On: Cutting Loose the Cable

by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved

Cut It Loose!

Cut It Loose!

Coaxial Cable Connector

Coaxial Cable Connector

I’m sure by now, most of you have heard that Comcast Cable has put in an offer to buy Time Warner Cable for the paltry sum of, $45 billion dollars. This comes after Comcast is already the largest cable company in the United States and after it completed its purchase of television network and movie studio NBC Universal, just a few months ago. Geeze, I wonder if the courts will think it already a monopoly? I wonder if this is allowed to go through, what it will mean to all their perspective customers, but first, what will the new company be called?

CastWarn Cable?

CastWarn Cable?

Combining the NBC familiar peacock rainbow colors and the Time Warner logo and part of the name from the present two companies, will the merger make for the new name being, CastWarn Cable? 🙂

I don’t know what cable TV/Internet service provider you presently use, but ours is Time Warner. Our experience has for the most part, been great service.

Each time we have had a service technician come to our home, each have always gone beyond our expectations. Our Internet through Time Warner has been, Road Runner and the speed is lightening fast and rarely has there ever been an interruption of service (down-time) and when this has occurred, it has never been for long.

Just a quick glance at reviews online indicate that we may be only a few with little complaints about Time Warner service? Others say it is terrible and many more believe that Comcast is even worse. But we have severe issues with Time Warner and certainly wonder how much worse it will be, IF this merger between Comcast & Time Warner goes through?

Our issues with Time Warner are three-fold:

1. I believe their equipment – cable modem, DVR (digital video recorder) their tuner box and their remote control are all crap!
 
2. Their programming sucks (but still better than Dish satellite. Premium channels? Whoopeee, I could care less how many months they give it away for FREE, I don’t like them even at the price of FREE. Why? I don’t like their premium channels primarily because, they keep repeating the same programs and movies over and over and over and over AGAIN & AGAIN!!!
 
3. Price! Despite the fact that there are no contracts, the prices keep going UP and UP and UP and UP! And they don’t bother to tell you your FREE stuff is up, they just start charging you for it. Now if you collect your equipment and take it back to them, watch how fast they drop the price. Quite frankly, I resent that. Why don’t they give a good deal in the first place?

Yes, it’s time to cut the cable!

Cut the Cable!

Cut the Cable!

Oh NO! Nothing on the screen! What shall we do? How will we live? 🙂

Not to worry! But, YES, the bottom line is, we are looking to cut the cable loose and find some other options. We may have to keep Road Runner for Internet  or whatever it is called if Comcast acquires Time Warner. Maybe they will call it’ Road Eater’ because, Comcast already seems to gobble up everything in its path. But I am looking into other options for our Internet service. Well, that leaves TV. What are we going to do about TV?

This is all kind of exciting. I consider myself a New-O. I like a lot of the New technology and ‘stuff’,’ but I also like a lot of the O (old) ‘stuff’ that is tried and trued. Television was commercially available in the 1920’s, but it really took hold in the 1950’s. WOW, it really has not been around all that long when you think about it! It started out just black and white with round screens and the stations did not broadcast 24 hours a day; 7 days a week. Then, TV evolved to rectangular shapes and added color. Just a few short years ago it evolved again, with the introduction of HD (high definition). Broadcasters started to replace the old analog signals with the new digital signals. This whole explosion to me has been like the change from black and white TV to color AGAIN, in comparison! Now, we are pressing onward with HD 3D TV.

But again, after WWII, TV took hold in this country. It was a common sight to see family and friends gathering together around the television in the evening. TV trays were invented so we could eat and not miss our favorite show. Also common were antennas mounted on our rooftops and even the set-top familiar Rabbit-Ears appeared, to tune in our distant broadcast programs. Well, today, there is the exciting combination of the new technology with the old.

New-O

New-O

Like in the picture above, it combines black and white (the old) with the new, by way of the colored, flat-screen, HDTV.  But what you do not see in the picture is how the TV gets its signal. Most TV’s now are made with either an internal HD antenna or the ability to receive these signals along with the ‘old’ UHF and VHF signals. More and more stations are broadcasting in digital signals. Soon, analog signals will disappear, new cameras will be used and more and more programs will begin to be broadcast in 3D. So, we return to the past for an old solution, sort of.

