Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Antenna TV, Satellite TV, Streaming Media... so many options! Or not.

We bought a "smart TV" last year and moved our old television to the bedroom.  The old one is an HD plasma set that we bought years ago, not long after HD was introduced.  I mostly watch it in the evening after I've gone to bed; I turn in pretty early to keep from eating.  Crazy, I know, but it works for me.  My weight loss is at a standstill right now, but at least I'm back in my size 12 jeans and not gaining.  

We have Directv for the living room, but I felt there wasn't any sense paying to have it connected to a second set no more than I use it.  A friend gave me a Roku he wasn't using, so we hooked that up to the bedroom set.  When it couldn't be upgraded any more, I replaced it with the cheapest Roku made and used that, along with my Amazon Prime account, to watch various shows and also to listen to Pandora sometimes.  I bought rabbit ears so I could get local TV without paying, but it only brought in about five channels, the two channels offered by our local fox affiliate and three Kansas City PBS offerings.  On a good day I might get channel 9, but often as not it would come and go when I was trying to watch something.  

Now, let me tell you the perils of living in the boonies, forty miles from the nearest city:  First, streaming TV is unreliable.  We get by pretty good in the living room, which is closer to our wi-fi; but too often, in the bedroom, it has to stop often and reload.  Slow DSL is one of the perils of living in the country (thanks a lot, CenturyLink).  Here's a screen shot I took to show how much our wi-fi signal varies.
Obviously, when the signal (third column from the left) is down to 2.09, streaming media has a problem "streaming".  I always keep in mind, though, that other folks "in the boonies" in various areas around the country tell me I am lucky to have even that good a DSL signal. 

Now I've known for some time that it is possible to get a great television signal here with an outside antenna, because we raised our children on antenna TV.  I ordered one of the cheaper antennas on Amazon, which arrived yesterday.  Cliff hunted around in his scrap piles for a pole that would get the thing high enough in the air to suit him, and he and the oldest grandson went to work.
In a matter of forty-five minutes, I had almost forty channels on the bedroom television.  OK, so a large percentage of the channels are either religious or else selling something, but still.  I now have six PBS stations, three out of Warrensburg and three from Kansas City.  In the evening, there's almost always something worth watching on one of those.

Reminds me of the old days.
Cliff is so impressed with the signal I'm getting in the bedroom that he's pondering getting a splitter and bringing the antenna signal to the living room set, because he says a lot of those old shows I've been going to sleep by at night are better than anything else on television.  I only wish I was ever awake at 10 PM when Johnny Carson comes on!  

But of course, there are commercials.  The main reason we don't get rid of satellite is that we don't like to watch commercials.

What about a Tivo?  The cheapest of those is $85, plus $15 monthly rental.  But compared to Satellite, that's cheap.  You can even pay five hundred bucks and get lifetime rental, no monthly fee (at my age, that might not save me any money).  Then we could zap commercials in the manner in which we are accustomed.

Enough!  All this is making me tired just thinking about it, and I'm sure my readers feel the same way.  I'll share the other pictures I took yesterday.

These are buds on one of the two baby redbud trees a friend gave me a couple of years ago.  Yes, all these pictures are crappy because I was lazy and used the IPad to take them.  I've been getting back to using a real camera more, but today this is what you get.  At least these don't take as long to load on my s-l-o-o-o-w CenturyLink Internet.  

 This is a young peach tree in my back yard.  I planted it four or five years ago.  I'm amazed that the blooms weren't frozen off, since we've had three nights with temperatures slightly below freezing.  There's a hard freeze coming our way Friday; I intend to toss a blanket or something over it for that night.

This is a plum tree, planted at the same time as the peach.  It's supposed to give me two different varieties of plums.  Obviously, one variety is ready to bloom before the other this year, hence only half the tree is blooming.  This tree will be protected for the coming freeze, too.  Anyway, that's the plan.

My grand-dog, Titan, was posing so sweetly and looking so princely, I couldn't resist taking a picture.

Cliff mowed the yard yesterday.  Spring is here.


Celeste Sanders Holloway said...

I have a pole outside. I get all network stations. Have a streaming dvd player for bedroom for Pat. My internet is way slower than yours. Love the trees but redbuds make me sneeze


Titan is a sweetie. Love that expression. Hope your buds do not freeze. In order to save money we gave the cable company back our converter box. But the antenna we have picks up all the analog channels so we get to have TV not only in our living room but our family room too. And we have FIRE TV to stream if we want.

Die Autoren said...
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