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Friday, April 4, 2014

Amazon introduces Fire TV Streaming device


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CX5P8FC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00CX5P8FC&linkCode=as2&tag=apennysisanic-20

Amazon Fire TV is a tiny box you connect to your HDTV. It's the easiest way to enjoy Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, low-cost movie rentals, and much more 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Cost of Pay TV (revisited)

When I started this blog in 2011, I had just dumped DirecTV and put up an antenna. DirecTV was costing me about $70 a month. In my first post on the subject, I noted that this was pretty much average for Pay TV customers. I also calculated that this $70 a month added up to about $9000 over 10 years, and would only continue to rise over time.

So now just a few short years later in 2014 the average cost of pay TV is up to about $85 a month - over $1000 a year, over $10,000 over ten years. In fact, the average price of cable has been increasing at a rate of 6% annually. What is the cable company going to get from you over your lifetime? Let's assume that you start paying cable at age 20 for $85 a month and continue to pay until you are 70, a period of 50 years. If you were able to work out some magical deal with your provider to have no price increase for 50 years, you would spend $51,000 on TV during that time. Add taxes, Set Top Box rentals, and a 6% annual price increase, and your lifetime total for TV alone will approach $100,000.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Need an Antenna? Cache Free TV resumes installs soon!

I can't quote an exact date, but I will soon be resuming limited installs of OTA antenna, as well as setup of Roku units and possibly FTA satellite setups. More details will follow.

There will be some restrictions - I have only a 10 foot ladder, and I'm not doing anything dangerous. But drop me an email - cachefreetv @ gmail dot com - and I will see what I can do for you.

Looking forward to serving you!

Amazon Prime: Is it worth $99 a year?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/video/primesignup/ref=assoc_tag_ph_1384415829622?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=pf4&tag=apennysisanic-20
Try Amazon Prime Free
I received the following email from Amazon this morning alerting me that the price of Amazon Prime was increasing from $79 to $99 a year:

Dear CacheFreeTV,
We are writing to provide you advance notice that the price of your Prime membership will be increasing. The annual rate will be $99 when your membership renews on August 5, 2014.

Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same for nine years. Since 2005, the number of items eligible for unlimited free Two-Day Shipping has grown from one million to over 20 million. We also added unlimited access to over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video and a selection of over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.

For more information about your Prime membership, visit our Prime membership page.

Sincerely,
The Amazon Prime Team
From the website- If your membership renews before April 17, 2014, you'll be charged at a membership rate of $79. If your membership renews on or after April 17, 2014, you'll be charged at a membership rate of $99.

While I've enjoyed Amazon Prime for the past 2 years, I have to make a choice between Netflix at $94 a year and Amazon Prime benefits at $99 (Free prime videos, Prime 2 day shipping, Kindle lending library). I think Netflix is a better value for my family, given that Netflix has a bigger library (including Disney), I can still get free shipping from Amazon if I order $35 at once, and I can get plenty of content for my Kindle for free on Amazon and the internet. I also have a Sam's club membership so I can get good deals there. I went to Amazon and selected "Remind Me Later - Remind me three days before my membership renews".

Sorry, Amazon. I'm out as of August, 2014.

If you're an Amazon Prime member, is it worth $99 a year to keep your Prime membership? Share your thoughts, please.

Satellite TV: $30, No Monthly Bill.

After setting up a FTA satellite system, I set a challenge for myself: Just how cheaply could I set up a FTA system for Galaxy 19? Turns out the number is around $30. Of course, the secret is getting a suitable dish for free.

The dish I used was a discarded DirecTV "Slimline" dish, it's about 22" x 36". (I wouldn't try anything smaller!) You can find them on Freecycle.org, Craigs List, ebay, on your neighbor's roof, or at the dump. If you can't find a suitable dish for free or cheap, you can buy one but it will add about $50 to your total cost. Try the Winegard DS2076 76 cm Dish.

Once you've obtained a dish, the rest of the components are easily available on Amazon. Here's how we do it:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Release Your Inner Nerd - Watch the New Cosmos.

Okay, I'll admit it. I am a nerd - and I was a nerd long before being a nerd was cool. I got beat up for being nerdy. I was born at the dawn of the space age. I watched Neil Armstrong land on the moon. I subscribed to Sky and Telescope. I built my own telescopes.

And I watched Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" on PBS.

