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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day Five Without TNT ... Priceless

For years we have enjoyed the delights of cable/satellite/uverse television entertainment.  The latest rate hike mixed with the sixteen day trip with none of the afore mentioned entertainment options enticed us to cancel the service.  In addition, we cancelled the AT&T phone service for the land line.  This is a real weaning process as I have used Ma Bell or one of her Baby Bells for-ev-er.  Some research and NetTALK Duo ii appears to be our VOIP devise of choice to replace the old land line. I order on Friday, use points and receive on Saturday morning.  Out of pocket cost, $ 0.00.

We have a 16 ft. hdmi cable for tethering a computer to the TV for streaming programs.   Husband pulls out the two sets of HD rabbit ears to grab the free signals bouncing around our bodies.  Next comes the digital to analog converter for the old set in the bedroom (will that thing never die).  With our own DVD/streaming device and Netflix subscription we figure we're set.

Gene spends a good part of Saturday morning attaching new devices to existing devices.  He detaches other devices for return to AT&T.  Ah the joy of saving money is soon slightly diminished as Gene begins the connection of the bedroom/should be dead analog TV.  We have forgotten the TV's remote had long since gone the way of non-functioning remotes.  A work around is determined and he moves into the rabbit ear dance.  First here, then there, slide the single long antenna against the wall to help balance the main unit on top of the wish it was dead analog TV.  Gene turns on the converter device, runs setup and channel find.  Wa-la we have pictures on our old should be dead TV!  Sweet!  Cost $ nada.

Next Gene moves to the living room to attach the rabbit ears to the 46", hope it does not die anytime soon HDTV.  The rabbit ear dance begins again and continues over the next two days.  At present the rabbit ears are strung through the window and balanced on the brick ledge.  (This is the same window that last Christmas.the squirrel chewed the screen attempting to get out of the house.)  Reception is still spotty so research done and upgraded antenna on order.  Use points so our of pocket cost is under $7.

Completion of the Rabbit Ear dance leads to the next adventure, the NetTALK device.  Our decision to purchase this device was influenced by the fact we could most likely 'port' our current number.  Wow, that will be great.  No confusion and no need to notify the world of a new number.  Electronic guru Gene begins the process.  He hits a wall when the NetTALK system malfunctions while assigning a temporary number.  Gene tries multiple times to get a number to generate.  Gene sends a tech request.  No techs available as it is Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

Time is of the essence now.  Sunday morning the phone and television feeds are turned off.  AT&T works on holiday weekends.  I get on the computer and go through he same steps Gene did on Saturday.  Same result, system cannot generate a temporary number.  I go to the forum portion of the NetTALK website.  A couple of other folks are experiencing the same issue.  The moderator of the forum refers to a previous post regarding initial setup issues.  I follow the advice.  It is now Sunday evening.  Notices are sent to people most likely to call the old land line number.  We check emails on Monday but the techs are still on holiday.

Tuesday morning emails begin coming in and withing 30 minutes of supplying pertinent information, we have a temporary number.  I complete the initial setup with NetTALK including a request to port our number.  Cost, $29.95 for a year of service, $19.95 one time port fee.  We have phone service.  We give the temporary number to necessary folks.  Thursday I try calling out and all numbers are busy.  Not good.  Guru Gene figures out the problem, just add the area code to all numbers.  It is working like a phone.  And we are getting our old number on 9/11, my Mom's 95 birthday.

There are numerous programs on TNT we enjoy, Major Crimes, Perception, Burn Notice and Rizzoli and Isles just to name a few.  TNT does do drama.  I can no longer see any TNT programming unless I subscribe to a tv service or buy boxed sets.  That is not going to happen.  I lived without HBO forever and gave up the Hallmark channel when we switched to Uverse.   A small price to pay considering the first month of no Uverse tv or phone pays for all the equipment we purchased, porting of phone and one years phone service.

I am sure there are a few challenges still ahead but for now I have survived 2 years without Hallmark and day five without TNT.

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