From my wife’s point of view, the sweetest fruit from cord-cutting so far is the hugely upgraded setup in the kitchen with a new LG 24″ TV and a TiVo Mini. All the upgrades were financed by our savings so far from cutting the cord.
A couple of months ago, we were both hanging out with a friend in his swimming pool, and the conversation turned to cord-cutting (yes, he is actually interested in the topic).
He was playfully evangelizing to completely get out of the analog tube TV business, having recently recycled his own stock of CRT monitors, old computers, etc. I had resisted his anti-tube pitch in the past.
Nine years ago, I had set up an X10 sender/receiver pair to transmit from the den to the kitchen’s 13″ tube TV so that Gaye could watch and control her recorded “General Hospital” shows in the kitchen while she cooked.
Since X10 is old analog technology, it looks best on a standard 4:3 aspect ratio tube TV rather than a new flatscreen. (This is due to the the fact that new digital TVs have differently-shaped pixels.)
But now, Gaye has her TiVo Roamio OTA in the den, and it’s going to stay. I reminded myself that by getting a TiVo Mini in the kitchen, we could replace the 13″ tube with a larger flatscreen.
(The 13″ had really started sucking; you had to whack it sometimes to get the sound to work and the picture had faded. Plus, the X10 fritzed out when the microwave was used, so the sound had to be muted for the duration.)
The TiVo Mini connects directly with the Roamio by Ethernet wire. Another option would have been to use MoCA (Media over Coax) adapters, but our kitchen is close enough to the den for us to use a long Ethernet cable.
The Mini can play any of the DVR recordings stored on the Roamio, or show you live TV by borrowing one of the Roamio’s four tuners and sharing its antenna. Like its larger sibling, it can play Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Plus if you are subscribed.
New features on TiVo this year: Pandora, iHeart Radio, and great for us, Plex.
The remotes pair with their respective TiVo devices. I used our Brother P-touch label maker to keep them from getting mixed up.
By operating on radio frequency (RF), you don’t need to point them or even be in the same room as their respective TiVos. They can also control with infrared (IR) pulses like most remotes, so I am able to teach my IR-emitting X10 Universal 5-in-1 Learning Remote.
We still have the X10 setup in our workout room with a 1983 tube TV that still looks as good as it did in the 80s.
We also recycled the 1989 tube TV in our bedroom that had gotten zapped by the lightning strike two months ago. It was replaced by a new 32″ LG TV hooked to the Winegard FlatWave amplified flat indoor antenna we already had in there.
All these improvements fell on and around our wedding anniversary.
13th wedding anniversary gifts are supposed to be lace, textiles, or furs.
Instead, I suggest a new tradition of saying it with TV. 😉