My Corner, Your Corner: I’ve become a cord cutter

My Corner - Your Corner - Tony Callaio

It’s time to cut the cord – or at least attempt to.

Last week, I made a decision to move away from my satellite TV by suspending my account for two months. After I made the decision, it took several days for the TV company to actually shut off my box.

When the plug was finally pulled, it felt a bit weird. There was a void; after all, I’m a product of the TV era boom when residents went from receiving only four local channels over the air utilizing an antenna on the top of the roof to having cable and satellite TV with hundreds of channels.

While I was growing up at an early age, every household pretty much had a TV, but it was a black and white set. I could remember when my parents bought our first color TV in the mid-1960s. Man, were we living!

The TV was a 25” RCA and I could even remember the smell of the TV brand new as the delivery guys unloaded it from the box.

We didn’t have an antenna on the roof at that time, but instead we had an indoor one about 15” square; I still have it today.

So kids, if you’re reading this, can you imagine having only four TV channels to watch on a black and white TV screen? The worst part was every time you wanted to change the channel, you had to go to the TV to turn the dial to a channel and, while you were doing that, you had to adjust the TV antenna on top of the set to get the best picture.

Usually there was a bit of a tussle when the request came down from one of our parents that went something like this, “I changed the channel last time, it’s his turn,” as you pointed to your sibling; remote control didn’t come until many years later.

Even though we had a color TV, not all programming was in color. Eventually, local TV stations across the country changed over to a color system, but not just any color — Technicolor!

I can’t remember the exact date, maybe in the late 1960s or early 1970s, eventually my town was completely wired for cable TV and households had to make a decision whether to get cable and pay for programming or to continue to receive TV for free over the air.

The idea of paying for TV didn’t sit well at first.

Getting cable meant you didn’t have to adjust an antenna and you received many more channels, including stations from other cities.

WPHL-17 was one channel we received out of Philadelphia who carried Phillies. We also received two channels from New York City, WPIX-11 which carried the Yankees games and WWOR-9 which carried the Mets.

Of course, over time and as technology grew, more and more TV channels were offered but that only escalated the cable bill higher until paying dearly was the norm for watching TV.

Decades later, we pay crazy amounts of money to have the opportunity to watch hundreds of TV channels at our beck and call through local provider Comcast or satellite companies like DirecTV or DishTV.

Satellite dishes dot homes everywhere. Did you ever take notice how many homes have a satellite dish mounted on them? Some homes may literally have two or three dishes on their roof. We’ve gotten so used to them we forget what an eyesore they really are.

Cutting the cord may not be as bad as I thought. I have a devise called AppleTV; it’s a box that has many TV options built into it like Netflix, Hulu and others. You can download just about any TV network; some are free and some have subscription rates. There are other devices you can purchase that perform the same functions as AppleTV such as Roku, AmazonTV, etc.

I added an indoor antenna for now to receive my local channels and many of them (mostly the major networks) broadcast in high definition. As a matter of fact, I receive no less than 22 channels with my antenna, including QVC and HSN shopping networks.

Gone are the days of VCR with the invention of DVR so I can’t really record programming for a later date, but I can go to my AppleTV and watch the last episode of the Big Bang Theory several times if I’d like.

Even though I panicked in the beginning when my satellite subscription was suspended, I figured out how to possibly beat the system.

Maybe it’s time to take down the satellite dish and mount a TV antenna on the roof once again.

Quote of the week

“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.” – Galileo Galilei, Italian philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician.

Thought of the week

“The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.” Alfred North Whitehead, British philosopher.

Bumper sticker

“Men do not fail; they give up trying.” – Elihu Root, American statesman.

My Corner

Your Corner

Tony Callaio