I haven’t had cable or broadcast TV (where I live you get about 2.5 channels without cable) in about ten years, but I’ve watched plenty of movies (and TV shows on DVD) at home during that time.
Initially, my cable service was included in my apartment rent, then they reduced my rent (!) by $22 and unbundled the cable service. The cable company continued the service for free for at least six months, then finally shut it off after receiving no response to their exhortations and incentives. I could easily afford it, but during the cable era, I’d found that my interests were broad enough that I could usually find something marginally interesting to watch, and without TV I had a lot more time.
Fast forward ten years, and we just gave away our TV; it hadn’t been turned on in months. If we want to watch video content, we use a 17” laptop or 20” widescreen LCD monitor. Between prompt DVD releases and, uh… alternative means of acquiring content, I just don’t feel the need to “tune in,” and I certainly don’t miss advertising.
I don’t plan to get another TV or cable when my son is “old enough” to watch either; I’ve decided that I want him to learn his culture from people I like, rather than the random jerks who’ve managed to stumble into the limelight.
We’ve all heard factoids about the number of hours of TV per day, hours of advertising per year, number of murders, etc. that the average child sees. I, for one,
welcome don’t plan to have an average child. :)