Draft Design v1 – TV/Visual Media Viewing 2011 Project

For better or worse….I think this is what I going with as the design for my TV/Visual Media Viewing 2011 Project:


Notes:
-Drop Time Warner Cable – saving $68/month (I hadn’t realized how high it had gone in the last year)
-Add Hulu Plus – costing $10/month
Roku is adding Hulu Plus soon (so I would use mostly Netflix Streaming, Hulu Plus  and Pandora Streaming)
===>>> Next savings of $58/month ~ $700/year


Office Setup
-move existing small TV (that is digital TV ready) to bedroom
-no TV for this room
-Mac Mini w/ 1 Terrabyte Raid 1
-w/Elgato Eye TV software and USB fob
-w/iTunes, ReplayAV, Skype
-w/Browser for Netflix Watch Instantly, Hulu Plus and other “content”
-w/DVD reader/writer
-w/Bittorents
-add Digital OTA TV antenna/booster
-add as second display 17″ (or larger) HD display
-throwout failing DVD/VCR Combo device

Bedroom
-replace old (18 years?) Panasonic TV with newer TV (that is already digital TV ready) from the office
-add Digital OTA TV antenna/booster
-add Wireless Speakers to be placed near/on bed’s headboard bookshelf
-Move family room older-model Roku (Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora Music Streaming) to bedroom
-throwout failing DVD/VCR Combo device
-throwout failing VCR device

Family Room
-re-purpose/donate/inventory old (18 year?) CRT style TV
-Purchase new TV with HDTV – 36″ or better – 1080p – 4+ HDMI ports
-add Digital OTA TV antenna/booster/splitter
Channel Master OTA DVR (dual tuner)
-purchase new Roku HD/S (mostly for Netflix streaming, Hulu Plus, Pandora Music Streaming)
-purchase Boxee Box (mostly for internet based content and stuff from my Mac)
-keep last existing combo DVD/VCR unit (for playing DVDs, for playing existing VCR tapes) [How to hook up?]
-Deploy (existing in my inventory) Wi-Fi 802.11N Bridge
-FUTURE: if the Channel Master DVR doesn’t work out, I will try the Sezmi Basic service
-FUTURE: replace eventually old combo DVD/VCR unit with Blueray DVD/VCR writer/reader


Any recommendations or anti-recommendation on HDTVs? I am checking here.

Time for Leave It To Beaver

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TV/Visual Media Viewing 2011 Project

Project Goals (by priority):
1) Replace (or replace functionality of) aging VCRs
2) Reduce overall Month-to-Month Costs
3) Increase quality of the Experience (content and visuals)

Current (Legacy) Environment:
-All 3 TVs connected to analog cable TV service (no Digital TV box needed) via Time Warner Cable
-Only one of the three TVs have OTA digital TV tuners (the small TV in the office)
-None of the VCRs have OTA digital TV tuners
-No HD viewing capability
-No BlueRay DVD viewing capability
-Internet available in all rooms via Wi-Fi 802.11n
-Internet is available in room “office” via Wi-Fi and wired ethernet
-Netflix Subscription – 1 DVD out at a time and unlimited streaming
-TV “A” (Big old Sony,) is in the “family room” with attached combo VCR/DVD and Roku Box (streams Netflix and some other stuff)
-TV “B” (Small 13#) is in “my office” with an attached combo VCR/DVD next to my Windows-based TV
-The Windows PC in the office can show TV-ish content via YouTube (and like sites), Netflix Watch Instantly, Hulu (non Hulu Plus), or Video/MP4 content in iTunes (currently being replaced by Mac Mini)
-TV “C” (Small old 13″ Panasonic) in “my bedroom” with a a VCR and a combo VCR/DVD attached
-No Laptop, NetBook, or iPad functionality
-I prefer to watch shows most shows in the “family room”
-I prefer to watch TV in bed late at night, as opposed to falling asleep on the family room couch
-If I watch TV on my office, it tends to be usually be just the news
-I rarely watch TV-ish content on my PC
-I will xfer some TV-ish content from the internet to my PC for syncing to my iPod
-Most of my VCR tapes are 8hour…the rest are 9 and 10 hour tapes
-My VCRs are getting old and starting to have issues (HW issues, recording quality issues)
-I do not have a gaming system attached to a TV
-lots of remotes

