Satellite TV Round 4?

I just came perilously close to signing up for DirecTV for second contract, where my first run with them lasted three years which included two viewing spans and two hiatuses. Prior to that, I was satellite-less for about a year, had canceled Time Warner Cable before it started due to a terrible installation experience.

Before that, I had Dish, but got rid of it because it only worked with the ridiculous dish-on-a-pole erected on the roof in the front of the house. It had been put there by past tenants, so I inherited it upon renting the house six years ago. Since Dish requires a higher clearance angle than DirecTV, there was no viable location for the dish, so I dumped it. My 7-10-07 post “DISH Network Sucks” is the most-viewed and most-commented-on post I’ve had. Google “dish network sucks” and…well, I used to be on the first page of search results; now I’m on the second. People post their stories. I don’t even read them. But it’s amusing.
So this would be my fourth round of satellite TV service in this house…if I signed up. I’m on the checkout screen. Factoring in the second 12 months’ rate hike as part of a 24-month contract, the various rebates, the Costco cash card, and taxes, I would get what I want, on average throughout the 24 months, for just $54.

And what I want is specifically:
– MSNBC (for shows like Rachel Maddow)
– CurrentTV (for 24/7 liberal Kool Aid)
– AMC (for maybe 1-3 shows)
– FX (for maybe 1-3 shows)
– ESPN (for the occasional sports I care about)
– Comedy Central (for Stewart and Colbert, which I don’t bother watching on the Internet)
– TNT (for maybe 1-3 shows)
– Other (for maybe 1-3 shows that may arise on some other channel at some point)

All of the rest is distraction. And this is what is preventing me from going ahead. $54 is a pretty good deal, I think, for the contentment I will get from having what seems like not a whole lot of television. Still, it is inevitable I’ll watch far more. I don’t have to have a DVR, but it’s free with this deal, and I will inevitably record network programming that I wouldn’t otherwise keep up with now. I’ll find other stuff.

Watching current TV programming can both keep me better connected to the world, not just current events but entertainment that other people are also currently enjoying. On the other hand, watching all that programming gives me more excuses to hole myself up in my house and avoid trying to connect to the world in more meaningful ways.

I imagine I might cancel Netflix streaming, so that would save me an extra $10 a month. I wouldn’t need to spend $1.99 to watch same-season episodes of Mad Men and Dallas, which I’ve done in recent months.

There’s the principal of living without cable/satellite.

Then there’s the live-is-short principal. Why miss out on stuff I enjoy?

I’ll sleep on it.


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