Just wanted to let everyone know I have created forums for FreeTVForMe. I you want to talk about cord cutting, hardware, reception, or just about anything else, please visit the forums…
Monday, December 19, 2016, 9:50am
During the overnight hours, WGBX and the network stations were moved back to the upper antenna on the repaired transmission line and successfully brought up to full power. And WGBH was also returned to the lower antenna at full power.
As of about 4:55am this morning, all stations are operating normally.
We want to offer our sincere thanks again for the patience and understanding of all of our viewers who were affected by the October 22nd antenna failure. And if you continue to experience reception problems on WGBX or WGBH, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.
There are discounts on other models, but this is the show stopper. For $200 you get the standard warranty and Lifetime with a refurbished 500g Roamio/OTA. Best deal ever. Jump on it!
I am celebrating the seventh anniversary of the purchase of my Ooma Hub and Scout. Before Ooma, we relied on our ‘land line’ for phone communications and our ‘land line’ was Comcast VOIP. The hardware cost me $205 which comes down to $2.44/month — less than fees and taxes on a traditional phone line. Eliminating phone service did not save me much, since I lost my ‘Triple Play’ discount, but it left me just a little less reliant on Comcast. The following May, I replaced Comcast’s internet service with less expensive Fairpoint and Comcast’s television service with an antenna. With Black Friday and the holiday season at hand, I thought this might be a good time to take stock of things.
In the Attic: For most of the last six years, I have had two antenna systems — one inside my attic and one on a mast above the roof line. This spring, I took down the mast. My attic installation has proven to be as good as the outdoor antenna, is much easier to maintain, and is out of the weather. The attic installation consists of a DB8e ($128.02) and a pair of Stellar Labs 30-2476 ($34.99 x 2) antennas coupled via an RCA TVPRAMP1Z Preamplifier ($24.11). I have extended a Stellar Labs 30-2476 with the front half of a second to improve gain. I distribute and amplify the output of the system with an EDA-2800 ($75.98) distribution amplifier. Total cost of the three antennas, pre-amp, and distribution amp comes to $274, as of this morning.
On the TV: I have some kind of set top box on each television — one DTVPal DVR ($170 when I bought it, but no longer available), three Channel Master DVR+s ($250 plus $50 for a 1t USB disk), three TiVo Roamio OTAs ($400), and two TiVo Minis ($146). I also have a couple Fire TVs (current gen is $89.99), a pair of Fire TV sticks (current gen is $39.99), and two Roku 2 XS streamers (no longer available, but roku sticks go for $39.99). Total cost of $2586. I know this is a big number, but we have eight televisions. It comes to $323.25 per set. Assuming five years service per device, $5.39/month/set.
What We Watch: We are OTA-first cord cutters which means that most of the time, we are watching programming received via an antenna (live and time shifted). There’s plenty to watch: 2.1 WGBH Boston (PBS Prime), 2.2 PBS World, 4.1 WBZ Boston (CBS), 4.2 Decades, 5.1 WCVB Boston (ABC), 5.2 MeTV, 7.1 WHDH Boston (NBC), 7.2 This TV, 9.1 WMUR Manchester, NH (ABC), 9.2 MeTV, 11.1 WENH Durham (PBS Prime), 11.2 PBS Explore, 11.3 PBS World, 11.4 PBS Create, 25.1 WFXT Boston (Fox), 25.2 Escape, 25.3 LAFF, 38.1 WSBK Boston (MyTV), 38.2 Heroes and Icons, 44.1 WGBX Boston (PBS), 44.3 PBS Create, 44.4 PBS Kids, 50.1 WBIN Derry, NH, 50.2 Antenna TV, 50.3 Grit, 56.1 WLVI Boston (CW), 56.2 BUZZER, 62.3 The Works, 62.4 Comet, 66.2 BounceTV, 66.3 GetTV, 66.4 Escape, 68.1 ION, 68.2 Qubo, and 68.3 ION Life. We no longer pay for a streaming service. VuDu has a great ad supported service and Crackle is very good. I find myself buying discs again — they are so inexpensive and the quality is unsurpassed. A lot of movies include a digital code, so my Vudu-Amazon-Disney library is growing. I watched the election returns on Newsmax TV. I like the ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, and RT News free streaming apps. That’s about it.
