Saving $700/yr by giving DirecTV/Cable the boot.. Part1

Kicking the DirecTV habit…

I got DirecTV way back when because of digital quality – picture and sound – as well as access to shows just not available on the broadcast networks… I also signed up for DirecTivo a while back, and the combination of these things gave “old school” TV and Cable to get the boot. Now, with the rise of Internet TV, its time to return the favor without loosing quality.

I have been talking to a lot of folks over the past few months about the notion of dropping my DirecTV (or cable for that matter) service and rather using iTunes to subscribe to shows we watch. iTunes has a very good selection of shows it carries, and these can be synced to iPods, iPhones or watched on your computer etc. We have a Mac Mini hiding behind the TV, connected with HDMI at full 1080p.. so… I would get a perfect copy to watch anytime…. in my library, not locked on some PVR.

I spoke to some folks on New Years eve about this and thought it was time to take a look at what this would really mean…

The money angle:

A quick calculation and check of the around 6 shows we watch:

Heroes, CougarTown, Modern Family, Flash Forward, OLTL, Mythbusters = $300 to subscribe to.

Now, it must be said that most of these we can get over the air using an HD tuner, now that the US has gone all-digital… but lets just assume that aside from the “free” shows, we will buy 6 other seasons from iTunes… and the $300 sticks.

We spend a meager $85.50 for our DirecTV service and get nothing but the base package.. no access to the HBO series etc that we can get in the above price… Multiply that by 12 months, you get $1026.00

A savings of $726 a year! Where do I sign up!?

For those with a Sports fetish – you’re going to have to figure this out a little more carefully. I am not sure theres a savings to be had.

Now that digital TV is here, lets go order what we need for an over-the-air PVR:

Check Antennaweb to see what stations we can get, where they are, and what antenna we need…

Over the air antenna for $33.20:it turns out that conveniently, this mounts directly to my old DirecTV dish mount. Sweet. We already have RG6 cable run, so that should work too.

PVR tuner and software for Mac ElGato makes this USB stick that allows you to receive and record HD over the air sources – a PVR for the Mac Mini hiding behind the tv…

Set up QuickTime to output full 5.1 surround via your optical port in your Mac Mini.

More to follow as all this stuff arrives and is hooked up…


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