Thursday, March 1, 2012

Netflix to the rescue!

My household is probably a bit atypical in that we have only one television set connected to a cable or satellite source. At least, atypical compared to how I grew up and compared to other households were there's TVs in living room, family room, kitchen, garage, each bedroom, etc. We also are living like primitives without a DVR because we've never upgraded our satellite system (Directv) in the 11 years since we got it. Why would we? We've had the same TV the entire time. Yes, yes, primitive, I know, but it works.

Directv also works well for us because we have a very clear view of the southern sky (usually getting a 98 or higher on the signal meter), except on snow days like today. My kids spent the morning outside in the snow as kids should on a snow day and came in to warm up at lunch. Disaster! Half the channels they like to watch were out. Then I had a brilliant idea - Netflix on the Wii. Quick download and setup and bam, they are watching How It's Made from the Science Channel without all the skeevy commercials for Oddities that freak my kids out. And I look like some big damn hero.

Why isn't this how we watch everything, on every channel? It's 2012 for crying out loud, why is there still a notion of a broadcast schedule? Like I said, we don't have a DVR so I don't know how it is for people who have them, but I would gladly pay the same amount I'm paying for satellite & Netflix to be able to watch whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, and not get gouged in the process or be limited to only older seasons, the latest 3 episodes or whatever "windowing" nonsense the media companies design to maximize shareholder value. It's sad how much we are letting ourselves be held back by the old cultural gatekeepers so they can continue to keep their heads buried in the sand and refuse to adapt their business models to new realities.

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