Now that the election is over we can get back to what really matters in our house: TV. We’re taking a (forced) break from our satellite dish and relying on a set of rabbit ears, Netflix streaming, my husband’s laptop connected to the TV through an old monitor cord, and Family Video as well as our own collection of movies for entertainment. And maybe a shadow puppet show or two.
It’s not so bad. But rabbit ears are extremely touchy with today’s digital television. We don’t get ABC at all. CBS, NBC, FOX, and a few channels we don’t care about come in pretty well. PBS does not. You may recall that we have two kids who live for PBS programming. There’s been a lot of tension for my kids because of this. PBS WILL come in if we follow these directions for watching PBS with rabbit ears:
1) You must sit perfectly still. There will be no talking, laughing, or moving, or breathing. No noise, no movement, did you hear me? NO BREATHING!
2) You may not walk past the TV. We may lose the signal for hours. This includes adults, children, dogs, and cats. That means no going to the bathroom.
3) You may not do anything in the kitchen. That means no cooking, cleaning, or dishes, because that also makes the signal go out. I was REALLY sad about that one…
4) You may not sit within eight feet of the TV. Even if you are sitting perfectly still, because your body’s aura disrupts the signal.
Gone are the days where you could see some of the picture without a real good signal. It might be fuzzy, there might be a little “snow” and static in the picture, but you could make stuff out good enough to watch the show. Analog TV had its advantages. I can’t stand the way the digital signal cuts out with those shrieks and squeaks and loud buzzes.
Seriously, though, living without the satellite doesn’t really make a lot of difference to me. Yes I miss the DVR part, because I have no idea when anything is actually on, except for The Big Bang Theory. But most shows I can catch the episodes on their respective websites. As of yet I’ve only paid for the Netflix streaming. Since we can hook up our computer to the TV with the giant cord, we can still watch the few shows we watch regularly on the TV. The Netflix, well, we’ll keep it for a little while, but the selection is about you’d expect for $8 a month. Since we found some older comedy routines and movies we want to see, it’s worth it for now.
So that’s that. We only get a few channels and no one has died. Hey, I only got four channels as a kid and it didn’t kill me! We may not have access to a lot of great tv, but if nothing else I have found a great way to make the kids sit really quiet and still. You should try it. I’d better stop typing now, because I’m disrupting the signal.
UPDATE: Go here to read the continuing saga of the rabbit ears-Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention, And Maybe His Grandma Too.