We cut the cable cord in 2007 replacing the DirectTV dish with a $12 pair of rabbit ears.
Since then, we've experimented with a variety of means of consuming media and have settled on streaming Netflix through the Xbox360 as the easiest way to watch many of the programs that interest us. In addition to Netflix, using a
server running on a Windows computer on our home network we are also able to push Hulu as well as many network websites to the TV through the Xbox... including PbsKids.com for him and ComedyCentral.com for me.
As the boy grows up and learns how to navigate the mostly commercial free content on the TV in our house, I'm interested to study how the lack of mainstream television advertising affects his interest in popular toys. I also plan to splice in some retro commercials from Youtube into our viewing routine to manipulate his 'wants' and convince him hand me downs and toys from Ebay are the must have holiday gifts. One year he's gonna go crazy for Furby's while the next he won't be able to live without Castle GreySkull.
You can by a 1985 Teddy Ruxpin (with 2 cassettes!) for 15 dollars on Ebay.
I think several well placed spots a day between streaming Tom and Jerry cartoons should encourage him to put that on the top of his Santa list.
And these old videos will open up lessons on sensitivity training. Kids rolling their eyes because the boy brings in his Teddy Bear for "Show and Tell". Thats so 1980's.