March 18th, 2013

Whale fluke

TV or not TV

Reading a whole book about them made me want to watch late-night talk shows again, so last Monday night, since I was up late anyway after work, I watched a bit of some. Tail end of Letterman, a bit of the start of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and the cold opening of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (and his co-host, that mohawked robot that Grant Imahara built). And before that, over that weekend, I'd stumbled onto a PBS American Masters episode about Johnny Carson. That was my first time ever seeing anything from the very last Tonight Show where Carson had guests, and more to the point, that was my first time seeing Bette Midler sing to Carson. A lovely moment; a very old-school TV moment; and a moment where Carson used his strong ability to know when not to say anything. So late-night talk shows were on my mind.

And, then, they weren't on my TV.

Last Tuesday, my TV-DVD player, which I bought in 2006, got the message "If you can see this message, your TV isn't yet ready for Comcast's recent digital enhancements..." In other words, my current cable isn't enough for my building's current cable provider. To get even the limited cable package I've had since 2008 or so, I'd need another bit of equipment from Comcast. This annoyed me.

I first wanted to go cold-turkey from television because of this. I've done that before: I abandoned my TV at my last place when I moved into this apartment in 2002, as that TV would never have fit into this place. (That TV was an ancient Zenith my family had had since at least 1980. NOT slim-line in any way. And that TV added amusement to my viewing of the film Finding Forrester when I saw that Connery's character had the exact same model TV in his apartment.)

But...but...sports! And getting to see at least some live TV without going out to a bar! So I'll likely buckle down and get...not the Comcast upgrade, as I'm still annoyed with the company, but a digital antenna. I can get one; I also can see what local channels I should be able to get with one (thanks for that link, bonnie_rocks!) I've been without most cable channels for years; I can get by without having my own access to them, even though I'd like to watch The Walking Dead or Justified first-run. And DVD sets of TV show seasons are the big way I consume most shows nowadays, anyway.

I'd likely have to still watch Survivor and Grimm by going to the library and using either its computers or (once I can be arsed to get the correct apps on my iPad) using its wifi, as my current job schedule has me working when those are on. And work trumps TV, even TV I enjoy.

Still, at some level I feel this is and upgrade for the sake of upgrading; it currently doesn't benefit me at all and I wonder how much any upgrade I make (even just a cheap digital antenna, and at least I know they can be cheap) really benefits me. Yes, even a 39-year-old who's grown up with digital technology is resisting being too digital.