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Posts Tagged ‘Philo’

Attention: Technology blog – if you have no interest in televisions, cable, or live streaming services, stop reading now.

Universal-Remotes-Toronto

Last August we said “Goodbye” to our cable TV service. It was a frightening decision but motivated by greed. We were paying A LOT for our cable TV services, and it was rising every month. Since the boys are out of the house, the remaining McGarveys aren’t much for TV viewing, unless it’s sports. We don’t really care about movies or TV serials. No need for Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc. But we do love our sports.

After consulting with Don and my sons, we decided to make the big switch: cable out, live streaming in. For Don, it meant he would get his beloved St. Louis Cardinals games every day, PLUS less $$ out the window. But he would also have to learn a new system. Cable does make finding programs very easy.

The non-negotiables for me were Cubs games and… well, nothing else really. I was willing to learn a new way of doing things, but I wasn’t about to let my Cubbies go.

David did all the research (Thank you, thank you, thank you) and he determined that YouTubeTV was the best option. Plenty of the sports we love to watch, plus less money each month. Then I did the research on how that would happen.

First, our internet service was way too slow. We cancelled our current internet service (and landline phone) provider with some reluctance. We had had our phone number since moving to Iowa 30+ years ago. and we had just purchased a new modem. But our current service just wasn’t going to be strong enough for what we needed. So we cancelled our cable TV with Mediacom and added high speed internet.

Second, I researched various devices necessary to live stream to our current televisions. We had an old Apple TV left behind by David but with three TVs, I needed more options. I did make a mistake here – I purchased a Chromecast. It worked fine but we needed to use our phones as the channel remote, and that was a clunky process. Later in the year, I received a Roku through a live stream service offer and we’ve enjoyed that much more: easier to operate, a more traditional remote and the ability to add free services and apps. One of the best decisions I made was purchasing small antennas for two of our TVs. We still have a DVD/VHS player in our basement so attaching an antenna to allows us to watch any over-the-air channels without using any internet data. Same for our bedroom TV. The person who wants to watch the news or the Cubs on 9.2 plans on watching in the basement or bedroom.

Toward the end of the year we decided we missed a few of the channels we enjoyed that were not offered on YouTubeTV. After more research and advice from friends, we began our SlingTV subscription. That’s how I got my free Roku. During the long, cold winter, we found ourselves maxing out our internet usage, so we had to up our data plan. Yikes. And then in late January, we dropped Sling and switched to the cheaper, less sports option of Philo. We don’t watch it all that often, but it’s nice to have the option of watching Food Network or History Channel if we want.

We received a brand-new Apple TV from David and Tristen for Christmas. It is awesome!! A little harder to get used to the “swipe” remote, but we aren’t opposed to learning new things. The Apple TV gives us access to all our TV watching wants and needs, including Prime Video, PBS, and every sport we could want.

Long blog to say: Don’t be afraid to let go of what you’re comfortable with to embrace something new. Get advice from people you trust, do a little research on your own, try something new and if it doesn’t work for you, try something else. This isn’t life-or-death or rocket science but there is a certain satisfaction in knowing we aren’t too old to accept new technology and enjoy it!

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