On March 9 2014, Fox and Nat Geo networks will premiere “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” a follow-up to Carl Sagan’s 13-part series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage”.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Where to watch the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Just a quick list of where to find Olympics coverage:

First, on broadcast TV, you can find events on your local NBC channel - in Utah, KSL 5.1 - but it's all delayed broadcasts. You may also find events on other NBC owned pay TV channels such as NBC-Universal.

NBC has locked down their internet streams and made them available only to pay TV customers - http://stream.nbcolympics.com/live-extra/ (thank you, Comcast!) You will need your Pay TV provider's credentials to log in - or your Uncle Ed's pay TV credentials . Other possible online sources include foreign sources such as Russia Today (RT), BBC, or other international sources. Some sources may be geo-blocked, however. Two other sources for coverage online are http://www.superusvoxtv.com/ and http://www.ilive.to

If you have access to Ku or C-band satellite, NBC may have feeds on AMC 1, AMC 6, and / or AMC 9 (Ku) and you may find some unencrypted feeds on Galaxy 14, 16, or 17 on "C" band. SatelliteGuys.US_TheList - nbc There also are reports of Olympics on Ku band satellites Satmex 8 116.8 (3719 H, 26999) and Satmex 6 (3833 H, 3620) - in Spanish.
First, on broadcast TV, you can find events on your local NBC channel - but it's all delayed broadcasts.
You may also find events on other NBC pay TV channels such as NBC-Universal. NBC has locked down their internet streams and made them available only to pay TV customers - you will need your provider's credentials to log in - or your Uncle Ed's pay TV credentials . Other possible online sources include foreign sources such as Russia Today (RT) or other international sources. Some sources may be geo-blocked, however.

If you have access to Ku or C-band satellite, NBC has feeds on AMC 1, 6, and 9 (Ku) and you may find some unencrypted feeds on Galaxy 14, 16, or 17 on "C" band. SatelliteGuys.US_TheList - nbc There also are reports of Olympics on Ku band satellites Satmex 8 116.8 (3719 H, 26999) and Satmex 6 (3833 H, 3620) - in Spanish. - See more at: http://www.dtvusaforum.com/sports-talk/53198-where-watch-2014-olympics.html#sthash.bZ3P1vfe.dpuf
First, on broadcast TV, you can find events on your local NBC channel - but it's all delayed broadcasts.
You may also find events on other NBC pay TV channels such as NBC-Universal. NBC has locked down their internet streams and made them available only to pay TV customers - you will need your provider's credentials to log in - or your Uncle Ed's pay TV credentials . Other possible online sources include foreign sources such as Russia Today (RT) or other international sources. Some sources may be geo-blocked, however.

If you have access to Ku or C-band satellite, NBC has feeds on AMC 1, 6, and 9 (Ku) and you may find some unencrypted feeds on Galaxy 14, 16, or 17 on "C" band. SatelliteGuys.US_TheList - nbc There also are reports of Olympics on Ku band satellites Satmex 8 116.8 (3719 H, 26999) and Satmex 6 (3833 H, 3620) - in Spanish. - See more at: http://www.dtvusaforum.com/sports-talk/53198-where-watch-2014-olympics.html#sthash.bZ3P1vfe.dpuf
First, on broadcast TV, you can find events on your local NBC channel - but it's all delayed broadcasts.
You may also find events on other NBC pay TV channels such as NBC-Universal. NBC has locked down their internet streams and made them available only to pay TV customers - you will need your provider's credentials to log in - or your Uncle Ed's pay TV credentials . Other possible online sources include foreign sources such as Russia Today (RT) or other international sources. Some sources may be geo-blocked, however.

If you have access to Ku or C-band satellite, NBC has feeds on AMC 1, 6, and 9 (Ku) and you may find some unencrypted feeds on Galaxy 14, 16, or 17 on "C" band. SatelliteGuys.US_TheList - nbc There also are reports of Olympics on Ku band satellites Satmex 8 116.8 (3719 H, 26999) and Satmex 6 (3833 H, 3620) - in Spanish. - See more at: http://www.dtvusaforum.com/sports-talk/53198-where-watch-2014-olympics.html#sthash.bZ3P1vfe.dpufFirst, on broadcast TV, you can find events on your local NBC channel - but it's all delayed broadcasts.
You may also find events on other NBC pay TV channels such as NBC-Universal. NBC has locked down their internet streams and made them available only to pay TV customers - you will need your provider's credentials to log in - or your Uncle Ed's pay TV credentials . Other possible online sources include foreign sources such as Russia Today (RT) or other international sources. Some sources may be geo-blocked, however.

