form of a conversation with another (imaginary) person who supports buying a TV (and a cable connection).

How do you survive without watching sports on TV?

Well, if the interest becomes overpowering, then I’ll buy a ticket to watch a game once-in-a-while. Also, sports bars provide big screens for matches. And, friends haven’t become enemies yet to shun me away if I ever want to watch a big game live at their place.

How about movies and TV shows?

Haven’t you heard that Netflix has come to Canada? I agree that the collection isn’t top-notch yet but it is a start. Simply put, I don’t like to become captive to any hot new TV show, as great as it may be! Wait long enough and it should become available. There are so many great shows from the past that wait my viewing anyway!

You are not enjoying life. What use is your money if you can’t convince yourself to spend some on a TV? Who are you saving it for? Your kids? I think you’ll change once you have kids.

Different strokes for different folks. Watching television is a source of joy for you but reading up on a topic of my interest and jumping over to read about a linked topic – just like you flip channels – gives me great pleasure. It is not a question of money at all; if you think it is, then I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. As for kids, we’ll see if things change at that time.

OK, so you like to read. Most people spend time in front of the TV and you do the same on the Internet. I don’t see how you are any better than people with a TV?

Why did the comparison sneak in? I’m only trying to provide reasons for why I don’t want to buy a TV. If you think that TV is a waste of time and spending time reading is a worthwhile pursuit, then you know what you need to do to change and improve yourself. Again, I am not claiming that one is better than the other but it is how you use each that determines the utility.

Seriously, don’t you get bored sitting in front of the computer all the time? You are addicted to it!

What makes you think that my life revolves around sitting in front of a computer? Heard about working out, developing relationships, reading books, going out and cooking? And, I don’t think you recognize the vast expanse of knowledge that one could gain as long as one can sustain the interest.

Very funny! As though I don’t do all those things! But, I can’t see how you can live without a TV?

Something to ponder about, is it not?

So, do you even know what goes on in the world? Forget I said that! You probably get your daily dose of news from the web too!

There, you have the answer! The other aspect is that my news comes from multiple sources including non-mainstream media.

What do your friends do when they visit you? Browse the Internet too? Don’t you think that they might assume that you can’t even afford to buy a TV?

Do you really want an answer to this? Do your friends visit to watch the TV at your place or catch up, play, enjoy a barbecue, etc.? And, if I’m going to be judged negatively for the lack of a TV, then I’d really like to know who those judges are so that I can stop inviting them over!

You seem to make sense but I just can’t do it myself. Can’t even imagine life without it!

I hope it seems interesting, if not practical. I think it is a matter of priorities and goals. A Stats Canada report from 2004 says that an adult (18 and over) spent an average of 20 – 25 hours per week in front of the TV. A survey from 2010 found that people between 18 and 34 watched 13 hours of TV per week. I think that there is a shift towards spending more time on the Internet among the general population anyway. Going by the recent survey, I get those 2 hours per day to do something of my choice and also, save money on the TV, cable, and energy cost. As for life without it, I bet many people can’t imagine life without social networking too!

My replies above are obviously written with an author’s freedom to tilt the scales in his favor. But, readers have the liberty to counter my statements to make it a more level playing field. So, which camp are you in? Watch a lot of TV, don’t have one at all, or seldom watch it? Are there any that have crossed camps? If so, what instigated the shift?

About the Author: Clark works in Saskatchewan and has been working to build his (DIY) investment portfolio, structured for an early retirement. He loves reading (and using the lessons learned) about personal finance, technology and minimalism.  You can read his other articles here.

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  1. Jungle on February 2, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Well, I think for us having a TV and cable is a way to have great, comfortable entertainment in our home. We really enjoy certain programming and with the PVR, we can record it, watch it at a later time, and fast forward through commercials.

    I really enjoy playing video games, which involves a tv. During the winter months, I spend a lot of time gaming.

    What I do not like, is how expensive cable tv has become, and how they group all the good channels in the more expensive packages.

