So we’ve got two young children aged 5 and 7. They have no concept of “scheduled programming” for television – to them, TV has always been an on-demand thing.
Why? We’ve been running MythTV since before they were born, so they’ve grown up with it. It works like Tivo – you tell it which programs you want to record, and they appear as if by magic.
So the kids are comfortable asking if they can watch TV, and then choosing exactly the shows they watch.
With Myth, also comes the ability to skip adverts – although the auto-detection is a little hit and miss here on Australian stations.
Thankfully, here in Australia we’ve got a few publicly funded free-to-air stations which are completely advertising free, similar to the BBC in the UK. This makes for a great way to get quality kids programming without being bombarded by advertisements, so the vast majority of what the kids watch is from the ABC. More importantly, the vast majority of what we record is never watched – it just disappears as magically as it appears.
Taking the regular schedule part out of the TV-watching equation means there’s never an argument about how they have to watch TV right now, or about whether they come to the dinner table (yes, we eat a family dinner every night). To them, the ability to pause, save and resume another time is just part and parcel of how TV works, and it gives them a much healthier attitude!
This is my first post, so I haven’t got as far as writing details of our different systems around the house. Its something I’ll get to over the coming weeks and months – documenting not just the changes going forwards, but also some of the status quo, so that you can get ideas for your own setups.
Thanks for reading!