Linked by weildish on Tue 6th Jan 2009 17:28 UTC
Editorial If you live in the United States, then it's almost certain you've heard about this big digital switch that public television is making due to a new US law. If you live outside of the US, I bet you've heard of it anyway since we like to let people know what we're up to. The big day that's coming up -- February 17th, 2009 -- that magical date when all television stations will historically abandon the infamous analog broadcasting for greener, digital pastures -- didn't strike fear into the hearts at my household. We rarely utilize the antenna, and then only two to four times a year for a special program. Nonetheless, we got our hands on one of those nifty coupons anyway and went out to purchase a digital converter for the sake of those few intrinsic public broadcats. Read on for the whole story.
Thread beginning with comment 342503
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Say good goodbye to Cable.
by jamesd on Tue 6th Jan 2009 19:08 UTC
jamesd
Member since:
2006-01-17

While Cable companies try to make a profit on the DTV switch over, its time to turn the tables on them. Cancel your cable. Take the money you save for a 3-4 months and build a Mythtv Box or just upgrade your current linux box. You can get a Digital TV tuner card for your Linux for less than $80 usually, which is less than most people end up paying for Cable in a month. With the money that a 2nd month of cable would cost you get a amplified digital ready antenae if necessary and add a 250+ GB harddisk you can now store 30+ hours of HD programming.

I'm not sure about the rest of the country but in Milwaukee, we have 5 PBS channels that actually put some decent programming, and of course we have all the major networks. And the best thing about digital TV is that you get a picture that rivals the best Cable has to offer perhaps even better if you consider with out the premium packages you are often locked into 480i resolution. Even if you need to rent some dvd's or sign up for netflix to fill your remaining entertainment needs you are still way ahead.

Now the biggest question is what to do with the $50-$70 a month in savings, perhaps get a new system to run mythtv on or that large LCD tv you have been dreaming of.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Say good goodbye to Cable.
by Snapper on Wed 7th Jan 2009 18:30 in reply to "Say good goodbye to Cable."
Snapper Member since:
2005-11-16

Yeah, did the Myth thing for quite a while. Contributed some code also.

When Zap2It decided to no longer offer free listings, I kind of lost interest in the project. The cable company offered a $4 per month DVR with 2 tuners and took me out of the DVR support role (after all, my wife was using it, not me) which I greatly appreciated.

Not sure where the project is now (I used KnoppMyth) but I personally will not be going back. There is just too much upheaval in the video world right now. I just want something that works and if it fails will be fixed by someone else.

YMMV.

Reply Parent Score: 1

jamesd Member since:
2006-01-17

there is a service now that offers the tv schedule for $20 a year.. less than $2 a month seems very reasonable. And is fully intergrated into mythtv, just give it your account name and password.

If you are still locked into cable for some reason $4 a month for a DVR seems okay but the DVR's usually automatically delete any program saved for more than a month. The real cost for cable is there programming cost, they always have some nice friendly rate but then you or someone in your family keeps adding one more thing and before you know it, you are at $75-100 a month.

The real goal of my comment was to get rid of cable and enjoy digital TV and a DVR for a lot less than what cable ends up costing.

Reply Parent Score: 2