Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why Even Own a TV?

Mrs Elliott and I spend over a hundred bucks a month for cable. That's a lot of love.

How does cable pay us back?

Like an abusive lover. Here's what's on tonight* (HDTV listings, only, if it ain't HDTV, it ain't worth watching):
  • Discovery (1080i) has Pitchmen at 7 p.m., Dirty Jobs at 9 p.m. and Auction Kings at 10 p.m.
  • CW (1080i) has the series finale of Life Unexpected at 8 p.m.
  • NBC (1080i) has The Biggest Loser at 8 p.m. and Parenthood at 10 p.m.
  • ABC (720p) has No Ordinary Family at 8 p.m., V at 9 p.m. and Detroit 187 at 10 p.m.
  • Fox (720p) has Million Dollar Money Drop at 9 p.m.
  • CBS (1080i) has NCIS at 8 p.m., NCIS: LA at 9 p.m. and The Good Wife at 10 p.m.
  • TBS (1080i) has the season finale of Glory Daze at 10 p.m.
  • TLC (1080i) has What Not to Wear at 9 p.m.
  • FX (720p) has Lights Out at 10 p.m.
  • Comedy Central (1080i) has Tosh.0 at 10 p.m. and The Onion Sportsdome at 10:30 p.m.
  • USA (1080i) has the winter premiere of White Collar at 10 p.m.
  • TNT (1080i) airs Southland at 10 p.m.
  • Versus (1080i) has The T.Ocho Show at 10:30 p.m.
  • ESPN (720p) has college basketball with Michigan State/Illinois at 7 p.m. and Kentucky/Alabama at 9 p.m.
  • ESPN2 (720p) has Colorado/Nebraska college basketball at 7 p.m. and Australian Open 2011 tennis at 9 p.m.
This, my friends, is crap TV. Good thing we have a Netflix-enabled Bly-Ray player, so we can watch some slightly less-crappy movies.

* List lifted from Engadget.com


  1. Jeez...if you would only just give a little on the non-HD channels, you could have...a lot MORE crap! Well, not to worry - all of the home shopping channels will be in HD soon enough :-)

  2. Consider giving The Good Wife a shot ... (not literally.)

  3. I bought an HD antenna for $50 (looks like a cross between a futuristic bomber wing and a satellite)and it sucks in all the OTA HD channels just as sweet as you please. We get our OTA TV from a repeater out here in the dirt.
    Then I canceled the cable. Between that, Netflix, Hulu and the other online offerings you're about as well covered as you could hope to be; meaning if you watch more TV than that you might as well pull the plugs and end it.

  4. Hey Helen, I've tried to watch "The Good Wife" a couple times. I know it has received plenty of critical acclaim, but it feels too "soapy" for me, and I really really hate courtroom dramas.

    Robert: We can't get OTA HD broadcasts here, the transmitting towers are only a mile away but they are behind a ridge. No signal. And I don't think that all networks have affiliates here in Bend, anyway. We have Netflix, et al, on the BD player, but they don't provide the HBO and Showtime shows we like.

  5. Do you mean you spend $100 on cable TV or $100 for cable TV and Internet? If you are spending $100 on cable TV then you must have a lot more HD channels than you've listed there. There are 53 HD channels in the Preferred Package alone and all of the HBO and Showtime channels are available in HD. Also are you using your video on demand service to check for other (free content) you can watch any time. If you have HBO and Showtime you have a total of about 300 hours of VOD available just in those two services (and soon all of HBO VOD will be available in HD). Do you have a DVR in that money you're paying for cable? Are you using that to record things that you can watch when you want? Not putting down Netflix, just appears you could get more out of your cable service.

  6. Yep, 779 channels and nothing to watch.

    Mrs. Blackdog and I subscribe to HBO because they sometimes have movies worth watching. But mostly we use the TV for watching sports (mainly football), DVDs and streaming video from Netflix.

    And, oh yeah, "American Idol." Wouldn't miss it.

  7. "If you have HBO and Showtime you have a total of about 300 hours of VOD available just in those two services"

    All of the HBO channels seem to show basically the same lineup of movies, and most of those movies are mediocre, to put it kindly. We're thinking about dropping HBO.

  8. I'm with the blackdog on this. I think that we found maybe four movies on HBO worth watching in 2010. Same for Showtime, which we have: a load of 3-star films. We'd dump them both were it not for their original programming. So if we take all the original shows that we watch on HBO and Showtime and lump them together, I reckon that comes to about four or five hours a week. On a good week. Right now we're paying for both "premium" (cost-wise, not content-wise) services and finding little to watch.


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