To want a TV?

(74 Posts)
marfisa Sun 31-Mar-13 13:22:15

That's it, really. My DH doesn't want one. He says that all the shows we want to watch, we can watch on laptops. I never had a TV when growing up as my parents were very anti-TV. I just want the luxury of being able to walk into the front room after the DC have gone to bed and turning on the telly and watching something random to relax.

I don't want an expensive set, I just want something basic.

To be honest we already have a telly, but it's a VERY small one that I got for a tenner off someone from Gumtree. The DC use it to watch DVDs. It has only one scart (sp?) connection, so it's hooked up for DVDs all the time, and if I want to switch it to watch the telly, I have to unhook and rehook a whole set of cables, plus deal with a very antiquated and temperamental remote control. Our TV never comes on with the flick of a switch; it's much more complicated than that.

DH doesn't think TV is good for children. I can see his point but still think that MY wishes matter as well and that if we had a decent working telly, I would be able to make sure that the DC's use of it is reasonable and that they don't watch it 24/7.

There are masses of books in the house by the way and our DC have plenty of stimulating non-screen activities.

DH and I have just had a huge row and I have threatened to go off and buy a £200 telly. It's a TV/DVD combi and I would LOVE it.


Bridgetbidet Sun 31-Mar-13 13:28:42

Of course yanbu, if you want a Telly to watch then get one, he's being a controlling prick.

Just because you have one in the house doesn't mean the kids have to watch it.

YANBU. Tv's are not the devil.

EllieArroway Sun 31-Mar-13 13:30:08

Of course you're not. Buy one if you want one. What's the difference what type of screen you watch something on?

gobbin Sun 31-Mar-13 13:31:43

You're an adult. Buy a small tv. (Check you have an aerial/connection!)

Nobody dies just because a tv turns up in the house.
It's not like you're asking to bring a gram of coke home for entertainment.
Your OH is being weird and unreasonable. Most people have tvs, although I know three people who don't.

If your DH doesn't want one, well, he doesn't have to watch it does he.
Have you got a separate room you could put it in?

LadyBeaEGGleEyes Sun 31-Mar-13 13:35:41

Of course you should get one, there's lots of good stuff and you'r Dh is being hypocritical if he watches stuff he wants to on the laptop.
Don't get the tv/dvd combo though, I always found it better to have them separate.
I think you should order one of these massive 55in ones just to piss him offwink

marfisa Sun 31-Mar-13 13:35:54

Thanks for the replies so far. DH is normally quite reasonable but he's very anti-telly.

We are both academics and I think he is genuinely afraid that if we have a working TV in the house, our DC will stop reading books and become addicted to the screen! Funnily enough he had a telly when growing up and it doesn't seem to have ruined his brain.

We do have an aerial, but the connection is only in one room. He said I could have a telly as long as I put it into the playroom where there is no aerial connection. So we can watch DVDs but no actual shows. hmm

marfisa Sun 31-Mar-13 13:37:33

Also, he's from a middle class background whereas I'm from a working class one. He has this notion that tellies belong to the working class.

I can't cope with the snobbery.

Tiredmumno1 Sun 31-Mar-13 13:37:36

I say go buy yourself a tv smile if that's what you want, then it's your decision, tell him he doesn't have to watch it, and a little tv time won't hurt the kids.

Don't forget to see if you can get a freeview one, and as someone else said check aerial connections, and away you go grin

Tiredmumno1 Sun 31-Mar-13 13:39:14

Oh and tell him you'll put it where you like, and maybe he should try being a little less controlling

marfisa Sun 31-Mar-13 13:39:21

Lady Bea, why is it better to have them separate?

usualsuspect Sun 31-Mar-13 13:40:17

Go and buy a TV. Don't let him watch it though.

Tiredmumno1 Sun 31-Mar-13 13:42:41

I always found if you have a combi, they seem to die quicker, than seperate iyswim.

LadyBeaEGGleEyes Sun 31-Mar-13 13:42:59

Just my experience, marfisa. The dvd player always seemed to break down before the telly and then you had to replace both at the same time.
Dvd players are cheap as chips these days anyway.
I don't understand his 'snobbery' BTW, why is it better to watch stuff on the laptop?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 31-Mar-13 13:43:20

I don't see why he gets to be the boss.

