As far as I can see, the current ‘future’ of living room viewing with High Definition has two options in the near future:
TIVO or Roku
I’ve just finished planning my Home theatre makeover, which was inspired by connecting a DTV antenna at my brother’s house. Â We bought a $21 antenna at amazon for HDTV; we plugged it in at sunnyvale CA and found something like 67 channels. Â While most of these channels require the ability to speak chinese or philipino, we were able to get all 4 broadcast channels in crystal clear HDTV format: Monthly cost $0.
I currently have a Tivo series 3 HD dvr which has a lifetime subscription (remember I hate monthly fees) Â It’s plugged into my wired ethernet, and I currently am connected to Comcast with HD support but no premium channels. Â I looked at my Comcast bill and I’m paying $45 for premium internet(12 Mbs), with a $5 a month cable modem rental. Â I’m paying monthly comcast fees of $64.99 for standard cable, $16.99 for digital preferred, $1.50 for a cable card, $8 for HD technology Fee, and $16 HDTV additional fees for the cablecards in the TIVO. Â We also have a Netflix account linked to the TIVO.
After thinking about what I want, I can watch CNN/MSNBC on my computer (in fact I watched Al Jazeera on my computer because it wasn’t carried by Comcast). Â If I install an HDTV antenna, I will get the Major networks and PBS for free. Â With Netflix and my Tivo I’m set. Â I have one remaining problem: no Giants Baseball. Â I checked out MLB TV but they seems to backout the local team for home and away games. Â So my conclusion is to downgrade my cable to non-digital standard cable; this reduces my Comcast bill from $107.44 a month to $64.99 a month. Â Also, while I’m at it I purchased a current Cable Modem for $89 from amazon and I can kill another $5 a month from my comcast bill.
It seems like if I could solve my MLB addiction I could kill Comcast TV altogether. Â I’m looking forward to this day.
For TIVO-less households like my brother’s, we are looking at an antenna combined with a ROKU box. Â Roku gets Netflix and Hulu plus, so for about $20 a month fees you could watch cable programming (just not sports) and get netflix movie downloads. Â That looks to me to be a great option.
If you install an antenna, check out what direction to place the antenna here!