Adventures in Cord Cutting – Part 4 – Hello, Old Friend.

Adventures in Cord Cutting – Part 4 – Hello, Old Friend.

Where was I? 
Oh, yeah. 
Too busy was I watching 3D movies and making artists like Gordon Willis and Gregg Toland look bad via high definition that I didn’t really pay attention to the over the air (OTA) status.
And then I ordered my Tivo.
Now, I’m first going to just tell you how freaking great it is to have this old friend back in my life.
I bought my first Tivo in 03. But I heard about it in 99 during a late late late night infomercial I saw in a hotel in NYC. I completely ignored my company that evening as I was mesmerized by this new technology.
“This is a game changer.” I thought. And I was right.
Our first Tivo was a blessed addition to our lives. The familiar “Bloop bloop bloop!” was like a friendly call. I enjoyed how Tivo would try to guess what I wanted to watch and usually get it wrong. But when it got it right, it was oh, so right.
We got our series 2 a few years before the HD boom. And when we moved on to our HD plasma, Tivo was relegated to the bedroom. For the teeny TV. I got my money’s worth, however. If you just use it for 4 years, it’s comparable to any other DVR. And Tivo’s service is just plain better. Better suggestions. Better and more cooperative interface. DirecTV just never really got it right.
And then I heard about Tivo’s Roamio Basic. ( $199 from Tivo but knocked down to $150 at Amazon.
See, Tivo and DirecTV sort of got along, but never really. I had a couple DirecTVTivos and they were fine for the small tv in the old kitchen. But, when I had to switch to DirecTV completely, the DVR was sorely lacking.
Clunky. Difficult to maneuver. Just a pain in the ass. And then the remote went out. And that meant I had to fire up the iPad to use that as a remote and THAT would spend 30 seconds seeking out the DVR every time I switched out of the app.
But the Roamio Basic was something different. Something that could make this whole endeavor work:
It was the only Tivo that worked with a digital Antenna. (And a cable card, but we aren’t using that, remember?)
I could connect from a digital antenna directly to the Tivo and get HD quality broadcast channels. And that’s what this is really all about, right?
The cable/satellite congloms sort of have people over a barrel. Unless you can get some after market DVR or want to manually program to watch OTA programming, you’re gonna have to subscribe to them, right?
But, not with this.
I ordered it from Amazon. I love Amazon and they are fast and make returns a snap. My new Tivo came the next day.
But, that installation.
Geez! 5 whole minutes!

Tivo immediately went to work. Yep. CBS is there. And NBC. And some other weird NBC 2. And the local channel, 5. And 5.2, which was showing reruns of WKRP and The Outer Limits. And another strange 5.something, which was running Capote in SD.
ABC, check.
Fox. Fox SD. Fox again. Okay. PBS. Yep.
All good.
Go to work Tivo.
I’ll just scan.
And I did. Just like the old days. Around the local dials.
The game on CBS looked amazing.
NBC had some sports thing.
And ABC was showing….wait, what are they showing?
Why can’t I get a signal? Is there a storm coming?
What’s with all the pixellation, ABC?
Let’s try FOX.
That signal’s not even coming in!

Now, this is no good. The whole show hinges on the ability to do this very thing.

My location is fine. I live in the heart of Los Angeles. What’s wrong?
Oh, yeah. It’s that shitty amplified rabbit eared antenna, I bet.

I returned that and ordered a flat Amazon Digital Antenna (

So far, so good. The signal seems stronger, but It’s only been a day.

In addition, as a holiday gift, mi madre shelled out for a Sennheiser wireless audio system. One base station and one headphone. (We’ll have to get the other one on our own dime. Gotta check and see how that renter’s account is doing…)

So, what’s next?

Well, we need that sectional and the other headphone and then we need to start parking our carcasses upstairs. If Beth and I can get used to not having immediate access to 99% of stuff we don’t watch so we can have access to the 1% we do, then we are good to go.

We can then cut the DirecTV cord and get a Tivo Mini.
What’s that?
Oh, that’s a little streaming device that turns another tv into a Tivo.

But for that I have to run a wire. Or a MoCa connection.

Or something.

For the time being, this is where we are.

The cord isn’t cut. It’s just on the chopping block.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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