This week the good folks from Dishstar* are coming to install a satellite dish… somewhere. This will be the first time I have really had cable or satellite since back when I was rooming with Dennis. Dennis wanted cable so that he could watch WWE. While we had it, I piped it into my room, too, though I rarely actually watched it. After The Great Might Ducks Three Debacle when Dennis skipped town and Karl and I had to find some other place to live, we decided not to get cable. It was a good thing since I never even bothered setting up my TV so that I wouldn’t end up watching it with KK and probably wouldn’t have if I’d had cable, either. I guess we did mooch cable when we were living with the Cranston basement in Deseret, though again I almost never watched it since the TV was inconveniently placed.

It’s all kind of odd since cable was one of the things that I was absolutely sure I could never live without when I was younger. Then the Internet came along and I barely watched anything. When I started getting TV again, I could watch most of what I wanted on the Internet or from the backlog from Netflix. So even when I was taking customer service calls for satellite provider CignalTV, I didn’t actually have the product I was pushing. It was only when we moved out here that it became important. The primary reason is so that I can watch college football. In Estacado and Cascadia, I got by because I could watch ESPN360. Sadly, none of the Internet providers out here carry it. It’ll be nice to be able to watch DVRed programs as they come out, though. Also unfortunately, I am way outside the southern pocket when it comes to regionally televised games, so it’s either get cable/satellite or resign myself to Pac-10 action.

I decided pretty early on that I wanted satellite over cable so that I could get the ESPN GamePlan. I decided that I wanted to go with CignalTV out of loyalty to the company I used to take calls for and that served my family faithfully for so long. More practically, CignalTV offers the Sky Sports Network, which carries Skyline Conference football, which I follow more closely than other conferences due to where I live and where I’ve lived. Unfortunately, CignalTV’s presence in Callie is limited. Though they do have a local dealer, all the dealer does is call CignalTV out in Redstone and they send someone. Dishstar, on the other hand, has a local retailer that’s actually local and that I could go and talk to and who, if there was a problem installing the dish, could easily drive to HQ and back and get the right equipment.

Equipment is an issue because our landlords really don’t want me to get satellite. I cleared it with the property manager when we signed the lease, but then the house was sold while we were moving down, the property manager was dismissed, and I had nothing in writing. The landlord’s agreed to let me have a dish if (a) they don’t put it on the roof, (b) don’t put anything in the ground, and (c) don’t put it on the grass anywhere. That pretty severely limits our options since the side of the house is siding and couldn’t support a dish. We decided it would go on a giant wooden post that’s just kind of sitting there. CignalTV’s rep (I called them anyway) was very unhelpful, saying basically that they would install it wherever they chose to install it and if I declined to sign up for the contract they would charge me for the service call. I was never that rude when I took calls for Cignal. Well, almost never. There was this one guy…

The folks at Dishstar were not rude so much as skittish. They couldn’t put it on a wooden pole for some reason or another to do with the wind (I wonder if they realize how big this poll is?). But they at least wanted to work with me. Absent the post, though, I wasn’t sure what to do until I got home and looked and found the perfect spot for a tri-pod. Kind of out of the way, out of the grass, and with the requisite view of the southern sky. Essentially, it’s in the rock bed with the post. The thought occurred to me that since I had a good tripod place, I could actually go with CignalTV if I wanted to. While the guy on the phone didn’t mention it, the woman at the not-really-a-dealer in Callie said that was always an options. But the way I figure it, Dishstar has earned my business in a way that Cignal didn’t. If I decide that I must have the Sky Sports Network, I can always change in a couple of years when my contact expires.

In the meantime, I am actually going to have access to all the channels that I watch so feverishly when I am in Delosa. I am going to have to be careful not to let it suck me in. But the way I looked at it, I could watch feverishly when I was in Delosa precisely because of its limited availability. I watched more TV there than I do in Arapaho despite having all sorts of much more interesting options out here. Having the DVR will also be cool so that I don’t have to wait for shows to become available on Hulu or wherever else. The only downside to having gone with Satellite, other than the cost, is that I am on the hook for a two year contract. If I had cable, I could just turn it on for the football season and then turn it off the rest of the year. Part of me, though, is pleased not to have that option so that I can justify having it available year-around.

* – Pseudonyms since I worked for one of these companies.


Category: Theater

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5 Responses to A Clear View of the Southern Sky

  1. web says:

    One option is to put a 10-gallon bucket on your back porch, fill it with cement, and put a pole in the middle of the cement straight. That’ll be plenty hefty unless you get a crazy-insane windstorm and you could also put some form of a tripod or tent lashings from the pole to further hold it in place.

  2. Peter says:

    There is some sort of federal law that gives tenants the rightt to install dishes.

  3. Nanani says:

    Heh, me too.
    When I was a kid, I used to evaluate places based on available TV channels. Anywhere without cable was dismissed by my childhood self.
    Today, I have less than 10 channels, which are just the local free broadcasts.
    Funny how that goes.

  4. Mike Hunt says:

    When I was a kid, not having cable was a red flag for being white trash. I still look down on people who don’t have it.

    Also, is this post missing a footnote?

  5. trumwill says:

    They installed it today. Turned out they could install it on the post after all. Hot diggity!

    Peter, maybe, but I doubt it’s absolute. Back when I was living in Delosa, it was extremely common for apartment complexes to disallow Satellite because they had exclusive contracts with crappy cable companies (not Time-Warner/Comcast crappy… worse!) who could charge exorbitant rates to tenants who had no choice but to pay them. However, the state passed a law preventing that from happening. But even that law had a provision where you couldn’t install satellite if it cause hardship on the complex. I know this because my apartment complex said any dish anywhere would amount to hardship.

    Mike, thanks for the heads up. Footnote added.

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