The Strange World of Cable TV

I just installed and activated a Comcast DVR. This was an annoying and time consuming process (Comcast doesn’t really know what equipment they ship you, manuals are wrong, support is hopeless), but the real shock was when everything was done and working.

I’m doing this for one reason: my parents will be staying with us for a little while, and they’re addicted to cable/satellite TV. It they don’t get it, we’ll all be miserable.

When we don’t have visitors, we’re relying on over-the-air channels into a DVR with great, economical success. My thought going into this Comcast DVR arrangement was that it would be something of a temporary splurge for us, but I was wrong. All of the programming looks like complete shit. I get depressed when I think about: a) people want to watch it, b) people pay $100/month for a couple of channels they want, c) most people don’t know how well antennas work.

I just don’t get it. Our local PBS manages to find slots for some pretty interesting travel shows, but The Travel Channel fills it’s vast schedule with shows about fast food and water parks. Just look at the line-up.

This box is gone the day my parents leave.