Cutting the cord: life post cable TV

I have been considering cutting paid cable/satellite TV service out of my life for quite a while. With my recent move into a new place with my partner Chris, I decided it was time to kick the habit. People have asked me to share my experiences. My…

I have been considering cutting paid cable/satellite TV service out of my life for quite a while. With my recent move into a new place with my partner Chris, I decided it was time to kick the habit. People have asked me to share my experiences.

My system combines over-the-air digital TV from a rooftop digital UHF antenna together with downloaded or streamed online content, delivered to my beautiful new 50″ HD television. The TV takes content from the digital antenna as well as a first-gen Apple TV (movies, TV episodes, video podcasts, YouTube) and a Playstation 3 (Bluray, Netflix). This full post below the jump provides detail about the core piece – replacing cable/satellite with over-the-air signals for digital broadcast television.

Overall Impressions

I’m thrilled to get 80% of everything I wanted from a paid cable subscription from free over the air digital television in pristine quality. Now I’ve become an advocate for cutting the cord, telling anybody who will listen to seriously consider it. I feel that the investment in professional rooftop installation was worth it for the reliable reception I get for US channels, paying for itself compared to cable in a few short months. It also felt good directing my money to an independent local business as opposed to a oligopoly cable/telco for a change.

Hardcore sports fans may not feel the same way, although that could change in the future with more HD Internet streaming of live events. The main reason I’m not missing anything has to do with the rest of my setup, which relies heavily on Internet downloads and streaming. I’ll write that up another time, if there’s interest.

More details of my setup, some key reference links and the results after the jump…

Continue reading “Cutting the cord: life post cable TV”

Ryan Feeley on Spotlight Whack-a-Mole

Ryan Feeley has a blog. Expect to see lots of usability critique, urban warrior tools and food porn.

Ryan was a proto-photo-travel-blogger back in the day, long before LiveJournal or Movable Type. It was called Wrecktangle, and it was genius. So why did it take Ryan so long to find his voice post 1.0? Good question, let’s ask him.

In the meantime, read Ryan’s pithy critique of Apple OS X’s Spotlight feature.

Remarkable Ice Cream, Remarkable Illustration

Not everything worth mentioning happens in technology, and its good to call out some fantastic stuff when we see it. Good friend and illustrator Julia Breckenreid has just completed some beautiful labels for Brad’s Kensington Market Organic Ice Cream. Brad is based in Toronto’s Kensington Market, and he produces delectable and creative concoctions that will soon be coming to a Whole Foods near you.

Strawberrybunny

I am a big fan of his Coffee Cardamom ice cream – spicy, sweet and creamy all at once. Oh, and I also love Vanilla Rose. I don’t know if those flavours are going into wide distribution. Remarkk! wishes Brad best of luck on his new venture. I hope he gets a domain setup soon with a url on those labels and starts blogging once he’s got things running. It worked really well for Stoneyfield Farm.

(Note: I will blog for ice cream.)