Tuesday, 8 September 2009

End of the Idiot's Lantern

My big CRT television starting the process of dying at some point over the weekend. It's not quite pining for the fjords but the picture quality is going to hell in a handcart and getting worse each time it's switched on. So I've decided to do without from now on. Which feels pretty good thanks for asking.

In 2011 the area in which I live goes over to digital broadcasting only. At present I still have the old school aerial on the roof and RF feed. Quality is poor because I live in a broadcasting blackspot which didn't get Channel 4 until 1989 - I hear rumours of a 5th terrestrial channel but am unable to either confirm nor deny it's existence.

Now I generally don't watch television. In my experience people who don't watch television fall into two categories - cranks who feel it's a bad influence (such as the Father of a lad in the same Scout troop as me who wouldn't let his son watch Star Wars) and geeks. Geeks are often anti-television because they feel they have something better to do. I generally like to flatter myself into thinking I belong in the latter group, not the former.

As a result, I don't have cable or satellite television. If I wanted to pay monthly for something I don't use, I'd join the local gym.

My plan was always that once the digital switch-over occurred I'd stop paying my TV licence and relegate the goggle box to being the display for my large collection of videogaming hardware. I've always said that the latter is the only reason why I keep the bloody thing around.

Now that I'd faced with paying out £250 to replace it with a like LCD or similar I just find that I can't be bothered. Even the gaming isn't pulling me towards replacing it. I generally favour old games and while I have put many hours into emulated arcade, 8-bit and 16-bit games on the XBox I can do all that on my laptop.

Besides, the television holds nothing for me any more. Post Hutton-affair, the BBC has become a spineless national embarrassment that fails to understand the words "journalism" and "critical". It's news reporting consists of unquestioningly reading out press releases from pressure groups, showing an unhealthy close relationship with MicroSoft (again, MS PR puff-pieces read out under the pretence that they are technology news items and not, as they really are, another corporate outlet for MS's abuse of monopoly position) and a wholesale acceptance of the claims of the Climate lobby, even more PR releases masquerading as news. Even the scumbag-rag The News of the Worlds goes out of it's way to undertake investigative journalism - the BBC wouldn't know it if it bit it on the arse. ITV is below contempt. Sky is out of the question as I won't put money in the pocket of that cunt Murdoch.

So there we are. Joining the ranks of the television refuseniks. The big silver box is still sulking in the corner - it weighs a bloody ton and I'm not quite sure how I'll get rid of it - but it won't be on again. I can't wait until the TV licence renewal comes around and I can smugly ignore it.


  1. TV? TV...? Oh, you mean the screen for the DVD player. *<:o)

    With HBO boxed sets going cheap, and "Top Gear" being available online within a couple of hours of transmission, there's simply no reason for me to watch the glowing fishtank any more.

  2. Yeah, screen for DVD player and Xbox/360/PS2/Dreamcast!

    I couldn't honestly tell you the last programme I turned the TV on to catch that wasn't sport. I even stopped watching Dr. Who years ago. Increasingly I find DVDs especially are the cause of people in my peer groups just not using their TV for broadcast programming.