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Technology Update

May 14th, 2009 at 05:14 pm

We haven't pursued our internet switch much further because dh had a lot of technical questions and they were going to schedule someone knowledgable to call him or come out or something.

Anyway, he hadn't heard anything in a while, dug out the sales guy's card, and found the associate's phone # was disconnected. So he needs to call Surewest again and find someone else to get the ball rolling. No wonder no one ever followed up!

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In the meantime, the other day dh told me he wanted to hook up Boxee for his dad. Basically, make him the Boxee guniea pig. He was telling me a bit about it and of course it went over my head. Something about a computer for watching T.V.

Today I went home for lunch and we crossed paths briefly. He showed me all the Hulu programming we could stream on Boxee. I think he wants to try it for his dad first (the whole guniea pig thing, but he also thinks it would fit his needs well). So I asked, "Does this mean we can get rid of our cable?" He actually said... MAYBE.

Woohoo!

At this point he said the only downside he could see was we would lose Discovery channel. Which he is hesitant about. So I told him, "You want to pay $60+/month for Discovery channel???" I think we will survive.

Anyway, I looked it up since yeah I had no idea what it was, overall:

[url]http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2009/...

It isn't HD and of course dh is not happy about that. BUT I think we both hate the whole cable/satellite business enough that he is excited about another alternative. Even if it isn't quite up to his standards yet. (He watches all sorts of HD programming through the computer/projector setup, which is another reason he will probably be more willing to live with some non-HD programming. He'll get his HD fix regardless).

& heck, maybe we can put off that HDTV purchase for a while then...

I don't think we are dropping cable any time soon, but it looks like we are heading in a good direction. I told him it's up to him. The cable is for him. I watch more T.V. than I should, and I could certainly do with less. Big Grin At this point I never dreamed dh could ever live without cable, so him even talking about it has me very happy.

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In addition to all this, dh noticed a problem with the TV when he was setting up the Blu Ray Player. He thought it was maybe the Blu Ray, or he was imagining it, but some parts looked too dark or something. (I can guarantee I would never notice anything!). Anyway, he did a web search and came across a lawsuit regarding our T.V. IT was for the problem he noticed and we had until end of June for a free repair. Go figure! In the nick of time I guess.

They are sending someone out to fix the t.v. next week. Phew! I am glad he found it in time. Though I may have never noticed, I know it would have driven him nuts.

4 Responses to “Technology Update”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    Cool entry. You don't see this everyday (except on tech sites).

    I don't know if Boxee itself will become the wave of the future, but I honestly believe that something like the Boxee WILL. I think on-demand programming and social networking goes together like PB & J. The irony is that we've been all using it all this time, with YouTube being a prime example. Of course, regular TV programming tends to lag behind, but it's just waiting for someone to come up with the right device at the right place at the right time....

    HD programming is a "problem" in that the only way to get it is through true HD sources, such as HD cable, HD satellite, and of course Blu-Ray. They all cost, but I haven't been able to figure out any other way yet. So, I've been settling with simply not having any HD programming, except for the occasional Blu-Ray rental or even purchase.

    So far, all streaming services are non-HD. (Some stream or download 720P, but that doesn't exactly qualify as HD in my book.) The bottleneck is the bandwidth itself really. Even for households that can get big enough pipes, the cost then would not make it as practical as, say, HD cable.

    The "best bet" in my opinion is a Tivo-like service where you order the programming you want to watch, and it records it down to a hard drive. With download, it can be any size and in any format (including true 1080p HD). It's just a question of how long it will take to download such a beast. And of course, it wouldn't be instant.... That's the downside, but it's either that or we can instantly watch non-HD formats. We can't have it both ways just yet.

    Anyways, good luck, and if you guys find a way to get cheap HD, please let me know because I'm all ears!

  2. monkeymama Says:

    I was just asking my spouse. He has some sort of tuner card so he can watch HD programming on the computer (though he watches it on his projector instead of his crappy monitor). Just stuff that you can get from any antenna though, over the air waves. (I was confused reading your comment so had to clarify - I knew he watched a lot of HD content through the computer).

    I think that's the thing. It's not perfect and who knows if Boxee will "win." But it's a step in the right direction and we definitely want to get on board and support the new technology/trend. Big Grin Even though we hope it improves and we realize it's still volatile.

    I'll keep you updated. He is going to try Boxee with his dad and go from there. His dad has computers to spare and all that so he kind of wants to try it out before we think about buying any equipment.

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    Ah, ok, please forgive me if I seem contrary or confusing. Thing is, I think a lot of broadcasters are sort of misleading the public on this.

    Basically, I also have an antenna as well for over-the-air channels. Currently, I can get 2 digital channels and 1 analog. Not the best reception, but at least it's free.

    Antennas are often advertised as being HDTV ready, but technically-speaking, they always have been so long as they're receiving digital signals and it's going to digital tuners.

    Now... the confusing part about this is the format. Basically, there are 3 different kinds: 480p, 720p, and 1080p.

    480p is our old standard TV format. Often times, it's also labeled as DTV in order to clarify that it is indeed a digital signal, but it's not HD format.

    Then there's 720p, which although technically qualifies as HD signal, to me it's just half-assed HD.

    Finally, 1080p is currently the true, native HD format.

    Now the part that sort of irks the tech junkie in me: A lot of broadcasters (like mine) will label their over-the-air signals as HD, but in fact, they are only 480p digital! To me, that's not HD, only D!

    There might be broadcasters that might send 720p, or perhaps even 1080p, but if so, I don't have any in my area. In fact, the only time I've ran into 1080p is either HD cable or HD satellite, and paying a lot of money for it. Well, that or slow internet downloads....

    But anyways, that's what I'm looking for right now, to find cheap sources of 1080p specifically. Please keep me posted if you guys find anything and the Boxee update! Thanks!

  4. monkeymama Says:

    LOL - I am ready to give you my spouse's e-mail.

    This is what my dh says:

    1) My dh doesn't understand why you don't get any 720 or 1080 programming

    2) Over the air is better than any cable or satellite since it is not compressed (his opinion)

    3) He uses this "DVR" on his computer to record and watch HDTV quality (believe me, he is picky!). We don't get 480p, which goes back to #1.


    I assume of course you have heard of this.

    4) You can check HD programming for recording here:


    5) Forums with more info - I have the feeling you may already be aware of these. But I share for any frugies out there who like HDTV. Big Grin
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=6http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=6[/ur...
    That is the long and short of our current HD setup. This was more for before we got our current HDTV / HD DVR setup.

    I thought perhaps you were more picky than my dh (is it possible??) but he set me straight.

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