    Add up your cable, home phone and internet over a year or five year period, and it can be quite a lot. For us, we might average $6000 in five years just for these services. Now consider it almost takes $10000 in before tax wage to pay that..

    We can’t use OTA right now, and the channels like TLC and discovery are not broadcasted OTA. Things like BNN is great, when trading during the day or watching/getting a snapshot at the markets.

    We do work out on off time, and read books from the library, during our commute to work on transit.

    Of course, it’s a luxury, and if we both lost our jobs and could not get employment, that would be one of the first expenses cut.

    I guess you could ask, “does it really contribute to your quality of life” and if it does, go for it!

  2. FrugalTrader on February 2, 2011 at 10:17 am

    For us, I can definitely imagine cutting out the cable but TV definitely helps out the odd time with the toddler. For example, we put on a recorded Dora show while we are busy cooking supper etc.

  3. Dave@50plusfinance on February 2, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I used to be an avid tv watcher. But the show nowadays aren’t interesting. I do watch only three shows regularly and usually online. The sporting events don’t lure me to the tv, so it’s a thing of the past to me. My online activities keep me busy in my spare time. Living without TV is no problem.

  4. tripleBottomLine on February 2, 2011 at 11:04 am

    With so many broadcasters and networks allowing you to stream shows online (and often in high quality) on demand, and live streaming of sports events (like CTV with the Olympics, and CBC with many events), it is easy for me to be cable free. Admittedly I do receive many channels free over the air (OTA), but with a decent media centre I think I could manage even without. @Jungle: Discovery does allow you to watch many shows at, connect a PC or using the media centre features of many of the common video game consoles will allow you to easily view the content on your television for family viewing.

  5. DoNotWait on February 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I don’t think I could get used to live without a TV. I don’t think it is a necessity though and, in some sort, I admire the ones who are able to be entertained without it. Maybe I wish I would too! I enjoy the internet for sure and don’t spend all my days in front of the TV. Still, most of our nights are in the living room watching TV programs or movies. And the things is, we really enjoy it. Basically, that is about our only day-to-day “activity” so to speak. Of course, we have friends over sometimes during the week ends (and vice versa), we go for a walk once in a while and we enjoy week ends in the nature. But during the week, TV is the winner! Maybe that becomes even more true when you’re in a relationship for a while, living together and having or wanting kids. As a couple, we tend to stay at home, and staying at home while being together often results in sitting closely together in front of the TV. Though, I must admit we enjoy reading a lot. So what is best? I truly don’t know, but I do see your reasons to not have a TV.

  6. Larry on February 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I got rid of TV in 2008 when I went back to school for my MBA, I didn’t like the monthly bills and the monotonous drone of mind numbing reality TV. I live downtown and have plenty of things to do. I manage investments and read about investing and other topics I like online. I often (once per month) take the kids out to catch first run movies by walking to the movie theater. We can watch DVD movies on my computer (the 22″ screen helps). We rent movies on iTunes when my girlfriends kids come over. The bookstore is down the street and so are several coffee shops where I can sit and read the Globe and Mail (for the price of a coffee).

    I don’t miss TV at all and I enjoy the free time not having TV has given me.

  7. Gerry on February 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    We’ve still got a TV, but pretty much only for Netflix and Wii games. We’re giving it 6 months and then we’ll drop the cable portion of our telecom bill if we don’t go back to watching broadcast TV.

    Having Netflix has been fantastic for the kids. They don’t sit gazing at whatever crap comes on anymore. We can pick 1 or 2 shows, watch them (commercial free, yay!) and then turn the TV off. It’s wonderful. It also helps keep our schedule repeatable since we’re not beholden to the broadcast times of the kids favorite shows.

  8. Andrew F on February 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    When I finished school and moved to a new apartment, I didn’t bother setting up cable. It’s been almost three years, and I still don’t miss it. Thankfully, most broadcasters generously stream the majority of their programming on their websites.

