Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 New Years Resolution - Get My Mom to Give Up Cable TV

My mom holding me as a baby (1968)

If your mom is anything like my mom, any technology change is a big event. My mom pays a ridiculous amount of money ($152) for a Phone / Internet / TV cable package. She barely uses her home phone, and watches very little TV because she's never home. I've been telling her to give up 2/3's of her package and save herself about $100 a month. Unfortunately... she resists change and continues to refuse to cut the cord.

I've given up just asking her to make the change. It's time for Plan B... show her a better way. Here's the plan:

  1. Give a Gift - I gave my mother a Roku box and an antenna for Christmas.  The Roku box was installed on Christmas day, but the antenna is still in the box.  
  2. Wait - Mom is loving the Roku box and Netflix.  I'm going to wait a month to let her realize that she is watching very little cable tv.
  3. Antenna - after the month is up, I'm going to hook up her antenna and show her how many channels she can get for free.
  4. Have "the talk" - I will sit her down, ask her how much cable tv she's watching, and ask if the limited amount of cable she's watching is worth $1,000 a year.  After all... that money could be going towards my inheritance!!!

If I can't convince my mother to cut the cord, I really have no business blogging about it. The fate of this blog rests on my ability to convince my mom to make the change. If I can't get my mom to cut the cord by the end of 2011, I'm going to have to turn the lights out on this blog. Wish me luck!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cheaper TV QR Code

I just created a QR code for  If you're a geek like me, and you're too lazy to type on your android phone browser, you can simply scan the image below to jump directly to the site.

For those of you not familiar with QR codes, they're bar codes that have become more popular with the growth of Android phones.  It's an easy way to lead people to websites, or apps.  You're going to see more and more of them printed in catalogs, business cards, and advertisements.  I wouldn't be surprised to see this technology show up on advanced remote controls.  You may be able to scan QR codes to add a movie to Netflix, or set your DVR.  For now, you can use it to visit on your phone.

Cheaper TV presents... The Top 5 Last Minute Shopping Ideas

I've always thought that the best gifts are the ones that keep on giving.  The following 5 gifts will help the recipient kick the Cable TV addiction and make it easier to cut the cord:

1. TV Antenna - the recipient may think you're crazy, but they'll be amazed by the number of channels available for free through broadcast TV and the quality of those HD broadcast signals.

2. Roku - I've written about Roku a number of times on this blog.  It's simply the best and most affordable way to get TV entertainment from the internet to your TV set.  The lucky person that receives this gift will think of you every day when they turn on their TV and watch a movie or show through their Roku box.  I bought one for my mom this Christmas (don't tell her, it's a surprise)

3. Google TV - This is a bit pricier than Roku, but if the person to whom you're giving the gift wants the full internet experience on their TV, this might be the best option.  Google has indexed the web for available video content and makes it easy to search and view the content from your living room couch.  If you don't need it right away, I suspect there will be a lot more Google TV options in 2011, so you may want to take a wait and see approach before you drop $299 on this product.

4. Boxee Box - Another great way to get internet video content on your TV is the Boxee Box.  I love Boxee, and  use it all the time on my MacOS X computer.  The Boxee Box just looks cool, and has one of the best designed remote controls I've seen.  This will set you back about $170, which puts it somewhere between Roku and GoogleTV in price.

5. Vizio LED TV - this falls into the category of gifts I would like the most.  LED TV's are extremely sharp, energy efficient, and just plain awesome.  I have 2 older Vizio TV's in my house and have been extremely satisfied with their performance.  I have one older TV left to replace in my home... Santa are you listening?