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It’s been said of cable TV, “A thousand channels and 90% of it is crap.” The same is now true of streaming services.

My wife and I wanted to watch something tonight. Amazon had seemingly millions of cop, detective, and period dramas. They were all variations on the same theme. Go over to Netflix where the auto-play video is supremely annoying and the UI was designed by a high school student with ADD. More millions of cop and detective shows. And Britain in the 1800’s.

I have nothing against cop or period dramas but I question why we’re supplied with millions of them. The answer: They’re mindless entertainment, and the more that exist the longer we’ll stay on the site and click, click, click.

Except I won’t.


A follow-up on our undertaking of cutting the cord and using an OTA antenna…

Prodded by friends, we decided to have a roof antenna installed. Some channels weren’t coming in reliably with our in-the-closet setup, and some channels (notably KING5) didn’t come in at all.

It’s not easy finding an OTA antenna installation company. Many companies advertise satellite antennas without any mention of terrestrial antennas.

I went with Home Satellite.

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We’ve been happy about our OTA antenna setup, with ChannelMaster equipment.  We’re watching more Netflix and movies.  We watch KOMO and KIRO for the very few (like one or two) broadcast network shows we watch; for some reason, KING doesn’t come in at all.

Not receiving a DISH monthly bill has been wonderful!

Our antenna is in the movie room’s equipment closet. We’re now thinking about having it mounted on the roof.  If we do that, maybe we should also consider a different (better) antenna…

I’m starting to look for a company to advise me and do the antenna installation.


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.

So…

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