Living without Cable TV–Month 2 observations

[/caption] Wow, it’s been over two months since I made the decision to cut the Comcast cable to the house and just live in an IPTV and ‘Over the Air’ world.  I hooked up Mac Mini’s to each of the TVs (god I wish Apple would really delve into the market of guys who have Mini’s on their TVs instead of the comparatively crippled Apple TV).  I also have an EyeTV attached to one of the Mini’s which is providing me with TIVO like functionality for those channels I get over the air.     How has it been?  I haven’t even noticed the difference. Ok, that’s a bit of a stretch, but seriously, I have not missed much.  I have the basic TV and some over the air TV from an antenna.  This is giving me the networks (though not in HD) and some PBS stations.  From Livestation and TVUPlayer I’m getting some live stations, and even some sports (watching cricket the other day–ha).  By far the biggest loss has been CNBC which is not part of the basic package and was nice background noise during the day.  But for news I’m getting by with a wide variety of options, from France24 and AlJazeera English service online, to my link up with the BBC (which is kind of tricky).   My biggest expense monthly was movies, but between Redbox and Netflix (now streaming live to the TV) I’ve got more content than I know what to do with.  I initially resisted the Netflix, feeling that with shipping times and whatnot I wouldn’t be able to watch more than $9 worth of movies a month vs. the Redbox ($1 or free, if you had a code).  Well that’s not the case.  Netflix has a facility within the 1-day mail delivery to DC so I get films basically overnight from Netflix, and with the streaming option I get a whole catalog of movies (though most are generally B-grade movies, there are a few gems inside).   I have one negative–too much content.  I mean, I don’t have time to watch everything I would like to watch.  Between podcasts downloaded and shows TIVO’d and movies I can watch on Netflix, I never want for something to watch.  Seriously–there is more than I can handle. The big test will be football season.  We’ll see how far net streaming of college football has come. Thus far, I’ve saved over $300 in two months on cable TV and haven’t looked back.  I’ve actually received quite a bit of fan mail from others who have done the same. If you are looking to do the same, this would be the setup I would recommend:

  • Mac Mini (the entry level is fine, you may want to add more memory but your call)
  • EyeTV Hybrid (this connects the cable from your antenna or ‘lifeline’ service to the Mac’s USB)
  • A DVI cable or a DVI-HDMI cable and convertor to connect to your TV
  • A Bluetooth Mouse & Keyboard (honestly, it’s so much easier than using the remote)

Ships floating around with no where to go

The Hoegh Traveller is passing by the house at this moment.  Not really sure what is inside.  It’s supposed to be cars, but who is going to buy them? As I’ve mentioned, the backlog in worldwide shipping is noticeable here on the Bay with dozens of ships parked in the Annapolis anchorage with nothing better to do.  But if you think that’s bad, you should see what is going on in Singapore right now.  Over 700 cargo ships are at anchor with nowhere to go, no cargo to carry.  As the Asian exporters scale back their offerings, these ships that were a lifeblood of international trade now sit idle. God it would be a great time to buy some ships and start my own shipping company.  Anyone have a few million to spare?]]>

Moscow subway system notes huge drop in passengers.

img24I guess when you are unemployed there really isn’t the need to go anywhere.

Moscow’s chandelier-adorned metro, ranked as one of the world’s busiest, said passenger numbers had fallen by 7 percent in the first quarter of 2009 from the same period last year. The number of people travelling on the Stalin-era system has fallen by an average of about 700,000 a day in April and May, said Moscow metro chief Dmitry Gayev.
It is a pretty subway system.  The turnstiles however, can kill.  If you mess up pulling your card out of the system expect to be impaled by those things.]]>