It’s been a couple of weeks since my last blog post. I’m in the middle of couple of projects as a writer and a homeowner. The winter was brutal here and I’m spending a lot of time fixing the damage and doing a lot of general cleaning up. We have a neighborhood yard sale this weekend and I want to sell a lot and get rid of even more.
One of my goals this year is to spend less money. When I’m making millions on royalties, I can be less frugal, but at the moment, I need all the money I can get. I switched from Uverse to Xfinity. Yes, yes, I know that Comcast is evil but not any more than AT&T. Since I know what I’m doing on hardware and software, my contact with Xfinity technical support should be limited. I did have one problem already and they were as worthless as everyone said. However, I’m dumping most of my cable service (except for local channels and HBO) and spending half as much. My download and upload speed are much faster with Xfinity which is important to me since I work remotely. We never watch broadcast TV anyways and we now have Netflix and Amazon Prime. The kids mostly watched the same shows over and over on DVR of Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Ni Hao Kai Lan, and Team Oomizoomi. I have access to a lot of these shows and more between Prime, Netflix and YouTube (which is also great for British shows).
Unfortunately, Comcast has been screwing around with HBO GO for years on certain systems. I have a Roku 3 but I cannot use it for HBO with Xfinity. I got around that by purchasing a Chromecast over the weekend. I just cast from my tablet. We did not have HD on Uverse so it is nice to watch Game of Thrones HD via HBO Go.
Another issue I had been my old Onkyo receiver. I had 4 HDMI ports but they did not process audio through HDMI. I had a bluray player and XBOX360 (which was also my Uverse receiver until they dumped that program last year – big mistake) and I only needed two optical connection. I still need the dvd player and Xbox360 for games but I need to streaming device. The Roku 3 does not have a Toslink/optical connection and neither does the Chromecast. I had to buy a splitter that would process the audio signal and send it to the receiver as Dolby Digital. The Amazon Fire does have an optical port and works fine.
So, if you are in the market to cut the cable costs, there are ways to do it. Just be ready to find workarounds for the small issues that will crop out. The Roku 3, Fire, and Chromecast all have their uses, especially if you have multiple TVs and floors like me.