Posted by: Captain Easychord | October 29, 2008

Kill Your Television

I’ve been living without a television since I moved into my new apartment six months ago. Between organizational, technological and economic considerations, this was an easy and somewhat obvious choice. My new apartment is small… roughly 350 square feet… and I didn’t want to have two video display devices. My television was a big flat screen CRT that weighed 100 pounds and my computer monitor is a svelte flat panel. With an ever-expanding plethora of options for video via the internet, I figured I could get 90% of what I wanted to see streamed through the computer, making the monitor a considerably more versatile option.

With all this available, why spend $50 a month for cable? When I had cable, I already felt like I was wasting enough time watching entertaining but ultimately disposable shows (hello Top Chef and Project Runway!). Then consider that Comcast is the lone cable provider for my building. Comcast’s service is unreliable and their customer service is horrific. No way was I going to pay them for anything, especially when I didn’t need to.

Moving to life without television was a bit of an adjustment… For one, my apartment suddenly seemed a lot quieter. This may be because my old place overlooked a six way intersection, but I think that my television was often used as a source of ambient white noise, occasionally catching my attention when something interesting would pop up. I also didn’t realize just how much I was taking cues from broadcasters to contextualize events and the world around me. Without the hype of a television, how would I know that I was supposed to be out grilling and picnicking on the Fourth of July??

There have also been a few televised events that I have missed because the content wasn’t available online… or at least not to me. Most notably, I was very sad to miss virtually the entire Beijing Olympics. Although there was extensive coverage provided online, the Silverlight video player wasn’t compatible with my PowerPC-based Apple.

I briefly considered a Netflix subscription to make up for the potential entertainment gap. Eventually, I found this wasn’t necessary… It may be desirable nonetheless, however Netflix’ online movie delivery also wasn’t available to Mac users. At least, that was the case until this week, when Netflix announced support for streaming video on Macs. The only catch here is that they’ll be using the same Silverlight player that NBC used for the Olympics… D’oh!!

The good news is that news has been cropping up here and there about Apple’s efforts to update the Mac Mini. Rumors had swirled that the line of ultracompact, inexpensive, entry-level Mac desktops may be discontinued, especially after Apple ceased making additional shipments to retailers. However, given the current financial concerns, it would be surprising indeed if Apple discontinued its most inexpensive model, especially when it enjoys a relative degree of popularity. Given that yours truly is currently pressed for space and running a laptop that’s over three years old, I’ll be all over an updated Mini the moment it hits the shelves. Help me out here, Apple!


  1. We do offer promotions with low introductory price. If you would like, I can find out what is offered in your area. If you are interested in my assistance, feel free to reach out to me. I will be happy to assist!

    Best Regards,

    Mark Casem
    Comcast Corp.
    National Customer Operations

  2. Ok, that’s pretty strange. I mean, it’s strange that he found you. And also strange that his comment (about prices) is not in any way responsive to your complaints (their service sucks)!

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