How to Get Rid of a TV

If I had my way, we wouldn’t have a TV in this house.  I suppose I wouldn’t mind it so much if there were a few shows Vince liked to watch and he would turn it on and watch those shows and turn it off but it’s always on.  He’s always surfing . . zipping through channels.  And, half the time, he’s napping in his chair with the TV on some goofy show I don’t even like.  We have one in the basement and one upstairs in the family room.

I’m trying to devise a plan to get Vince to cancel satellite . . which means NO TV . . for a year . . just as a trial.  If after a year he’s dying for the TV, then we just get it again.  If after a year, he hopefully finds he doesn’t need TV, we never have one again.

Before I even mention it, I know what he’s going to say . . What are you going to give up?

Well, what would I be willing to give up in exchange for getting rid of the TV?  I can’t come up with anything.  I want to be able to say:  I’m willing to give up ???? if you’ll give up the TV for one year.  Any ideas?  Cooking, Cleaning, Laundry??  Don’t think that would fly.

Internet?  No way! I use it too much for “business”.

Cell Phone?  No way!  I need it when traveling.

XM Radio?  Maybe but that seems kinda “token”.  I would just use the iPod and it wouldn’t be a real sacrifice.  In fact, because the price has gone up, when it’s time to renew it, even though I love it, I probably won’t do it.

Yesterday he had a big discussion and the TV always being on was part of that discussion and until time to watch the local news last night, which we don’t normally watch, the TV wasn’t turned on and so far, today it hasn’t been turned on.

It would be cruel and unusual punishment (though it really isn’t punishment) to ask him not to have TV during football season so I guess my “No TV” plan will never work and I really don’t have a problem with watching a show here and there . . it’s keeping it on every waking moment that makes me dislike it so much.

How does everyone else handle the TV issues?




  1. 1

    Sara Homeyer says

    Years ago we had a small TV in our bedroom (upstairs). I became very irritated with DH walking back and forth from the bathroom, brushing his teeth and watching the sports news, when I was ready to SLEEP with the other lights out! We moved soon after, and I declared NO TV IN THE BEDROOM. So that has been OK for quite a while.

    We now have a small TV in the den, which we watch together for the evening news, and I mostly have as MY TV when I want to watch something while knitting or reading.

    HIS TV is the one in the basement rec room. That’s where he watches sports and whatever he watches while lying [sleeping?] on the sofa.

    My sewing room is not on that floor of the house, so I don’t hear it, and I am listening to NPR classical music most of the time.

    So our “solution” is that he goes to the other end of the house! Now when he is brushing his teeth, he walks back and forth to the den TV.

  2. 2


    I’d be perfectly happy without a TV too… but I’m close! Our TV gets turned on to play Rock Band 2, and not so much actual TV watching. I can’t exactly pinpoint a moment in time where we started to make the changes.

    I think it started with me. I would watch TV when my husband was at work and nothing would get done. Then I made a commitment to only watch when he’s home. Then I switch to only watching specific shows, not whatever’s on TV. Then my shows ended or disappeared in the writer’s strike… and TV just didn’t happen. 🙂

    I think somehow I rubbed off my husband and he started to only watch specific shows and the shows dropped down one by one. He might watch one once a week, but otherwise the TV has been off.

  3. 3


    We recently gave up our satellite tv, as well. Got tired of paying for 250 channels, and only ever watching 3 or 4 – and we couldn’t get those 3 or 4 without paying for all the rest. We got an antenna for local channels, and NetFlix – if a tv series is “worth watching,” we get it on DVD and they have a lots of TV stuff available for instant view. Hook up a computer to the TV, and you can even get sports that way. That was part of the kicker that motivated us to get rid of the satellite – when the NBA playoff games we wanted to watch were “not available in your market” we watched on ESPN360 on the internet. The nicest part is that we control what we watch and WHEN! (And for background noise, I generally have PBS on, where it always used to be Fox News – which is probably better for my bloodpressure!)

