I should have posted this last week, but forgot.
This past weekend, several of the premium movie channels had a "free preview" weekend. Since we don't subscribe to premium channels on our DirecTV service, we use the free preview times as an opportunity to record as many movies as we can for future watching.
We keep up with this by being on the FreePreviewTV email list. They email us whenever there is any free preview that has been announced. Now the emails come no matter what platform the free previews are on, so they aren't always for DirecTV - sometimes they are for DISH, sometimes they are for one of the cable providers, sometimes they are for Verizon FIOS, etc.
Anyway, we recorded about 20 movies this weekend and we still have several from the last free preview weekend.
Also, this past weekend, the fabulous BBC series Planet Earth II began on BBC America. You can watch the first episode at the link provided if you missed it. Then the remaining episodes are being shown on Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. EST over the next several weeks. BUT, they are also re-running the original Planet Earth series (from 10 years ago) on Saturdays, so you can record all of those as well - they are also fantastic.
Just thought I'd throw those items out there. Again, I should have posted the info last week. :)
For those that are interested, here is our current TV set-up:
In January 2014, we installed a Winegard Trav'ler SK-SWM3 automatic rooftop dish for DirecTV. It's awesome!! Up until then, we had DirecTV service and received the signal through what's called a "bird-on-a-wire" attachment to the satellite internet dish we started out with in 2005. However, with satellite internet falling behind in speed and service, we removed that rooftop dish and replaced it with the Winegard Trav'ler, a dedicated satellite TV dish/antenna.
Note: Later this year and next year will be our first time venturing to the remote areas of the west without our satellite internet. We'll have to see how much the cellular coverage has improved and how much we might really miss the satellite internet. As Linda says, I tend to "aim for the white spots in the Verizon coverage map" and there are a lot of them out west. :)
The Trav'ler stows flat against the roof when not in use, and then it's a push of a button to send it up once we are parked. It locates the three satellites we need for HD programming - 101, 99, & 103 - automatically.
And we also have a Slimline DirecTV 5-LNB dish that we use with a Heavy Duty tripod from TV4RV.com. That's our back-up satellite TV dish for when the rooftop dish is blocked by trees. We have about 100 feet of cable if we need it.
For local over-the-air (OTA) TV, we had a standard batwing, crank up antenna, but the crank broke and we installed a Jack antenna. The Jack antenna on the roof broke off within a month, so now we're back to a Winegard Sensar IV VHF UHF HDTV with integrated Wingman enhancer crank-up antenna. But with our satellite TV and our Distant Network Service through DirecTV, we rarely use the over-the-air antenna.
Note: I see Winegard now has an "automatic" OTA antenna that looks interesting - Winegard Rayzar Automatic. High upfront cost, but may be worth it over the long haul.
Distant Network Service is how we get “local” channels via satellite. Some (without Distant Network Service) say that they just call DirecTV when they move to a new zip code and DirecTV changes their "service address" to get the local channels that way. Distant Network Service allows us to get New York and Los Angeles “local” feeds of the networks. We are "grandfathered" in on getting network feeds for both coasts - now I believe you can only get one or the other (or pay double to get both). So we get two NBC, CBS, FOX, and ABC stations. The fun of that is that we can catch a west coast version of a show if we miss the east coast version OR we can DVR a west coast show if we were out and forgot to DVR the east coast version. Of course the DVR allows us to enjoy the outdoors and watch TV on rainy days or late at night AND without commercials.
For Distant Network Service we had to sign an affidavit that we are mobile and that our dish is attached to our rig. We also had to send a copy of our RV registration. This is all to keep people in homes from bypassing their local TV channels in favor of New York and Los Angeles stations (local advertisers and TV stations don’t like that).
In December 2012, TV prices came down enough that we replaced our analog TVs with LED flat screens and we got a free upgrade to a high definition DVR. We opted for "Whole Home" service from DirecTV so we can record and watch in different rooms.
In January 2016, we upgraded to the DirecTV Genie DVR which allows us to record up to five HD shows at the same time. And we kept our other HD DVR and can record another two shows at the same time (great for "free preview" movie weekends like the last one).
Originally, we thought we would not watch that much TV. But this is a lifestyle, and TV does come in handy as a relatively inexpensive entertainment alternative and, as a sports junkie, it's been great - especially at March Madness time. :)
However, the prices keep going up, and it's one luxury we could scale back on especially if internet data costs continue to come down and cellular networks continue to expand high-speed coverage making streaming more viable (and cheaper) in more locations. But I'm just not ready to pull the plug yet .... although I threaten it every month. :)
Well, that's it for now. Have a great day, and we'll be back with another Journal entry soon .... probably from the NCRVDA RV Show in Raleigh this weekend. Maybe we'll see you there. :)