    No cable, in combination with 3rd party ISP, VOIP and pay as you cell plans mean my monthly expenditure on such utilities is around $50. I compare to my parents, who must be spending $250+ and I’m amazed. Then again, they’re doing pretty well and don’t need to worry about building wealth. I have friends that still have significant student debt, car loans, etc. and are shelling out 80 bucks for cable. I guess some people don’t mind living with consumer debt on their backs.

  9. Riscario Insider on February 2, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    We have a TV but don’t watch any regular programming. We cancelled our cable years ago and have survived. We’ll watch a movie on Friday and Saturday nights. The content is mainly from Netflix. There’s more than enough selection. If you haven’t watched something, it’s new even when it’s old :)

    PS I cut out newspapers and radio years ago. Important news finds me through my social network.

  10. Gael on February 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Other than one six month period in 2001, I haven’t had a TV for 18 years. It just sort of happened and I discovered that I had so much more free time to do other stuff. My life stopped revolving around the schedule of my favourite–if completely inane–sitcoms. I now cannot imagine fitting the two to three hours a day I used to spend watching TV into my life.

    For news, entertainment, blogging and just wasting time, I probably spend one to two hours a day on the internet.

  11. Dennis on February 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Great points and comments!

    For our family, we don’t think we can live without a TV, but we can definitely live without the cable programming. We spend more time using the internet to get our entertainment (TV, movies, music, etc). To prove this to ourselves, we conducted a little experiment.

    I called my cable provider and asked them to suspend our account for 3 months. During those 3 months, it only took us a week or so to adjust to the change. When we turned on the TV and realized we had no cable, we were forced to either look for what we wanted on the internet, or do something else (read, get out of the house, focus on our goals/hobbies). For sports, we did what the article mentioned, and it gave us a good reason to get together with friends and family.

    After the 3 months, we’ve canceled our cable and I setup a home theater PC. We now use our TV to view our media and play my video games. This has given us the freedom to do other things, and watch what we want, when we want. We are also saving ourselves over $80/month without the HDTV programming we use to have. Although, with the talks of the ISP metering our use, I may have to think of an alternative option. For now, it works great!

  12. Brandon on February 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I’ve been without cable since I bought my house in September. I don’t miss it one bit!

    If I wanted cable I’d have to pay over $100/m to get the “necessities”. Instead, I’ve ripped my DVDs to my computer and run a media centre.

    This also gives me a chance to borrow a few series from my friends and watch the shows that they’ve been quoting for years!

    I do miss the sporting events, but I can catch the Saturday night games on and for the other hockey games I subscribe to LeafsTV.

    For the big games you can always try being social for once and head over to a friends house. They’ll have no problem if you bring the beer ;)

    Another thing I’ve noticed… and maybe it’s just me, but when I start watching TV I get into “veg out” mode and I feel like garbage once I stop watching. If I don’t watch TV I have a lot more energy (providing I don’t go into “internet veg out” mode)

    PS, missing the news is great. You don’t realize how much time you spend worrying about things that you shouldn’t care about until you don’t have mass media forcing it down your throat

  13. Neal on February 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I got rid of my tv nearly 4 years ago for 6 months just to see if it would make a difference in my life. I started doing activities that I never had the time before like stand-up comedy classes, hiking, kayaking, and volunteer activities. After 6 months of semi-separation anxiety I reinstalled my cable and realized that I had not really missed any thing at all and disconnected it permanently within 3 months. I do not want to watch TV for TVs sake. The few shows I do watch are online (secret Glee fan). TV is passive entertainment and there is nothing wrong with that in moderation and it is an individual choice. But when all is said and done, do you want to say at the end of your life that you wished you had watched more TV?

  14. Mario on February 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm
  15. Maiku on February 2, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    This is somewhat timely for me as I have been giving this a lot of thought myself. I have a working 27” CRT from the early 90’s but I have been tempted to replace it and go with and LED.