  4. 4


    we have one TV as well…it’s in the den, an addition on the other end of this long narrow ranch from my studio, and its a step down into that room as well… my dh also sleeps there during his tv watching…i sit there to watch a specific show (*of which someone will have to remind me, as i dont KNOW whats on)…

    the only real use i have for it is the occasional disaster/weather issue, the political process–or when i am sick..i do like to curl on the couch down there, and surf… but it is used for NETFLIX more than anything else!

  5. 5


    We’ve been TV free for 16 years!!! Sometimes in the winter my husband will watch a movie on the computer & that’s about it. Neither of us miss it & when we do happen to go somewhere with TV ,we can’t believe how stupid most of the shows are…

  6. 6

    Rita E says

    Do you think Vince would give up his tv in exchange for you giving up your dr pepper for a year? Ok I’m just spit balling here – didn’t mean to step out of line 🙂
    Also, if he couldn’t watch his sports shows he might be gone to a friend’s house all the time – wouldn’t you miss him if he was getting his tv somewhere else?

  7. 7


    I got rid of the TV in the bedroom. If I want to watch something before I go to sleep, I turn on the portable DVD player and watch a movie. I unplug the power source so the batteries will run out in about an hour and a half in case I fall asleep. Downstairs, I only watch it when I’m sitting on the sofa appliqueing. It hasn’t been turned on all day. No radio, nothing. It’s peaceful here with the windows open and the birds chirping. I’d try the approach of only watching one program and then turning it off. Think of all the electricity it would save to not have that thing on all day.

  8. 8

    Sandy says

    I am probably the odd person out but I think I would die (ok, that is kinda dramatic ) without television. I been watching the Young and the Restless since is started in March of ’73. Can’t give that up. (Hubby says that isn’t someting to brag about, lol.) I couldn’t give up my Illini basketball, and I do like watch ing court shows, American Idol, etc.

    I think where I waste most of my time is on the internet playing pogo games. I used to get much more done before I got that subscription from a friend. The house used to be cleaner then, got more exercise in, and was more organized. Oh well………

  9. 9

    Cindy B says

    TV is something that I never thought of fretting over. I have a flat screen in my sewing room and DH has his in his sitting area. I turn mine on or off when I want and same with him. The house or bedroom tvs are rarely turned on unless the grands are here. The flat screens take up very little wall space and are not furniture any longer. That’s the tv I disliked, having a big bulky tv taking up space.

  10. 10


    We have six TV’s in our house. DH has his office/TV room with a large screen TV. This is his room. I don’t care if it is on all day and all night. It is his to enjoy. I watch the news and several programs during the week that I enjoy. Most of the time I am in my sewing room with the radio on listening to music or whatever else I enjoy listening to.

  11. 11

    Laceflower says

    We have open concept house so I can’t get away from the ‘sports noise’. Makes me very annoyed to constantly have that racket in the background. Solution – headphones for him. Ahhhhhhh peace. We watch tv in the evening after dinner because we both are beat after a full day at work, I couldn’t focus to read or sew after being on a computer all day. I tape everything so I don’t have to watch commercials, saves 20 minutes per hour program. We don’t watch mainstream usually, Showcase or HBO for edgier programs. I go to bed very early so he watches after I retire, stuff I can’t stand, golf or violence or reality shows. What are you all doing with your non tv watching time?
    Judy, ask Vince what you do that annoys him and you can consider that for giving up or altering behaviour. Doesn’t make sense to give up something because he is. You are annoyed by his tv behaviour because it impacts you negatively, you aren’t asking him to give it up as a lark.
    Good luck, I know how really irritating constant tv noise can be.

  12. 13


    Tell Mr that you are willing to give up nagging him about the TV if he gives it up for a year 🙂
    And you might also be willing to give up spilling Dr. Pepper on electrical equipment!
    I usually suggest that the money saved could be put toward something they would enjoy to purchase.

