The first rocky day in CNET editor David Katzmaier's chronicle of ending his subscription to cable TV service.
Bye bye, Fios boxes
I decided to get rid of cable, which will shave $90-$100 off my monthly bill with Verizon. I was subscribed to the full package, which included pretty much every available HD channel on Fios, the Home Media DVR, and a second box. The transition to "free" TV may prove difficult.
A DVR that can record HD channels via antenna, supplemented by streaming video via the PS3, will replace cable in my house.
I needed a TV solution that was easy and reliable. My first thought was the combination of over-the-air (OTA) HDTV with the Channel Master CM-7000PAL DVR. Provided I could get solid reception at my home nearly 40 miles from the main broadcast tower at the Empire State Building, we'd have all of the major networks with excellent video quality and not have to go into DVR withdrawal, or pay a monthly fee to TiVo.
Knowing we'd miss a lot of the shows that weren't available via antenna, however, I planned to use Internet video to fill in the gaps. The most content by far comes courtesy of PlayOn, a program that runs on a PC and allows streaming of Web-based video from Hulu, Amazon Video on Demand, TV.com, CBS.com, and others to living-room-based devices like my PlayStation 3.
Since we can't get CBS reception via antenna, our only source of the network's programming is the CBS.com or TV.com Web sites, served up via PlayOn. (Editors' note: CNET is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.)
Here's an example of CBS on TV.com, which doesn't even look as good as standard-def on Fios. Other shows look somewhat better, and quality varies on different Web sites, but overall I'm really going to miss the crisp, pristine picture from Fios.
We can't reliably get CBS, which is a major source of our weekly programming palette (I'm a Jets fan; she loves CBS daytime, "Medium," and Charles Osgood). TVfool pegs a "co-channel warning" as a potential culprit, and Wikipedia mentions a new transmitter permit for a "digital fill-in translator on channel 22" near my house, presumably to address the problem. Until it's built, however, we'll have to get our CBS fix online. (Editors' note: CNET is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.)