    At the same time though, I realize I spend way too much time in front of the TV (and the computer for that matter) when I should be going out and doing stuff. I was temporarily TV free a couple of years back and actually had withdrawal symptoms! But after a couple of weeks, I was more active than I had ever been and lost a bunch of weight as well.

    Still there is a certain social acceptance aspect of it. If I don’t watch at least some shows I feel sort of odd not being able to discuss the shows with my friends at work the next day…

  16. Mark on February 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    When we moved in 2009 we made a decision to only have 1 TV in the house. Previously we had one in our bedroom, mounted on the wall, along with two other TV’s in the house. We found that we would watch TV every night before bed and that our conversations were always secondary to “what’s on”. Now, with only one TV in the house, it’s a concious decision to watch, and we more carefully evaluate whether we want to spend the time or not.

    Also, I agree with an earlier commenter that it’s certainly a luxury and if we lost our main source of income that cable would be one of the first things to go.

  17. Will on February 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I grew up watching several hours of TV every single day. But, for the last 15 years, I have chosen not to have a TV in my house, nor pay for cable. If there’s a show I want to watch, it’s likely on DVD and I can watch it on my laptop. I have a 5 year old son now. He doesn’t seem to miss TV either.

  18. nobleea on February 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    We don’t have cable tv, and don’t watch OTA stuff either. The tv is for rented movies or borrowed tv season box sets. A friend gave us their Netflix password, so we can watch stuff on the computer once in a while.

    The reason we don’t watch tv, is that it just doesn’t add value. And it’s so temporary. Think back 10 years, can you remember what happened on such and such sitcom? Did it change your life or stretch your imagination? I can remember what happened in a book I read 20 years ago quite well. Spending time on hobbies is a much better workout for your mind. You want to laugh? Go to a local comedy club once or twice a month with friends. Far more social and fun, and probably cheaper.

    A lot of friends have the full cable package with the PVR loaded up with shows they haven’t had a chance to watch. And then complain that there’s no time and wonder how I get so much done.

    Missing the news is great – life is so much less depressing when you don’t have to watch the local news.

  19. Clark on February 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks for the comments. It is refreshing to get different views.

  20. Financial Uproar on February 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    TV, like reading or surfing the web, isn’t inherently good or bad, and the bad rap it gets is starting to grow tiring.

    I recently posted on my blog a list of 14 financial shows and documentaries that are as educational as any book. Like any medium, the content can be good or it can be bad. So rather than bashing the medium, maybe the problem should be with the content of that medium.

    The internet is filled with porn, videos of cute pets, people doing stupid things and blogs about all sorts of pointless stuff. Honestly ask yourself just how much of your web surfing is really expanding your knowledge base. Is this why the internet is “better” than tv?

    It’s the same thing with books. Ever read a romance book? How about a comic book? There’s nothing wrong with reading those things, but one can’t really make the argument they’re expanding someone’s palette.

    What’s wrong with relaxing by watching some tv at the end of a long day? I pay $60 a month for satellite tv- $2 a day. For me, that’s pretty cheap entertainment. I enjoy watching my favorite programs. It adds value in my life.

  21. Kamil Kisiel on February 2, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    This sounds to me more like an argument against having cable, not having a TV. I’ve owned a 40″ LCD TV for the last 4 years, and I’ve not used it to watch cable or satellite programming even once. It’s used entirely for watching movies, playing the occasional video game, and now Netflix.

    Simply owning a TV doesn’t mean you have to be chained to cable TV programming. I use it only a couple of times a week, and the viewing experience is certainly better than sitting around my laptop with a couple of people.

