If you listen very closely I’m sure you can hear the sound of network executives pacing in their living or board rooms, furling a brow, or twisting an innocent paperclip in worry. This new internet thing, combined with products like TiVO, off the shelf PVRs and this downloading thing.

I don’t watch a lot of TV, and it’s not because I don’t like it, or can’t afford it (we have a decent digital cable package) it’s because it’s not worth my time and brain power to figgure out when these freaking shows are on. Okay, so my favourite show is normally on, on tuesdays, at 8:00pm. Except now it’s taking a hiatus for some playoffs and the american thanksgiving, then it will be back, on a different night at a different time. But it doesn’t really start at 8:00, it starts at some point between 7:57->8:03 because the networks purposefully screw up their clocks to mess with people using PVRs. This means that if you want to watch two shows in back to back time-slots on different networks it’s entirely possible to miss the first five minutes of the later show. Once you actually manage to find the right show at the right time on the right channel you’re forced to endure commercials equalized to the maximum possible volume. Even then every week or three they randomly insert a re-run just to keep you on your toes.

So my two options for tv watching are to either pay a lot of money for cable, then be lured into some semblance of a schedule only to be lied to by the networks about start times, facing interruptions in the show designed to prolong short seasons across longer periods of time. Or I can use the internet I’m already paying for to quickly and easily download and watch the shows I'm interested in, on my own terms.

They should be worried, the illegal option is faster, easier & cheaper, I’ve got ethics but come on now, throw me a bone. Just buying DVDs is attractive, but they need to realize that will never sell me on a new show, and House won’t last forever.

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Hi, I’m Paul Reinheimer, a developer working on the web.

I co-founded WonderProxy which provides access to over 200 proxies around the world to enable testing of geoip sensitive applications. We've since expanded to offer more granular tooling through Where's it Up

My hobbies are cycling, photography, travel, and engaging Allison Moore in intelligent discourse. I frequently write about PHP and other related technologies.