Now that all TV Signals are digital and so much content is availaible online, I have decided to throw all my satallite stuff out and use OTA and the Internet for all my media needs. I have just started the process and have hit a few hurdles but overall I think that this is going to work out very nicely. I will be saving about $100 dollars a month so I do not mind investing a couple hundred into new equipment in order to make this work the way I want.
I purchased a Antenna and mounted where my Dish was, I used the dish mast as the satallite company does not want me to ruturn that hardware. Before purchasing the antenna go to www.antennaweb.org and find out what type you need for your area. Very helpful site. I am using the same coax that my dish was using to distribute the signal to my house and I am going to have to invest in a signal booster. I have a couple passive splitters and over 100 feet of cable running so this is expected.
I will be running lines to four rooms in my house. 3 TV’s in seperate rooms and one line into my computer. I will be using the computer as a DVR. It is hard to find a DVR for OTA recording if you do not want to pay a monthly fee for the guide. I will be using Vista Media Center for all my recording and then I will be converting the dvr-ms files to MPG in order to stream to my PS3 or other DLNA Device. I will use the computer to record and stream media to any of my TV’s. This is great since now I will not have to watch the DVR show on the TV that I recorded it from.
I will be supplementing the OTA with Internet media as well. By using Play On, found at http://www.themediamall.com/playon I will be able to stream and watch Hulu, Netflix, CBS, CNN, ESPN, and many others with the new plugins that are available for Play On.
Play On is a great product and supports multiple DLNA devices and even the Nintendo Wii now. The Wii support is still in Beta but I have read some good things about it. For the one time fee of $40.00 Play On is well worth it. I have two licenses and use them both all the time. They have good forums and great support. Always upgrading and releasing new features. These guys to a fantastic job.
So after a few months I will be saving about $100 a month and not really missing out on any of the programming that I was paying so much for. I really think that Cable and Satalite providers need to take a look at the business model and see that changes that they are going to have to make to stay alive. With all the good online content and free OTA digital HD Transmissions I do not see many advantages to paying so much. They still have the market for sports but I would not doubt if that changes as well.
I will keep you updated on this and let you know about the hurdles that I run into and how I overcome them.