“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of (or commentary about) websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time. Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.” This is subject to change, however. In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while. For rants promote change, and change can be good—right? Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).
I have had a dream for quite some time now. It is a dream of being able to get rid of our cable TV provider while actually increasing our viewing entertainment possibilities.
It would be through accessing the internet on our TV that this dream could be realized at this particular intersection of the space/time continuum. For our trees are too tall to allow for the picking up of a satellite signal from [DirecTV] or the [Dish Network], and [AT&T’s U-verse] and [Verizon’s FiOS] are not available to us up here in a poorer part of town.
Okay, we cannot completely cut our cable. For my mother-in-law has to have her [Hallmark Channel]. So, we cannot go back to a TV antenna on the roof, and cable does provide a better broadband signal (most of the time).
On the other hand, we need to do something. For [Mediacom] has been increasing our cable bill by a dollar or two a month on a fairly regular basis. What started out at around $100 a month a year or so ago is now $128.83 a month.
Furthermore, our DVR has shut off and came back on a few minutes later several times the last two weeks without us doing a thing. Could it be that Mediacom really wants us to get one of their new [TiVos] so that they can jack up our bill another $20 or more? Since they can remotely turn off and on their DVRs, along with cancel the recording of shows that have been scheduled by their customers, a more cynical mind than mine just might go there.
The course of action appeared to be hooking up our desktop to the TV through its [HDMI] port, but I landed on a reef before I could unfurl the sails of my dream ship. For my darling wife does not want a cable strung across the living room, and she did not think much of my idea about it also serving as an indoor clothes line.
What to do? What to do? Moving our desktop to the living room is not feasible because of me often needing to do other things online (like this) while Arlynda and her mother are watching their “stuff,” and we cannot afford to get another computer (not even a used one) at this time.
Eureka! The new [Google Chromecast] thingamajig looked like a Godsend. For it only costs $35.00, and it would allow for the watching of just about everything.
Oh, but it was not until the one I bought on Amazon arrived and was plugged into the back of our TV that I discovered that I had missed some things. For one has to have a [Wi-Fi] connection to cast through, and that meant we needed a wireless router. So, I purchased on Amazon a [TP-LINK TL-WR841N Wireless N300 Home Router] for $18.93.
Also included with the purchase of that wireless router was a [Logitech Wireless Desktop MK320 Keyboard/Mouse Combo] for $29.99, [25 feet of RJ45 Cat5e Ethernet Patch Cable] for $6.49 and a [USB-RJXT over Cat5/5e/6 Extension Cable RJ45 Adapter Set] for $9.95. For I had already discovered that control over what is cast to a TV stays with the casting device. In other words, if you want to pause a program playing on your TV that is being cast from your desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone, you have to pause it on that device. For there is no remote for Chromecast, and I thought I could do that from my chair in the living room, which is around 20 feet from our desktop computer in another room, with a wireless keyboard and mouse.
Ah, but it was not until I had everything hooked up and ready to go (except for the USB extension) that I discovered that the mouse curser does not show up on our TV screen. $#&%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey, at least I saved myself some grief by not yet stringing the USB extension cable from our computer room to the edge of our living room. For it turned out that the wireless keyboard and mouse were being picked up by the unifying receiver from my chair in the living room without having to have the unifying receiver also in the living room.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, someone not as technologically-challenged as I am would have known from the start what I discovered later on. Nonetheless, there is a certain nobility to always having to learn things the hard way.
Anyway, we have been Chromecasting away on our TV, but I have to go get on our computer to start, stop and pause what is being cast, which spoils it for us. For it takes everything I have to walk 20 feet these days, and it is even harder on Arlynda because of carrying around at least a hundred pounds of excess fluid (that her doctors can’t seem to find) that has been dumped into her abdomen by her failing liver.
Alas, I am almost ready to risk the ire of my wife and her mother by going ahead and stringing a HDMI cable across the living room. Almost…
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