  13. 14


    Well, when I was 10 – I decided that for the whole summer, I wouldn’t watch TV!! And I didn’t!!!
    So, a few years ago, with the satelite complany saying that you can shut it off for X amount of time – and not be charged, one summer I had it turned off. After the seaons finale of the shows we like to watch, it got turned off and we put it back on when our shows would re-start.
    It was okay.
    But the funny part was, the next year, my oldest daugher, asked me if she could ask me something I wouldn’t be mad??? Well, of course she could ask!!! “Can we shut the TV off again this year???” she asks!!! SHE ASKS!!!! I had already thought we would, so I just laughed and told her well, yes we could!! And for the next few years, we just had it shut off. Then they started charging for this – disconnection fee!! Gimme a break!!! And then hubby got himself a 5the wheel for work, and he wants to have TV while away so for the last couple years it’s not been turned off.
    And, I have realized, that with the cost of satelite, it would be more cost effective to go buy the seasons of the shows I like and not have to watch commercials (which I hate with a passion!!) then have this thing coming into the house. That has not happened yet – we now have a cousing living with us who can’t live without the news!!! Isn’t that what the internet is good for???? But – for now – satelite is on and ……

    Even talk to him and ask to have it shut off for the months when his major TV addiction has to be filled (like football!!) and see how that goes. If he wants to know what you’ll give up, tell him trips to anyplace with him that you don’t want to go on!!! 😉

  14. 15


    The TV doesn’t bother me unless we are watching together and then the channels “magically” change just when I get interested in something. Occasionally we seem to have no TV days and we both enjoy the quite. Maybe you could start with that. “No TV Monday” or something.

  15. 16


    BIG subject, and one which causes a LOT of arguments in our home. DH watches so many political news programs, yammering, arguing, always bad news, and he makes it worse by swearing back at the tV, making rude hand gestures, constant switching, searching, and our house is small, so I’m hearing all of it. I work in the AM, but in the PM, often make any excuse to shop, library, K-mart, anything to get away from it. This is one reason why I liked my ‘table setup’ in the garage outside, away from the TV. So much negativity causes me to get depressed . And I’m tired of a arguing about the TV!

    The other programs are really TERRIBLE, always reruns, stupid, overtly sexual, grossly nasty, and just poor manners, etc., and between them all, are 45% commercials. EVen pushing the mute button on and off takes more time than watching the danged program, if I actually wish to sit with DH and do some sewing. So, I AM tempted to shut it all off – I find maybe 5-10% useful, but Dh seems glued to it, like watching a fishbowl. Often I’ll ask what he’s watching and he doesn’t even know?

    95% of what I watch are my VCR/DVD tapes/CDs, all on quilts, and recently I found even more great quilt videos on the Internet, so that’s where we’re all headed, apparently, technology-wise.

    Whew, I feel better!

  16. 17

    Evelyn says

    I grew up without TV, but Mom would rent one for the Winter Olympics and also if someone was coming home from the hospital after being sick. We have TV in our house, but we don’t watch it at all when our son is home (he is 6). And we are too busy to watch it in the summer anyway. Even though there are a few shows I like to watch on a winter’s evening, I could very easily do without the TV. My son watches videos and dvd’s that are for his age. My brother’s solution to the TV was that he packed it up every spring and does not unpack it until fall weather really sets in. When it is too cold out for the kids to go out and play, it is fun to have a movie night or something. Cheers!

  17. 18

    Denise says

    The beauty of living alone. 🙂 I can turn on the tv, turn it off, , switch channels when I want (not when someone else wants), and not have to listen to any football, golf, etc. whatsoever. 🙂 But I do refuse to pay for any type of cable or satellite since I do generally only use it for background noise so the local channels are all I need.

  18. 19


    When does the TV come on? Does it get switched on automatically or will Vince wait until the football game or something he wants to watch is actually beginning? If he is switching it on automatically, then I’d start with asking him to modify that behavior. I think a change like that and/or headphones would make such a difference in the quality of YOUR life that he wouldn’t need to completely give up television, which he may perceive as a negative change to the quality of his life.

    Before you turn on the TV, go online and look at the TVguide listings and decide what/when you are going to watch and then agree not to turn on the TV until then. If you are in the habit of watching television, like it sounds like your DH is, he may watch television just because it’s ON. If he doesn’t turn it on, he may not even miss it.

    Good luck with the negotiation.

