Archive for the 'TV' Category

Unplugged From Cable TV

We’ve been without cable TV since moving into our new house at the beginning of July. Even with the fall season in full swing we have yet to miss an episode of all the shows we watch. This is all thanks to a new PC that I recently bought from It has everything needed to easily be configured for a home theater PC except for a tuner which I solved with this little device and a rabbit ears antenna that I borrowed from my father-in-law.

The TV signal that I get with the antenna is incredible HD quality from all the local channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, etc.) as well as some PBS type channels. With Windows 7’s built-in Media Center every computer is equipped to be a DVR. Plus Media Center automatically downloads program guides online and full season recordings can easily be set up too.

Since this is only a single tuner configuration versus the dual tuner that many cable system DVR’s have, we simply watch any conflicting shows from that networks website. Nearly every show in our list has full episodes available online for streaming. We also have ESPN3 through our current Internet service provider so we can stream all sorts of sports too.

My friend Phil was the one who introduced me to the idea and he has been doing it since the beginning of the year. I’ve yet to find any major drawback to this setup. If you are even moderately tech savvy this setup shouldn’t be hard to do yourself.

TV Viewership Down

One thing our move has affected that I didn’t even think about is my TV watching. I haven’t really kept up with any of the old shows that I used to watch besides The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. I did catch the last episode of this season of Survivor, but I missed two or three episodes leading up to it. One thing that has increased is my viewership of Cincinnati Reds baseball and the NHL playoffs.

Some may view my decreased time spent watching TV as a negative, but I actually think positively of it. Currently most of the extra time is spent on my commute to and from work, but I’m hoping that I gain more free time to spend with my family once we move into our new house. It will certainly be nice to spend time with Trey as he becomes more and more mobile, rather than spending that time stuck glued to a television set.

Everything Is Better In HD

We’ve had the new TV up and running for a couple of weeks now, and are finally starting to watch some things in HD.  We still have a backlog of recorded shows on the DVR that were not recorded in HD, so we have to get through those as well.  I’m already noticing that the DVR is filling much quicker with the HD recordings.  I’m aware of an updated cable box from Comcast that has a bigger hard drrive, but I need to clear this one off before making the switch.

Anyway, some of the new shows this fall that I’ve been enjoying are Mike & Molly, The Event, Chase, and Outsourced.  We have been also watching Better With You, Modern Family, Parenthood, and Raising Hope.  None of these have really become favorites of mine, but I can tolerate them enough to watch.  We tried My Generation, and that show definitely deserved to be canceled.  I’m curious to see if any of these can reach into my list of favorites, joining How I Met Your Mother, Chuck, and The Big Bang Theory.

Now Broadcasting In HD

We are finally watching HDTV at home!  Well almost.  I finally broke down and bought a new TV over the weekend.  It’s a 40″ Samsung LCD, which is pretty much the largest that we can currently fit in our house.  So far I am really enjoying it, and Kim is too, surprsingly.  She wasn’t too sure of the expensive purchase at the time, but she really has grown to love the large picture, improved quality, and especially how well it fits into our room.  The reason I say we are almost watching HDTV is because I don’t have the HDMI cables yet, but I ordered them today from, at the recommendation of my friends.  My favorite part of it all is that I bought it for $150 under the suggested retail price.  Thank you price matching!

Fall TV Starts Next Week

The fall TV season is right around the corner.  I’m so excited to watch the next season of Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Survivor, and Amazing Race, just to name a few.  The question becomes which new series will be worth watching?  I spent some time programming the DVR last night to include The Event, Mike & Molly, Raising Hope, and Chase.  I also plan to try My Generation, $#*! My Dad Says, Outsourced, and No Ordinary Family.  I don’t plan to regularly watch all of these new shows, but I figure they are worth an episode or two to decide what are keepers and which should be deleted forever.  Are there any others that I’m forgetting?

Olympics With Glowing Hearts

My Olympic addiction is back in full effect.  It’s been four years since I last filled up the DVR will so much sports recordings.  I’ve never really watched that much of the summer games, but I love the winter games.  I guess my years of playing hockey and my recent snowboard addiction help to fuel this.  So far I watched most of the opening ceremonies on our flight to KC on Friday.  We were tuned into speed skating, ski jumping, luge, and freestyle skiing during our KC pub crawl on Saturday.  Sunday was spent glued to the TV watching biathlon, nordic combined, and women’s hockey, along with more luge and freestyle skiing.

I stayed up to date on the events yesterday on and watched snowboard cross, men’s downhill, and figure skating pairs last night after work.  Today I’m working remote which allowed me to watch the USA curling match over lunch.  I also have the USA men’s hockey game on in the other room so I can listen to it for the rest of the day.  So far I have really enjoyed watching these games, and have been surprised by the curling action along with the freestyle skiing.  Not to mention the snowboard cross, which is something I’d love to try.  I can’t wait for more of the snowboard action to start up either.

Chuck Is Back

I’m so glad that Chuck is back on the air again, finally!  If you don’t remember, there was a big online campaign to keep the show alive late last spring.  The third season started earlier this week with a two-hour special on Sunday night followed by an hour-long episode last night in its normal time slot.  I was a little nervous that the show might “jump the shark” but I have been really impressed with the storyline so far this season.  I don’t want to give much away, in case there are those that still have it on the DVR.  All of the action and comedy that was there before is still there, and perhaps even improved upon.  If you haven’t started watching this show, there is still time to get addicted, all the episodes are available for viewing on the official site.

The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

Last night I finally finished watching The National Parks: America’s Best Idea series on PBS.  The six-episode series, directed by Ken Burns, details the full history of the National Park Service.  Though it was a bit lengthy at times, most of the old photos and updated videos were amazing to see.  Some of the narration was slow, and I did fall asleep a couple of times, but watching the series made me realize how badly I’d like to see many of the various national parks in the system.  By my count, I have only been to nine of the fifty-eight national parks.  So I still have a long way to go in seeing all the parks, but fortunately there are some on the list that are nearby and I would love to visit those soon.

Welcome Back DVR

My DVR is quickly filling itself up now that the fall TV lineup is back on.  So far we’ve watched our long time favorites How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, House, Survivor, and probably a few others I am already forgetting.  Plus another season of our all time favorite, Amazing Race, is about to begin on Sunday.  My question is simple, are there any new shows that are worth watching?  I’m such a slacker when it comes to finding new shows to watch, so hopefully I haven’t missed too many episodes if there is indeed something worth tuning into.

Chasing Yellow

Once again this year I’ve been pretty addicted to the coverage of the Tour de France on Versus. With little to watch on TV during the summer, this is a nice way to kill a couple of hours each day. I’m sure everyone already knows that Lance Armstrong is back in the tour. It’s fun to watch him and his unbelievably talented team each day. And now that the race is in the Alps, the action is super exciting and will remain that way all the way to Paris. All of this really makes me want to get a road bike, or at least buy some slicks for my mountain bike.