Saturday, January 10, 2015

Back To The Old Ways

I don't want to go back to living in a cave, but I am considering going back to the old ways with at least a couple things. 

I was glad to see a TV advertisement last night for Clear TV. Probably more of a gimmick than anything else. They offer an antenna so you can quit pay TV and go back to the old broadcast method. I suspect their antenna is the same thing that comes with some televisions but gussied up a bit to make it look high tech.

Still, for less than $30.00 you can try it out and see how well it works. We actually found the figure 8 wire antenna from our old TV when we had Suddenlink hooked up. I'll try that before anything else to see what kind of signals I receive. 

Be nice if the movement towards broadcast TV got a lot stronger if only to keep the pay TV outfits under pressure for at least some cost control.

I'm also getting a little fed up with men's razors. More specifically, how the manufacturers seem to be trying so hard to one up each other over how many blades they can offer in their particular cartridges. The one I have now- from Rite Aid- has 5(!) blades. Way overkill, as far as I'm concerned and probably doesn't work as well as just one.

I saw an ad on TV a while back from some outfit selling the old style two sided blades and razors. I haven't seen it since but thought I wouldn't mind going back to that old style. The only exception being I like the feel and fit of the more modern handles on razors.

I mentioned my desire for those razors in another forum. Some guy mentioned they're still easy to find. I happened to check in Rite- Aid yesterday and, lo and behold, they had double edged blades. I didn't see a razor to use with them, though.

I checked this morning and found this site with all kinds of them, so I guess they are still around. I'll have to buy one. I won't buy the most expensive one. It's $310.00. Yikes!


At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazon for the razor. You can even pop by the big two story antique store/museum in ferndale and pick up that razor and blades cheap. My hubby does the old school razor thing...he even owns a strop for sharpening.

At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've not seen a TV sold with an antenna for 30 years. The antenna you linked looks similar to a wide range of ultra-thin white/black antennas that hang on a wall or suction to a window. I think Target sells one, but I'm not sure if it's thin or ultra thin.

There are also instructions online for making antennas, which is easy to do even for someone with no skill.

Pay TV isn't worried about antenna users. They're worried about streamers, with HBO, CBS and Dish (Sling TV) all announcing and deploying subscription services this year. Sling TV is the biggest, offering ESPN and 11 other channels for $20/month.

If cable companies don't stop bundling channels (X dollars for Y number of channels), then cable companies will become nothing more than Internet providers as customers drop their cable subscriptions.

The funny thing is, it's media companies that force cable companies to bundle in the first place, and now it's media companies cutting cable companies out of the action with their new streaming services.

Don't know about bundling? That's where I own 20 channels, but only maybe three of them are popular. If the cable company wants to carry and offer my channels, they've got to accept all 20 and put them all on a basic cable plan. And then when my unpopular channels want to sell advertising, they tout how many homes their channel reaches (which isn't a viewership number, it just indicates theoretically possible viewership).

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous liberal jon said...

One of the reasons I dropped cable was the better quality of the channels received. As you might guess the only channel I really needed was KEET (and, I liked Fringe as a sci-fi which used the medium of HDTV well). Watching a Nova, Nature, or even that Upstairs'Downstairs video was amazing in 1080 which was even better than cable's best of 760? I believe. Better product and free. It's amazing what a little socialism can do for you.

After discovering you blog though Fred I got rid of TV altogether, is the intertubes considered old-school?

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

" If the cable company wants to carry and offer my channels, they've got to accept all 20 and put them all on a basic cable plan.".

Yep, and I used to go along with the idea you should be able to buy channels a-la- carte. In other words, just buy the channels you want to watch. Senator John McCain even floated federal legislation years ago to require something like that, even though it was known his plan would cost the consumer more.

I tried and tried to figure out some way it would be worth it for cable and satellite companies to allow choice in channels, rather than buying a whole package. I couldn't figure out a way to do it that would make it cost effective for them.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"I've not seen a TV sold with an antenna for 30 years."

Now that you mention it, I don't believe the TV we bought a few weeks ago had an antenna. We found one behind the cabinet when Suddenlink was installing. Not sure if that antenna comes from our last TV, or the one before that. Either way, I would think it would give a good idea of what reception we'd get in our location.

"After discovering you blog though Fred I got rid of TV altogether"

I'm thinking at this point of using a combination of broadcast and streaming, although it will take some time to get set up for streaming. TV isn't too big a deal with me as I watch it maybe 3 hours a night, max. Wife watches it a lot more, though.

Still, I figure with just a few broadcast channels (assuming we get good enough reception) we could fill in the blanks with streaming and come out saving a fair amount of money.

At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Setting up streaming is really easy... especially because you'll probably only want Netflix and maybe Hulu Plus.

Buy a $85 Roku box at Costco. It often comes with 1 month of free Hulu Plus. The setup is as easy as they come.

You can add Roku 'channels' using the Roku TV remote, or through the Roku website.

Netflix gives you a 1 month free trial. Hulu Plus gives you a 1 week trial. Create your website using the website, then use the TV remote to log into the channel the first time.

Hulu is for many current broadcast and cable shows, becoming available the day after broadcast (not everything, but a lot). Netflix and Amazon Prime have tens of thousands of older shows and movies, with a sprinkling of recent movies.

Once you browse Netflix the first time, you'll realize you've encountered a whole new world.


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