Saturday, September 4, 2021

Ad-supported TV

I'm a fan of free TV. Whether that means over the air (OTA) channels you watch via an antenna, or streaming services such as Pluto TV or others, I like the fact that I can watch TV without paying a monthly fee to a cable or satellite service.

This is how I used to watch TV when I was younger. It was how everyone watched TV back then. When I was young, there was no cable TV service, at least, not in my area. There was cable in the U.S. as far back as the late 1940s, but cable didn't really catch on big until the 1970s. That's how Ted Turner made his fame, when he made his Atlanta TV station WTCG (later, WTBS) and his baseball team (the Atlanta Braves) available to cable systems across the country.

Cable became a big deal, and many people switched to cable because of the extra programming available that wasn't available from the local stations via antenna. Of course, you went from watching free TV with commercials to paying for TV and still getting commercials.

I won't go into all the history of cable and changes in TV over the years, but as more and more people are cutting free of cable and satellite services, many are putting antennae up to watch local stations. It only took 50+ years, but some of us are back where we were five decades ago. We're getting TV for free, and still getting commercials.

Streaming services such as Pluto TV (along with many others) offer live streaming television that includes ads. Just like with an antenna.

Many services, including Vudu, Crackle, Plex, IMDB TV, The Roku Channel, and many many more offer on-demand movies and TV with ads.

This is a good thing. Some people hate commercials, and I get that. I have a super power. I can ignore stuff I don't like. But you know what? Some commercials are actually helpful. I may find something advertised that I actually care about. And, if it's something I don't care about, I'm cable of ignoring it. Comes from being an adult.

Watching commercials doesn't bother me. Watching TV for free is something I like. Sure, if I have to pay for a service to watch something specific, I'll do that if I want to watch it bad enough. But most stuff I want to watch, I can find, or find something comparable, on a free TV service. That's why these free TV services are, and will continue to be, part of my Streaming Life.

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