So much for the college football bowl games for this season; they aren't being televised locally by the big three: CBS, NBC, or ABC. I need cable or satellite service to watch the major bowl games or I get to watch Mash reruns instead. I really had my heart set on wrapping up the college football season this New Year's weekend, but, alas, big-bucks subscription marketing has taken over the public airwaves for the traditional climax to the college football season. If I want to watch the traditional football bowl games on television, I have to pay.
I canceled my Direct TV service earlier this year as creeping costs continually eroded our entertainment budget, and installed an High Definition, HD, antenna in the attic to receive broadcast HD signals that are actually sharper than what we received by satellite. But I really did it to replace the insidious money-sucking billing system that just wouldn't quit.
We reduced our monthly costs late last year by threatening to shut off the Direct TV service, and they immediately reduced our bill by over twenty dollars a month! Amazing how they do that. But, true to form, each passing month slowly added a dollar or two until we were pushing ninety dollars a month for almost basic service. So this year we pulled the plug, and to get even, they won't let me see the Rose Bowl.
We use the Internet as well as the HD antenna to see just about all the shows and specials we want. Often we get to watch live-streaming of events and shows, and have found many TV shows available for download. I use a desktop PC upgraded with two big hard drives, a USB-connected television antenna, an HD video driver card plugged into our wide-screen TV, and a wireless Internet adapter, running Windows 7 which includes Microsoft Media Player. Windows Media Player has a recording feature exactly like a digital recorder, so we get to “tape” shows captured from the antenna we might otherwise miss.
We watch German television via the Internet as well as Netflix – which we pay less than ten bucks a month for – and have access to quite a bit of television that would not normally see. We get no less than four local PBS stations, three of which are not on satellite television, in addition to two stations for every local network station. We get just about anything we want, except ESPN. Guess who carries the football bowl games. ESPN will only stream via the Internet if the broadband Internet service provider I use is on their approved list. My Internet DSL service provider is CenturyLink, and of course they are not on the list.
So, I hope Hawkeye and Radar have something up their sleeves I haven't seen before. I was getting tired of football anyway.