I live in Los Angeles and we pay about $120 a month to get DirecTV, including HD, all of the local stations, all of the HBOs, all of the Show-times, All of the Cinemaxs, and all of the Stars channels. It's a bit more then we'd like to pay, but it covers about all of what we want to see.
Still, I'm a child of the 1950's and 60's when we had just three TV channels, ABC, NBC, and CBS, with the "Educational" channel) that later became PBS. The me of back then would be completely gobsmacked with all of the choices of today. Instead of three channels I routinely flip through a directory that contains a couple of hundred different programming options. Personally, I love it. Hell, we loved it when a storm blew our antenna down onto the metal roof of our farmhouse and all of a sudden we got a scratchy image (with good sound) of WGN Chicago.
Back then the TV guide was the bible of TV watching. My father was gone from late Sunday night to late Friday night on the road as a truck driver, so watching Saturday and Sunday evening TV was a real family affair. He would flip through the TV Guide for the night and we'd talk about the choices. Of course most of the time it was "The Movie of the Week" on NBC on Saturday and "The Wonderful World of Color" on Sunday (later "The Wonderful World of Disney" and only after (also on the same channel "Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour)) and then "Bonanza". Then again of course "Hew Haw" and The Ed Sullivan Show" were always there as options.
Today's TV selection contains the nature and documentary programming that I could only look forward to seeing once every several months on the old broadcast system. While I loved "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" every Sunday as a kid, I can see the same programming everyday on at least 3 or 4 channels on the satellite dish. My grandfather on my mother's side was obsessed with watching the occasional golf tournament on ABC and I wonder how much joy he would have had seeing an entire channel (in HD) showing golf whenever he wants to see it?
So, here we are. We have several TV providers to choose from and (literally) several hundred channels that are there for us to watch. Some would argue that, much like free agency in baseball has thinned out the pitching talent, so many choices have thinned out the quality of the options. I tend to disagree and think that it's allowed programming that could not have otherwise found a place on only three networks, to become available to all of us. I think the expansion has been a good thing.
I also think that those among us who are a bit older and remember the days of twisting around the "rabbit ears" (sometimes with sheets of foil on them) on top of the TV and having a set of antennas mounted on the roof by a professional, wonder if the younger among us are a bit spoiled or if what we are going through is the same as our parents trying to say how lucky we were because all they had was the visual images handed to them by radio?
It makes me wonder. Where do you get your TV from? Cable? Satellite? Over your phone lines? Strictly over the air broadcast signals?