We did it

by Lorin Michel Monday, January 23, 2017 8:54 PM

Yesterday, we had a fairly normal Sunday morning after a chaotic Saturday. We woke up and decided that we’d stay in bed for a while. Kevin got us some coffee and tossed me the remote. We watched AM Joy on MSNBC with Joy Reid, who we really like. We bopped around to some other channels, and finally got up around 10:30. We did some stuff around the house, fed the dog. I started laundry. We made another pot of coffee. After we had brunch, I turned on the television so we could watch the NFC championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons. I punched in channel 11, Fox. And got a screen that said the channel was unavailable. I called DirecTV and asked what was up and they told me they were in negotiations with the networks and that the games wouldn’t be available. 

Games? GAMES? What do you mean games? What about my Patriots? Is that not going to be on either? I grabbed the remote and turned to CBS. Same screen. 

I melted down. I ranted and raved. I screamed and yelled. Now I realize in the general scheme of things, not being able to watch a football game is minor. There is certainly enough happening in the world – hell, just in the country – that is of major concern. Not seeing the Patriots is very small. I know that. I knew that. 

But it was the last straw. Every month, I pay DirecTV a lot of money. And in return, they give us a bunch of crappy channels. And we’ve been taking this abuse for too long. You may recall that I threatened to get an antenna and do away with all of this corporate bureaucracy. 

Yesterday, we did. 

After my rant – also posted on Facebook – Kevin went to Radio Shack and bought an HD antenna, brought it home, put it together and then, to test proof-of-concept, hooked it up to a 13” flat screen TV we usually keep in the shop in the garage, and turned it on. We got nothing. 

Then it occurred to me that I probably had to reset something in the menu items, so I did, and then set the channel scanner which recorded a number of channels that were available via the antenna, most in high definition. Once it finished scanning I turned to CBS, and there was the game. My Patriots. Who had a helluva game which, I’m sure, is completely coincidental to the fact that I got to watch it via antenna rather than satellite.

I said to Kevin that maybe the reason that DirecTV was being such jerks was just the catalyst we needed to finally do what we’ve been threatening to do for months. We now have an antenna. Granted it’s in the living room, but it’s a start. This week, we’re cancelling DirecTV, and on Saturday, we’re going up on the roof to remove the satellite and replace it with the antenna.

But we did it. We bought an antenna. And it works. Soon we’ll be watching “free” TV and living it out loud.

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live out loud

Comments (2) -

1/23/2017 10:27:11 PM #

I thought this was some kind of new art piece you bought. Imagine how I laughed...

Bobbi Jankovich United States

1/26/2017 8:59:29 AM #

I have Dish Network's basic minimal package to the tune of $21 a month. And on two occasions I encountered channel negotiation outages. Not being an avid football or sports fan in general, I didn't care. Let those networks sort their shit out. On both occasions it took about a week to sort out and then the channels returned.

Nevertheless, I also do have an antenna hooked up to my bedroom TV and love using it. In fact, there are sub channels there that aren't available with Dish! For example, Dish provides Fox 13. So does my antenna. But my antenna also provides channel 13.2, which features free TV rebroadcasts of things like Johnny Carson. I love that! It turns out that many antenna channels have perfectly decent SUB channels.

$21 a month I can put up with. But no more than that.

Fred Marcin United States

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