I look forward to 2017 with a $50/month communications and entertainment budget. It’s not exactly free tv, but it’s free enough for me.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 3:00pm
Work on the tower was suspended Tuesday afternoon because of inclement weather. A shutdown for testing that was planned for tonight will be rescheduled for the overnight hours tomorrow, pending additional analysis during the daytime hours on Wednesday.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 12:45pm
The crew anticipates needing to shut down all stations that occupy the Needham tower tonight (Tuesday into Wednesday) for transmission line testing and analysis that will begin at about 1:30am and possibly extend to 4:00am.
This is progressive step that is not necessarily expected to result in stations moving back to the upper antenna tonight.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 9:30am
Last night’s transition of WGBX and the network stations back to the upper antenna was postponed. Following additional analysis on the transmission lines, engineers found new evidence for the source of the faults that developed when the transmitters were raised to full power.
Weather permitting, the crew will back on the tower today for more repair work. Then, after the repairs are tested, another attempt will be made to move the stations back to the main antenna and increase the power.
Wanted to share this amazing image of the guys climbing the Needham tower to restore service. I really appreciate the effort and hope the guys on the ground apply similar effort to ensuring this doesn’t happen again. It’s on to Buffalo!
This morning, I woke up, powered on my television and DVR+, and tuned in to 38.1 to catch Patriots All Access. The screen was black. Same for 38.2, 44.1, 4.1, and 4.2. Apparently, there had been a problem at one of the broadcast towers which impacted some very important television stations — including the one the New England Patriots would be playing on later in the day. Checking in with WBZ, Patsfans.com, and the Boston forum on AVS, I decided that service would not be restored in time for the game and set about finding an alternative. To my surprise, a number of premium providers rely on broadcast television for their feeds. All of these providers were affected…
- PS Vue
- Charter Cable
- RCN Cable
- Metrocast Cable
In the end, I watched the game using a Simple TV DVR at a friend’s home in New Jersey. I’m afraid I may be imposing on him again next week. Best of luck to the engineers tasked with restoring service.
It’s official — Heroes & Icons is on 38.2 in Boston. If it’s not in your channel lineup, refresh or rescan your channels. WSBK just saved my wife’s favorite maple and, probably, a marriage. Enjoy!
- 12 O’CLOCK HIGH
- 21 JUMP STREET
- ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN
- BLACK SHEEP SQUADRON
- BROKEN ARROW
- DANIEL BOONE
- HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL
- HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS
- HILL STREET BLUES
- KUNG FU
- NYPD BLUE
- REAL STORIES OF THE HIGHWAY PATROL
- STAGECOACH WEST
- STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
- STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE
- STAR TREK: THE ANIMATED SERIES
- STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
- STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES
- STAR TREK: VOYAGER
- SWAMP THING
- THE CISCO KID
- THE COMMISH
- THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO
- THE GREEN HORNET
- THE HIGH CHAPARRAL
- THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
- THE REBEL
- WAGON TRAIN
- WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE
- XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS
- YANCY DERRINGER
Let’s say you are committed to spending Columbus Day weekend in a place called Ebeemee Township. Ebeemee Township is far enough north that DirecTV does not offer local channels (or HDTV). Imagine that Tom Brady makes his 2016 debut on that VERY weekend. What is a Patriot to do?
- Visit TVFool.com to see what channel carries CBS programming in Ebeemee Township
- Pick up an appropriate antenna
- Grab a fence rail, a bunch of conduit straps, some screws, and 50′ of coax
- Point the antenna in the right direction
- Watch the New England Patriots crush the Cleveland Browns
Cord cutting is patriotic!
Later this month, I am replacing the cedar siding on my home with vinyl siding, fanfold insulation, and a vapor barrier. The fanfold is Alside Platinum Series AF38 Underlayment which is not foil backed. The contractor left me a sheet of the fanfold so I could test for attenuation and I am happy to say that there is none.
I am expecting improved reception as removal of my peak vents will eliminate a couple square feet of steel mesh from my line of site and vinyl should shed water better than cedar.
By the way, that 100% VHF signal is from WMTW whose antenna is 67.6 miles from mine!