No, not a movie review.
At this moment, I’m sitting cross-legged on a comfy new red leather sofa, listening to NPR and staring at a blank “parchment” (think pale pink) wall. The wall will soon house our first HDTV. And, with luck, it will also sprout a cable Internet connection.
I’m waiting for the cable guy.
He’s supposed to be here between 8 AM and 10 AM — a nice, narrow range. It’s 8:21 AM as I type this.
We spent a lot of time researching our Internet and television options for the Phoenix apartment. We discovered that we could get cable Internet that was 7 times faster than what we have in Wickenburg for half the price. (Chalk that down to another benefit of life in a city over life on the edge of nowhere.) We also discovered that if we went with DirectTV (rather than Dish Network or the cable company providing the Internet), we could get HD television service set up in up to four rooms, with DVR (think TiVo) for half of what we were paying Dish Network in Wickenburg for two rooms.
I should point out here that we’re not getting anything other than “basic cable” television channels. Why? Well, there are a few reasons. First and foremost, this is a part-time residence. It’s idiotic to buy premium cable channels for a home we’ll be occupying only part of each week. Second, we have a Netflix subscription. Why be at the mercy of television provider schedules — or pay extra for on-demand television programming — when you can get the movies you want to see on Netflix?
But that’s not all. Netflix also has the ability to play many movies on demand on your HDTV through your Internet connection if your connection is fast enough and you have a compatible device to handle the incoming Internet content. Our connection here will be fast enough. Devices to handle this start at $99; we just have to decide which one to buy.
Of course, all this television stuff is moot right now, since we don’t have any television down here right now. I don’t miss it too much, but I am looking forward to watching movies in high definition on a big screen.
But I’m hoping the cable guy can put the Internet connection on this big empty wall. I’ll use an AirPort Express that I brought from home to set up a wireless network and attach a printer, which I’ll also bring from home. If we wind up with a Netflix-compatible device that isn’t WiFi compatible, I’ll bring down a spare Airport Extreme base station from home and swap it with the Express, which doesn’t have an Ethernet out port. Otherwise, the AirPort Express should do the job.
So I’m waiting for the cable guy. It’s now 8:46 AM. He should be here any minute now.