Television Sharing and Apartment Living

Tonight, when I get back to my apartment, I should theoretically be able to relax on my couch, crack a cold beer, and once i extract the remote from the crevasses of the couch, watch virtually anything that I choose. We have on-demand cable and at least a couple hundred channels included in our overpriced plan that delivers unto us such glorious channels as Fox Reality Network, G4 and Boomerang. Boomerang would be fine, if they played Road Runner/Wil E. Coyote cartoons on Saturday mornings, but they would rather show non-violent, feel good dancing dinosaurs teaching kids how to count to ten.

This innovation in improving sedentary and complacent lifestyles however, will not guarantee total television freedom. The fact that none of my three roommates will be home allows me to look forward to at least a few hours of unquestioned authority over the remote control.

082508 2251 televisions1 Television Sharing and Apartment Living

However, our expansive cable plan also includes the DVR or recording ability. This sounds great, since we can record anything on television, save it, and watch it whenever. You can also record one program and watch another. You cannot, however, record two things and watch anything else.

So when I go home tonight and “America’s Best Dance Crew” and “So You Think You Can Dance” are both being recorded, my options become severely limited. I could try to flip back and forth between the two shows, hoping that I can deftly avoid the programming and only see commercials, but inevitably I’ll be forced to actually watch one of these shows.

The only other option is to view shows that have already been recorded. Of course, all that has been recorded are ten episodes each of reality dance competitions and about 25 episodes of “Scrubs”. So that’s great.

One would think that the DVR would make it easier for 4 roommates to share a communal television, and it should, but when you don’t plan your TV viewing schedule a week ahead of time then it becomes pretty difficult.

How do other people solve this impasse between roommates? Do you end up sharing the roommate? What if the roommate itself is being controlled remotely, as in the scenario described above?

I’ve found that writing about it on the internet works wonders, but I am sure some other people have more proactive solutions for roommate issues like this, the perpetual pursuit of remote control hegemony.

Do TV preferences come up when you are interviewing a potential roommate to move into your apartment?

Has anyone ever moved out of an apartment for rent due to a trivial matter such as this?

Let us know in the comments!

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