  22. Nick on February 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    What a coincidental story! I called in to cancel my cable subscription a few days ago and it will turn off today. I was with Shaw and it will save me $73/mo after taxes and I lose my bundling discount. I will keep my tv; Content has improved dramatically in 6 mo on Netflix, and I have connected a netbook to the TV so I can watch internet shows directly from the networks. And if I find a better Internet deal, I can leave Shaw no sweat as I am now unbundled. Cable television is so expensive if you want HD, it has become a total ripoff and possibly the easiest way you can reduce your bills without creating undue stress. For parents: the cartoon/kids cotton on Netflix is increasing, check it out :) I saw a report from Shaw that said 5% of their total traffic was now Netflix!

  23. Ryan @ Roth IRA Compass on February 2, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I’ve been without a TV for about 2 years now and don’t have any plans on going back to having one. There’s so much more time in the day and too many new things to try that having a TV is just a time suck that never really gives you anything besides a brain coma for a few hours.

  24. Money Smarts Blog on February 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I like having cable tv and I don’t find it expensive. I watch enough tv and sports to make it good low-cost entertainment.

    I didn’t have cable for most of my 20’s. At that time, I was very active and not home very much in the evenings. Now, with two little kids – I’m always home. :)

  25. stopthemetering on February 2, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    with the recent CRTC ruling on usage based billing for internet. Streaming contents from netflix and youtube can easily translate to higher internet bills. It seems that Bell is pushing people to watch tv and its streamed shows. So a life without tv will certainly get more expensive due to the internet becoming usage based.

  26. timjim on February 2, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    I have a TV but no cable or satellite, I watch some videos on it here and there but try to occupy myself doing things more imprtant.

  27. Sarlock on February 2, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    When we moved to our new place 2 1/2 years ago and were going through the process of contacting each of our utilities about our move, we stopped at the cable bill and asked ourselves “do we even need this?” We were watching (cable) TV maybe once or twice a month. We borrow movies from the library all the time, both for ourselves and for the kids, so we decided to not connect the cable at the new house and see how it goes. 2 1/2 years later, we don’t miss it at all… now and then I want to watch a hockey game, I just stream it on the computer and that works just fine. I don’t imagine we’ll ever get cable again… don’t miss it.

  28. Future Money-Bags on February 3, 2011 at 3:31 am

    I do agree that the cable fees (nevermind phone and internet fees) are quite high. Also, the selections of ‘good programming’ which you are interested in watching cannot be obtained without getting a lot of garbage programming along with it.

    So many are using the internet to do what they used to use their TVs for. News, games, movies, tv shows, etc. Well did you hear about the CRTC’s new usage-based internet billing? It means that not only will the regular fees that you pay for internet access and usage will be increased, but also depending on the activity you do online, your extra charges will grow exponentially.

    If you do a lot of streaming or downloading, it will cost you a lot more!
    The bill has no yet been passed, and the government is ‘trying’ to go against it. But we will see.

  29. Echo on February 3, 2011 at 3:51 am

    I couldn’t do it, not with a toddler in the house. Our daughter goes to bed at 7pm, which means mom & dad are stuck in the house in the evenings. It’s cheap entertainment, and as Financial Uproar pointed out, it can also be as educational as you want it to be.

    @FT – I hear you on the Dora recordings, that’s a neccesity :)

    As for the CRTC’s ruling (yawn), this doesn’t affect me in the least…although I am a BCE shareholder. Why is everyone getting so worked up about this, did you see a petition on your friends’ Facebook profile?

  30. Glenn Cooke on February 3, 2011 at 11:00 am

    2011 is the year hopefully I get internet TV and get rid of cable. Between netflix and many shows now being available ‘on demand’ from the internet we can get most of the stuff we watch online, to our TV. And more.

    In fact I’m hoping to initially start this with a computer in our home gym. Then we can watch the news from around the world, or oprah, or a spinning streaming video we buy online – whatever we want. From there I’ll migrate up to our main TV.

  31. Andrea on February 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I’m not sure what I would do without basic cable or the internet. The first thing I do when I come home is turn on the television to watch the news, and the computer to check my email.

