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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Flip the digital switch

I've mentioned before how I don't have cable television. I have plenty of reasons why I still don't have it since the switch from analog to digital signals, but I thought it was time for an update.

Basically, if I want to watch a Cowboys game this fall or a new episode of LOST next year from my couch, I'm screwed.

Rewinding a bit: back when I was talking with my new housemate, Matt, I asked if he wanted cable TV when he moved in. He declined, citing many of the same reasons that I haven't had cable since I moved to Dallas seven years ago. Since we both work in places that have several different televisions always on, there is a desire to not have the TVs at home. That's where the Internet, DVDs, and books come in handy.

So with the digital switch, and after a few channel scans, all we really get off the rabbit ears are the local CBS affiliate, a local station with ties to the CBS affiliate, and a few Spanish language stations. That's right: no Fox, NBC, or ABC affiliates for us cheapskates.

I enjoy watching Cowboys games, and any football game looks incredible in high-definition. I love watching new episodes of LOST, as well as an interest in other shows currently on the air. The deal is, I could go to a local bar, or even some of the local theaters around here to watch the Cowboys play. And based on my experience seeing the previous season of LOST at the Angelika, I have plenty of reasons to go back for the sixth season.

Knowing those things presents a bind. Actually, a real bind because it sure would be nice to have those signals for NBC and Fox come Sunday afternoon or if the Angelika decided to not to show LOST and not announce it to the general public. I don't want to impose on friends and family that have cable, so there's the question mark.

A few days ago, I took a call from my Internet provider, who also happens to offer cable TV. In a rare, rare feat, I did not hang up on the guy who called me. Usually, any form of telemarketing receives a hang-up from me. But the guy was trying to give me a good deal on cable TV service and willing to set up a time very soon to get this installed. Clearly the guy was reading from a long script written to pitch and not leave room for any questions from the customer. I politely told the guy I was not interested and he thankfully did not pressure me. And the call ended with "bye" on both ends of the phone.

Before I start to regret doing that, I'm reminded of the time I spent at my parents' house over the weekend. Tons of relatives were in town as well, and I got to have some great conversations with them. But the TV itself with cable was a nice thing to have when reading the book I'm reading made me sleepy. Plus, my parents don't have an extensive DVD collection, and there's only so much I can handle with watching full-screen versions of some of the Harry Potter films.

Now the pickle has been laid out on the table: do I give in or not give in? Now you see why I have a hard time making a lot of decisions when it comes to stuff I spend money on?

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