TV can be a great source of family entertainment, when it is carefully monitored and consumed in small doses. More and more in our culture, however, it mocks traditional families, promotes selfishness and immorality, and even in commercials, reduces the gift of sexuality to a lurid, meaningless recreational activity. What used to be a fun, family time when I was growing up, sitting around the living room, munching popcorn and viewing an appropriate and interesting-for-all-ages movie or TV show, really isn’t a possibility with most current programming. It’s been more than a year since we disconnected our cable service and we haven’t regretted that decision.
Because cable bombards our screen with what must be hundreds of viewing options, the prevailing sentiment is “You can just turn it off or turn the channel if you don’t like what’s on.” There is always another choice of what to watch. There is always another choice of what we allow to enter into our homes. The problem for us was, the next choice was more often that not, as inappropriate as the one before. The few things that we did enjoy could not outweigh the vast majority of bankrupt programming, especially since the enjoyable entertainment was sprinkled with offensive ads and commercials. It just didn’t make good budget sense to spend nearly $70 a month to have garbage and filth, indiscriminately dumped into our home or to continue paying for programming that “we just had to shut off”. It was an invasion of our family time and our budget, that we could no longer allow. I’m not advocating it for everyone, but for our family, there just wasn’t any other choice. It was one of the best ones we’ve ever made.
The days when not having cable meant that you didn’t have a viewable television are, thankfully, well behind us. There are inexpensive, budget-friendly subscription services that play through any Internet-ready TV or DVD player, or like us, through our Roku. We opted for the Roku, because it offers many free apps that play old movies and TV shows, along with streaming the subscription services that we pay for, which play current movies and TV shows. We have 3 paid subscriptions, and all totaled, we pay $19 per month. What a savings! Plus, we have total control over what plays, and when. We don’t have to tune in at a designated time or miss the show. TV works around our schedule, not the other way around. It also works around our standards of appropriate entertainment.
Our most recent subscription service for the TV is called SpiritClips and we are really enjoying it. Again, it is one that is a pre-loaded app on the Roku, so it was simple to set it up to stream through our television. It was recently acquired by Hallmark, so of course they have a large selection of Hallmark Hall of Fame Movies, but we were excited to see that they also offer Hollywood movies that have been carefully selected to be good options for the entire family. We have watched titles like Good Will Hunting, The Mighty, Gifted Hands and FireProof. We have also enjoyed old classics like My Man Godfrey, Born Free, and The Pride of the Yankees. In addition to movies, SpiritClips offers documentaries, and an entire category of “shorts”. Another really cool feature is that our inexpensive subscription allows us to stream programming through our computer and through iPhones or the iPad. When subscribing for a year at a time, the cost is only $2.99 per month, and you can register, right now, to try it FREE for one week!
We’ve had the service for about two weeks, now, and today I noticed that new movies have already been added to the menu, so I’m feeling pretty confident that the impressive library of titles will continue to grow and offer us even more options for fabulous family movie nights! Regardless of your other viewing and subscription choices, I feel confident in recommending this affordable and family-friendly entertainment choice. It’s been great for our family!
How do you protect your family and control your television? Do you eliminate it altogether or have you found options, like us, that let you choose the best of what is offered?