This is the fifth post in a series about abandoning cable/satellite television in favor of HD broadcast TV combined with a web-connected computer acting as a media server. To start with the introduction, click here; links to the rest of the series are at the bottom of the post.
First, an overview. After you have dropped cable, added an antenna to get over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts and hooked up a computer to your television, you have an incredible array of options for content, and I’ll cover them all here. I’ll also cover what you can’t get at all or in real-time.
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This is the fourth post in a series about abandoning cable/satellite television in favor of HD broadcast TV combined with a web-connected computer acting as a media server. To start with the introduction, click here; links to the rest of the series are at the bottom of the post.
By this time you know how to choose an antenna, figure out the best option for getting broadband to your television and various other information you need to connect a fully-functional, web-connected Mac Mini to your home entertainment system. Now it is time to talk about what you need to make all this gear usable for your family.
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This is the third post in a series about abandoning cable/satellite television in favor of HD broadcast TV combined with a web-connected computer acting as a media server. To start with the introduction, click here; links to the rest of the series are at the bottom of the post.
The minimum requirements to set up your home television to receive OTA broadcasts and combine that with a computer acting as a media server are simple in theory: (1) an antenna connected to your television; (2) a computer connected to your television; and (3) a broadband connection to the computer.
In practice, of course, this may be a little more difficult than it sounds because . . .
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This is the second post in a series about abandoning cable/satellite television in favor of HD broadcast TV combined with a web-connected computer acting as a media server. To start with the introduction, click here; links to the rest of the series are at the bottom of the post.
I started this process with a fully-featured Comcast package that included HBO and some other movie channels as well as some sports packages to make sure we got The Tennis Channel. We had a Comcast HD DVR and a Roku box to access NetFlix instant play content; our television was (and remains) a 2006-era Panasonic 42” plasma. I wanted to duplicate the content we watched as closely as possible but get rid of the Comcast cable service because we were paying so much for content we never watched.
This evaluation involves asking three questions: can you get network television over-the-air (OTA), can you get missing cable content on the web and can you get enough bandwidth to your television to deliver the web-based content. I’ll address each of these questions in turn.
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This is the first post in a series about abandoning cable/satellite television in favor of HD broadcast TV combined with a web-connected computer acting as a media server. Links to the rest of the series are at the bottom of the post.
If you’re reading this page it’s because you’re interested in getting rid of your cable or satellite company and making the switch to over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts combined with a Mac or Windows-based media server connected to your television to get maximum access to content. You might be headed in this direction because you’re sick of the size of your bill. Or the cable company’s customer service may have made you angry one too many times. Whatever it is, this series of posts will detail my experience with this process over the last year: how I make sure I miss (almost) no content I want, what my new set-up cost me, what it costs to operate, the techniques I used to set up the system so my wife and children can actually use it and the problems I faced or continue to face. The series is geared toward Mac users, but all of the advice applies equally to Windows-based systems, and most of the process has nothing to do with the computer anyway. Read More . . .
So you are heading off to college, and you want some advice about what kind of computer to get, what software you might need and what extra equipment you ought to convince your parents to buy for you. The Tired Donkey has some experience in these areas and will offer you the advice you seek. But don’t take this advice as comprehensive; you will need to adjust based on your specific circumstances and the way you like to work.
First, should you get a Mac or a PC? The Tired Donkey believes in Macs, and the advice in this post is geared toward Mac users. So if you have a Mac already or have decided to buy one, read on. If you are still undecided and want some Mac v. PC advice, try here. Or here. As you peruse these links, understand that you will have no problem using either system on any college campus for anything you need to do in college from turning in papers electronically to email to entertainment. Whatever you chose, don’t even think about getting a desktop machine; if you get anything other than a laptop, you’ll regret it.
So. Your new computer is great for entertainment, but never forget it is primarily a tool to help you succeed in college. Get off to a good start by using the summer before you leave for college to get organized, to think about how you are going to study, how you are going to structure your days and how you are going to succeed. It won’t happen by accident, and you don’t want to blow your first semester by feeling your way into college. Show up prepared and kick ass. Remember: the more organized you are right from the start, the more time you will have for enjoying the non-classroom aspects of college. Take care of business first, and the rest will follow naturally.
This post makes some recommendations for you, but there are plenty of resources available on the web if you just run some searches like “best mac applications for college students,” “succeeding in college,” etc. Use these resources (some of which the Tired Donkey lists at the end of this post), and don’t just waste your summer.
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05 Jun 2010 08:33 Filed in: Foundational Posts
As you can probably tell from the dearth of posts over the last six months, the Tired Donkey is more tired than usual. Exhausted really. He was wrong on health care reform. Really wrong. And he has lost his will to continue commenting on the politics of the day because, frankly, it’s just too depressing. Soon he and all the other Donkeys will begin paying a lot more in taxes both because of the .9% increase in Medicare taxes that will hit in a few years and because of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. If any of these extra taxes would go toward paying down the federal debt, the Tired Donkey might be able to live with them, but we all know that’s not what’s going to happen. Despite the example of the collapsing Euro zone a short plane ride away across the Atlantic, we are doing everything we can to follow their failed model. What will the United States government decide to do next? Fix the economy by reissuing New Coke?
But despite his depression, the Tired Donkey still enjoys giving people advice and illumination. So he is going to do that. It just won’t be about politics anymore. At least not all the time. In the coming days and weeks, you’ll see some changes in the site design and some new kinds of posts. You may find them helpful. You may not. The Tired Donkey may even stop writing in the third person. But probably not.