Cutting the Cord

As of later this week, I will no longer have anything but old-fashioned antennae connected to my TV sets. After a vaguely unpleasant six-month experiment using Time Warner Cable rather than Dish Network, I finally realized that:

  1. There actually is a worse option than Dish. While their customer service may be slightly better, Time Warner’s product is awful. The interface and customization options on their turners suck, their DVRs are absolute garbage (hardware and software) and in the long run, they’re not even any cheaper. Instigating this change was not one of my better moves.
  2. I rarely watch TV anymore, anyway, and that’s only partly due to the factors above. Either way, I don’t watch sixty dollars worth of TV a month, so it’s hard to justify that expense with two houses to pay for and who knows what kind of job prospects upon graduation in December.
  3. Even when I do watch TV, it’s usually local news or Simpsons reruns or DVDs, anyway, none of which require cable or satellite.

I’ll miss TCM. But I’ll read a lot more, which can only be a good thing. So maybe swicthing to cable six months ago was a good thing too, in an odd sort of way.

The land line will probably be the next thing to go.

On a completely unrelated note, UNCG is using a finding aid I wrote and encoded with XML using EAD last semester as a class project. That was kind of a suprprising thing to discover by accident (and yes, they had permission).

7 thoughts on “Cutting the Cord

  1. Did away with the land line this week…but I do love Time Warner (cable, not the corporation) and the DVR is King

  2. Maybe the HD DVRs are better, but the standard ones we had were complete garbage.

    The interface looked (and worked) like some bad 1989 version of DOS compared to Dish Network’s units, plus the picture was glitchy, and the hard drives kept having errors. You also couldn’t customize the damned things at all. Anytime I’d try do do a manual timer adjustment (like to start five minutes early), it would work exactly once before reverting to the regular schedule. No custom channel lineup function, either.

    I hated the DVRs with a passion; they were about half a step (if that) beyond using a VHS recorder. That’s one area where Dish was far superior.

  3. I don’t think Time Warner’s hardware is standardized through the system – so you may have gotten a completely different model than we did.

    Rather, than gathering up all the phones after getting rid of the land line, I bought a cell phone blue tooth gateway – so now all of our house phones are my cell phone (when the phone is in range).

  4. I’m kind of intrigued by the cell phone gateway. How well does it work? Does it successfully do things like pass through caller ID, etc.?

  5. It works very well so far (3 days) – and can interface to up to three cell phones. It does pass through caller id and creates a dial tone on the phones and rings all the phones. Some (but not mine) can also include a land line – or ring differently depending upon which phone is ringing. I did have to disconnect the internal wiring from the unused Verizon line, even though it was “off” (electronically) it was still an “active” phone line. I just put the phone down in the kitchen when I come in and plug it in the charger.

  6. Does the cellular gateway work in a power outage? Can you use a back-up dial-up connection for internet access on it? I’m kinda interested in that as an alternative to DSL in SF since I can’t tether with my iPhone.

  7. I bailed on DirecTV a couple years ago. I have Earthlink as an ISP via Roadrunner, which means I pay my monthly internet bill to TWC. I found at some point that I could get HD broadcasts over this connection (basic networks plus PBS/UNCTV)…I record the tv I do watch on my Macs, using EyeTV and Miglia devices, and the data is sent directly to external drives. I love it.

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