My joy for today is free television.
Several years ago, when we lived in a condo in Coconut Grove, we had free cable with our rent. We had more stations than anywhere I had ever lived before. Bravo, MTV, VH1, E!, and other venues of high-quality, intellectually stimulating programming called my name. I was intrigued by the reality of other people’s lives, such as hairdressers, professional stylists, and young people with nothing much to do. After Noah came into our lives, I started to think that maybe it was not that great to have this type of programming on in the background. I started wondering if maybe I should begin to view my baby as able to keep me company instead of the television fulfilling that role. So, a few months after he was born, I had to seriously cut back.
The next home we lived in was a rental, so we decided to just not bother with getting the cable connected. We bought a small bunny ear antenna, and were happy with the basic networks that broadcast our favorite shows for nighttime viewing.
When we bought our home, there was no question that we would not be purchasing cable. Since this was a permanent residence, we put the time and effort into researching the best type of antenna, used a compass to point it in the direction of the broadcast towers, and installed it in the attic. A few hours and about $100 later, we had a lifetime subscription to absolutely free, high definition television.
Before saving money was so in vogue and before the recession, our friends were aghast that we did not have cable. But not having cable does not mean we do not have or watch television! Let me list for you the channels we get with perfect clarity: NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CW, about 5 different PBS stations, quite a few Spanish language and religious channels, and then also many more smaller channels that show older television shows and movies. My kids have never watched any television except for what is shown on PBS. We have plenty of movies that we can rotate in if they do not want to watch what is offered on PBS for their alloted screen time.
With the advent of Hulu, we can easily catch up on any shows we miss when they are first broadcast. We have never had a DVR or recording device, although I can see how it could be useful. However, it still seems it would have to be a great deal more useful than Hulu or other sources of television on the internet to warrant the cost in our budget.
If you are ever looking for a way to save money, you might want to give our method a shot. A few months ago, we hosted a big Super Bowl party at our home. The broadcast was crystal clear, in HD, for free. There are an embarrassing amount of shows each week that I try my best to keep up with- American Idol, Survivor, Up All Night, Modern Family, New Girl… We love our television. We just love it free.
Enjoy your joys for today.