After the last experience in dealing with Comcast, I thought that we had it all worked out. As a follow-up to that post, a Comcast engineer did show up at the house on Saturday, 5/18. The way I found out was by opening the door and finding a note that they had come and gone. It was on me to discover the note and figure out what to do at the demarc. Regardless, I was able to muddle through it and by the end of the day I had wired things up so we had our Limited Basic service.
At least, we had it from 5/19 until about 6/14. Around that time, someone, somewhere, flipped a switch and now we needed a digital television adapter (DTA) if we wanted to receive any channels.
Good: the DTA is free!
Bad: you have to drive an hour round-trip on I-4 to get it.
Good: we can bring you one!
Bad: that will cost $40.
Good: we can mail you one!
Bad: just kidding, there’s no option to mail a DTA.
More bad: the DTA works horribly with whatever DVR you have.
This ended up being the last straw with Comcast TV.
This afternoon, with the help of a local handyman, I installed a Terk HDTVO Amplified HDTV Antenna. Look, here it is attached to the mount for the satellite dish the previous owners had:
The antenna cost $76 and had free shipping. I paid the handyman $39. The solution took me four hours or so to research (tvfool.com) and test beforehand, most of that involving unhooking TV’s and TiVo’s and taking them to the garage so I could test from the attic before doing the roof mount. The signal goes into my TiVo 3 HD after being amplified using an amplifier that came with the antenna. We now receive broadcast ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, a bunch of Spanish stations (it is Florida, after all), and some of those stations that have Friends and Raymond on a loop. The picture quality on the HD channels is, frankly, stunning. Here in Celebration we’re about 35 miles from the antennas downtown.
Compared to the cost of Limited Basic, this project will pay for itself in six months.
I do understand this isn’t for everyone. We don’t really watch sports. If we want to watch Discovery or Travel channels, we can probably find that content online. Same for shows like 30 Rock and Community. But for us, I feel like this will work.