July 28th, 2019

Tune In!

So I'm on the verge of abandoning DirecTV for Comcast, because I need to bundle my Internet, TV, phone, and home security in order to cut costs. While I really *like* DirecTV (other than their current spat with CBS), the absolute inability of AT&T to deliver high-speed Internet to my suburban address is forcing me out. (This may be their business plan; they don't seem happy owning satellites.)

Having done my Comcast research, it looks like your recorded TV ends up ona "cloud DVR" with a maximum recording time of 60 hours. This strikes me as woefully inadequate, given how the kids like to garage many episodes of various series for later viewing. As a result, I've been looking for alternative DVR systems, especially for broadcast TV.

Step one was to buy a newer HDTV antenna and see if I could get decent reception. Channel 2 has always been a problem when I've tried this in the past -- they're the only VHF channel in HD and the reception has been spotty. So I hooked up the antenna to the TV upstairs last night and found that channel 2 continued to be a problem. (Naturally, this is CBS, because *of course* I'm going to have a CBS reception problem.)

And then, as I scrolled up through the channels, I found CBS. Huh?

It appears that CBS has -- at least for now -- given up trying to get a better frequency in Chicago and has sublet a couple of the subfrequencies on channel 48. *Those* come in just fine. Cool! Now, I just need something to record on. My requirements are not high.

It would be nice to have a free or inexpensive TV guide. It is vital that I be able to access it from all of the TVs in the house. And I really want to be able to manually skip commercials.

The reviews on the Fire TV Recast are not so good. Also, I would need Fire TV sticks everywhere to make that work, it seems. The Suttons suggested a Tablo system, but I've seen reviews that suggest that the picture quality there is lacking for 1080i sources. On the other hand, it would likely work with the Roku units that I already have (and the Fire TV sticks I got for the girls).

I do *not* want to have to do a lot of work to configure everything. I have enough projects. :)

Any other thoughts?

Thanks!