Thursday, February 25, 2010

TV Update

Yesterday I canceled cable TV - monthly savings: $38. I kept the basic basic service, which means I'm continuing to pay $15 a month for the over-the-air channels, which I think might include CSpan. We don't have a roof antenna or a digital converter for our analog TV, and while there's supposedly a doohickey you can plug into the computer to get the broadcast channels, the guy at Best Buy didn't know what it was and I think DW's patience for the capital outlays for this project are wearing thin. Maybe we'll reexamine the broadcast issue a couple of months down the line when the Xbox and the rest of the system are paid for.

The new calculations:
Xbox $190, remote $55, playon software $40, ethernet cable $11. Total capital expenditure: $296.
Monthly savings: $38 per month = 7.78 months until the thing is paid off.

Meanwhile, with Playon you don't get live broadcasts, you get video chapters that you can load up and watch. So for instance you open ESPN, choose the folder "MLB" from among the available options, and then choose from among, say, a preview of the Marlins pitching staff, an interview with Frank Thomas, and a recounting of the winners and losers of the off season, each the length of a story on SportsCenter (which is mostly what they are). Some of the other options have full episodes available: I've been watching the Dog Whisperer on Hulu the last few nights, there are 5 episodes of that available at a time. I've also been using "plugins," which are additional, kind of lay-engineered connections to other channels that you can download here; not all of them have worked for me, but the PBS one does, which is good; there's a bunch of American Experience on there I could spend a good deal of time working my way through. I think that this, plus what's available directly on the internet, should work just fine.

So between that and canceling the Times, I'm spending $70 / months less than I did last month. I'd like to get over $100. Next stop: auto insurance.

1 comment:

Tanya said...

This is a great way to save a bit of money. We recently canceled our cable and have seen some savings. We watch our favorite tv shows on Hulu. The kids miss having PBS, so I'll look into that plugin you mentioned. Thanks!