15 December 2009

The Telly's Got Reception. What Do I Do Now?

Now I've got a bit of a dilemma.

Six months ago, I stopped watching TV. On the day that all broadcasting switched from analog to digital, my TV set had no reception.

It wasn't that I was too stupid, lazy or broke to get a converter box. For one thing, I didn't like the idea of being forced into a new technology when my old one was working just fine. I'm not one of those people who wants to see every pore of whover's image is on the screen. Television has always been about artifice; in even the most "realistic" of shows, the actors wear makeup and perform in front of sets. Or, if they're on the street, that street very carefully chosen and blocked off.

Another reason why I didn't make the switch was that I though maybe it would be a good time to make a switch of my own: away from TV. Interestingly, the day of the Big Change (at least, in the world of telecommunications) came a little less than a month before my operation. So I knew that in the hospital, I would need to have other diversions. That wasn't a problem: I had a couple of books, a notebook, a laptop, my MP3 player--and, of course, my cell phone. Plus, between the time I was knocked out and the time I had to spend on treatments and such, I didn't have as much time for TV as I might've expected.

I also knew that the weeks I would spend at home after the surgery would be without the telly. Once I decided not to make the switch to digital TV, I actually looked forward to recovering without it.

Since then, I've turned on the set once: to watch a video tape. That's the only purpose my TV set serves now: as a screen for my VHS player, which I've watched once since the switch to digital. In fact, the only VHS tapes I now have are one of the Trinidad documentary and a few others from the community-access cable TV program I hosted for a few episodes. I've nevert looked at the latter tapes; somehow looking at them never seemed that important to me. In fact, I've been tempted to throw those tapes away.

And, today, I was even more tempted to get rid of my TV set. I slid it to pick it up and take it outside--the trash haulers are making their twice-weekly pickup tomorrow--when I saw a cable behind the cabinet. Just for the heck of it, I plugged that cable to my TV set and--voila--there was an image of a guy and a girl fighting.

I think it's a cable for some sort of outdoor antenna. After all, the only reception I got was for regular network programming on VHF network channels. It doesn't look like there's reception for cable TV.

Still, I now find myself wondering whether to keep that TV set. I suspect at some point in the future, I might want to watch another movie or something. And I guess that guests might appreciate it.

But getting rid of the set is now even more of a temptation than it was at the beginning of the day. So is keeping it. Why, I don't know: I can't think of anything I really want to watch.

What do I do?