Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I quit smoking cigars years ago, right when the tobacco patches started being available. It was hard, but not as hard as quitting cable. What am I talking about? Pricing and bundling by the internet providers who also happen to provide us with cable TV. The providers are getting smarter (no Kidding!). Raise the price of internet service and provide packages that make it irresistible to drop the other stuff like phone service and cable TV.

Look around the country, unless you are lucky enough to be able to subscribe to Net Zero internet service or someone like them, you are stuck with Verizon, Comcast, Charter or Time Warner. Look at their websites and you will find that to get decent video streaming speeds you end up paying $50/month for just internet service.

Service

Cost/month

Note

Internet only (25/50)

$50.00

 

Phone only

$44.99

 

Basic cable only (135 channels)

$49.99

 

 Total

$144.98

 
   

Verizon Bundle Local TV

$59.99

Internet & Local TV (40-70 some in HD)

Verizon Bundle #1

$89.99

Internet, phone & TV (225+ channels including 65+ in HD)

Verizon Bundle #2

$59.99

Internet, phone & Local   TV (40-70 some in HD)

   

Cable Boxes (1 DVR and 3 boxes)

$35.00

 You’re killing me!

Note: Prices will rise dramatically after intro period or contract.

Pre-Internet TV and Phone service

Back when I was younger, my parents had AT&T phone service with no voicemail, paid for long distance phone calls to friends and relatives and got 4-5 channels of FREE TV. The cost was $30/month for the phone service and another $10-$20/month for long distance. So say $50/month, 30 years ago.

My point here is that yeah we have to pay something for phone and TV access and to get that access for $50/month is paying way too much, but you don’t have a choice. The question is why are we getting killed to rent cable boxes at the prices everyone charges? We don’t have to pay. Thank goodness for the Roku device.

Never have to negotiate again with the Cable/Internet Company

Go ahead and bite the bullet and pay for the Internet Only package. The price probably won’t go up any time soon. They already charge too much anyway. Then from what you save on the cable box rentals alone, you can set up your own “close to the old days” home media environment at home.

Step 1: Sign up with Roku.com and pick all the free channels you want. Purchase a Roku 3 box for each TV. ($99.00 each).

Step 2: Buy an HD antenna (Leaf or RCA) and stick it in your attic and connect to the coax cable already in the attic. (Leaf $99.00, RCA $50.00).

Step 3: Buy a Tablo DVR box (up to 6 TV’s) and a couple terabyte external HD. And hook them up to your router. (Tablo box, $200, HD $150).

Step 4: Subscribe to the free Hulu and the tons of Roku movie channels that are free. Roku also has channels for Redbox rentals.

 homemediaguy

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Hi, I am Bill the home media guy. I got tired of hearing about all the people who have home media PC’s and use all sorts of Free software to watch pretty much the same thing I pay my cable provider for. When I looked I found a flood of information out there but no advice from a non-techie regarding what works and what doesn’t, free vs. paid for web content and software, and how do I get all this to work in my living room without spending 8 months figuring it all out.

I spent months figuring it out with the help of my friends, and now want to share the things I learned with everyone. Home media systems are my hobby, keeping up with the latest and greatest software hardware and integration techniques are all part of what I enjoy to do.

I use a WordPress Blog to share my experiences and do not specifically endorse any products. I offer my opinions and that’s as far as it goes. As far as my advice and opinions go, that’s all they are. Your results may vary depending on pretty much everything.

My Media Network

I am very frugal when it comes to acquiring technology. I want the best value for my money.  Free is always best and that is where I start when I am looking for an answer to a media problem. Believe me, often times than not, free offers a better solution technically than paid for answers.

My media network consists of:

Living Room:

  • 52” Samsung 120mhz TV which is 4 years old (not a smart TV)
  • Sony DVD play Model # BDP-S590 (network aware)
  • Roku 3 box (new 2013)
  • TP=Link 100 gigabyte switch (TL-SG1005D)
  • Cisco wireless router connected to a Verizon  Actiontec router.
  • Standard Verizon service 15/5 Mbps

Rest of the house:

  • 3 HD TV’s in the kitchen and bedrooms with component only inputs

So there you have it. Not much different than most folks. I hope you can use the information I supply and put it to good use. Some of you will supplement your current cable environment and others will be like me looking for alternatives to cable and satellite services.

I will be providing information in three categories:

  •  Single Room (usually living room or den)
  • Whole House
  • Global (remote access to your media no matter where you are)

Enjoy.

Bill

The Media Guy

P.S. The only way to contact me is through the blog.