If he doesn't want to watch tv - fine.

He doesn't have to. But to tell you that you may not have a tv set in your home for you to watch if you want to?

He needs a boot up the arse.

Tiredmumno1 Sun 31-Mar-13 13:43:27

iykwim blush

BackforGood Sun 31-Mar-13 13:45:41

Of course YANBU. Surely you can buy one - he doesn't have to watch it.
My dh bought an x-box a few years ago. Personally I'd rather not have introduced it into the house, but he enjoys relaxing on it every now and then, and together, we policed the rationing we imposed upon our ds. Surely you can do the same with a television?

Tiredmumno1 Sun 31-Mar-13 13:45:48

Lady explained it so much better than me grin

BackforGood Sun 31-Mar-13 13:46:26

Oh, and if it's the money, you can get TVs regularly on Freecycle round here, or the BHF shop in the High Street sells them from about £30.

blueraincoat Sun 31-Mar-13 13:46:41

I don't think this is a class thing. I think this is a control thing. Very strange.

landofsoapandglory Sun 31-Mar-13 13:50:11

I'd just go out and buy one!

Why does it have to be his decsion? Is he like this about everything?

Smetana Sun 31-Mar-13 13:50:52

YANBU. People who are anti-tv are a bit weird in my opinion

SkinnybitchWannabe Sun 31-Mar-13 13:52:35

Im abit stubborn childish so if my OH was like yours I'd go and buy the biggest one I could afford!!

AThingInYourLife Sun 31-Mar-13 13:54:08

"I think he is genuinely afraid that if we have a working TV in the house, our DC will stop reading books and become addicted to the screen!"


He must thinks books are really shit if people only read them because there is nothing else to do.

Numberlock Sun 31-Mar-13 13:55:11

Working class = bad then in his eyes.


Does he just like to teach the middle classes in his academic ivory tower?

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Sun 31-Mar-13 15:35:46

What a pretentious wanker.

Get yourself a telly, and if Mr Enormous brain tries to stop you, tell all his leather elbow jacketed mates that he watches stuff on his laptop, but won't let the kids watch TV.

You do realise that he is imposing his prissy,middle class bollocks on you FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, because you are a working class scummer, don't you.hmm

VinegarDrinker Sun 31-Mar-13 15:44:06

I think your DH would approve of us. We have a TV but only use it to watch pre recorded stuff or stuff on iPlayer. DS has 2 programmes he likes on CBeebies which are on series link and so spends maximum half an hour a day watching. He rarely asks to watch it tbh. Most days the TV doesn't get turned on, even in the evenings.

The exception is live sport, which we rarely get anyway as we don't have Sky.

This isn't a moral choice, btw, we just aren't huge TV people. We do all read a lot despite the TV being there!

I'm not sure how DVDs and iPlayer on your laptop is any different tbh, how does he justify that odd distinction?

pollyblue Sun 31-Mar-13 15:53:29

i think he needs to use to open his eyes to the acres of very educational stuff that's on tv. I've watched some fantastic things on BBC4/2 recently (especially a couple of series on music as i'm studying that) - there is FAR more to tv than The X Factor etc.

TV - used wisely - can be a great tool for opening up subjects to children (and adults) and encouraging further study.

Is he worried that if you get one you'll soon be going all working class and eating your tea on your lap in front of it? grin

Seriously - you are an adult - if you want one, get one. He doesn't have to watch it, and you can always do what one of my friends does when hers is not in use and drap it in a fetching scarf so he doesn't have to see it.....

TartinaTiara Sun 31-Mar-13 15:53:34

FWIW I have a big massive fuck-off telly. But I couldn't tell you the last time I actually watched live telly, probably a couple of weeks ago at least - at the moment it's playing the radio to me whilst I fanny around on t'internet, mostly when I watch it it's something I've recorded or watching something streamed on Netflix or iPlayer or whatever (so not qualitatively different to a DVD, I'm trying to say, possibly not entirely successfully).

