Sunday, May 01, 2011

Too Many Gosh Darn Channels

1000 Channels But Nothing to Watch
My Apartment, Boston
May 1, 2011

Comcast made an offer I couldn't refuse. For the same monthly fee, I get HBO, Starz, Encore, Cinemax and Showtime. I get the expanded sports package, which includes Red Zone HD (the NFL Network's channel that follows every red zone offensive set during the season). I got updated, faster Internet, home phone service, and a new cable box. What more could one want, right?

Well, it turns out I think I would rather want less. I officially have too many channels, and two many choices. In addition to cable, on the shelf there's the small Apple TV black box, which allows me to to stream Netflix in HD. And then there's XFINITY OnDemand. I also sign up each year for the MLB INDemand baseball package so I can watch my beloved Yankees, and as a result, I can watch any live MLB baseball game. Finally, gathering dust is my DVD player and my, ahem, VCR.

I have gone past TV programming saturation. And it affects my psyche. When I sit on my couch, I quickly scan the dozen or so movie channels and typically settle on a recent release I haven't seen. Yesterday it was "Valentine's Day." But no less than five minutes later, I am again scanning my options. Who knows, I might me missing a new episode of "True Life" on MTV. I end up with the new "Karate Kid." Five minutes later, I am catching up on the last episode of "Friday Night Lights." Then I am waiting for "Dear John" to start on HBO at 3:30. And what time do the Celtics play again?

Viewing "pleasure" for me is a constant state of panic, freaked I might be missing something better a mere click away. And one other thing--I find I keep my TV on all the time. Even when I leave the apartment to run an errand. I guess I figure if I am not around to watch, I still want to get my money's worth.

Life was so much easier when I just had basic cable. Saturday afternoon was spent watching an 80's movie on TNT. Or maybe the news.

Life was also easier before I had Apple TV (which is awesome, by the way). Back then I couldn't on a whim decide to watch the entire second season of "Lost" while eating sausage pizza on my couch.

But I can't go back now. If I revert back to no movie channels, I will still scroll through them on screen. The neurosis will remain, combined with envy of not having every channel at my disposal. I guess that's the reason Comcast offered me the deal I couldn't refuse. They got me. Now pardon me while I change the channel.

1 comment:

Charlene said...

We don't get Comcast here. We have the choice of Insight and Insight. The part I like best is the on demand. The part I hate most is not everything broadcast on cable is available on demand.