After years of trial and error, my family and I have arrived at a television-management stratergy that works for us. We order cable tv for three months a year--from when the kids get out of school for winter break through the NCAA basketball championships (roughly mid-December - end of March). Out here in Storrs, CT, we don't get broadcast television, so that means no television for about nine months a year (we still watch occasional DVDs throughout the year, so we haven't gone completely Amish--as my brother John would put it).
Being on this schedule for several years now, I've come to appreciate its benefits.
* It saves money, about $500 a year.
* We stay mostly up-to-date with what we want to watch (with regular and repeat showings).
* The kids are aware of cultural references from television.
* We don't get into the habit of watching television constantly.
* It gets us outside when it's nicer weather.
* It gives us something easy to do in worse weather.
It's getting time to unplug cable, and I'm looking forward to it.