Tag Archives: television

A few changes since my last post on this topic…

With the antenna in the equipment closet, we received 35 channels. After hiding channels we have no interest in (a children’s cartoon channel, Home Shopping Network, etc.), we were down to 19 channels. I wanted to see if we could increase that without resorting to putting the antenna on the roof or in the attic, so I bought Channel Master’s matching Titan 2 medium gain pre-amplifier, for $76.42 including shipping. Alas, it didn’t help any.

Our Dish bill increased  to $130.13/month. Adjusting for one Hopper DVR for a fair comparison, that’s $118.13/month.

Our T2x reprogramming didn’t cost us anything.


Total cost of Dish over three years: $4,253, if there are no more Dish price increases. (Hahahahahaha!)

Total cost of OTA hardware: $542 + $76.42 = $618.

For the cost comparison, I’ll assume we subscribe to HBO NOW ($14.99/month) and Hulu Plus ($7.99/month).

Total cost of OTA over three years: $618 +( 3 * 12 * (14.99 + 7.99)) = $1,445.

Total savings over three years: $2,808.

With everything installed, we ironically find ourselves using Apple TV more often. But that’s OK, because we’re still saving $2,808 over three years. This is a total win.

An update on our plans to cut the Satellite TV cord:

I contacted Dish to cancel their service. Their web site doesn’t have a link for doing this, so I e-mailed them. They replied, asking me to speak with a customer service rep to, “finalize the cancellation request.”

This was a little bothersome.

I called and got the, “Why are you canceling?” routine. I explained nicely that we watch only five or six channels. “Which channels do you watch?” I deflected that line of questioning, and asked again to cancel the service. She offered a discount on our monthly bill. I said no thanks. She then had to speak to her manager.

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Here’s an update to my plans to cut the cord from our satellite (cable) TV habit.

The Channel Master equipment arrived a week after I ordered it. The installation was easy. The connection instructions for the antenna and DVR+ weren’t like Apple’s “It just works,” but they weren’t bad. (For example, I needing a Phillips screwdriver to attach the antenna’s four feet.) The DVR+ has a sleek profile — nicer than I expected. Ditto for the antenna. Read More

We have DISH for “cable” (satellite) television. It’s a reliable service with good equipment, and we’ve been happy with it. But in the last year, DISH’s price started gnawing at us. After some online research and talking to friends, we agreed to consider giving up satellite/cable broadcast TV altogether.

We researched our alternatives. Here’s what we plan to do.

The DISH status quo

We have DISH’s Top 200 package, HBO, Starz, and HD channels; and two DISH Hopper HD DVRs. We have two Hoppers for odd reasons that I won’t go into here — when we cut the cord, we’ll return to using just one receiver.

The “Top 200” package was the smallest one that gave us the channels we wanted. Thank you, cable channel bundling! We wanted HBO, and Starz came with it for free but we never watch it.

For all this, we pay DISH $125.13 monthly, including all fees and taxes. $12.00 of that is for the second Hopper, so for a fair comparison to the cord-cutting alternative, our service with only one receiver would cost us $113.13 monthly.
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Yesterday on ReadWriteWeb, Mike Berkley penned an article about Comcast’s impending battle with Hulu. He also gave a succinct description of the TV Everywhere ecosystem. There have been other articles about TV Everywhere, but in the spirit of less is more, Berkley’s well-chosen few words nicely summarized it.

Without defending the specific plans of Comcast and Time Warner, technology will soon give rise to TV Everywhere or something like it. Here’s the television landscape of the near future:


Maybe TV Everywhere won’t entirely succeed. Maybe the associations (i.e., the columns in this graphic) won’t have exactly these entities, or the payment systems won’t work quite as envisioned. It can be hard to forecast what consumers will or won’t accept, or precisely how money will change hands. Still, a new distribution model with this general shape is “duh” obvious. And every entity here will be happier with fewer hops between the content and consumer, because fewer hops means fewer slices in the money pie.

There’s a reason you don’t see any television affiliates, such as KOMO or KING, in the TV Everywhere ecosystem. It’s because television affiliates become road kill. They don’t have a place in this brave new world. And they have no allies. In fact, they’re already dead, but their fearless leaders don’t yet realize it.

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