  19. 21

    Elaine says

    Mine’s on most of the time too, but usually just on Fox News. There’s really very few shows on anymore that are worth watching. My guy’s a channel surfer too, but it doesn’t bug me. There’s plenty other stuff he does that bugs me, so I don’t complain about that! The stupid commercials bug me more than anything!

  20. 22


    Maybe the solution is just to limit the number of hours it is on during the course of a day. My mother lives with us and she likes to keep it on 24/7 and a lot of the time she isn’t watching. I get tired of the constant sound, but some people seem to need the background noise….

  21. 23


    I found an online article that wrote about a study that was done that links watching of too much TV (which, I believe they felt was more than 4 hours daily) with onset of dementia as TV watching is not interactive. A person just sits and watches, in most cases. (I happen to be a person who cannot just sit and watch TV…I either do hand-work while watching OR I even read while watching.) I don’t watch much TV at all….probably a total of 2 hours a week (and that is mostly bits and pieces of the news and weather). I showed that online article to hubby as he was starting to forget a lot of things and was also repeating himself to others a LOT lately….and I told him there were steps he could take to keep his mind sharp but watching TV as often as he does is destroying his mind. (This article actually talked about photoneutrons or something like that in the brain being destroyed.) It seems like he took it to heart and maybe now only watches about 4 hours of TV a day….down from the 8 or 9 he WAS watching. Sure hope it lasts as I’m not a big TV fan at all. Good luck there with your TV situation.

  22. 24

    Donna S (in MI) says

    We watch more TV than I think we do. I hate paying for cable and wish I could only pay for the few stations we watch. My DH is a wonderful (most of the time!) man and loves hockey. So when he is home and there is a hockey game on, we watch it. He goes into the basement for the rare times he watches football. Other than that, we usually like/watch the same things.

    Except for news, I am finding we have the TV on less and less. Saying that, I am saving for a big flat screen TV. We will have it by hockey season. LOL

  23. 25

    pdudgeon says

    my hubby is a tv junkie too. we’ve got just about everything there is to get. he watches it a lot more than i do, but he gets such enjoyment out of it that i don’t mind. we use headsets so i don’t have the noise polution.

    i just wish they could figure out a way to make sewing machines quiet, LOL. that noise bugs me.

  24. 26

    Judi says

    Our tv is on all the time. It’s just noise in the background. Now my daughter and 4 kids have been without tv for 4 days now and she says the only time she misses it is at night after the kids went to bed and dh is still at work. The mice ate the antenea wires so she is without until dh gets off his but and checks it out and fixes it. they don’t have satelite just an antenea.

  25. 27

    Marilyn says

    I love TV. There are many educational shows on for me and for the kids. Plus, I’m addicted to reality TV, like Survivor and Big Brother and Biggest Loser. I rarely watch other shows, but the kids like their cartoons, so the TV is on a lot. The TV was never on when I was a kid, so I’ve had it both ways. I just learn to tune it out and do other things.

  26. 28

    lori R says

    My hubby is a tv junkie too. I barely ever watch it, I do like a few dvd movies. We have 1 tv, that is in the living room, a flat screen that is on a stand at the moment. I have a portable dvd player, that I watch quilting on. My computer plays a few too from web, wish they were on a dvd. My problem is stupid games on pogo, so my days off are wasted on there.

  27. 29


    That is a hard decision. Right now we are watching the Little League Regional Playoffs. We also love college sports but not the other stuff. We watch Fox News, but not all day and night. When sons visit they like the fishing shows, too.
    But other than that, wait, there is one more thing I love and that is occasionally they have old movies of the 30’s and 40’s that I love. Myra Loy, William Powell (think Thin Man), Ginger Rogers (early films), Lionel Barrymore, and Marie Dressler, are all goodies. I wasn’t even born when they were made but I love the dresses, shoes, etc. they wore back then. Glamor and I just plain old enjoy when I am just sewing and having fun. I also enjoy going days without watching anything on tv. So that is a hard decision for me.