So I'm confused here. You have a telly on which you watch DVDs, and I'm assuming he's fine with this. He watches actual telly on the laptop, and I assume also he's fine with this. But somehow watching exactly the same stuff on an actual telly is going to scoop out your brains and replace them with lime jelly? He's a mad controlling freak. Get yourself a telly.

TartinaTiara Sun 31-Mar-13 16:00:34

Also (sorry, I may be ranting here) what's with the "anything we want to watch we can watch on the laptop". Yes, you could, but you wouldn't have the same experience as watching it on a telly - if you're watching something on a larger screen, at a reasonable distance, you can concentrate better on it and it's more absorbing (and I'd add, probably more the experience that the director was aiming for). Would he say that because you can listen to music on YouTube you couldn't ever to to a live concert? That because you can read a Penguin edition of Shakespeare you can't go off to see a performance. Intellectual snobbery, and half baked intellectual snobbery at that.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 31-Mar-13 16:11:46

If it's a matter of spending the money, you can probably get a free TV at the tip. It will be an old style crt thing, but will probably work.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 31-Mar-13 16:17:52

Having read the whole thread, I am outraged. angry

I honestly think that you should go to Curry's and pick out a massive flat screen TV and then sign up for Sky or Virgin with allllll the channels, and tell him that he can fuck the fuck off.


JustinBsMum Sun 31-Mar-13 16:46:24

I love my telly. In the evenings, if I am tired, reading a book sends me to sleep but an hour of lighthearted tv is ideal.

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Sun 31-Mar-13 16:57:03

Bloody hell, I couldn't be done with someone telling me I'm not allowed a telly! Who does he think he is? hmm

Yanbu, go get yourself a huge telly and enjoy it! Free view ones are really good, also agree with not getting a combi.

McNewPants2013 Sun 31-Mar-13 17:00:29

I think it is a joined descion because if you watch live tv you will need a tv licence.

It doesn't mean he has final say, but you need to discuss this.

StuntGirl Sun 31-Mar-13 17:02:17

Not unreasonable at all. He is being very controlling. Imagine if you told him to get rid of the laptop, I bet he wouldn't.

Can you afford a tv and the licence? If so I can't see any reason why you shouldn't go out and buy one.

We have a tv but no licence (just used for video games and iplayer). I don't particularly want a licence as I don't want 'proper tv' but my partner does. I'm resigned to the fact we will end up getting one when we can afford it as he wants it, I would never dream of stopping him.

VinegarDrinker Sun 31-Mar-13 17:13:44

The TV license is £120 a year or something, isn't it? Not to be sniffed at but a fraction of what most people spend on a TV/laptop/DVD player etc.

StuntGirl Sun 31-Mar-13 17:15:34

Yes its not much but its an additional cost to consider. No point getting the tv and then realising you can't afford the licence!

MrsLouisTheroux Sun 31-Mar-13 17:22:16

I'm with everyone who has said buy one!
I've always watched TV but watch on-line a lot more nowadays.
I have two friends who don't own a TV and make a big point of letting others know. It's often pretentious twaddle as they download films and watch catch up (iplayer/ 4OD).
If you want to watch on a TV screen tell your DH that you are getting a TV and he doesn't need to watch it if he doesn't want to.

furbaby Sun 31-Mar-13 17:34:18

Oooh was thinking the same as KatyTheCleaninglady get tv and get sky ..... kids will learn so much more from the discovery channels than they would ever get from books ...
Sorry op but he is being a controlling dick.
Sky tv is not going to the dark side its watching programmes when you want and hey the kids will learn so much more . Kick him into 2013 .

iZombie Sun 31-Mar-13 18:01:51

Get one of those aerial widgets for your laptop. Then a nice USB projector. You can have a full wall experience to really boil his pissgrin

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Sun 31-Mar-13 18:03:12

Yanbu I'm a complete book worm but sometimes i just want to unwind in front of the tv, I have far more books than dvds.

The children I nanny for watch 30mins of tv a day and it's normally a science or nature documentary, the eldest loves anything about animals and the youngest just finished watching a serious about volcanoes, not all tv is mindless drivel.

