The cable companies must be deathly afraid of what people like myself are trying to do…slowly moving away from subscribing to Cable TV. While I cannot completely kill that bill (not until there is a reasonable option for live sports), I have begun to take baby steps in that direction.
The bedroom TV is literally used for two things: morning news and movies. That is it. In fact, even saying movies was kind of inaccurate since there wasn’t any DVD player in there. In the past, if I really wanted to watch a movie in there, I had to lug my PS3 into there and hook it up.
Not anymore. The HD Cable Box is unplugged and will be dropped off at Comcast shortly. The AppleTV plugged in, configured, and in use. Cable TV cord plugged directly into the TV so we can access the Clear QAM channels such as our local TV stations (all still in HD). Took less then 20 minutes to pull this off (plus the time to do a channel scan on the TV).
The setup is vastly easier to use. My wife always had trouble getting the cable box and TV to be turned on at the same time. That issue is gone. The AppleTV is always on or in standby, a simple button press on the spartan Apple Remote away from being active. Using just the TV remote for switching channels, inputs, and volume is much better.
Test streaming of Netflix and content from our laptop worked flawlessly without issues. Watched two Firefly episodes and really enjoyed it. Ripped DVD’s from our collection work perfectly and look remarkably good. Still have to get all of our movies ripped and encoded, but we are getting there.
Curious to see if we ever miss the cable box in there (based on our usage the past few months, I am almost certain we won’t miss it). I am also going to see how often in the living room we really watch a TV channel not available on Clear QAM. I suspect only when it comes to live sports.
Once Apple allows apps on AppleTV (it is a matter of time before that happens) and if the major sports remove blackout restrictions for local sports viewing, we will easily have enough content to officially cut out the TV part of our cable bill.