Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Personal Digital Divide

Long ago I subscribed to cable TV. I was enslaved by the Food Network (no sweatheart, I can't fix dinner right now, I might miss the perfect recipe on TV), DH watched wars long since won and lost (the History Channel), and reveled in classic movies (back when AMC didn't have commercials).

Over the years, however, the channels increased but programming didn't. Commercials increased and programming got stupid. There never seemed to be anything good on TV, and I began to get irritated.

Cable fees started to increase, and still commercials increased, and my irritation became incensed. Why was I paying to see commercials? And so I stopped with very few regrets. My viewing hours didn't appreciably diminish (I am a child of the TV generation), and I started cooking again. I still watch classic movies thanks to my collection of thousands taped over 20 years. My soaps are still intact (well, most of them), and I can see anything else (eventually) on Netflix. So what's the dilemma?

Once digital broadcasting comes into effect next year, I will lose the ability to record more than one channel unless I'm home to change the channel on the converter box. Of course if I were at home to change the channel, I wouldn't need to record the program!

Without my consent I will become the viewer about whom the writers struck last year: I'll be getting much of my TV on the internet. This becomes a spacial problem; most of my knitting is done in front of the TV, and while my laptop may be accessible, it's not my first choice, though apparently it will become my choice by default.


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