Cutting the cable.

  • After yet another price increase from Comcast I have decided that the content they provide is no longer worth the prices they charge. Most of what we watch is available either OTA or via streaming, and I am frankly tired of subsidizing sports programming I care nothing about in order to get the few HD channels we are interested in watching. So, I am "cutting the cable" on their Triple Play and installing an OTA antenna. 

    I plan to go back to Vonage for telephone service (had them before and had no complaints). I'll keep Comcast broadband, because the price for that service is competitive. With Netflix and Hulu Plus we will have more programming, better quality, and greater flexibility than we had with CATV. I plan to use a Mythbuntu HTPC as a DVR and media player. Tivo is a reasonable alternative, and I may go that way, but I currently use a Linux HTPC so all I need to add is a tuner card.

    Based on our location and the local terrain I've chosen a stacked yagi antenna. I'm mounting it to a 10' mast  using a chimney mount. I have no plans to use a rotor or a preamp at this point.

    The savings will be 65$ to $80 per month depending upon the DVR choice.

    I drove the 8' ground rod today. The rod cost about $8 at Lowe's and took less than 5 minutes to install. In my case (as in most cases) no hammer was required, just a gallon of water and the heel of my shoe.

    If anyone is interested, I'll keep you posted on the install and the results.

    [edited by: Alex W at 1:49 PM (GMT -5) on Fri, Apr 6 2012]


  • The stacked yagi is installed and it is simply great! I have installed a preamp and I am picking up 23 channels clear as a bell with no rotor (the HD picture quality is better than CATV HD). I may install a rotor at some point since I am getting some signals off of the back of the antenna.

    I went with a Tivo box, and I must say it has been a very pleasant surprise. The quality is excellent, the interface is very intuitive and it seamlessly integrates OTA, streaming content (You Tube, Netflix, Hulu+, etc.) and local files (via pyTivo on a linux server). I think it is well worth the small monthly fee they charge for the service.

    I returning to Vonage for my telephone service, although I considered a docked mobile phone.

    In total we will be saving $70/month and getting more of the content we like at higher quality than we had before. Cool