Friday, February 4, 2011

TV or Not TV

I am not the home theater industry's biggest asset. I buy a new television when - and only when - the old one dies. The television in my living room is probably almost 20 years old, and while some of the buttons don't work (that's why they make remotes, right?), the picture is still great. Likewise, the little one in my bedroom is going strong. But, untrue to form, I'm getting ready to retire them both; here's why....

Now that I'm the sole consumer of cable television in my house, I contacted Verizon to downgrade my package. I don't really watch television all that much. More importantly, I don't have a high definition television, and I don't use the 800+ channels we currently receive. What I learned is that Verizon doesn't offer a plan below hi-def with a zillion channels. I'm forced to pay a hefty monthly bill for services I will never come even close to maximizing. Apparently they think they have me over a coax barrel. I don't think so.

I'm doing my research and it seems that I can get two new flat screen televisions with digital tuners, each at a very reasonable price - especially in a few weeks when the new models come out and the current ones are reduced. With an additional $20-30 antenna I can get the local channels and pbs without cable. Ok, I'll miss the weather channel every morning but it's a small sacrifice to make. And I already stream a lot of television on my laptop anyway, since I'm rarely able to watch the shows I like at the time they air. I'll be saving money every month, simplifying my life, and making a statement while I'm at it. I realize I'll be a drop in the ocean, my statement a mere whisper in the wind, but it doesn't matter - I'll know I made it. And that makes me happy.

Take that, Verizon.