  28. 30

    Laura says

    Hi Judy,
    You could always try out what I call our ‘marriage saver’. Sony (among others) makes a wireless stereo headset system which will plug into the TV. Hubby can wander all over the house, and even some distance outside, with the headset on listening to his ever on ‘talking heads’. I can comfortable sit in the living room reading without any distraction from the infernal contraption. The only problem is that there -are- times when I want to watch a program when he’s not here and I have a difficult time remember how to work the system. We found this type of system well over 10 years ago, it’s being improved all the time and although at first the cost may seem a bit pricey, for the peace it’s brought it’s been well worth it. Good luck! Laura

  29. 31

    Cynthia H., El Cerrito, CA says

    Is there any way that Vince could use headphones to listen to the TV so that he’s happy but you aren’t interrupted/distracted?

    Well, until you need to talk to him. But it might cut down on the background noise…

    My other suggestion is that you both agree no TV during the month of February, from the day after the 2010 Super Bowl/Pro Bowl (pick one) until February 28. This will work if he doesn’t watch hockey or regular-season basketball. And it’s the shortest month of the year.

    Maybe he’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much wood-working/insert his favorite hobby here he can get done without TV!

    Or maybe the headphone idea will work. 🙂

  30. 32

    Cynthia H., El Cerrito, CA says

    Sorry, thought of a *real* sacrifice you could offer…

    A year without chocolate for one of us is probably more like a year without TV for a sports guy than any of us really want to consider…

    But I’m here to say that I *have* gone without chocolate for the month of February and survived…. 😉 but it wasn’t easy.

  31. 33


    There are shows that I like to watch and I would be bored when I’m binding without the TV so it wouldn’t work in our house to have NO TV but I do get annoyed when it’s on all the time esp. the news (Keith is a news junkie).

    Usually I ask him to watch something I want to watch, to turn it off and put the music on, to play some scrabble, go for a walk, or to sit out on the deck with me for a while…. he’s always pretty willing to do one of the above.

    I did manage when we moved this last time to keep it out of the bedroom (he wanted a TV in the kitchen and I made him choose). Now of course, he’d choose differently because he doesn’t use the kitchen one much but I’m going to try to never go back to TV in the bedroom. He always fell asleep with it on and I like to read in bed so I found it really annoying.

  32. 34


    I need my tv, I could not go without it, what if you were to hook up a bicycle to generate the tv, he would have to pedal to watch, that would be good for his waist line LOL…..

  33. 35


    We have 4 TV’s…….we did have 5 but my DD took hers when she ran away (left for college). I would prefer to not have any tv……but I’m out voted. I did draw the line to keep a tv out of the formal living room and I won that battle… at least I have a place to escape when I want no noise.

    Good luck on the tv battle…….

    Karen L

  34. 36


    No TV here. Well, I have one, but it’s an old analog set, I didn’t buy the converter box, so all I can do is watch DVDs if I want to. No local or national news, no sitcoms, no programs that I’ve seen a million times and NO REALITY TV, which I wouldn’t watch unless someone were threatening to pull my teeth out. Ah, life is great.

  35. 37

    Rebecca says

    I gave in on TV in the bedroom a couple years ago, and regret it. I watch TV…there are several shows I follow! But HE turns on the TV just to have something on, and then falls asleep. I really hate the TV “just for the noise” (why would anyone want to ADD noise??), and have been reading that the flickering blue light is bad for sleep; you should not watch TV (nor the computer) for an hour before sleep.

    I may check out some headphones for myself, though! I like to watch some things while I’m sewing, but it can be hard to hear (and I don’t like to turn it up really loud).

    Guess I better turn this off now…it’ll be midnight in an hour!

  36. 38


    I find this an interesting thing to have a discussion about. I couldn’t shut off the tV here, I like sports too much and we watch them together. If it isn’t the TV, the computer at our house is always on so in my opinion what’s the difference. TV is more social and computer (big PC vs laptop) is more isolating. We live in a small house so the TV is near my sewing and we multitaks around the person watching. It is a choice to sit and spend time in front of it.

    I am lucky my husband likes interesting shows like the history channel, sports, TLC etc and I have learned alot over the years. If the show is very interesting, I will do hand work and watch it with him. It is trying to find things to do together as well as independently to achieve balance in how we spend our time. My husband doesn’t get why quilt, it can be expensive and it really is something he doesn’t get-but he supports me in it.