Project Requirements (by priority):
-access to current big network TV shows for viewing when I want to view them
-access to current cable network TV shows for viewing when I want to view them
-ability to record media on behalf of (and to transfer to) my parents
-access to Red Eye for viewing when I want to view it
-access to old movies for viewing when I want to view them
-access to new-ish movies for viewing when I want to view them
-access to cable news (Fox, CNN) for viewing current and current-ish news/events
-access to C-SPAN for viewing current and current-ish events
-access to C-SPAN’s Book TV for viewing when I want to view them
-access to Internet content like YouTube (and the like) for viewing when I want to view them
-access to Bittorrent content (and the like) for viewing when I want to view them
-access to new-ish Premium Cable TV shows for viewing when I want to view them
-access to older Premium Cable TV shows for viewing when I want to view them
-ability to record media to transfer to my iPod
-ability to play iTunes stuff through my TV

In-Scope:
-Change recording technology options
-Change media source options
-Change viewing technology options
-Change storage options
-Add-to and/or change options for office new Mac Mini (in-process of replacing legacy Windows PC)

Out-Scope:
-Standalone Internet Radio devices
-Purchasing a Laptop, Net Book, Android-based Pad, iPad, or Kindle (different 1Q2011 Proj)
-“3D” TV Technology
-Adding a Gaming system to a TV (e.g. XBox, Playstation)
-Adding a fourth TV Viewing area (e.g. Kitchen, Bathroom)
-Changing to a Residential VOIP service from my Land-line Phone
-Dropping my Land-line phone and just using a cell phone (different 1Q2011 Proj)
-Skyping through my TV
-Increasing my Internet bandwidth (different 1Q2011 Proj)
-Switching Internet Service Providers

Likes:
-I would like to have the High Definition TV Experience
-I would like to be able to watch content of all types, from any of the three TVs
-I prefer simplicity to complexity
-I prefer to not be a home SysAdmin (I prefer to be paid to be a SysAdmin)
-I would like to play Blueray DVDs from Netflix

Hates:
-I hate my monthly (every increasing) Cable TV fee
-I hate the idea of a monthly Tivo/DVR fee
-I hate the idea of additional fees for Digital Cable boxes or Digital Cable cable cards
-I hate the idea of recording directly to a DVD

Neutrals:
-I am okay with building/assembling my own HW/SW solutions if I am going to be the SysAdmin
-I would prefer Unix-based to Windows-based solutions if I am going to be the SysAdmin
-I could care less about Twitter or Facebook via my TVs

Options / Stuff / Considerations / Investigations:
Tivo dual-tuner DVR and Digital Cable Cards
-Tivo dual-tuner DVR
Moxi tri-tuner DVR + Digital Cable Cards + Upgrade to Digital Cable + 2 Moxi Mates
Hulu Plus subscription ($10/month, rolling out soon, will be on many devices)
-Play ON
Beyond TV on my HW (Windows, can support multiple tuners)
Myth TV on my HW (Multi-Tuners, UNIX Based)
FOSS Overview
Freevo
XBMC on my HW
Windows Media Center on my HW
Apple TV ($99, iTunes-to-TV bridge, Streams Netflix
Roku Appliances boxes (stream Netflix, will stream Hulu Plus, HD support)
Channel Master CM-7000PAL Digital Video Recorder (DVR) for OTA TV (dual-tuner, no monthly fees)
Sezmi – Current – OTA local channel Digital TV + dual-tuner DVR with $5/month fee
Sezmi – Future TBD – OTA local channel Digital TV + many “cable” channels via internet streams + dual-tuner DVR with $20/month fee
Boxee on my HW
Boxee Box Appliance ($200 TD, Netflix Streaming, Hulu Plus assumption, other net content
Nuu Player Boxee Appliance Future TBD
Google TV – not shipping yet, early stuff might be rough
Elgato EyeTV HD DVR
-Elgato Eye TV Digital or Dual USB Tuner for Mac OSX
Elgato has lots of products for TV/OSX interaction
-Build my own Media PC aka Home Media PC aka HMPC
-What about Bittorrents?

TV Shows We Used To Watch - 1955 Television advertising

Anybody out there using the Channel Master CM-7000PAL Digital Video Recorder (DVR) for OTA TV?

Anybody out there using the Channel Master CM-7000PAL Digital Video Recorder (DVR) for OTA TV?

I think this would be a good candidate to replace my aging VCRs and facilitate a dropping of cable TV for OTA TV and streaming stuff from the internet. The DVR has dual-tuners and no monthly fee$.

I think I would need to get a signal booster right away as well.

“Sex With Robots May Not Be All It’s Made Out To Be”

Red Eye is my favorite late night TV show. It just cracks me up.

Red Eye