Kill Your Cable

Get in the Way Back Machine and think about when you were a kid and stayed home sick from school ... if it was in the 80's then you watched Leave It To Beaver, I Love Lucy, Hogan's Heroes and other classic gems that informed us about how it was in the "good ole' days". Now think about rainy weekend days, or late Saturday nights, when the black and white monster double features where on... schlock at it's finest. Finally, ponder what you'd really like a local television station to be, especially in a town that has a vibrant artistic culture, excellent local cuisine and a strong sense of community. Would it have locally produced sketch-comedy shows? How about local cooking shows? Reviews of local plays, movies and music. Independent documentaries, local and regional political coverage, student films, talk shows, maybe even local sit-coms or dramatic series? Now think about how many people watch TV on the internet. Missed last night's episode of Lost or Desperate Housewives? Tune in online! Want to catch up on a show from the beginning of the season? Don't have Tivo or a DVD recorder? No sweat... television is online now! Most HD TV's now have the capability to display computer video, so your PC or Mac can now double as your cable-box, without the pesky cable company and their mystery fees. Over a month ago, I canceled my contract with the regional cable company. By doing so I saved over $60 a month. Granted, I no longer get to see shows as soon as they air. I usually have to wait until the next day. Or week, or month. Whenever I want really. I've also discovered that there is a whole world out there of independent online television stations. A lot of them produce really terrible stuff, but there's a ton of interesting, thought-provoking and hilarious content out there as well. I've come to the decision that this is something that I and my community need. A local TV station that harkens back to the yesteryear classic shows and B-movies as well as tapping into the font of talent all around us to create an online television experience that entertains, informs and draws people together. This is a huge undertaking, and quite possibly overly ambitious for a guy with a lot already on his plate, but hey, it could be totally awesome! Think Wayne's World meets Jim Lehrer meets Mothra. At least that's what I envision, but this is the internet man. It could become anything, and probably will, and there's no way to predict what it could become. That's what's so exciting to me: the prospect of the community coming together to use a familiar medium over a powerful and flexible new technology that could expand everyone's experience into something beyond anything we've seen before. Hmmm... that was almost inspirational. Okay, the practical stuff. Let me know what your favorite internet channel or tv show is. I wanna know. What do they do right? What don't they do right? Do you despise commercials, or can you live with them in small doses? How small? What about format ... on-demand vs. 24-hour scheduled programming? What about both? Too confusing? Doesn't matter ... gimme'. Let me know what you think, like, dislike and hope and dream about internet TV. Thanks in advance!