TV in my youth was a nightmare - waiting what seemed like forever for pretty much the only watchable TV programme on a Saturday, which wasn't even that great (The Pink Panther cartoon) which was surrounded by news and sports programs (hours upon hours of teletyped results). I don't even like sports.
I haven't had a TV or TV licence for years, since I bought a projector, which I replaced with a full 1080P 3D one nearly a year ago. I appreciate I'm in the minority (most people probably like to have the curtains open during the day).
I don't have to suffer adverts any more - if I'm at someone else's house, the blatant lies oozed at the viewers just serve to annoy, and the 10 minutes of film followed by 10 minutes of ads is just a joke. I even find the news distasteful (see Charlie Brooker's excellent Newswipe to see how all the news channels and newspapers do exactly what the psychologists and experts say not to do, if they want to avoid sensationalising the news and nurturing copycats).
I download movies and music and if I like them, I buy them on blu ray / CD - although sometimes I have to wait to do that, because of artificial delays to maximise the publisher's profit. I'd be happy to pay for TV shows on blu, but not £37 for 12 episodes - even of the excellent Dexter. On blu - perhaps £1 per episode while it's current, 50p if it's already been on TV but it's just come out on blu, or less when it's older than that. Most of the TV shows I watch are US (Dexter / Castle / Chuck / House / Greys and lots of others) and if I discover a new show (recommended by a friend or a random download of a s01e01) then I get to watch them in bulk, which is great when the show's really good and has been running for a number of seasons. Waiting for it to make it over the pond and watching the ads is not the way it should happen. Unfortunately, rights holders are (naturally?) tight with their IP, so would rather lose sales to downloaders than make it available everywhere at once.
It's a shame that the downloaders get a better experience than the legitimate purchasers (no ads, no piracy warnings, works on any kit, watch it when you like, watch it again years later, transfer to any device).
I don't believe that downloaded content in its current form has much value in itself - probably because there are ways to get it for free (sorry). If there is value added to the downloaded content (for example a 24bit studio master that is better than the CD) then I'm happy to pay for a download, but not for a poor quality MP3, which (unfortunately) a lot of people are happy with (I expect due to the poor quality hardware they're playing it on).
I have over 90 blu-rays, loads of DVDs and even laserdiscs, as well as 300 CDs (most of the music bought in the last century - not due to piracy but due to only about one CD a year that's worth buying) so at least I've made some sort of contribution.
Like I said in a forum years ago, charge me one monthly price (I think I said £30 at the time, maybe £50 now) for me to consume what I like ("stream" any music, any film, any newspaper, any magazine, any book, any game, any image, from any era), when I like, and split the money to pass to the relevant parties according to how much I used each item - and I'll buy into that scheme. Sadly, because so many companies own the rights to all this stuff, that'll never happen. Apart from that, it seems that you'd be lucky to get even all that Sky offers for £50 a month, never mind the other stuff.
I paid for a month of LoveFilm and for a month of Netflix, but because the alternative (downloading) offers so much more choice, it all seemed a bit limited. Even the shows they did have didn't have all the seasons. Logging on to either service in the US offered much more choice, which I'm afraid is a situation I won't pay to prolong.
I appreciate that if everyone did what I did, they wouldn't produce the content any more, as there wouldn't be any profit in it, unless you care to multiply all the stuff I've actually bought by all the people that buy even less than I do...
"You wouldn't steal a car" - no, but I'd drive it through a device that makes a perfect copy of it, that has no detrimental effect on the original.