Television Abstainance

We had a telly.  It died, it died.  We had a telly, but no one cried when it died.  It died on a Sunday and no one prayed for its resurrection.  It faded quietly into the night!

It was a monster, I know.  Not very green, I know.  I bought it back in 2004, two years before my green awakening.  The good thing is that it only used 175 watts, which is remarkable considering its size.  I have been doing a bit of research since its demise, and have come to realise a few things;

A.  They do not make rear projection TV’s any more.
B.  The repairman does not know if he can get the parts to fix it.
C.  We have to pay $154 to have it taken away, get it assessed for the fault and returned in the same condition.  To get it repaired, it may cost up to $2000.  I only paid $2600 for it.  That is designed obsolescence for you!
D.  It would cost at least $4500 to get a new LED lit LCD of similar size, which is money we just do not have.

We have also come to a few conclusions so far this week in its absence. 

0.  We eat dinner together as a family every night!
1.  I did not watch TV normally, but Kim and Ben watch about 2 hours a day.
2.  I do not miss it at all, and have set up a small LCD that was given to us in Kim’s study.
3.  I am not going to buy a new TV the same size as the old one.
4.  The only reason I will replace it eventually, is because I like watching the odd movie on the weekend in my downtime.
5.  I am not going to rush out and buy a replacement on credit.  We will save up for one, and decide in a few months time.

Other than those reasons, I personally would opt not to replace it at all (I know Kim is going to kill me for writing this).  I hate commercial TV at the best of times, and believe that TV ads are a form of brainwashing that keeps you feeling bad enough about yourself that you are mentally coerced to buy more stuff.  We all know from my posts on Affluenza that it is just not so.  We can be happy without buying new stuff all the time.  Considering the drivel that they pass up as entertainment these days, I am better off without it.

If you want to watch reality TV, just turn it off and talk to your own family.  They do far more interesting things than those psychotic individuals and families shown on those shows any day of the week. 

If you want to watch a gardening show, just go out into your yard and plant something yourself.  That is reality for you.

If you want to watch MasterChef, get into the kitchen, open a cookbook and experiment yourself.  That is reality for you. 

Laying on the couch watching TV never did anyone any good anyway, nor motivated them to whip up a gourmet meal just because they saw it on the tube.

If it wasn’t for Dr Who, there wouldn’t be anything decent to watch anyway!


  1. says

    Gavin, when DH’s Grandmother’sTV died after 16 years of yeoman service to her and 10 years to us, we spent a whopping $220 on a computer aerial kit. The aerial is actually hopeless, but fortunately for us, it can’t pick up most commercial stations. We get the ABC and SBS! We are perfectly happy with this though we do eventually plan on getting a roof aerial (the TV had rabbit ears). The one thing I miss on commercial TV is the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

  2. says

    Someone told me that the TV should be call the social contraceptive. When it is on, the conversation in the room dies. I sort of agrees with them.
    If our TV dies, I would miss it for watching the documentaries and the news. I could listen to it on the radio, but the visual impact of watching it on the TV is much greater.

  3. says

    Thanks to everyone who left a comment. I have been clean now for 10 days. Kim is still getting her fix on the small telly I installed for her in her office.

    The beast still sits in the lounge room as Mr fix it man picks it up on Thursday. We have decided to limit the repair effort to $500, and if it costs more than that, ditch it via a sustainable method, and save up for a new LED LCD that is very much smaller. However, that may be months away.


  4. says

    Good post- love the introductory ‘poem’. I wouldn’t replace mine if it died either but the hubby likes his telly. I only watch Master Chef, and as you say, would be better off in the kitchen anyway.

  5. says

    Loving your blog Gav. Ive just spent a good few hours reading and have learnt a ton! We are new at this… and just starting our first veggies, chickens arriving tomorrow and solar panels installed. Looking forward to implementing lots more ideas. Thanks for inspiring us.

  6. says

    our old tv died, we waited for 2 months saved up and bought a phillips lcd with back lights on. at the time it was one of the most energy efficent ones around. it is super energy efficient when turned off lol

    it isnt very big, so when we go to other people houses it is a real shock. and when they come to ours it is even more of a shock as I have fake books to cover ours so you wouldnt even know it was there. we get lots of comments, “oh do you have a media room/tv lounge?” nope, we just dont want to look at it. so it is built into our bookshelves and then I colour photocopied book spines with a blank bit in the middle so it looks like another shelf, with books below. perfectly hidden within plain sight.

    tromp l’oeil.

