Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Confessions of a Cord-Cutter

Did you know there's a name for people like me? (Be nice!) I am what trend-watchers call a "cord-cutter." To put it another way, mine is what the Nielsen company calls a "Zero TV" household. That means that, although, there is a television set in our house (more than one, in fact), we currently don't subscribe to any cable TV service, and watch nothing in real time on broadcast TV. You can read more about the phenomenon in a USA Today article from earlier this year.

Remember "rabbit ears"?
Like many Baby Boomers, television has been a constant in my life since sometime in the 1960s. However, I've lived through a lot of changes in the way we watch TV. I remember rabbit ears atop the set, renting videocassettes from the local video store (R.I.P. Blockbuster), and the excitement that went through our neighborhood when it was wired for cable TV sometime in the 1970s. But nowadays, my TV viewing is pretty much confined to Netflix rentals, library checkouts, and DVD boxed sets, with an occasional online foray. We dropped our subscription to cable TV about a year ago, and I can't honestly say I miss it.

Although I could wax nostalgic about the old days when you eagerly awaited the prime time broadcast of your favorite show on NBC, CBS, or ABC, I'm still watching plenty of TV -- and, in many cases, the same shows I've always liked. In the last week or two, my viewing lineup has included episodes of Hazel, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, and The Lucy Show. Writing books about the stars and shows of yesteryear, after all, makes a terrific excuse for that tube time. It's research, you see?

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