Regardless of all that what it really comes down to imo is that you want a tv therefore as an adult you can have one, if you can afford to buy a tv then go and buy one, we got a 32inch, hd ready, digital tv from asda for £169.

pigsDOfly Sun 31-Mar-13 18:05:02

Agree with everyone else, sounds very controlling to me. Does he also control what is actually watched on the laptop.

Just a point StuntGirl if you have a tv in the house you need a licence regardless of what you do with it. You could be risking a fine.

HildaOgden Sun 31-Mar-13 18:09:40

It's a strange co-incidence that you married a man who controls the TV situation in exactly the same way as your parents did.

Listen,if you want a t.v. ,get one.You're a grown up now,you don't have to obey the rules of the 'Daddy' in the house anymore.

Ullena Sun 31-Mar-13 18:14:39

I got rid of ours two years ago. We never watched it, ever. It just loomed in the corner and gathered dust. I now have houseplants there instead. Though they always die as I am the Death of All Things Plant, apparently sad

DontmindifIdo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:28:03

He's being controlling, he's telling you how you should spend your evenings. It's not like he's saying he doesn't want the DCs to watch the tv, he's also saying you shouldn't.

re watching things on the laptop when you want too, I have a question, how do you know what you want to watch? Seriously, most of my favourite series have been things I've put on one evening and got hooked, most of the things that get really hyped so you'll hear about them from other things than seeing ads on the TV for them tend to be the high budget stuff (often US imports) that's not always the most interesting/entertaining.

But mostly, don't get a combo, get separate ones, ideally with free view in it, tell him he can get involved in the decision about which you get, but you want to be able to watch TV, not just DVDs so it's not going in the playroom (plus I think personally putting a TV in the playroom gives the message it's something for the DCs, putting it in the grown up space suggests it's for you and DH).

BTW - could he explain why it's ok for your DCs to watch a DVD but not live TV for the same length of time? There is no reason, other than wanting to control the content of what you let the DCs watch, that you could possible argue that a 2 hour DVD (which will be concentrated time of watching TV) is better than 2hours of live TV (which is more likely to be split throughout the day).

We have a 'no TV before dinner' rule, so DS can watch for 1 hour before bath, and I've started letting him watch for 30 minutes or so on the days I don't work when I need to get ready in peace now he's old enough to be left downstairs, but that's still less per day than a DVD would be. You could agree similar rules, TV only goes on after dinner, before bathtime, unless it's a special occasion (like there's some big event you want to watch live).

NumericalMum Sun 31-Mar-13 18:33:48

You only need a tv license if you watch love tv I believe.

I watched LOADS of TV as a kid. I also did loads of sport and read loads o books. I have a good degree and an excellent professional qualification. I also have a very good general knowledge. My DH watched very limited tv and is also well qualified but has no general knowledge at all. My DC watches a fair bit of TV but also spends most of the day running about outside and playing with her toys in her room and reads very well too. We loves books and tv separately.

makemineamalibuandpineapple Sun 31-Mar-13 18:35:10

Most of the modern TVs, you can put pin numbers on channels you don't want children to watch. If your husband is that worried, get one with that function and put pin numbers on all the channels. Then your children have to ask permission to watch the TV but you, as a grown up, can watch TV whenever you like. I don't understand why you are being controlled by him. If you want one then go and buy one.

pigsDOfly Sun 31-Mar-13 18:53:24

Oops. Quite right, if you don't watch live tv you don't need a licence. I'm stuck in the past and didn't know the law had changed. I'll make sure of my facts next

harryhausen Sun 31-Mar-13 19:00:52

Oh I hate people who think telly is evil. I too think they're a bit weird. They say really presumptuous things like "No, we won't allow a TV in house. We prefer to do interesting things with our time and fill our brains with intellectual things...."

I grew up with a tv totally unrestricted, as did my DH. We are both in highly creative industries (I'm in books, he's in filmmaking!). Our dcs have unrestricted TV time too. They also read stacks of books, play really creative games, play sport, to Brownies/beavers etc.

GOOD tv enriches the mind. I can't stand the closed minded view that its just a 'google box' that zaps your brain.

