Revisited – Down with Cable Up With DTV and Online

December 11, 2009

Funny how things can get around these days. Although the transition to DTV is over and done, with a few bumps. TV is one of the key areas for more change. And it has only begun. Another sign is today article in the New York Times headlined – Cable Freedom Is a Click Away.  Only weeks after the announcement of Comcasts bid to buy NBC, the story in Times  tells how to skip cable and make a significant financial gain. Not something to neglect these days.

Just as this blog posted over a year ago under the headline “Down with cable up with online and DTV“, cable TV is challenged by alternatives offered today. Even of you need some tech skills and patience while getting what you want to your set. But on the other hand – your new resources will offer you more time when you decide when and what to watch on your screen.

To stay tuned with your favorite shows on the set –  doesnt have to include a monthly payment to a cable giant. How bout that?

The goal is to get more for less and gain freedom from set monthly bills and cable companies that actually exclude the wealth of alternative and mainstream resources of content that are gaining in importance and quality.

This blog and the Times article has offered two ways of skipping cable – do you have any other to share?

Best / Anders

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Down with Cable TV – Up with Online and DTV

November 16, 2008

Fot those thinking about saving money in an shrinking economy, lets check the alternatives.

Let go of your expensive cable TV subscription. Instead make a new combination for your viewing habits with online viewing and a live TV-set together with no cost per month digital-TV.

The thing is to question why in heaven you really need cable TV. It is on it´s way to become old fashioned. Also, it is fairly expensive. You are stuck with a limited selection of TV-channels, you need to set your watch to not miss out on your favorite show and it is really not very flexible. Convenient, yes, and a habit, yes, for now.

But think about it. If you unplugg your cable TV you will save at least $30 a month. Keep your internet connection for maybe $20 a month. Get a converterbox for digital TV and hook it up to your TV set and you will have acccess to local and national TV stations for news and local information. That is a one time cost of $60. (check your antenna though). In two months time you start to save money. And gain in flexibility.

Then log on to you tube, nbc.com, hulu, itunes and many more outlets of on-demand TV and video.

I can recommend an apple TV or maybe an Xbox that can provide you with movies and podcasts. Did you know that most of the newschannels that you can watch on your TV set are available as podcasts? It´s great. You dont need to set your watch to view the show and you skip commercials. I think podcasts are the biggest thing since TV came to earth. Also, it is fully loaded with new formats for niché TV. I use Itunes, Ipodtouch and an Apple TV to keep up in the news flow and get inspiration. I watch podcasts more than broadcasts. It is a relieve for anyone with kids (you decide when, where and what you view).

Also, there is more on your way. Youtube will release old movies and TV-shows from MGM. More people watched Saturday Night Live with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin online than as a broadcast, writes Mike Musgrove at Washingtonpost. That is a sign if any.

Now you can start deciding about your money and your habits. Crisis and change come with possibilities.

Best /Anders


Quiz Tries Make You DTV Whiz

December 31, 2007

NTIA has made a simple online quiz, a tool that tries to help you find out if you are affected by the DTV transition or not. You can find it here.

It is simply asking you a few questions to find out how you receive TV today and if you have a digital TV set or not.

In my mind it is a too simple quiz. Most people don’t know how they receive TV. Why think about that when it has worked well for years, most people tend to think.

There is one more question you can ask yourself: How do I live?

If you live in an apartment you most of the time have cable TV. And if you are living in your own house you may have a roof top antenna. If you are uncertain, put your coat on and check. If you have one, and it is connected to a TV set – Then that set is affected by the transition. You will need a converter box. Today Chicago Tribune puts the converter box coupons program as if the government is giving away converter boxes for free. But the truth is that the coupons won’t cover the whole cost of a box. It is unclear how much a box really will cost and probably we will see a price crunch during 2008. So it will be a question of timing when people will buy boxes – to make the most worth of a coupon.

However, the transition is in February 2009. In many states there will still be a heavy winter at that point. So, try to get in action before the winter comes to your town and get a converter box during the fall in 2008. If you have an old antenna that needs to be replaced you want to do that before the roof is covered in snow and ice.

Anders Bjers


FCC vs. Cable TV, C-SPAN Airs Today’s Meeting Live

November 27, 2007

At 11 PM (EST) C-SPAN airs the public meeting that the Federal Communications Commission, FCC will hold in D.C. You can check the agenda here. Much interest will be focused on the future of cable TV. Among else AP reports – “Communications regulators will vote Tuesday on whether greater regulation of cable television providers is needed, given how widespread pay-television has become.”

In connection with the transition to digital TV it is interesting how and if cable TV might be limited in ways that makes over the air TV a more attractive choice, especially when it might be easier and cheaper with great picture quality and more channels than before. One piece of the context is included in this meeting and it will be interesting to follow the outcome.

Please tune in.

Anders Bjers