Out with the DVR

Once upon a time, my DVR (digital video recorder) was important to me. My DVR recorded things and let me watch them when I wanted, without commercials. Total bliss. Then time passed and my DVR lost its luster. My life changed (a divorce), tv became less appealing and my kids outgrew the PBS kiddie shows.

So in May of 2008 I pulled the plug on DirectTV and tv altogether, since we can’t get broadcast tv.

My original thought was that we might go tv-free for the summer. But then summer sailed by and we just kept pluggin’ along tv-free.

Now sixteen months later, I ceremoniously removed the DVR box from my closet and put it on freecycle.org. I got four enthusiastic responses in five minutes, so my DVR is going to a good home.


What I find interesting about this experience is how tastes change. I once watched an hour of TV everyday. What I once thought was indispensible is now dispensable.

What will be next?

Now I spend an hour a day on my Kindle. I read books, magazines and blogs (although most of my favorite blogs are not on the Kindle). And it seems indispensible. At least at this moment in my life. But what about five years from now? Will I be putting my Kindle on freecycle?

How about you? Have you reconsidered what you once thought was indispensible?

Thinking of pulling the plug? Check out Life after cable: Broadcast TV alternatives for alternatives to paid television programming.


4 thoughts on “Out with the DVR

  1. I pulled the plug in June of 02 when I moved as a result of a divorce. It was the best thing I ever did for my family – financially and developmentally. I wouldn’t have one now if they paid me. For the first few years, I would relish HGTV if @ a friend or family members’ house. Not anymore. I’ve lost my “taste” for it and really don’t feel any deprivation whatsoever. My kids still watch TV while @ their Dad’s house and did complain at first, but they’ve gotten over that and there really aren’t any complaints at all. It’s a timesuck that I am soooo glad I purged. We still have a dvd player and will rent a movie on occasion through the winter or if they have friends over.

  2. I haven’t watched TV regularly for years. I’ve been completely cable-free for over two. I don’t miss it, at all … in fact, I don’t know how people find the “zone-out” time to watch it. Now when I find myself somewhere, like babysitting, where the family has cable, I turn it on the Food Network for a treat, and that’s right where it stays, generally. I don’t even want to waste my time flipping channels.

    I feel this way about most of the gidgets and gadgets that are out there, especially about swapping my cell phone every few months for the latest, greatest (ipod, blackberry, etc.). NO!! Though it’s interesting, I can’t imagine my life before the cell phone I do have … and am still loath to give it up entirely.

    I do very much miss card catalogs in the public library. I had found them to be much more specific than the online ones.

  3. we’re 5 months TV-free at our house. i love it! DH is still not sure, especially since football season started but if i can i will keep us TV free because our lives are so much calmer and our kids are so much nicer!

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