I now have my cord-cutting setup more or less complete. I need to get a couple more things for full functionality, and I might make some tweaks, but I have all the major equipment now that my tuner/media server/DVR has been delivered. I was looking at DVR options once I dropped cable, but I couldn’t justify the cost of the Tivo for the amount I’m likely to record from over-the-air television. Either you spend a lot up front for the lifetime subscription or you pay monthly an amount that’s about the cost of a streaming service.
Then I noticed that some of the digital adapters/tuners had a DVR capability if you added an external hard drive. Most of the reviews for these were pretty bad, but there was one that had good reviews. I followed that link, and it turned out that it had been discontinued, but that company was about to launch a new product to replace it, and it had fixed the things that were lacking in the previous version. If you pre-ordered it, you got it at about half the usual cost, and it was quite reasonable, so I took a chance.
It’s a little gizmo that you plug your antenna into, and then it plugs into the TV via HDMI, and it works kind of like a cable box. It gives you an on-screen program grid for all your over-the-air channels, and if you insert a memory card (I need to get one), you can record programs. The nice thing about using a memory card is that if you fill one up, you can just swap out for a new one, so it pretty much has infinite memory. I don’t anticipate recording that much, mostly stuff from PBS, but what I do record along those lines, it’s for archival purposes because it’s some documentary that I might use as a reference for something I’m writing.
The media server side of things is a little iffier, since it’s Android TV and there aren’t a lot of apps for it yet. They don’t even have Amazon Prime. So I’ll still be using my Roku for streaming.
I’ve been thinking of getting a longer cable for the antenna and moving it upstairs to see if that improves reception any. The PBS station is prone to glitching when a plane flies over. I may also eventually look into getting a better antenna that might pick up my ABC station. At the moment, I can get their local news online, and there’s only one series I watch on ABC, which is about to end, so I don’t know if upgrading the antenna is worth it for that one station.
I really have been watching less TV, which is good. I think my reading is up. Amazon Prime is allowing me to have a lot more variety in my documentary habit, so I’ve branched beyond WWII. I’ve been watching a lot of stuff about the Tudors and the British royal family, since I’m currently working on a book that involves royalty. There are also a number of good travel programs. I think the difference between cable and my current situation is mostly in whether I have access to specific things. Having something to watch isn’t a problem at all.