Time for a Refresh?

Or time to retire?

A co-worker approached me about installing an antenna a month or so ago.  We talked a bit and ran a TVFool.com report.  I gave him a link to this blog and went on my way.  A couple days later, I ran into him, “Gonna give it a try?”  “Maybe.”  “Was the blog helpful?”  “It’s a little dated.”

It is a little dated.  The problem is that I have lost interest.  When we left Comcast, we had an antenna and some cable.  I experimented with different antennas and different locations, splitters and joiners, amps and pre-amps.  It was very exciting to pull in a new channel or bump signal across the spectrum.  Now, I have the best array of antennas mounted and pointed for the best reception.  We spent a lot of time looking at DVRs.  This was frustrating and expensive.  Now, we have seven excellent set top DVRs and I have no desire to add to the fleet or upgrade.  I’ve tried most of the streamers and streaming services.  All, for the most part, work as advertised.

Over the coming months, I will be refocusing this blog on FreeTV — removing Everything Else and updating what is left.  I’m done investigating new ideas, but I will try anything anyone wants to send me and I’ll continue to post about interesting developments.  New mission:

  1. Provide a path from premium tv to free tv
  2. Document ‘best solutions’ and ‘best practices’
  3. Investigate new ideas and technologies

Suggestions and criticisms welcome!

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Farewell Real Simple Software

In May of 2012, flush with the success of their reception at the 2012 CES, Real Simple Software launched a Kickstarter project for the Simple TV DVR.  For $200, early adopters got a Simple.TV box, a year of service, a Mohu antenna, and a Simple.TV T-shirt.  For $300, Simple.TV supporters also got a Roku XD streamer and a lifetime premium subscription.

CNET crowned RSS with their ‘Best of CES’ award in January proclaiming, “Simple.TV might be the next big cord-cutting device.”  It wasn’t — at least not for me.  I was intrigued, but $150 per tuner plus $300 per tuner for lifetime guide service seemed expensive to me.

Flash forward to October of 2013 and Woot is offering the Simple.TV STV-1000 DVR with Lifetime Premier Subscription Included for $99.99.  I got one.  It was awesome.  So awesome, in fact, that I eventually bought four more.

At this time, there was much excitement and anticipation for a dual tuner DVR.  That dual tuner DVR ended up being the undoing of Real Simple Software.  High temperatures, a small fan, and no vents spelled disaster for consumers and the company.

By the middle of 2014, the handwriting was on the wall.  Many feared that the STVs would be orphaned as the company abandoned their user community forums.  Early in 2015 RSS’s database crashed rendering the devices useless.  Eventually, the database was recovered, but RSS announced that they were moving on from the Simple TV DVR.

Last night an email announced that the Simple TV service is shutting down August 5th.  While the remnants of the user community were gathering at the forums for a final farewell, someone pulled the plug.

Real Simple Software 2011-2017 RIP

Sling to add AMC

from BUSINESS WIRE

Sling TV and AMC Networks announced a comprehensive agreement that includes over-the-top (OTT) multi-stream rights for live and Video-On-Demand entertainment and news content from AMC Networks’ portfolio including AMC, BBC AMERICA, BBC World News, IFC, SundanceTV and WE tv.

“We flipped the switch this morning opening up Sling TV to all consumers, and we’re giving them something they’ve been asking for: AMC,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV. “Soon Sling TV will deliver hits like The Walking Dead and Mad Men with AMC included in our core package. We found a great partner in AMC Networks with a wide range of popular channels to help us quickly make that a reality.”

AMC Networks is pleased to have reached this comprehensive new agreement which will deliver our popular and valuable entertainment and news content from our entire portfolio of networks on Sling TV,” said Bob Broussard, President of Network Sales, AMC Networks. “Sling TV is an exciting new service designed to deliver content to consumers who are outside of the traditional television eco-system. With this agreement, we are joining a number of other respected providers of sports, entertainment and news content to ensure that we are capitalizing on innovative technology and new opportunities to reach as many people as possible.”

AMC will be included in the “Best of the Live TV” core package for $20 per month.

Sling TV’s “Best of Live TV” core package delivers ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, Disney Channel, CNN, El Rey and Galavision.