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TV Programs

As you would expect, there is an enormous variety of programming choices available through a DISH subscription. I guess you could almost say that if it is on TV, you’ll find it on DISH, but that’s not entirely true so I won’t say that.

What I will say is that you will find just about every television show that’s being aired on “mainstream” channels like the big network channels, the hundreds of “cable” channels (Discovery, A&E, etc.), premium movie channels (HBO, Cinemax, etc.), sports networks, local programming and much more.

Every television viewer has their personal preferences when it comes to favorite programs. Sports fans probably account for a huge portion of the television audience, but there are numerous other genres that attract an impressive amount of viewers as well.

Although it’s really not a new concept, “reality TV” is something that has really taken off in recent years. Both big networks and “cable” channels have their share of reality programming that they offer up for their viewers. Much of it has a lot of drama in it that is obviously scripted, but others may leave you wondering if it is as “real” as the makers of the show want you to think.

Although I am a fan of some reality programs myself, I admit that I often find myself wondering if a lot of what I see on the screen is embellished or simply made up to add that element of drama that seems almost mandatory in most reality shows.

I’m a fan of reality shows like Gold Rush Alaska, Moonshiners and Alaska State Troopers. I guess I classify these as the more “real” reality shows since they are focused more on someone doing their job as opposed to shows that revolve around the personal lives of ill-mannered young adults, for example.

Even though I think my favorite reality shows are more “real” than most of the others, I don’t believe that what I’m watching is unrehearsed or unscripted all of the time. Many of my favorites have a little too much drama for me to believe that the show’s participants are just going about their business without any input or direction from the TV crew.

I guess the bottom line is that we all watch television to be entertained and informed. At the same time we have to keep in mind that the companies that are producing the shows we watch are in business to make money. Therefore, we have to expect them to produce their programming in a way that will attract and retain the most viewers.

Where true reality programming is concerned, I have a lot more confidence in programs like documentaries featuring nature and wildlife and things like that. After all, a director can’t tell a wild polar bear to stand in a certain spot or retake that last scene.

Obviously, where TV is concerned we can never be 100 percent certain that what we are seeing on the screen is real or genuine. Editing and special effects have come so far in recent years, making it seem possible to put almost anything imaginable on the screen and make it appear to be real.

Television programming sure has changed since I was a kid and we only had one television in the house and about six or seven channels we could watch. Now we literally have hundreds of channels to choose from and who-knows-how-many programs. That’s what makes me wonder how it can possibly be that I sometimes sit down in front of the TV and cannot find anything I want to watch!

Maybe I’m just a picky viewer, but my DVR usually saves the day because when I cannot find anything currently airing that I want to watch, I usually have some programming recorded on my DVR that will entertain me for an hour or two.

In some ways I miss the old days. Maybe it was because there was so little programming available and that made my favorite programs all the more enjoyable to watch. These days we can find our favorite programming just about anywhere we have a device to play it on and an internet connection to connect to it. Technology like DISH’s Sling and web sites like Hulu and others make it easy to take your favorite programming with you.

I haven’t quite reached the point where I feel the need to take my TV shows with me when I go somewhere and maybe I never will. Others, of course, will have a different opinion on that and I suppose it can be quite convenient for some people depending on their lifestyle.