Sunday, September 18, 2011

Television overseas style

 I find technology outright amazing, and our dependency on it, downright scary.  Life is just so incredibly different than it was a mere ten years ago.

We opted out of getting cable or AFN (the military satellite that provides watch programs from the USA), and decided instead that we would use the internet to watch shows when we felt the urge.  Big R specifically set up our living area so that the sitting room has more sitting space, and the television is viewed only from my oversized chair and ottoman and the child's chair Big R bought for little r at IKEA.  The idea being we'd do a little more reading and a tad bit less television watching (that, or television watching would require some serious snuggling).  Big R was alerted to a really sweet VPN service that links a foreign network through a network in the USA.  By doing this, the internet "thinks" you are in New York, DC or any other American city provided through the network.  What makes this ridiculously cool is that it allows streaming video from the online network channels, and also other websites like Hulu and Netflix (and Barnes and Noble to download books onto my Nook).  I won't get into the pesky details except to say that for about $50 some odd bucks a year, you can basically pretend you are in the USA and stay connected. This is very freaking COOL, especially since the fall television lineup is here, and I was missing some of my dramas.

Although we can watch just about anything we want, anytime we want, the current setup results in us not sitting in front of the "boob tube" surfing channels and watching nonsense.  We sit down with a purpose, or head to the reading room and read or talk to each other about the day.  I have a feeling we just adopted a new way of watching tv that is likely to follow us back to the US.  We really love living here in Germany, but it's nice to have a dose of US television to keep us from getting homesick.  At this rate, we just might not come back...

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