If you have access to Ku or C-band satellite, NBC has feeds on AMC 1, 6, and 9 (Ku) and you may find some unencrypted feeds on Galaxy 14, 16, or 17 on "C" band. SatelliteGuys.US_TheList - nbc There also are reports of Olympics on Ku band satellites Satmex 8 116.8 (3719 H, 26999) and Satmex 6 (3833 H, 3620) - in Spanish.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

KSL 5.2 Gets COZI, Drops LWN


I returned from my Christmas / New Years vacation to find that KSL has dumped the simply dreadful LWN (Live Well Network) from its 5.2 subchannel and replaced it with COZI TV (http://www.cozitv.com/). I realized that there are a few people (maybe 2 or 3) who will miss LWN, but all of their content is available online at their website (http://livewellnetwork.com) as well as on ROKU with the Nowhere Man private channel.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Plea For Help For Victims of Philippine Typhoon Haiyan

I would like to encourage readers to make a donation to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda) in the Philippines. Any amount -even $10- can go a long way to help provide food, water, and shelter to those who have lost everything. Below you will find links to worthy organizations who are helping the good people of this beautiful country recover.

Thank you and God Bless.

The American Red Cross has launched a family tracing service among other aid operations. If you are unable to reach a family member in the Philippines, you can contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a tracing case. Representatives added that it has deployed two people to assist with assessments in the Philippines. It asks those who want to support relief efforts to mail a check to their local American Red Cross chapter, with "Philippines Typhoons and Flood" in the memo line. Go to redcross.org for local chapter information or redcross.org.ph to donate directly to the Philippine Red Cross.

The Philippine Red Cross said it has mobilized teams on the ground to help with rescue and relief operations. Click the link to learn more.

UNICEF is taking donations to help provide children with shelter, clean water, nutrition and vaccines. Representatives said its staff in the Philippines is being repositioned to help in relief efforts and 66 tons of emergency supplies are being sent from Copenhagen. An airlift set to arrive on Tuesday will include water purification systems, storage equipment and sanitation supplies. Donations can be made to UNICEF at unicef.org/support.
World Food Programme (WFP), a United Nations organization, said it will send more than 40 tons of high energy biscuits and work with the Filipino government to help with logistics and emergency communications systems. Representatives said they have allocated $2 million for the disaster response and officials joined an assessment mission to survey damage in Leyte and Samar provinces. It asks for donations at www.wfpusa.org or by texting the word AID to 27722 to instantly donate $10.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has launched a $10 million appeal and sent an emergency team to Manila who have already started to work on the ground. For more information, visit www.rescue.org.

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) has organized teams of doctors, nurses, surgeons, psychologists, water and sanitation experts and other specialists to respond to the typhoon’s aftermath. The organization is also dispatching nine cargo planes loaded with tons of water, sanitation and medical supplies. The humanitarian cargo includes medical kits for treating the wounded, equipment for medical consultations, tetanus vaccines, relief items such as tents and hygiene kits, water and sanitation equipment and, if needed, an inflatable hospital, said spokesman Tim Shenk. Some of the group’s medical teams were already in place in Cebu Tuesday, but blocked roads, a damaged airport and bad weather have made access to affected areas particularly difficult. Click the link to see how you can help.

Save the Children is also mounting disaster relief efforts to help children and families in the region with emergency assistance.

Catholic Relief Services is accepting donations on its website as it begins moving supplies and staff to respond to the typhoon.

World Vision said it will provide food and water to those in evacuation shelters. Representative said it is putting together resources to assist 1.2 million people, including food, hygiene kits, emergency shelter and protection. It asked for one-time donations to be made at worldvision.org.

Habitat for Humanity plans to offer shelter repair kits for families who need to re-build their damaged houses.

Operation USA said it will allocate donations directly to relief and recovery efforts.

National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) has created a disaster relief fund for victims in the Philippines.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has begun collecting donations for relief efforts. To contribute, go to www.jdc.org or call 212-687-6200.

Mercy Corps is accepting donations on its website as emergency responders move food, water, shelter and other supplies to the region.