My little rant is overgrin

I wouldn't stand for my DH telling what I'm 'allowed' to have in the house. I don't drink or smoke and my only relaxing moment is that hour or so of good drama etc before bed.

Get a TV. He'll get over itgrin

Numberlock Sun 31-Mar-13 20:45:54

Of course they can afford the licence, they're both academics don't ya know.

They are considerably more educated than yow.

DeskPlanner Sun 31-Mar-13 21:10:39

Buy one. Your dh sounds very controlling. Televisions are not the work of the devil.

DeskPlanner Sun 31-Mar-13 21:11:49

Oh and we have three televisions at home and we are all avid readers.

DeskPlanner Sun 31-Mar-13 21:12:59

He told you where you could put the television ? I've a good idea where you could put it.

inabeautifulplace Sun 31-Mar-13 21:25:21

I don't like having a tv in the house. Mainly as I'm a bit lazy and capable of vegetating in front of any old shite. For me the benefit of iPlayer et al is you have to actively select something, rather than the TV being on by default.

In fairness to the OP's DH, I have to say I personally dislike it when people are glued to their TVs, which doesn't happen so much when people watch TV on a laptop or tablet. My Dad's partner is like this - lovely lady but when she's at home it genuinely doesn't seem to occur to her to do something other than browse the TV channels for something to watch.

That said, I think having a TV is important for children if only because of cultural references which are important when socialising with other children - we watched barely any TV growing up (I still don't watch much) but it can give you a quick, easy common ground with others.

I watch Corrie so hardly educational grin I just like it!

StuntGirl Sun 31-Mar-13 21:49:40

numberlock grin

Yes pigs as long as you don't stream live TV you don't need one. But we barely watch catch up tv even anyway, we mostly watch Netflix/dvds/foreign downloads. I'm watching an amazingly bad series on a Japanese girl training to be an air hostess at the moment grin

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 31-Mar-13 21:55:03

I'm not a big fan of the TV either. I rarely sit down to watch it, and it's a bit annoying that my husband sits in front of it every spare moment.

I just don't like the op's dh telling her she can't have one.

That's fucking Bullshit.

formicaqueen Sun 31-Mar-13 22:49:35

But almost everything on TV is crap. Why not use iplayer and watch something interesting?

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 31-Mar-13 22:54:23

Maybe the op wants to watch crap. She's an adult and should be able to watch it if she wants to.

Iaintdunnuffink Sun 31-Mar-13 23:18:47

Does iplayer have much on it that hasn't been on tv?

Iaintdunnuffink Sun 31-Mar-13 23:27:33

You should get a tv. There's many good things on tv, drama, documentaries, comedy, current affairs. There's also lots of crap but crap can be enjoyable, I'm watching a dodgy film called Cockney Zombies, it's very silly. Crap is also easy to avoid by using the off button.

We have Netflix, many of the services like iPlayer that can be watched on several devices, including the tv. Watching on a larger screen at a further difference is often more comfortable on my eyes.

Iaintdunnuffink Sun 31-Mar-13 23:28:05

Distance, not difference.

LahleeMooloo Mon 01-Apr-13 00:43:30

YABU... a telly will clearly infect your children with The Chav.

Meringue33 Mon 01-Apr-13 02:00:24

We didn't have a tv for several years when I was little - it marked me out as a freak at school, shame to do that to a kid! There is loads of good stuff on telly nowadays, no need to be snobby and a half hour wind down in front is totally harmless and enjoyable IMO

ProfYaffle Mon 01-Apr-13 09:05:09

TV is great for dc's learning. We were talking about the Big Bang the other day and dd1 (9) started telling us about the Big Crunch which she learned about from Stargaving Live. Dd2 (6) is currently obsessed with Pompeii after watching the documentary the other night so we'll be following up with a visit to the exhibition at the British Museum at some point.

It's a bit mis-informed to assume it's all brain rotting junk.

I don't even think it's about learning or not - I do plenty of things that aren't 'educational' and I don't consider them to harm me on any level and it's much the same for children - they can (within reason) relax and play and entertain themselves without being educated. I'd also share Meringue's concerns about them being singled out at school, although in this day and age it's less likely.

