Category: television

TV: Something I noticed

So I had thought I might drop the Cox video service some time ago. But what kept me from doing so was that Keyron likes it for background noise.

But I noticed something the past few days. The TV has remained OFF. Net video has finally replaced the television.

If this continues on I may well tell Cox to shove their so called Advanced TV service at $90 per month straight up Hershey Highway!

I’ll pay the $60 a month for the net service because to me that has more utility than a television service. I can for example, post to my blog, chat on IRC, get nntp news feeds, RSS feeds, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc. It’s funny – I was lamenting that Netflix only had The Twilight Zone when my favorite was the Outer Limits, the 1960’s version. And I note Hulu has the whole series, both the 1960’s and 1990’s versions.

Woops, update. The TV just got turned on damn it.

Post TV Life

Well it’s now been a full two months with no television and I’m loving it. It was a distraction to say the least. An outright waste of money when you factor in cable prices and electricity used.

I did stumble on a new competitor to Apple TV though, it’s called Vudu. In essence is slipstreams movies to you on a regular basis. The networks are toast – what they offer is just so much pablum for the masses. I’d rather be able to just keep things like they are now, one broadband connection, a plethora of information and entertainment. But the new things are very sweet, including Joost. As a matter of fact there are a number of TV sites out there at the moment. And if I could possibly get a joost invite I’d be a very happy guy.

But the Vudu device seems VERY slick. Plug it into the network and start watching. I’m awaiting pricing but they say it’ll be less than $300 for the box which I can deal with, what I’m more interested in is the subscription pricing which hasn’t been announced yet. If it’s cheaper than cable I’ll go for it since even basic cable is no bargain at $47 a month.

But in reality I hear enough music, read enough news, and see enough video on the web to sate me. For example, here’s some news you won’t get through the mainstream media. I was aware of the impeachment protests but this one has pictures and has the added benefit of being at a place where Dubya himself was present. Of course the fucking coward snuck in through another entrance but he’s got to know the tide is turning against him. I just say it’s six years too late. Though A28 did put up a good fight in San Francisco but then would I have expected anything less from those in that city? No I would not. It did surprise me that there was no A28 chapter here in Providence but there is on in Boston.

Put it this way, if we manage to impeach Bush and Cheney just before the elections, it would mean Nancy Pelosi would assume the presidency. Oh I’d enjoy the hell out of that, but the neocons would be apoplectic and rabid in their attacks. Actually it’d be fun watching the Republican party implode.

POP! Goes the TV

About eight years ago I bought a 27″ GE television. Standard NTSC model. The sales droid at Circuity City (Remember them?) tried steering me away, said it failed early, blah, blah, was disappointed when I didn’t fork over $100 for the extended service plan. I think it cost me about $250 at the time.

Anyhow this morning Keyron mentions to me that the TV died last night. Sure enough, I punch the power button and hear pop-pop-pop-pop out of the front speakers and nothing else. Instantly knew what it was. Let it rest a while (power unplugged) and then plugged it back in and hit the power button. Heard a loud POP/BANG! and instantly smelled that old familiar scent of burning capacitor that’s lost it’s magic smoke. That last term will be recognized by just about every person that’s dealt with electronics, particularly radio electronics in this case. Of course in the case of a good friend to whom I mentioned that I smelt something burning and his response was “It’s just dust.” and then his nice Yaesu FT-1000D stopped transmitting on 10m FM. I disconnected the power and let the TV cool down. Yep, the power supply is black as coal. I could fix it, but I’ll be damned if I will.

Here’s the thing, I got eight years out of the box which is exactly five years longer than the damned extended warranty would have covered. So it’s a no-brainer, don’t by the extended warranty. If the device doesn’t fail in the first year (first ninety days in reality) then it is less likely to fail within the first 4 or so years. It’s been proven time and again that those extended warranty contracts are a rip-off. Same is true on computers, particularly laptops. The only reason we buy the four year support contracts at work is to make our lives easier.

It’s a little bit odd not hearing the babble box in the background. And now it just sits there looking forlornly at us, waiting for us to rescue it from it’s date with the dumpster. But it isn’t affecting me as much as it’s affecting Keyron. He’s the real TV junkie. I kind of fluffed off television a few years ago, after all viral video on the web is so much more entertaining.

So I went looking for new sets and made the decision that we jump to HD on this one. You can get a decent tube based set for around $400 or so, which I can afford. And I won’t buy any service contracts, instead I’ll wait until it breaks at which point the really nice HD sets will be in the $200-$300 range.