How to Survive Without a TV

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I moved three years ago with every intention of buying a new TV when I arrived. But after months of procrastination, it became less of a priority. I started watching the shows I liked online (Parks & Rec, Mad Men, 30 Rock) when I had the time and with limited commercials. I also enjoyed the money I was saving without a cable bill. I struggled too with the idea of bringing a giant black box into my small space, which I had spent months carefully designing into a serene and cozy place. Three years later, I don't miss it at all (save for the occasional sick day). Even in hotel rooms now, I find that there is very little on that I want to watch. I know this isn't for everyone, but if you are considering pulling the plug, here are a few encouraging words:
  • First, I find that I have way more time for projects, whether writing or DIYing (or even cleaning), and enjoy listening to music while doing it rather than the latest reality show drama.
  • I also find that I'm now at home less--either working out or being social--now that I'm not tied to a TV schedule (I know, there are things like DVR, AppleTV, etc., but I like having just one box to deal with).
  • You can often find shows on the network websites, like NBC.com, and Comedy Central, a day after it's aired and for free. I find almost all current shows on HuluPlus, which costs $7.99 per month. Of course, there's instant movie and show watching on Netflix too (I go with the $4.99 plan, which allows me two hours of streaming plus a rental delivery per month). iTunes is also a good source for the occasional movie rental.
  • I did actually start to read more--mostly magazines. I upped my mag subscriptions and feel more connected to my city and what's going on each month. Plus, I get more design inspiration from my favorite magazines vs. home network shows. If they turn Vogue Living or Living Etc. into a TV show, I may break down.
  • DVDs are so cheap now (I've found $5 ones at Target, TJ Maxx, and even Walgreens) so I make sure to have a few classics that I can watch on my computer for when that annual sick day does happen.

Have you survived without a TV? Share your tips below!

More posts about a life without television or cable:
How to Live Without A TV and Cable
Living Without... A Television
How To: Live Without Cable TV, Part 1
How To: Live Without Cable TV, Part 2
How To: Live Without Cable TV, Part 3

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