Wednesday, May 7, 2008

DWFMW: What doesn't work for me

So, another theme at Rocks in my Dryer today, what DOESN'T work for me...

The only thing I could come up with is television.

I don't watch much TV at all. In fact, I could happily give up the TV entirely and spend that $80 a month on wine, but other members of my household would be very put out.

Since having kids, keeping up with any particular show has become virtually impossible. I just can't guarantee that I am going to be available at any particular time during any particular week, and I'll bet you can't either.

Luckily, my husband is a little bit of a genius, and he likes to tinker with computers. He built a computer that is, essentially, a TiVo (without fees!). The cable is routed through the computer, and with a program called "Beyond TV," we are able to record shows that we like and watch them when we want. The only limit is how much hard drive space we have available, and since there are more computers in this house than people (current people count: 5; current computer count: 6), hard drive space isn't much of an issue.

So, we record a lot of Mickey Mouse and Charlie and Lola for you know who. I record Dr. Phil and Oprah so I can watch them when I'm folding laundry (but to be honest, I delete about 80% of what I record because I am just not interested in Oprah and all her fabulous friends, or in all of Dr. Phil's crazy people). I record ER because I still love it, even though every main character on the show who is a woman turns into a total skank within 2 seasons. I record the Daily Show, and watch it occasionally. We record Saturday Night Live every time it's new, and then we fast forward to the Weekend Update, and maybe the musical guest, and then delete it.

We actually delete more than we watch, which, to me, is great. We can selectively watch what interests us, and not feel like we need to waste our time watching what happens to be on, just because it might be interesting. It has really changed the way that we watch TV, and it has changed it for the better. We don't sit in front of the boob tube and veg out anymore. We watch only what we're really, genuinely interested in. We watch TV on our terms, and we fast forward the commercials. That saves about 20 minutes per hour of TV, too.

Oh, and we can record movies that are broadcast, too. This is a feature because they clean up the language to broadcast them, so we can watch movies with the kids underfoot that might not otherwise be appropriate.

If you have a geek (or if you are a geek) and you want details on how this was all done, I can probably get BJ to write it out so I can post it. I know that you need an ATI video card and the program Beyond TV. Beyond that, it's above my head. If you aren't blessed with your very own in-home IT department, you can get a TiVo and do the same thing.

So, TV is what doesn't work for me. What doesn't work for you? Visit Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer for more DWFMW posts. And click here if you want to read the rest of my WFMW ideas! Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you again soon! w


Nicol said...

We also gave up TV about a year ago. I thought that I would miss it, but I get so much more done.

We do have a DVD player for an occassionaly show and I will watch one via the internet, but that is it.

B.J. said...

"I could happily give up the TV entirely and spend that $80 a month on wine, but other members of my household would be very put out."

Yeah, thoes would be all the non-wine drinking people in the house. :)

I'd be happy to provide any details and lessons learned on home theater PC project. It took a while to find the quality equipment (for the record, I do not recommend ATI capture cards) and get some of the more expensive items (like the multimedia projector).

But, there's a lot of good advice and discussion here:

Rob Monroe said...

Hillarious that BJ came here and made fun of your Tech skills for everyone to see. :o)

We have two TiVo's and watch too much TV. Typically it's only as Abby is winding down or asleep. I keep meaning to bring up the idea of giving it up, but I am such a hockey fan that I need my fix on occasion and don't know where I would get it.

Gettysburg Mom said...

We haven't had cable tv in seven years. We get two network channels over the air. It really does reduce the amount of tv we as a family watch. There's either something on you like or there isn't. The option of hunting until you find a program you like is removed. We do Netflix and rent movies from the library though- so we're not completely screenless! :)