ChildFund International has been in the Philippines since 1954. The organization is distributing clean water, food and other household items to victims of the typhoon. It is in the process of setting up child-centered spaces in evacuation centers to provide counsel and relief to children and families affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan.

International Medical Corps deployed an emergency response team of medical personnel and sanitation experts to the Philippines to and is accepting donations through their website in order to ship medicine, clean water and food. They are also asking for $10 donations by texting MED to 80888. Infection control is a priority “to keep those already healthy, healthy,” and “medical and social interventions are needed,” to help those who have been injured and displaced,” said Noel Miranda, leader of the Philippines team.

The Salvation Army is also asking for $10 donations by text. One hundred percent of money donated by sending TYPHOON to 80888 or through their website will be used to sort, ship and distribute donated goods.

Direct Relief has shipped 1.5 tons of medicine, nutritional supplements and first aid supplies to the Philippines and hope to ship more with the help of donations through their website. They have also partnered with Team Rubicon, a veterans’ disaster response organization, who is helping Direct Relief drop off portable kits to displaced survivors.

Apple has created an option in the iTunes Store allowing iTunes customers to donate, and iTunes will transfer 100 percent of donations to the American Red Cross. Donor support will provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters.

Google has also launched a person finder.

AT&T and Verizon are offering free calls and texts to the Philippines for customers trying to contact friends and family there in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

Mammoth Medical brought a team of surgeons, doctors and medical support volunteers to the Philippines. The group is equipped with three surgical teams and more than 30 parcels of medical supplies as well as a self-contained surgical tent. Click the link for more information.

Oxfam teams on the ground are reporting an urgent need for food, clean water, medicine and shelter. Teams are ready to deploy water and sanitation materials to those affected but need help to scale up their response.

Team Rubicon is working to facilitate search and rescue efforts and provide medical triage for a field hospital in Tacloban. Click the link for more information.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

FTA Satellite, Part 4: Installation

 Installation of a single satellite FTA system is a relatively easy task, provided that you done a little homework and have the right tools for the job. The tools needed are a magnetic level, compass, satellite finder, open end and socket wrenches, screwdrivers, and of course your FTA receiver, dish and mount, and coaxial cables.

Your first task once you decide what satellite you want is to determine the location for your dish. For most installations this will be on a roof. If you are installing on a roof, most dishes will come with a "J-pipe" mount that includes all the mounting hardware you need, but I would also recommend using some asphalt sealant between the roofing material and J-pipe to prevent water intrusion. You can also install your dish on a pipe set into concrete. A pole set in concrete should be a heavy weight metal water pipe, not the galvanized "top rail" for chain link fencing that I often recommend for mounting OTA antennas.

Friday, August 16, 2013

AEREO TV Is Now Available In Utah! A first look at AEREO in Utah.

Aereo has now opened the doors to its "over the top" video service to all Utah residents. It is offering a free month of service to new customers through this link: http://aereo.com/i/bq211F

For those that don't know about AEREO, it is a service that uses individual antennas and tuners assigned to each subscriber to deliver local OTA broadcast TV channels over the internet. It also provides a program guide (1 week into the future) as well as a cloud-based DVR service that allows you to store 20 or 60 hours of content, depending on your plan. The cost is $8 a month for the 20 hour plan, and $12 for the 60 hour plan that allows watching or recording 2 programs at once.

From Wikipedia:
Aereo is a technology company based in New York City that allows subscribers to view live as well as time-shifted streams of over-the-air television on Internet-connected devices. Immediately following Aereo's launch in New York City the company was sued by a consortium of major broadcasters, including CBS, Comcast's NBC, Disney's ABC and Newscorp's Fox for copyright infringement. On April 1, 2013, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court's ruling, finding that Aereo’s streams to subscribers were not "public performances", and thus did not constitute copyright infringement.

Aereo's technology allows subscribers to view live broadcast content and to record it for later viewing. As of October 2012, Aereo can be used on Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs  with a compatible browser or iOS devices including the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Apple TV (2nd & 3rd Gen) via AirPlay. A Roku video player can be used also. Monthly plans start at $8 for 20 hours of DVR storage. Aereo provides this service by leasing to each user an individual remote antenna. This distinguishes Aereo from purely internet-based streaming services
I've had AEREO for just 3 days now, and while I'm not an expert on AEREO by any means, here's my first impression.