Me and tv. Ah, me and tv. I used to love you tv. Remember the raspy drizzle of light as I sat tuning you in to one of the four channels available, twisting and turning the dial until I could pick up channel 4 – the newest channel. The Munsters, Countdown and the mythical red triangle.
There was a time that I was the tv guide in my family. I could glance at a tv and tell you within seconds what was on – and by extension, the time of day and the channel. A skill, that, over time, proved more and more worthless (not that it had a lot of value at any rate).
These days, it’s an impossible skill, hundreds of channels (though we’ve cut our channels down to just the freeview, and removed all the horribly commercial ones, and slightly filthy ones and the sport, so it’s a more manageable several dozen) and millions of repeats – often on dave – have killed anyone’s chance of learning that skill.
At the moment we get our televisual kicks from freeview, Netflix (with an unblock-us subscription so we can watch us tv shows) and nowtv. NowTv is sky’s new answer to netflix (as the advertising would have it). But it’s only the answer to netflix if the question is “is there a service marginally cheaper than netflix but with substantially less tv shows”. Yes. There’s nowtv’s “entertainment” package.
It does allow you to watch live tv though, but only on a few (sky) channels and even then, often you’ll be watching and suddenly a program will be ‘slated’ – that is, a little credit box will appear saying “sorry! You can’t watch this, we don’t have the rights to show it digitally”. Which is frustrating. It’s like the released the service too early through fear of missing out altogether.
Still, even then, nowtv, netflix and unblock us combined are still cheaper than the digital viewing options we had via virgin media.
And my kids mostly watch people unboxing pokemon toys on Youtube. So clearly, entertainment is changing.