Should I Get A Telly?

24 Dec


I have a confession to make. I have never owned or bought a telly.

There, it’s now out in the open. Well, what kind of confession were you expecting? I know my confession is not really going to make BBC or CNN headline, but in my own little world, it’s one of the things I can say I am proud of, that is, not having my own tv. I like the reaction it gets from friends especially when they start talking about some show they have seen, and I’d say, I wouldnt know any of that because I don’t have tv. The conversation then segues to why I don’t own one. I already got them distracted, clever huh?

Back home where there’s a telly in every room of the house, and we had cable, watching television (save for Seinfeld, X-Files & PBA/NBA) has never really been one of my favorite things to do if I want to relax. I would much prefer to curl up reading an engaging book, or play my fave music whilst I am puttering online, or if I am not watching DVD’s on my home PC.

Recently though, having spent a lot of sleepovers with friends, I find it rather exciting to play with the remote control and just surf through the channels especially if they have Freeview. I even got to enjoy looking over TV guides to see what’s on telly that particular weekend. I was able to see portions of Strictly Come Dancing (congrats Alesha!), I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! (Biggins won! Yey!), and BBC’s adaptation of E. Gaskell’s Cranford among others. I have also been quite taken by the now defunct The Vicar of Dibley and can not believe I had missed very good tv, thank God for DVD’s, I can still catch the whole series!

It’s also not helping that Filmstalker, for over a year now has been featuring the weekly Weekend Films to Stalk, (click this link for this week’s list: where what’s on tv for the coming weekend in the UK is recommended and given a comprehensive review. And although it encourages discussion on films already seen which is the only way I can participate, I have found that there are definitely still a LOT of films being shown on telly that I would love to see, which can save me from adding them to my LoveFilm/Amazon rental queue.

So why, you might ask, with all the seemingly good reasons I just gave you now that should behoove me to run to my nearest Dixon’s or Curry’s, why then, have I still not purchased a telly? For one thing, paying the TV license is very off-putting. If you live in the UK, you need to pay a tv license fee that will cost £135.50 per year, this is mainly to defray costs of running the BBC. To learn more about TV Licensing you can go here:

Another reason is, I don’t seem to have enough time. I work fulltime and don’t usually get home until after 6 pm, and that’s not almost always mind you. I am also in the middle of finishing my degree which will require a lot of study and research. I spend 2 evenings to attend to spiritual activities during the week, and make it a point to go to the cinema one evening a week. I have the weekends free but it’s mostly spent on more spiritual commitments and having the occasional lie-in every now and then. Then there’s a lot of secular reading that needs to be done, and household chores to catch up on. Telly watching just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere.

I can ramble on and on but now I would really like to hear more from you my readers, with all the pros and cons I have just mentioned, do you think I should get telly? Is it worth it with all the other distractions life has thrown into our already busy lives? Discuss.

(Above photo courtesy of

8 Responses to “Should I Get A Telly?”

  1. Richard Brunton December 24, 2007 at 3:42 pm #

    If you do you have to really regulate what time you spend watching it, you’re already finding that you can be sucked in, and the more rubbish is on, the easier it is to get sucked in!

    The addition of a PVR (which can be bought for as little as £60 nowadays) could help. That’ll automatically record your programs to hard drive and you can play them back at your leisure, some fo intelligent recording – watch a few Eastenders and it will start recording the series – it also does series link, so tell it to record Coronation Street and it’ll do it for all time.

    The license is absurd though. You are forced by law to pay for a TV set for the privilage of receiving TV signals and all the money gets split between the licensing official body to find and prosecute those who don’t pay, and the BBC. To hell with all the other channels, they can find their own money.

    Then someone comes up with the argument about all the good stuff the BBC does, like education and quality programs. I say have you seen the amount of repeats, the money spent on the between program adverts for other shows, the fact that our license fee goes off to pay for free services for the rest of the world like the internet site, broadcasting Radio 1 to the US, and so on…

    That’s the real downside.

  2. Simone December 24, 2007 at 3:59 pm #

    Wow, that was quick! Thanks for dropping by Richard.:)

    This is really the main reason why I don’t want to get sucked into it, you’re right about the amount of rubbish that’s on and the rip-off of a license fee. I was even doing the maths of just carrying on renting films as opposed to getting a TV license. I also don’t think that for variety’s sake I will subscribe with Sky.

    If I do decide to get telly eventually, most likely in the next 3-6 months, I shall look into your suggestions, maybe even ask for technical advice on the the type of equipment I should get, so watch this space!

  3. N!cE December 26, 2007 at 3:55 am #

    I don’t have much to share Simone but i was surprised to learn that it’s expensive to get a TV license over there.

  4. Simone December 27, 2007 at 12:46 pm #

    It seems not like a good idea with all the other add-ons isnt it? I still am contemplating on getting one but there is no rush really.

  5. _ram-jaane' January 3, 2008 at 10:23 am #

    I wouldn’t bother. I got SKY, as it was costing the same to have TV + Internet from them as it was just internet from my previous provider & though I’m happy with the service, it does waste a LOT of time. It’s more so the late to sleep because I find myself watching stuff, that really doesn’t matter .. PVR’s or DVD’s .. I’d stick with the DVD rentals ..

  6. Simone January 3, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    Thanks Ram for your input.

    After careful consideration, I am also leaning on NOT getting one. I know I would not have the extra time to watch it and would really prefer to do other things (reading, cinema, or theater) rather than become addicted to it. I was staying with a friend for a week during the holidays who didnt have a PC and although there were a few good programs on I was still pining for my PC for blogging and watching my DVDs, so yes, I prolly wouldn’t get telly.

  7. Marina January 3, 2008 at 11:41 pm #

    I don’t know if I’m the best person to comment since our small apartment sports no less than 3 TV’s (though only 2 have cable and one is pretty solely used by the hubby for video games).

    I love having a TV but I could do without the cable. I watch more than the average number of films on DVD so it’s nice to have the choice of seeing them in bed or on the couch but in general, I don’t watch much TV.

    Sorry, I realize I just rambled on without a proper response. Basically, if you have the option of not paying for cable and just watching the free channels (I assume BBC is one of them), I think a TV is well worth it but not necessary.

    Question: does that mean you don’t rent movies?

  8. Simone January 4, 2008 at 10:15 am #

    Question: does that mean you don’t rent movies?

    Marina, I rent films but watch them on my PC and been doing that for a while now.

    if you have the option of not paying for cable and just watching the free channels (I assume BBC is one of them)

    Ehr, we actually pay the tv license to fund BBC.

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