We don't have cable or satellite TV.
We get about 5 channels with the rabbit ears, and of those, 2 are French and one is kinda snowy. But that's OK, the shows I like to watch are all carried on the 2 channels that come in clearly.
There are a couple of reasons for this. One, I'm cheap. I don't watch that much TV (Grey's Anatomy, Law and Order - SVU, the Tudors, Rick Mercer Report, HNIC and the local news is about it) and I refuse to pay $50 or more a month to waste more time in front of the TV. I read a lot.
And two, I like that my kids aren't bombarded with the endless advertising, especially toys and junk food, that seems endemic to any of the kids' specialty channels. It's nice for me to choose what to get my girls for Christmas, instead of having Mattel and the other big toy companies brainwash them into wanting what the companies want to sell me. The girls get some kids' programming on CBC, and that's commercial-free.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fanatic. If they watch The Cartoon Network while over at their Dad's place -- cool. And don't think that they spend all their free time playing with educational toys or hooking rugs for the homeless either -- they get their fair share of screen time. We have a fairly large collection of childrens' movies on VHS and DVD, and that's what they watch.
Our TV is older, which necessitates a complicated series of hook-up cables, but both girls can set the TV and its peripherals up to watch a tape or a DVD when they want. Rachel seems to confuse the two technologies though -- asking where the Special Features are on the tapes. Leah patiently explains that only the DVDs have those. They are masters of the pause button and the scene selection.
They truly are children of the digital age, though, in the way their thought processes work. The other day they were playing together in the living room while I was making dinner. It was some complicated imaginary game involving Barbies, small toy cars, and randomly cut pieces of coloured paper. They were quite happily playing when Rachel stood up suddenly, started hopping from one foot to the other, and said to her sister, "Leah, pause the game for a minute. I have to go to the bathroom."