If your new wide screen, flat panel, HD or HD 3D TV does not have an internal antenna, the following are just some examples of other options.

Antennas

Antennas

The first one might look familiar? It should because, it is like the common-sighted antenna, roof mounted, just like in the past. The second one shown does nearly the same thing, only it is designed for the interior or the inside of your home or business. The third one looks like a modem or a router. It is about the same size as one of those devices, but it is an antenna for the TV. And some even come in several colors. There are a whole bunch of choices, styles, sizes and etc. for HD antennas. There is a downside and an upside to these, however.

On the down-side, these antennas are designed to pickup signals on average, from around 25-70 miles away from the source at the broadcast towers. This means, you will only be able to pick up your local channels. If this is all you want, then this is not a problem. But which device is the best for you will depend on several variables.

a. What channels will you receive? Of those, will that be OK for you?
 
b. How far are you from the broadcast towers
 
c. What is the strength of those signals
 
d. Your TV
 
e. Your location – do you live on a hill, are there trees all around you, are you in a hollow and perhaps, there are many other factors which could affect the quality of the signal.

The best advice for solving the problems above is, find a professional installer of the equipment in YOUR AREA! Their experience of similar situations of local installations, may prove out to recommend the best antenna for you and your location. The other piece of advice is simply, just trial and error. You keep trying until you get the best outcome for your particular needs and situation.

Obviously, the upside to HD antennas is the cost. Instead of paying monthly bills which amount to 100’s if not thousands of dollar each year, what you see with an HD antenna is, what you get. And what you get is FREE. Yes, FREE TV! No fees and there is nothing to fear as it is all perfectly legal! The broadcasters own the equipment and the towers it is connected to, but they DON’T OWN the air (airwaves) those signals are sent through to you! Cable TV own the cable lines that come to your house and perhaps the equipment in your house that gets it to your TV, but they are charging us for programming and the equipment, because they don’t own the air (airwaves) either! And the the same goes for Dish Network or Direct TV. They may have paid for the satellite orbiting in space (but chances are that WE the People, ALREADY PAID for that. After you have paid for your antenna and perhaps for the installation, all the channels that you receive are all FREE!

If you want anything more than just local channels, there is the possibility of accessing movies and other content through your TV and/or your computer. To do this, you still need to have Internet service and as fast as is available, a cable modem and a router to network your devices and fast processing speeds among all your devices. Cable modem? But I thought this was about cutting the cable?

Technically, we are not actually endeavoring to cut the actual cable (coaxial cable), but sever the out-go of our money to the cable TV service provider. For example, we WERE paying Time Warner $5 per month to RENT their combination modem/router in addition to their high fees monthly for programming. Now five bucks a month may not seem like much, but it adds up. And remember I said previously that in our opinion, Time Warner’s equipment is “crap?” Well their modem/router had a lousy signal, even though we had the fastest Internet speed available from them and in our area. The signal comes into the house through the modem/router and then it goes out to our TV and other devices. It was slow! The TV picture (screen) often seemed to jumped or freeze momentarily, many, many times. So we replaced their modem/router with our own separate modem and router and when their equipment is returned, we will no longer have to rent it for $5 per month for as long as we stay with them. And until we settle on a more permanent solution for a HD antenna and an alternative for internet service this is what we are going to do –

I’m taking back Time Warner’s modem/router, down-grading to basic cable light (just local channels) for around $13 per month and getting rid of their DVR and save another $15 per month or so. All in all, these changes will save us 100’s if not thousands of dollars per year!

Not to worry! When you are here at The Gathering Place, we will have plenty of content, signal and speed for you to enjoy, however it works out!

Unplug or cut the connection between your bank account and Cable or Satellite TV today! It’s your money!

If you need a new TV, HD antenna or other home entertainment ‘stuff,’ click or scan the QR code in the far right lower corner of this page or see:

Dahni&SusansMall.com

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Categories: Cable TV, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Get Paid to Shop, HD antenna, Ideas, Internet, Saving Money, Shopping, Television, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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