Around the middle of next year, this corner of Scotland is having the analogue TV broadcasting transmitter switched off. Subsequently we will only be able to watch television if we have either digital or satellite receivers.
With ever increasing channels, more entertainment packages, more personalised recording and viewing options, when the switchover happens we are going to be faced with considerably more than the 4 channels we currently have. Indeed, depending on what route we take we could have anything from a dozen to several hundred to chose from every time we sit down in front of the box.
And yet on average we watch only between 1 and 3 programmes a day. Some evenings there’s nothing on at all. So, much more choice should be a good thing, right?
But as a rule, we don’t watch game shows, “reality” shows or soap operas. We don’t watch daytime TV, sport, makeover shows, or even the news very often.
Occasionally we watch the odd drama or documentary, but mostly our television viewing habits consist of one or two comedy programmes, Dr Who, and Rogan and I make time for Top Gear and Heroes. Meg’s a major fan of Strictly Come Dancing, but basically, that’s it.
So what will 600+ new channels offer us, other than more game shows, more reality shows, more soap operas, more daytime TV and many, many, many, more repeats?
Faced with so much choice we’re wondering whether to make one that’s never mentioned: drop it completely.
We can still keep the screen for watching videos and DVDs, but once the digital switchover happens, if we don’t buy/rent/install the appropriate hardware, live TV becomes a thing of the past and we no longer have to pay £139.50 a year for the licence.
Programmes we feel we really, really don’t want to miss could be watched afterwards via the Internet. BBC iPlayer provides almost all of its major programmes for up to a week after they have been broadcast, and the other major channels tend to do the same.
In some ways I can’t believe I’m even considering this. Not have a TV? Does this mean we’ll have to tune the piano and make our own entertainment?
But then again, how about spending our evenings reading, talking, playing games, sitting in front of the fire, having friends round and occasionally watching a DVD?
There’s something awfully tempting about it.
Strange how we never see this option advertised on TV…