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The Tired Donkey

Cocktails, Apple conundrums, taxes and other assorted stuff

Cutting the Cable: Ongoing Frustrations | Mac Hardware, Mac Software, OTA Broadcasts | The Tired Donkey

The Tired Donkey

Sitting Donkey
The Tired Donkey blogs about cocktails, ways to get the most out of your Mac at home, work, college . . . wherever. He used to write about the unending abuse suffered by the 51% of Americans who actually pay the federal income tax. But this became too depressing, and, frankly, no one wanted to read it.

Nevertheless, if you came here looking for the Tired Donkey's brilliant analysis of our dim-witted tax system, you can still find his earlier posts. Just check the archives or the
Site Map.

Note: The Tired Donkey is not advertiser supported, and he gets no benefit from any product mentioned on his site.

The Tired Donkey

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Cutting the Cable: Ongoing Frustrations



frustration
This is the sixth post in a series about abandoning cable/satellite television in favor of HD broadcast TV combined with a web-connected computer acting as a media server. To start with the introduction, click here; links to the rest of the series are at the bottom of the post.

Okay, let’s get this series of posts put to bed. I cancelled my cable a year ago and just got to the break-even point on the up-front money I used to get my OTA + Mac Mini system established. So am I happy? Very. Are there still some frustrations? Yes. Here they are in no particular order:

  • I miss our Sunday night appointment with HBO original content. It used to be a highlight of my week, and there is simply no way as of this writing to replace it. After a year, we are just starting to catch up on HBO content as it is released to video, but it’s just not the same as seeing it when it is released.
  • There are still times when the system doesn’t work properly and I find myself resetting routers just to watch a little TV. Say what you want about cable, but it’s still more reliable than a computer hooked up to an internet connection.
  • As simple as the system I designed is to use, it is still not as easy as a cable or satellite package with a single, dedicated remote. There are times when I am sitting there navigating across the television screen with a mouse just to watch a movie when I long for the simplicity of the old setup.
  • I’m not saving as much money as I thought I would. When I cancelled my cable package and then my cable phone service (in favor of a SIP system I will talk about in a future post), the bill for my cable internet service kept jumping upward. Nothing unfair about this, but I was initially expecting to save about $140 a month and that number is closer to $105. And this doesn’t include content I am paying for that used to be included in my cable package. That is about an additional $15/month so call my total savings $90/month. Don’t get me wrong: that’s real money, but not as much as I expected.
  • OTA broadcasts are not entirely reliable for me. Of course, cable wasn’t either, but unless you are living close enough to your broadcast sources to guarantee a perfect signal in all weather at all times of the year, you may miss some shows because of lost signal strength.
  • Streaming content is not as reliable as cable content. There are times when the internet slows down, and the quality of the feed is compromised.
When I add all these factors up, there is about one day a month when I am really frustrated by the system. But that’s not too bad for $90 more in my pocket.

I hope this series of posts has been helpful to you. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email me directly or just post a comment.

Other Posts in This Series

Introduction

Preliminary Considerations

Network Hardware: Setting It All Up

Software and Remotes: Making It All Useful

Getting the Media Content You Need

The Tired Donkey

Sitting Donkey
The Tired Donkey blogs about cocktails, ways to get the most out of your Mac at home, work, college . . . wherever. He used to write about the unending abuse suffered by the 51% of Americans who actually pay the federal income tax. But this became too depressing, and, frankly, no one wanted to read it.

Nevertheless, if you came here looking for the Tired Donkey's brilliant analysis of our dim-witted tax system, you can still find his earlier posts. Just check the archives or the
Site Map.

Note: The Tired Donkey is not advertiser supported, and he gets no benefit from any product mentioned on his site.

The Tired Donkey

Archives