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Archive for May, 2009

We Are Switching to OTA ("Free") TV

May 10th, 2009 at 10:08 am

OTA = Over The Airwaves
This is the "free" TV that is available to anyone with an antenna. This is the type of TV anyone my age or older grew up watching.

A move is such a great way to re-evaluate lots of things in your life. In addition to evaluating what things we really want to keep (as in, "Do I really want to lug this ratty object to the new place, or is it time to ditch it?"), you also start evaluating services and weighing the costs vs. benefits.

When it came time to order utility hookups at our new house, I really started evaluating our "need" for cable TV. In our apartment, cable is included, so we have not been paying seperately for it for 1-1/2 years. When we lived in the Seattle area, we used to have a semi-expensive cable package, because that was the only way for DH to add channels from his native country. Since his country's channels are not available where we live now, he started looking for other ways to watch TV, and now subscribes to a service where he watches TV from his homeland over the internet.

Other than a bit of CNN & CNBC (with a smattering of Animal Planet), the only TV I watch is major networks. So I started thinking that cable was not really necessary. I did some research, and the more I learned the more I liked the idea of living without cable.

In addition to loving the idea of not having to pay a monthly cable bill on top of the $25 we're paying for DH's internet viewing, I really like the idea of better reception. I learned that picture quality is better if you DON'T have cable, and this will especially be true once the switch is made to digital TV (June 12).

DH has been patiently waiting to buy a big screen flat panel TV. I asked him to wait until we had our new house and prices have come down. Once we're in our place, I'll give him the green light to go ahead and buy his big toy. I'll have him get an integrated HDTV one; that means it will already have an HDTV tuner built in, so we won't have to buy a seperate tuner. All we need is an antenna.

I ordered this antenna today: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_209TV55/Terk-TV55.html?o=v&sear...
With shipping, it came to $68.

DH will be installing it in our attic. According to on-line reviews I read, it is fairly easy to install. (It's an indoor/outdoor antenna. I knew an outdoor antenna would not go over well with the neighbors.) I don't know if we will have to buy any hardware for mounting, or if we have all of the tools we need, but even if we do have to run to Home Depot and buy something small, I figure we'll come in at $75 or less total. With cable at $49+tax, we will have recouped the antenna cost in 1-1/2 months or less!

If anyone else is interested in making the switch to OTA TV (and with the digital conversion coming up, can you think of a better time?), these were the sites I found most helpful in researching:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-IOdgy2Geib8/learn/learningcente...

http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx

Once we're settled in to our new place, I'll let you know how we like our "new" (actually retro) way of watching TV.

Appliances Ordered

May 4th, 2009 at 03:46 pm

We've ordered the appliances for our new house. We looked for appliances that were highly-rated by Consumer Reports, that were very energy-efficient, that fit nicely in their designated spaces, and that had features we liked. We chose "mid-range" items ... neither super expensive nor super cheap. Then we looked for the best deals we could find.

Got our washer & dryer (Fisher & Paykel) from the "Dent & Scratch" section of a discount appliance warehouse. They are new, but have some cosmetic damage ... Who cares?

Got our fridge (Kenmore Elite) from Sears last night ... they had one of their quarterly "VIP Evenings" where all Kenmore & Kenmore Elite appliances are 20% off and then 10% additional off of that ... so, 28% off.

This means we've purchased 3 BIG items in the last week. I certainly hope the ripple effects of our personal economic stimulus spending spree will reach you wherever you are. Smile

As I know most of you are, we're pretty studious shoppers when it comes to major purchases; we put a lot of time & energy in to it. So if feels good to be done. We now have all of the "necessary" items for the house. We haven't purchased any furniture yet, but we've yet to find any screaming deals, and we can get by with what we have for the time being.

Sorry I've not been around. I've been getting lots of overtime at work (for which I am very grateful), still have my volunteer work to keep up on, and have the upcoming move.

One of these days I will update my badly outdated sidebar! Cheers.