For the moment, we are a television-less household. We'll see how long this lasts.
It's not that we were ill-prepared for the switch to digital. We got our converter boxes months ago, and used them this winter after our local public television and ABC stations went digital on the original deadline in February.
But then the troubles started. We discovered that we only got digital signals when the skies were crystal clear. Then the trees sprouted leaves, and we lost all digital entirely.
We have an antenna in the attic, which we always liked a lot because we didn't have to worry about northeasters and ice storms. Now we have to spend $200 or so for a ginormous rooftop antenna, and possibly still more than that for a signal booster. And even then we're wondering if we'll get a signal.
It was very nice of the feds to help us out with converter box coupons. But the boxes are turning out to be the least of our needs.
We don't get cable in our little town--not that I'd want it, being easily distracted from my daily round. God help me if I had a bazillion channels to choose from, plus the guilty feeling that I'd better be watching them because I paid money for them. (New Englander? Me?) And even if I wanted to be channel-enhanced, I wouldn't get a satellite dish for the great pleasure of losing tv and internet every time the sky got cloudy.
There's just about no entertainment worth watching on the regular networks, but we definitely will miss the news shows. Here's the plan: We'll watch the news on the internet, either later at night than usual, or the next day. We already read newspapers in the flesh and on line...we'll just do a little more of the latter and add a little more radio. We already watch Olbermann, Stewart, and Colbert on line, the evening after. For entertainment, DVDs or Netflix or Hulu.
And, of course, books, although there are times when the eyes just need a rest.
We may discover we're fine without TV. Except for one nagging feeling: Aren't the airways supposed to be ours for free? So how come we have to fork over $300 or so to get access to them?