    I remember a couple of years ago we had an ice storm and our power was out for 3 days, I almost went crazy. not being able surf the net and watch my favorite programs… However if I had to adapt, and find something else to occupy my time like reading or learning something new, I’m sure I would be OK… :-)

  32. matt on February 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    I would love to go to no cable but I am not getting rid of the TV. We get too much enjoyment out of Movies and such.

    We did go to basic cable about a year ago and now that we are on basic cable, we are use to it and no big deal. It was difficult at first because it seemed like most of the channels we watched were outside of basic cable.

    And for, to be able to watch sports, on a tv, not a computer, is worth the cable bill because that is something that brings me great joy!

    I am in the boat of, if it is something that you enjoy, and it doesn’t consume you, and you can afford it, then why not!

  33. alexander45 on February 3, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I don’t have a tv. I also don’t waste money on things like books or magazines, musical recordings, radios, or electricity. These are all luxuries that make you soft and are, consequently, an absolute waste of money.

    Furniture? What for? When I have friends over, it is to talk. If we all sit down, it tends to make the conversation lull.

    Better yet, I meet them elsewhere so that we can use public electricity, heat, furniture and toilet paper.

    That last one is a big one for me. It is literally flushing money down the toilet. No thank you. I time all of my emissions so that I am at work.

    It’s easy to save money if you really try.

  34. Larry on February 3, 2011 at 8:44 pm


    Congratulations on your extreme frugality! You make us misers feel like Charlie Sheen on a bender. I appreciate the sarcasm, but people can live without a monthly cable bill and still have full and complete lives a even afford fancy three ply toilet paper.

  35. Mat on February 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    My gf and I got rid of our cable and TV just over a year ago, and we don’t miss it one bit. The few times we have really wanted to watch something, we have found it streaming on the internet (i.e. awards shows, sports events, etc.). Almost everything on TV can be found on the internet with a few minutes of searching. Alternatively, for movies, we also use our local library a lot! You’d be surprised at the collection of DVDs your local library has…

    We used to come home every night from work, and watch TV for 1-3 hours a night, because it was there. We have replaced that time with reading, physical activity and spending more time with each other in a more real sense. I will never again own a TV or subscribe to cable.

  36. Gary on February 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Why do people who don’t have a TV or cable act like they’re so much better human beings than everyone else?

    Did this type of behavior really belong on this blog? Why was this article posted?

  37. Rozann on February 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    To Gary, perhaps it’s because the people without TV and cable are actually living life instead of watching it happen. Perhaps because we are learning skills and using them instead of watching others succeed on some show. Perhaps because we are physically active and participating in a sport instead of sitting on our butts watching others play. Lots of reasons. Humanity lived for thousands of years without TV and look at all the wonders it accomplished. TV for all the wonderful, informative, fun programs is still a sit in one place, do nothing kind of activity. Unless you are knitting or doing something else with your hands, (NOT EATING).
    We’ve lived for 21 years without watching TV; our five children grew up without it and are avid readers, as well as doers of all kinds of activities. Non- TV watchers are not necessarily better people, just better users of our time on earth.

  38. Guest on February 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    This article will help you – plenty of options on watching TV without cable.

  39. alexander45 on February 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm


    Humanity also lived for thousands of years without books, knitting, and organized sports. And look at all the wonders it accomplished.

    What a brutal argument.

    Presenting cutting cable as a means to save money is fine (as in the original post).

    Presenting cutting cable as a moral judgment on how somebody ought to spend their own spare time is repugnant.

  40. Robert on February 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    You shouldn’t judge other people so easily. Just because they have a TV, doesn’t mean that they’re a bad person.

  41. Hilde on February 5, 2011 at 3:02 am

    Our TV broke down a year ago, and we decided to try living without it as long as possible. We also wanted to save up for a real good TV. It was ok but now we decided to buy a new one. The thing is that here in Germany, you have to pay for the public channels as soon as you own a device you can access the internet with, even if it is only a smartphone. And now, an new law has passed that requires each and every household to pay those fees, no matter whether they have access or not. The fee currently is 53 € (72 $) for three months.

