High tech TV on a low tech budget

October 4th, 2010

We’ve mentioned our USB HDTV dongle a few times. One of my big annoyances with the loss of analog stations is the new complication in trying to point the directional antenna in our camper without an analog station to home in on.

Now, we don’t watch all that much TV, so it took me a while to figure this out and even longer to get around to posting it. Antennaweb.org has a great interface for telling you which direction and distance the nearby television stations are. Simply plug in your location and it gives you a listing of channels that might be strong enough to receive and what compass direction they are.

The next bit is just as easy. Get a permanent marker and draw a line on your antenna crank that lines up with the direction your antenna is pointing when raised so that you can tell where you’re pointing while you swivel it. Finally, get a cheapo compass and learn to use it. You can then easily point your antenna whatever direction is required.

If you have satellite TV, please move along. Nothing to see here.

A new vidiot box

January 28th, 2009

Yep, in spite of knowing I shouldn’t be watching a lot of TV, I do miss some of the PBS type programming from time to time. In addition, we might watch an hour or so of random network television before the commercial overload kicks in and ruins the viewing experience. Our initial plan was to get a USB dongle and connect to one of the laptops whenever we felt like watching a bit of TV, but up until the end of the year, we never got around to it.

Well, I bought us a Avertv Hybrid Volar Max for Christmas. We’ve only just been using it the past few days, but I’ve got to say I’m quite happy with the functionality. I really expected HDTV to be much less reliable for us compared to analog TV as we’re often out in the middle of nowhere.

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