  7. Bec says

    There is life after TV. A whole wonderful life without that misery making power sucking piece of junk. Our new life does not include TV and we love it that way.

  8. says

    Hi Gav – you don’t say who the manufacturer is, but I would write directly to them, asking for them to fix it. It isn’t that old, and I think the fact it has died is appalling. I’d go so far as to say they have an obligation to you, their customer, to at least help you source someone to fix it for a reasonable cost. If not, they need to replace it with a model of similar value.

    Speaking of which, another option might be your insurance, which may cover it. Depending on your coverage, it may provide item for item replacement.

    I’d definitely be wary about buying a new flatscreen though. If you think this TV didn’t last long, watch the new ones! I’m better their life expectancies will be even lower.

    If you do decide to replace it, blog about it, and note the date. So when your new item goes belly up, you have the evidence for planned obsolescence…in writing.

    As for me, I’d learn how to play bridge instead. *sigh*

    And you can watch Doctor Who on the computer, so no need for a TV there!

  9. JulieG says

    You might be interested to know that the average American watches 28 hours of tv a week – which is nearly as much as a full-time job! I’m guessing the Aussie stats are similar.

  10. Anonymous says

    If you must have one try a small 13-15 inch used tv from an op-shop. I bet you can find one for less than $20.

  11. Anonymous says

    No TV here, but we stream Dr Who, Gruen Transfer, Mythbusters, and various docos online, plus watch DVDs on the computer. One screen to rule them all!

    Cath in Sydney

  12. says

    We have very select viewing habits at our home. We use the interet to dl our fave shows and watch most of them together. So no need for a tv.

    Ohhh but the meals I have made from watching online cooking shows and youtube vids!! Viva la Kitchen!

  13. Turling says

    Oh, football starts in nine days. No tv would be a problem. But, I do agree and have been trying to find if it’s possible to get the games I want to see on the computer. While not wanting to necessarily get rid of the tv, I definitely wouldn’t mind getting rid of the cable.

  14. says

    It is extremely unlikely I would dump my TV although it is nowhere near as big. I usually watch about 2 hours of TV a day.

    I have dumped my dish at a savings of approximately 60$ a month. I now stream video from Netflix or Hulu on my internet connection that I need for work. I also get DVDs from Netflix too. When the kids are over, they watch my VHS tapes. Initially they weren’t too happy about no TV but have adjusted.

    I really like the fact that my TV viewing is practically commercial free. Hulu has you watch about 6 30 second commercials for each program which seems to be significantly less than regular TV.

  15. says

    Keeping in line with the being “environmentally friendly”, i do believe that it was best that you got rid of that clunker. In the first place, if it costs too much to repair, whats the use of keeping it. It is a dead object taking up massive space in your living room. As far as energy saving goes, I know that newer models consume way less electricity. So with that, I say, Good on yah mate!

  16. says

    We haven’t watched commercial television in more than six months – I had the cable shut-off and without an antenna with an analog-to-digital converter, we don’t get any reception.

    I haven’t missed it – at all. If there are television shows that I enjoyed watching, I’ve found them on DVD (commercial-free) or on the Internet (mostly commercial-free), but we don’t really have any programs we watch anymore … except for Ray Mears Survival series ;). We do have a Netflix subscription and so we rent movies and we also have on-demand downloads.

    I’m in the process of trying to convince my husband that we should get rid of the television, VCR and DVD player, and that instead, we should get a large LCD computer screen with a little netbook and a VHS-to-digital converter. The whole set-up would cost about $600US, and would give us exactly what we have right now at a lower cost to power. So, we’d see a savings in our electric consumption, too. So far, he still likes the big TV, which is odd, because he rarely watches it.

  17. says

    We had a telly exactly like this one Gavin, and it too died recently. For now it is put away in the family room while we figure out what to do with it. (We have found out that these TV’s had a fault and a lot didn’t last very long).

    In the meantime we are watching another TV we had in the spare room. We don’t watch too much TV either and I would rather listen to ABC radio.

    You are exactly right that we should create our own reality shows in real life.

    Enjoy your no TV time,


  18. sis says

    OMG!!!! WHAT ABOUT MARTHA….Kim going to die without Martha…. and Ben will have withdrawls from pinky and the brain! Lots of Dr Who going to be watched on the PC I bet!


Comments build lively communities. Let me know your thoughts, but keep it clean and green! Spam is removed instantly.