When we moved to our new house in February, Kathy & I decided not to get bundled cable/satellite television. To people who know me at all, this has been a super surprising development. I consume television pretty voraciously, and love live sports of just about all kinds. I love great television shows, and even love a lot of different types of reality show.
But Kathy & I felt it was time to live more intentionally. That the bundled mass of television channels was enabling easy & bad habits of watching junk.
Maybe it’s raising kids, maybe it’s getting older, maybe it’s just a reaction to the overwhelming crush of people, apps & stuff competing for every spare minute of our attention — but intentionality, focus & purpose — these things are becoming more and more important to me, not only for my own life but for our kids’.
Anyway, after about 20 years of DirecTV, we went only with an internet connection in the new house. (And a landline phone service, whose days seem pretty obviously numbered, too.)
We decided to buy the series we watch from iTunes — in particular things like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Archer, stuff like that. We supplement with a streaming-only subscription for Netflix (mainly for our son), and a Hulu subscription, which we mostly use to watch The Daily Show and Modern Family. We watch iTunes shows and Netflix mostly via the AppleTV box; we watch Hulu through the app on our Samsung TV. It all works fine, and we’re pretty happy with it. The day of delay for availability doesn’t bother us much.
We really missed being able to watch March Madness, though — watching on the iPad, even mirrored to the AppleTV via AirPlay, just isn’t quite good enough. And we wanted to be able to watch a bunch of the Olympics.
So my dad & I installed an antenna on the roof of the house for network TV, and all the networks come in essentially perfectly reliably. Which means we’ll be able to watch the Olympics, and football in the fall, and March Madness next year.
Obviously, this is completely insane. Ridiculous in every sense.
We’ve got streaming over-the-internet-but-delayed-by-a-day shows. And real time sports that we can watch but can’t time shift, subject to, you know, the weather. Some shows we like we can’t watch on the big screen because of restrictions on Hulu that limit shows to “computer only”. And no HBO shows.
So not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and a little ridiculous overall given that we live in an age of self-driving cars. But workable. And workable in a way that’s changed our relationship to television in a really good way. We don’t watch junk much anymore. We focus on a few shows and the TV is off otherwise. We’re finding, too, that the further along we get, the less we care about Hulu & Netflix, too, preferring to pick & choose the specific shows over a buffet of less intentional choices.
A default-off television is pretty different than where we were before, when the default was on (in the evenings). I’d wager that that’s true for many others in our age group (but not for younger age groups) — default-on is somewhat the norm.
Anyway, so far so good. Interesting & positive change for us overall.
postscript: as I was thinking about this post in the car the other day, I realized that in listening to radio, at least in my car, I’ve actually gone the other way, subscribing to Sirius XM for the first time recently. I like it for the audio quality and the serendipitous discovery of new music, plus live sports from time to time. But it’s easy to see how it’s a short term, transitional technology. It will persist a little bit longer, mostly because cars are more durable than other devices and last longer between purchases. But you can see how Pandora and Apple and others will eat this market, too, and soon.
This completely nails how we’re going about our current “experiment” of cord cutting since moving to San Francisco. The best part has been watching way less junk and finally catching up (see living more intentionally) on shows we’ve been wanting to watch for years. Still very much a work in progress and I haven’t even gone through a Fall sports season yet, but I’m enjoying it and not really finding myself missing it much. Not sure I can say that’s 100% true for my wife, but she’s a trooper (for now).
I do have to add (for the sake of full transparency and to be clear that it’s not all roses) that missing last night’s premiere of Breaking Bad was legitimately the first time I actually thought about ordering cable. But I’m staying firm…for now
Today is a great day as @mcdavis and I are reunited as co-workers. Welcome to the team McD!
Well, because everyone else is doing their wrap up lists for 2011 and trend predictions for 2012, who am I to not jump on that bandwagon and try to get some page views and followers out of it? Thus, I give to you my view of the words that people in start ups say that - like those nasty smoking, cupcake, and kissing random people at parties habits - need to go away in 2012. And even though Santa has left the building, I’ve also included a little wish list of Six Things NYC StartUps Need In 2012, and even one for 2013. Feel free to add to the list(s)!
- Hustle: People use hustle to congratulate themselves and others for actually doing the jobs they’re getting paid to do. It’s called WORK, folks
- Guru/Ninja/Rockstar (as job title): It makes you seem like you’re 12. Maybe you are. If you are 12 and you’re starting a company, ignore me and call yourself anything you want, because you really are a guru/ninja/rockstar.
- Guru/ninja/rockstar (as job description, e.g. we’re hiring a rockstar developer):Thank god you want a rockstar! You MUST mean ME!
- Life long learner: Wow. Good for you. I stopped learning the day I left high school. As a result, I’m still using a rotary phone, cassette player, and VCR.
- Next big thing: If I had a dollar for everyone who says they’re working on “the next big thing” in their Twitter profile, I’d be the next big thing.
- ly (as suffix slapped on a word to form a company name): It’s played out.
- io: See above.
- Ran (to describe a previous job, which was really an unpaid internship): As in, I ran ______ at _________. Dude, you just graduated and your last name isn’t Zuckerberg. No you didn’t.
- FML: You have access to a computer or smart phone and fingers/thumbs to type with. Some people don’t have clean water or toilets. Yeah, you’re fucked alright.
- SOPA: Well, this one is for Congress. Really Congress? REALLY?
Six Things NYC StartUps Need More of in 2012
- Congressional Term Limits
- Developers. Right?
- Parody Twitter accounts: @fakedavetisch. @elbloombito. @gselevator. That’s some funny shit.
- More women in start ups: I’m not complaining about the lack of women founders. Just women in general. Doing anything in start ups. Because we rule the internet. Duh.
- Grown Ups: Seriously. Where’s my “40 over 40” list Henry Blodget? Where???
- Serious Celebrity Angel investors: Demi would disagree, but give me 10 more of Ashton Kutcher.One Thing We Need In 2013
2 Words: Bloomberg. Ventures.
Haha, nice post Kristal! Let’s go ahead and add “crushin’ it” to the list of words that need to go away in 2012.
And if one result of the downsizing of Wall Street is that more of America’s best and brightest math and physics students decide to go into science and real engineering rather than financial engineering, the country will be a whole lot better off.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
blue skies and a foggy bridge
Wow, awesome photo Alexis! I think I’ll live there one day…