Sunday, February 22, 2009

One Year Satellite Free

We arrived in Faro a year ago with our satellite dish in tow. Prior to moving to the Yukon we were self admitted tv addicts. The tv was on in the morning before work and we watched the news. The tv was on in the evening once we walked through the door and it was on until we went to bed. Of course since we were living in Nunavut and the NWT we always used the excuse, well it is too cold out to do anything else.

I was addicted to reality tv and my husband to mythbusters and future weapons. We would watch 2 hours of tv just waiting for the show we really wanted to come on. Of course our weekends were full of Simpsons and Family Guy re-runs. We only ever had the basic package with the addition of TLC and Discovery, yet we still had more than enough to watch.

After a few failed attempts at getting a signal late last winter and early spring, we decided to leave it until to fall. Summer was on its way and we would be outside and camping. I had also decided that I did not want Hunter watching tv until he was two years old, so no point in me having it either. I knew that if I had tv I would keep it on during the day while Matt was at work.

We went through some serious withdrawl. I am pretty sure we both had the shakes, we were irritable and good god what else do you do on a week day evening?? But we did survive. In the fall we brought it up again, but since we had just gotten through our withdrawl and had survived the process, we decided to keep going.

Now of course, we aren't completely tv free. We have a very nice tv and dvd player. We have watched movies and a few tv series by the season. Watching the shows by the season is a great option! No commercials, no waiting a week for the next episode, and no watching two hours of tv just waiting for it to come on. We have watched 6 Feet Under, Friday Night Lights, Dexter, The Tudors, CSI and Firefly.

My husband is pretty sure that I have replaced my tv addiction with an internet one. Ah well- I am very up-to-date on most northern blogs, the news and facebook! I do watch Lost and Fringe online too. I just wish I could watch Amazing Race somewhere online.

Hunter is now 20 months old and has watched very little tv. On grumpy days or when I have an important phone call to make, I load up youtube and let him watch kitty videos or 4x4 offroad videos. He loves both of those!! Matt and him love watching the 4x4 videos together in the evening. But it is never more than 20 minutes a day.

We have also both found we get a lot more done around the house! My place is usually clean and tidy, I have taken up sewing as a hobby and I get lots of little boy time. Matt is going to the gym everyday, doing repairs around the house and also lots of little boy time. Hunter has turned into a voracious little reader! We read well over 20 books a day with him. Some of his books are in hiding because he becomes so obsessed with them. He is developing a great imagination and plays well on his own.

So for now, we will remain a satellite free family. In a few years we might bring up the subject again. We have decided though that we will get a dvd player for the truck. Since our shortest drive is four hours each way to Whitehorse, the kids deserve a break. I am now on the look out for wildlife dvds and other good stuff in anticipation of getting it set up this summer after Hunter turns two.


In Iqaluit said...

VERY inspirational! I want to get rid of cable but just can't do it. I have a 19 month old son and we don't watch TV when he's awake. But I do -- for HOURS -- at night.

Planet Earth DVDs are pretty cool. Would Hunter and baby number two enjoy that?

Matt, Kara and Hunter said...

We have those dvd's! They are amazing! I am thinking he will love them.

Gen said...

Good on ya, it's amazing how tv can chew up your time. We gave up cable in 2002. Like you, we'll rent seasons of something (Battlestar and the Unit were recent favs.)
To entertain the toddler between dinner and bath time, lately we've gotten into Google Ocean, which is loaded with National Geographic and BBC nature clips like giant squid in Baha and sharks in the Barrier reef. Pretty cool interactive stuff plus it gives her a little lesson in geography.

Way Way Up said...

I only really have satellite and cable because my room mate wanted it when he moved in. I've gone entire years in the past without it and I find that I don't really miss it. It's incredible how many other things you can find to occupy your free hours....although I have to make a concession for DVD's. CSI rocks....but I always just wait for each season to come out on DVD so I don't have to work my schedule around when they come on.

dogsled_stacie said...

That's my plan to turf out the satellite this summer - never have time for it in summer anyways! Good for you though! Hey, maybe if you're here and LOST is still on you can come over for a LOST night! And maybe you'll get sucked back into the satellite vortex... hahaha :)

Anonymous said...

Ha, when I read the title on my feed I thought "Free Satellite TV for a year, I could go for that."


Megan said...

I've barely watched TV in years. I'm an Internet person now. I watch Big Love and Lost, and I usually catch at least part of Saturday Night Live, but otherwise I wouldn't miss the TV.

Lindsay Niedzielski said...

Good for you guys!!! I don't know if I could ever do it...our TV is on from morning to night...but I can just imagine what I could accomplish if I wasn't glued to the thing!!!

Jackie S. Quire said...

I lived without cable for... almost a year. Maybe less than that. I left university, and didn't buy a TV until a month before I left for Rankin. And I heard there would be a TV in my new place, so I never even hooked up the cable for it, and returned the set.

I didn't really miss it, because I gave it up in the summer, and there's so much else to do ... really. And I could just download the shows I wanted to watch when it came down to it.

Now I don't think I can do the non-cable thing. If I could download missed episodes etc, then sure, sign me up. But until frakin' Lost goes off the air... or I move somewhere more southern...

I'll probably still be a slave to my cable box.

And for a chick who lives by herself... the Game Show Network is some great company.

Evelyn said...

Hi Kara,

If you go to and search for The Amazing Race 14, they have the first two episodes up. There's a pop up add when you first click on it, but just ignore it.

Hope it works for you! I'm thinking of quitting TV when I move soon, just to save some money... but I really don't wanna!!!

Oh and hi :) I'm a bit of a lurker!

Evelyn said...

ps... just hit the play button once, close the pop up that opens, then click the play button again.

mistymom said... do u make do with just 20min for hunter???? i must be a really bad mummy - arianna is glued to the tv most of the time as that's the only thing that keeps her occupied while i cook!! n that def takes more than 20 mins for me. :(

Lana said...

you should get the blue planet too. It is very amazing. It would be incredibly cool to be a part of what they do. They see so many amazing things!!

Aida said...

very nice! i too thought what Clare

our TV is only switched on in the evening for news and my shows though i really only watch my shows on Thursday night. American Idol and a bunch of other shows. The kids are not TV addict, they dont get upset or throw a tantrum when I flick the channel which is great. there is a chinese cartoon show that i put on since i want Ava to pick up mandarin. and i sometimes put on the french radio channel just for the heck of

Jennith said...

I grew up without tv for the most part. Owing to complicated events in my childhood, we didn't have a tv for about 4 years - and by the time we had one, I had very limited interest in spending any time with it. I agree... less time watching and more time with hobbies. Yeah for all of you!