However, the sticking point to me is that (I assume) the OP and her husband share a home, income and parenting and I'm not sure his desire NOT to spend £200 on a TV and have that TV in his home and have his children watch it particularly eclipse the OP's desire to have one, if you see what I mean. It isn't so much about whether the TV is reasonable or not, exactly. I feel personally a compromise might be to have a smaller television in a room that isn't a "main room" (spare bedroom if you have it) but that depends on the size of your house of course.

I don't think you are U for WANTING a TV but by the same token I don't think your DH is U for NOT wanting a TV! smile

marfisa Tue 02-Apr-13 11:03:19

Many thanks for all the replies. Sorry to be so late updating; I became a bit overwhelmed with easter and so on.

In brief, I went online in a white-hot rage (not the ideal circumstances, I admit) and bought a telly from John Lewis because their 5-yr guarantee on all TVs seems comforting. I was then very nervous about how I was going to break the news to DH, but in the meantime he had opened my computer and read this thread (!!). And I think he was fairly stunned by the near-unanimity of the replies. So he is less cross than he otherwise would have been. Thanks everyone!

We do have a TV licence already, so that's not a problem. He didn't want me to spend the money on a telly, but I don't think money is the real issue here; it's more the principle of the thing. I ordered one with a 26in screen and am a little in awe of how big it's going to be - our current screen is 12in, ha. So basically a relic.

As for whether he is controlling, he isn't controlling about most things, but about some things he really, really digs his heels in. Our rows are really hideous and for that reason we're currently going to Relate. I am a little uneasy with the fact that he went onto MN and read my thread, even though I'm happy about the outcome. If I ever want to spill my guts here I will have to NC.

There is also the niggling thing that he really believes he is superior to me in loads of ways. I think he thinks he "married down". I have battled depression for a long time and am on antiDs; for this reason every big quarrel gets attributed to "marfisa's depression" rather than to any actual thing that is wrong with our relationship. angry

But I digress. I am about to get a TV and DH is on board! Sort of! grin

I also particularly liked the arguments about how the difference between which kind of screen you watch on is more or less arbitrary. So laptop = virtuous and telly = corrupt. hmm

iZombie Tue 02-Apr-13 12:08:57

A start is a good thing. Enjoy your decadent 26" gloriousnesssmile

fluffiphlox Tue 02-Apr-13 12:13:02

Just go and buy one...They're cheap enough in the likes of Tesco etc.

MorrisZapp Tue 02-Apr-13 12:24:54

Oh Christ. This reminds me of my old neighbour. She used to 'pop over' to ours when Corrie was on, as her tedious snobby twat of a DP wouldn't 'let' her watch it at home.

I think she left him.

quesadilla Tue 02-Apr-13 12:47:33

This hysteria about TV from some sections if the middle class is quite neurotic IMHO. OP I come from the same sort of background as your DH and I can relate to this and take it from me; that approach backfires. My mum loathed TV to the point that she tried to impose limits of our tv viewing (didn't work), and got visibly twitchy when we watched it which massively got out backs up.
There is a grain of truth in your DH's fear - I don't think it's great for kids to have unlimited TV or not for there to be adult scrutiny of what they watch but despite numerous studies, there is still no evidence that watching moderate amounts of TV does any harm, especially as in your situation where there are books in the house and other activities are encouraged. I actually think by turning TV into a pariah like that you are making it far more enticing to children than by just having one and watching it sensibly.
So go and buy a TV and tell your husband to recall that the Victorians used to be as hysterical about women reading novels as certain sections of the middle class now are about TV.

Numberlock Tue 02-Apr-13 13:31:50

There is also the niggling thing that he really believes he is superior to me in loads of ways. I think he thinks he "married down".

Fuck the telly issue, this is what I wouldn't put up with! I hope your counselling can address this (not sure how).

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 02-Apr-13 15:01:20

I'm glad you got your tv Op.
Now what you should do is find the lowest common denominator programmes, I'd advise Jeremy Kyle and TOWIE, and sit and watch them with a six pack and a pizza wink.

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