Life Without the Dish

I’m putting this in the category “Being Green” but this is more like “Saving Green”. As everyone who reads my blog knows by now, I have ditched the Dish. If you haven’t read that, I’ll quote from last night’s post. If you have read the weekly update, you can skip the parts that are quoted.

I took the plunge and called Dish Network after consulting How to Cancel My Dish Network Satellite Service. After reading that, I was primed and ready to go. The fellow asked why I was canceling. I told him I was having a metal roof put on my house and, besides, much of what I watched was on Food Network and I can’t see spending more than $400 a year on that. Actually, it’s closer to $500. Anyway, he offered to send out a tech to put the dish where it wouldn’t have to be on the roof and said he’d find me a cheaper package. I was curious about the cheaper package because I had the lowest priced one out there. He said there was one for $15.99 that would end up being around $24.99 with the local channels. I told him that’s what I had and with all the taxes and fees, it’s over $40 a month. He sounded kind of deflated and wanted to know if there was any way I would decide to keep the service. I said, “Yes—if it’s free.” He mumbled, “We can’t do that.”

He proceeded to tell me about how I would go about returning the equipment. They want the receiver back with the remote and something off the dish, itself. It will cost me around $30 to send everything but I’ll be shed of that bill then so that’s okay with me.

As I also said last night, the cable came to hook my computer up to my TV. At merm’s direction, I had ordered it from overstock.com. It was $16.49 with 15% off and $1 shipping. The total came to $15.84. Not a bad swap, I’d say. My monthly bill from Dish for the cheapest package was $40.37. (I just found I could have gotten a 25′ cable from Amazon for ‘way less but maybe this one is better.)

When I got it home, I discovered that the cable is very beefy. It’s covered with a metal mesh so no animal would want to chew through it. It’s resting at the moment against my laptop’s “lid” so I have it cushioned to prevent its being scratched.

Hooking up the cable was the easiest part, though nothing turned out to be as complicated as I thought it would be. I pulled the TV around, got my flashlight and plugged it into HDMI 1. Then I strung it across to the computer and plugged the other end into the HDMI port on the back. That much was done.

Finding the remote (as I said last night) was the hardest part of the whole thing. I hadn’t needed it for months—maybe even years. I can’t remember when I had used it last. I did manage to unearth it, though, and the setup for it was as easy as turning on the TV, pushing the Menu button, scrolling down to Input and selecting HDMI 1. It prompted me to name the source so I selected PC.

Immediately, I had a picture! To prove it to merm, I emailed a couple of shots to him.

Visualization

Finished Listening

I was almost in business! I could have listened to it by turning up my computer speakers but I wanted the sound to come from the TV and/or the boom box I plugged into the TV long ago.

I’d emailed merm (once again I’m repeating myself) about the sound but before he could reply, I had that done, too. I went to my computer’s control panel and selected Hardware and Sound and then Manage audio devices. When I made Digital Audio (HDMI) the default, the sound would come through either the TV or the boom box speakers. Woohoo!

Today I got my weekly fix of This Week on abc.go.com and Face the Nation on cbs.com. The only aggravation is that This Week is chopped up into small segments that don’t play sequentially. Face the Nation goes really well. This Week may have lost me as a viewer but it isn’t the same without George Stephanopoulos, anyway.

This evening, I watched another 30 Days program while I ate my salad. The commercials aren’t quite long enough for me to go to the bathroom. Each program has a grand total of two and a half minutes given to sponsors and they come in 30 second messages. Beats whats on regular television.

I took another picture so you can see how sharp the display is. If you ever watch Morgan Spurlock, you know he is always very animated so he’s a little fuzzy but look at the columns behind him. They aren’t moving and they look good.

Watching TV Online

My next project is getting the cable fixed so it won’t be across the walkway into the kitchen. If I were drunk (which I won’t be but you never know when I might be unsteady due to other reasons) I might trip on it and break a bone. I’d really like to have it run under the floor some way but that would be a project for my neighbor. With as much as I’m saving, I’d be able to pay her to do it.

The only frustrating thing about this whole experience is not being able to get my Bluetooth mouse to work with Windows 7. I haven’t given up, though. When I get that licked, I’ll be able to sit in the living room and control the computer in the kitchen (unless I have to type something). There may be a wireless keyboard in my future, too. Hmmmmmm.

Getting rid of the Dish took a long time (merm and DD can tell you that) but the break isn’t upsetting at all. I thought I would have major withdrawal but, so far, so good. I may have it later. If I do, I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, I’m saving $484.44 a year. And that, my friend, ain’t chicken feed.

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