  37. 39


    How is Vince’s job? When does he retire? And does he have hobbies, other than TV watching. When was the last time he had a good physical exam? You really don’t have to answer these questions in this forum, but you may want to consider them.

    The reason I ask is that if work is stressful, one needs a different activty to wind down – as could be indicated by the napping after a period of channel surfing, which seems to be looking for something . A hobby may or may not reduce the stress, if it is too close to the cause of stress. When I had a competitive job, the last thing I needed was a competitive hobby. Reading a lot at work meant that I could not really enjoy books at night. A very pysical day at work and I didn’t want to mow the lawn at night.

    Also, weekends may not be long enough to destress. At times, it seemed to take the whole vacation before I saw my dad really relax. And another time, the thought of returning to work affected my sister so she failed to enjoy the rest of the trip.

    Now, if he is like this and retired, get him to find a hobby or two. I do recall that he likes to cruise through stores – that appears to be relaxing for him, he just can’t do it at night after work.

  38. 40


    I have one just like Vince. That is the first thing on in the morning and the last thing to be turned off at night. He also surfs like crazy. Sometimes I just say lite on something please.

  39. 41

    Cindy says

    Are you crazy? Why on earth would you want to take away something that occupies him?

    What? You want him to go outside and play? He ain’t 7, you know.

  40. 42


    We are TV-free! We’ve spent the 3 years we’ve lived in our current house trying to get rid of it. First, we had it in the living room, but hated to have company see it. Then it went on a rolling cart, but we still watched it too much. Then we moved it upstairs, and when I was pregnant, all we did was watch PBS. Finally, the VCR broke (and that was what had kept us from pitching the TV) and the digital transition was coming (and who wants to buy a receiver?), so it went on the curb and was taken in less than an hour! We have a small DVD player for the girls, and that’s it! Now, I spend too much time on the internet, but still less than I watched TV!

  41. 43


    We were down to 1 TV for 20+ years….until last year. Now there is one in the bunkhouse for the grands and one in the living area. We were without satellite services (and only 1 local channel that we could receive) for 2 years here in the new house. We watched a lot of movies but Dh yearned for his Dallas Cowboys. I gave him DISH for Christmas one year.

    The TV normally doesn’t come on until we sit down for the evening meal….but then it goes until we go to bed.

    Most people use the TV for a children’s babysitter. Ours kees DH entertained when I want to sew, bead, or scrapbook. He normally goes to sleep. Works for me 🙂

    My sewing/craft room is 1 step down from the main house and has a door I can close. I don’t hear the TV unless I want to! Mostly, I listen to the iPod with my audio books when I’m out in my room.

  42. 44

    Trish says

    My husband is a very hard worker … he has a full time job with the local electric company, he is an auctioneer, we farm (beef cattle) and he and his father own a farm machinery business. He leaves every morning at 6:00 am and often doesn’t get home until 8:00pm. Sunday is his only day off. His one vice is watching TV. I would never ask him to give that up. He is such a hard worker that he deserves to veg out in front of the TV. There are a few programs that we both enjoy watching together, but if he’s watching something that I don’t want to watch, then I just go in my sewing room or in the bedroom to sew or watch a different show.

  43. 45


    Our tv is never on during the day. After dinner, and after my computer time in the evening, I turn the tv on. I have shows I like to watch from 7 – 10 pm on different nights. If there is nothing on (like most of the summer), the tv stays off and we both read. We do turn it on for news at 10 pm and it is usually turned off after the weather report. I also turn the tv and satellite off at the power strip and save some money on the electric bill!
    However, all bets are off when Bears football is on — for both of us!

  44. 46


    I’m fortunate in that our house has both a living room and family room. I sit in the living room and crochet, read or mess with my laptop. He lays on the sofa in the family room and flips thru the channels endlessly. (and sleeps) You’re probably not going to be able to eliminate the TV altogether but you might be able to cut down on the time it is on. Good luck on that!