FPQ: TV Q&A

Fandango asks today about TV habits, because he read an article about it and wanted to know if it was true.

Here are his questions, my responses, and animations in inappropriate places.

What country do you live in? Southeast USA.

How many televisions do you have in your home? Just one. It’s about twenty years old and it’s one of those old picture tube behemoths.

On average, how many hours a day do you watch TV? I watch from 90 minutes to 2 hours a day, after which I go get my leg pumped. Mary has the TV on for about 4 hours, but mostly with the sound off, and she’s not really watching, it’s just on.

What kinds of programs do you typically watch (e.g., news, sports, movies, dramas, sitcoms, reality shows)? Weeknights, we watch Wheel Of Fortune (with the sound off, because Mary doesn’t like the sound of the wheel) and Jeopardy! on the local NBC affiliate, then switch to MeTV and watch back-to-back episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, typically with the sound off (because we’ve seen the so many times, we can recite the dialogue). Saturdays we watch The Three Stooges on MeTV, then either the movie on Svengoolie (“Berrrrrrrrrrwyn!”) or Mary will watch back-to-back episodes of Columbo on Cozi TV. Sunday, we leave it off. So old sitcoms and game shows.

Do you watch programs as they are aired or do you record them and watch them at other times? As they’re aired. We no longer have a VCR.

Do you mostly watch “network” TV? Premium cable channels (e.g., HBO, Showtime)? Streaming channels (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple+)? We don’t have cable or satellite TV, and don’t have a TV where we can watch the streaming services. As for network TV, there’s very little on that interests us. As you can see, nearly all of what we watch is old stuff.

How often, if at all, do you use other devices than television (e.g., computers, smartphones) to watch programs? Once in a while, Mary might want to see something on Britbox, so she’ll join that for a month or two. If there’s an old program we want to see, we might actually buy it on DVD and rip it to the computer, or own it on Amazon Prime and watch it there. And of course there’s YouTube. I used Locast, which was a great service, to watch local TV, but it was shut down.

When I was growing up in the ’60’s and ’70’s, I couldn’t get enough TV. There wasn’t that much to be had, actually, but got as much as we could. I talk about this here and here.

I love TV for what it was, “vast wasteland” notwithstanding. Today, with hundreds of channels running 24/7/365, it’s even more of a wasteland. Wonder what old Newt thinks of it now? He’s still alive, you know. Maybe we should call him. He’s still alive, but I’ll bet if he were dead he’d be spinning in his grave…

The genius of Ub Iwerks…
Tally-ho and away we go!
See you next week with a brand new show!

19 thoughts on “FPQ: TV Q&A

  1. We have a plasma TV we bought in 2008. That’s really old for technology but it has a great picture. We watch in the evening over dinner, mostly TV series we’ve always wanted to see but never got around to seeing when it aired. On the weekends we do a lot of bingeing usually more old TV series. There aren’t too many movies, especially new ones worth our attention. I use my iPad when I’m my elliptical where I stream something that DH wouldn’t enjoy so that works out well for me. TV watching is a wasteland. I’m just happy I no longer am clued to TV daytime soaps. That was replaced with time spent online. lol

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    1. They don’t make TV with people our age in mind. Their key demographic is people aged 18 to 45; after that it’s “Go watch MeTV, pops.” It’s the same with movies. I figure if they don’t want my business, the heck with them. Some of the offerings on Pluto TV look pretty good, mostly the old stuff (I think that’s all they have), but I don’t want to tie up my computer with that.

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  2. Before I retired, 12 years ago, I purchased two flat-screen TVs I very rarely watch TV, however, hubby likes to watch political stuff and sports. We got rid of cable a few years ago and use Roku. We keep the TV on mute often and watch most of our stuff on our computers.

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  3. We mute on occasion to. Usually just commercials or someone who is annoying. Hubby and I watch mostly at night and me, in the mornings as well. It takes me a good 2 hours for my joints to want to move.
    We watch movies, documentaries, animal shows, CNN( I know, your favourite :)) plus old shows or PBS.
    We have our own channel, from Hamilton, that shows old shows all day. I’m taping Bonanza to watch after working.

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    1. That reminds me of a joke! Why is Dan Blocker’s favorite letter “Z”? Because otherwise he’d have been a star on “Banana”!

      Not having cable means I’m not paying for the news channels or the sports channels.

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  4. I love the way you watch T V with the sound off do you have subtitles or do you and Mary just chat.
    I am not sure you can use analoge TV over here anymore.
    Who is Newt?

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    1. We don’t have closed captioning, unfortunately. We did a while ago and it was great. We chat or read or something.

      Newt is Newton N. Minow, the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission who once famously said that TV was a “vast wasteland.” I linked to his Wikipedia bio, if you want to check it out.

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    2. Oh, and all our TV is digital now. We have a box that sits on the TV and converts the digital signal to an analog one so we can play it on our TV. As long as the TV and that box work, we’ll use it.

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  5. Do you need a set-top box to be able to watch the old tv? In Australia, we only have digital television. I don’t think you can even buy the old set-top box that allowed the old tv’s to show digital television.

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    1. We’ve had one for about ten years now, because our TV is still analog. IWhen either the TV or the box dies, we’ll get a digital TV. We don’t watch enough to justify it yet…

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