Monday, February 18, 2013

Updating my technology

I had decided to give up console gaming for the most part after I played Skyrim on the laptop my company gave me.  The freedom to download mods and change the game to how I wanted as opposed to the very locked version of what I had previously played on the PS3 made me very happy.  So, I tested the PC Gaming waters on the laptop, playing Guild Wars 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Star Wars the Old Republic.  I felt that if I purchased a gaming pc, that I would love it infinitely more than traditional console gaming that I had known since the NES.
So, this January I went to Newegg.com and ordered my parts.  Which I was pretty nervous about, seeing as though I had never built a PC before.  But it was quite simple.  As soon as I picked out my processor, Newegg instantly listed all parts that were compatible and parts that other people had purchased with that same processor.
I built it, and connected it to the HDTV in what was known as the Record Room (as that's where the record player is stored along with the records).
That Television has crapped out on me, due to capacitors that I can repair.  So, we went and got a new television for the living room, which we bumped up to a 50" LCD, and moved the 42" into what has now been rechristened "The Game Room"
The same weekend we got the new TV, my mom bought all new furniture for their house, and passed down to me their gently used furniture, which amounted to very comfy love seat, sofa, chair and ottoman.  The chair along with our old couch got moved into the Game Room along with my video game chair, and a small table for my mouse and keyboard.  Now it feels welcoming for guests to come in and hang out while looking at videos on the internet, or just listening to records.
Our cable and internet service has been through Comcast forever, but we've talked about reducing our services to save money.  We've discussed this before, but Comcast will give me a special, and reduce our bill to keep our business.  Which is great, but I don't want to have to call every six months to try and get them to reduce our monthly payment.
So, we decided to try the streaming only part of Netflix for a month to see how we would like it.  And we have loved it.  Kell has watched all the back catalog of Supernatural, and I got us hooked on the comedy show The League.  So, we decided to try Hulu, as its a little more up to date with their next day on stuff from Fox and NBC.
I made a spreadsheet of all the shows we watch, which surprisingly isn't that much.  A good bit of our shows seem to be ending this year.  I determined how we can watch the show, is it free, does it have a service?
The suppliers were broken down into Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant video, the show's network website or the direct cable connection.
The direct cable connection is where if you have an HDTV, you can just plug your cable directly to it, have your TV scan for channels.  You will get all the local network channels in HD, like Fox, CW, ABC, NBC, Fox & CBS.
I found that all of our shows were easily accessible through these methods.  The only bad part is not always immediately when they originally air.  Which, we DVR most of our shows anyways and watch them later.   So no big deal.  There are only a few like the Walking Dead that we watch as its airing.
The only ones I were concerned about were college football games.  So, I was pretty excited when I found out that ESPN has "Watch ESPN" as a streaming for all of their broadcasts, that's available to anyone with Comcasts service.  And it all streams in HD.
So, we ran a test this weekend of not using our HDDVR box, just using our other outlets, and we did fine, until the Walking Dead.  But I now know that we will be able to watch it on Monday Nights.  So, we're looking at saving somewhere around 80 dollars a month.
Another thing we discovered is that for 50 dollars, we can buy our own cable modem and not pay Comcast an additional 7 dollars a month for theirs.
Its a little odd getting used to consuming media a completely different way than what we're used to, but if you can get around thinking of going to a different website, instead of a different channel, then you shouldn't have any problem making the switch.
Now, I just have to wait to get a new phone, as I managed to break the screen last night.

1 comment:

  1. You still amaze me how you figured out all this stuff. Thanks for working so hard to entertain us AND save us money!

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