  42. Brad on February 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Not having a TV I will say can save you nice amount of money. But if you look at it another way having a TV can save you money also. You could stay in on weekends and watch TV and not go out and spend money on entertainment.

  43. AKip on February 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    We debated not replacing our old television when it quit on us, but decided that it wasn’t completely realistic for our family.

    First, we made sure that we got a new tv that would connect with our pc (we always seemed to replace our technology years apart-where they were never compatible!)

    Second, instead of cancelling our cable/satellite entirely, we simply reduced the package. Now we have (Shaw’s) Digital Lite package which includes most main networks, but none of the extras such as Discovery, TLC etc. It took a couple of weeks to adjust, but now when there is “nothing on” we simply turn off the tv instead of channel surfing. BTW, the Digital Lite package is $25/month, and they don’t advertise it, you have to ask for it.

    We are also in the camp that believes in only one television in the home. When my husband and I got together, we agreed that there would never be a tv in the bedroom, there are better things to do once you get into bed!

    We have found that we watch much less television than we used to, and will connect our pc to our tv to watch the couple of shows that we don’t get via our satellite package (I love Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire!)

    Like everything else in life, if you enjoy it in moderation, its not a problem. We can always reduce, but not necessarily cut-out everything that is an enjoyment in our lives.

  44. Kathryn on February 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    We don’t have cable but we kept a TV in the basement to play Wii or rent the occasional movie. We didn’t do it to save money. We did it to reduce the ads our kids see and because we wanted to spend our time and money on things that were more important to us. We don’t spend less. It just means now we go out with friends more and buy more books. To each his own.

  45. Katherine on February 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    It’s been somewhat back-and-forth. I went through a period without having a TV at all. Then a few years ago I moved to a place with free cable included in the rent so I went ahead and bought a TV (might as well take advantage!). A few months ago I moved someplace that doesn’t offer the free cable and I accepted the fact that my TV would just be occupying space in the living room … but then I really wanted to watch American Idol (which is the ONLY U.S.-based TV show that I care about that is both live with audience participation and difficult to find complete episodes online) … so I broke down and bought a digital converter box and antenna to get the local network stations … and now I’m very much enjoying watching my show which makes it totally worthwhile to me. Every so often I’ll watch TV when I’m bored, but it’s especially nice to have as an entertainment option for when I’m sick.

  46. Cowtown Realist on February 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I would like to think I could do it…but then I would probably end up spending more money in the long run going to sports bars.

  47. My Own Advisor on February 5, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I know for sure I spend more time on the internet than watching TV, but then again, I love HBO.

    I enjoy my weekly fix of Californication, True Blood, Dexter and others when those shows are in season. It’s worth the cash for us to have a few bells and whistles on the tube. We pay for cable and specialty channels b/c it’s nice to have options. You gotta live :)

    Good post Clark.

  48. Josh L on February 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I love this discussion. I recently canceled cable after finally convincing my wife that we would be better off without it. We both agree that our quality of life has since improved. We talk more, read more, spend more time in the kitchen, and our kids will grow up without the most effective inroad advertisers have to their developing minds.

  49. Essence on February 22, 2011 at 12:28 am

    i myself am too into television but i also read, and play sports to balance myself out. life without television not for me.

  50. Heather Hadden on February 28, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I really like your article because recently, I discovered that although I have a TV in my apartment, I don’t watch it. I just don’t have time. When I come home from work, I just sit in front of my computer, check facebook and stuff, and when have cravings for news, I load some news channel stream on the web. Actually, I could pretty much throw the damn thing (TV) out.

  51. Larissa on May 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I haven’t had access to a TV for years… though what I have had is a projector and white screen in my living room for watching movies. The television shows on TV are by and large junk – it’s really good quality movies that I can rent that I am most interested in.

    Otherwise, the internet serves the purpose of accessing other information just fine.

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