Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Cutting The Cord - Amazom fireTVstick

Our cable bill has been steadily rising for years and while I expect any utility to raise it's prices to keep up with rising costs last year our cable bill jumped over $20! The worst part is we're not big TV or movie fans. There are no shows on television which we're fans of and rush to the Boob Tube to see when they come on. Bettina messes around on the computer and I usually end up channel surfing - and usually end up watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives or Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. When I'm in the mood Friday nights are spent mindlessly viewing that UFO program on the History channel. The Weather channel comes into play occasionally - like during those rare times they're actually talking about the weather instead of playing some show about people digging around in rocks for little stones. Yeah, truth be known I had gotten pretty much fed-up with TV way back in the '70s already and by the time I joined the Air Force in '78 I was watching mostly PBS. Being stationed in Germany was a breath of fresh air and I got on programs like Derrick, Die Schwarzwald Klinik, and watching German comedies with Didi Hallervorden or Heinz Rühmann. In fact, to this day Heinz Rühmann is one of my favorites. His film,  Es geschah am hellichten Tag (It Happened In Broad Daylight) was a thriller starring a young Gert Fröbe (who would later gain fame in America as the villain Goldfinger) and who played a very, very, bad man in the film.

Okay all that being said, here we have an over-the-top monthly bill for a service that didn't even exist when I was growing up, for a product I wasn't all that crazy about to begin with. To add insult to injury, they pick the channels I have to watch with their insipid, moronic "bundling" practice and force me to pay more for channels I would prefer (which I never did) instead of offering channels à la carte. The result was 80 channels of nearly totally useless programming. But how to dump their useless service? I had been reading about 'cutting the cord' for awhile now and wasn't sure how to do it, but after a few well-timed articles appeared on the Internet I believe I finally got a clue. We're not techno-geeks here at the Berg house and just plugging the TV into the wall outlet is about our level of expertise but we do manage to stumble through tech issues successfully. To that end I bought a wall antenna (not yet installed) and the fireTVstick from Amazon. The stick arrived Monday and I set it up last night. Set up was easy. Attach the'stick' to it's power cord and plug the power cord into the outlet. Then plug the 'stick' in to the HDMI port of your TV (we had to use the extender because with the other accessories plugged into the TV made it a tight squeeze). Next, we accessed the 'stick' through the TV using its dedicated remote and followed the set-up instructions. Finally we went to the 'home' screen and started searching for movies. So what was the first movie we watched with our fancy new hi-tech, digital age gadget? Abbott and Costello's Jack and the Beanstalk from 1952 hahahahahaha Hey, what can I say?

Well, slowly but surely we are on the road to cutting the cord. We'll let ya know what happens. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina 

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