I have never been a big fan of television. When I watch TV I have a book to read on commercials and dull parts. Even better I'll crochet or sew while I watch. Cleaning, using the computer, or my Blackberry works too. TV is too idle. I guess I push my opinion off on my kids because if it isn't raining (and sometimes even then) I am trying to shove them outside for fresh air instead. When noone's watching the TV I <gasp> turn it off. I also hate that people feel the need to be able to listen to the program from wherever they go in the house. I watch the TV on a volume of 10. They sit down and immediately turn it up to twice that, without even waiting to see if they can hear it just fine the way it is. Every time I walk into a room with a TV I either
turn it down or order it turned down.
It's no surprise I feel relatively the same way about video games. Two things convinced me to allow Santa to bring them a Wii though. 1st, every kid on the block but us having one so in the 100 degree days of summer, them wanting to be at anyone'se house but ours. 2nd; 5 kids, a 9 month pregnant belly and weeks of 100+ degree temps. I decided a Wii would be slightly better at burning off energy, on days they couldn't spend too much time outside, than a movie. I am happy to report that is all it is useful for because I have to actually suggest they use it. Though that first week was cat fights.
With an opinion like that I never thought I relied much on TV. I doubted I'd ever miss it and have even suggested we get rid of cable. That is until it was gone. I really should say half gone. The television turns on and off by itself. The 1st weekend hubby had no desire to spend the money on a new set and swore he'd look at it. The 2nd weekend we looked at them and I was completely overwhelmed. The 3rd we had no time to go pick one up.
Yes, for 3 weeks I have had a TV that may stay on for a whole show or 2 minutes. I do have one in my own bedroom though. The baby sleeps in my bedroom. Care to guess what convinces the 4 and 2 year old to stay away while I put her to sleep? If the TV stays on a whole show it's great. If it shuts off after 5 minutes I hear the stampede on the stairs. The stampede usually starts just as the baby's eyes are fluttering. I have tried several methods of trying to will them closed faster but none seem to work consistantly. When they do close faster I have not been able to run the Lay Down 500. That is, get her laid in the bed and sprint to the bedroom door grabbing the toddler before she leaps onto the bed with her. For some reason, a toddler with legs barely a foot tall, always wins. This is replayed in the evening only the baby is already laid down and I am trying to get the 4 and 6 year olds to bed before I hear the dreaded stairs.
Hubby probably watches the most TV of anyone in the house. The 1st week the TV was afraid of him, it never turned off while he was in the room. There was good reason for this. The 1st time it turned off he went over and pounded on the TV near the power button. He did this with a room full of kids. The TV abligingly turned back on. The next time the TV turned off, with him absent, B11 did the same thing. Another time S6 tried without luck to beat it on. B11 jumped in, pointing out that you had to pound it this way. A2 spent the 1st week confused, who turned the TV off, turn it back on. All this beating though was fun. She now pounds on it, even when it's already on. This, of course, turns it off, replaying the events, each taking a turn until it works. Now when it turns on, it may or may not bring a random menu with it that you can't get rid of.
A TV that turns itself off can also turn itself on. It can turn itself on at 6:30 am when the easily startled B11 is downstairs with only E6. This can result in freaking out or a stop in all progress (in getting ready for school) as she gets distracted. It can also turn on at 10 pm when you're the only one who stayed up late to finish laundry and you get the crud scared out of you. Noone tries to beat it off though, oddly enough the power button will turn it off again (but not back on when it turns off itself).
I finally went to the electronics store myself. 50+ TVs to look at and the only difference I saw was between Plasma (which everyone said not to get) and LCD. After hearing I'd "only" be using it for Wii, DVD, and just plain cable the salesman said it didn't matter what I bought because I wouldn't get the "HD experience". I guess that means I can just go cheap. I'd like the TV to last the 10 years my old one did though. Needless to say, the salesman was no help. They do have a buy back program though, you can pay $100 now so you can trade it in for a bit more than that if you trade it in in 2 years or less. That sounds like such a great deal but I think I'll pass.
Now the old one has resorted to turning itself off and on some 20 times in 5 minutes, annoying me greatly. We do have a nice new TV finally though. I only had to completely empty my van so I could fold the seats down so my hubby could go get it without worrying about rain. Empty means removing 2 carseats, 2 booster seats, 2 strollers and countless amounts of garbage. The new one is sitting in a pretty box in the Living Room, where it has sat for 2 days now. Putting up a mounting bracket is about as fun as picking out a TV. Why people would want to do this just to get some bigger and better thing, is beyond me. Maybe that's because I have too much going on to "really enjoy" watching television.