It has been four months since we began our Great Experiment with our entertainment system. If you recall, we eliminated our Directv account, purchased a MacMini, Miglia TVHD hardware and an HD antenna that is mounted outside where our satellite dish used to be. We have had a very easy time of adjusting to limited channels, as we only watch 3-4 shows a week.
Here are some observations:
We record shows with the EyeTv Software that was bundled with the Miglia hardware. The playback with the EyeTv software is pretty good, not fantastic. Because the shows are recorded in HD each show is massive in size (typically 3-7 GB per show!!). There is a cool option with the software, you can edit shows you have recorded, meaning you can remove commercials and you can save them as Quicktime movies (remember they are MASSIVE files!).
Hardware: Don't let it's small size fool you (3.8" long, 2.6" wide and 1.1" high). This little piece never ceases to amaze. For it's small size it has tremendous power. I have taken it with me on the road and connected it to my laptop, it works great! There is nothing like watching HDTV on my black MacBook!
HD Antenna: with the mounted outdoor antenna occasionally there is interference in the reception and when you go to watch a recorded show it can be messed up (this has happened just a couple of times). Reception of all 32 South Florida HD channels is not a constant. I will have to mount the antenna higher so that we can receive all of the channels more consistently.
Other: We have been utilizing our 250 GB external hard drive by storing all of our digital media (pictures, music, movies and TV shows). As of today we have all of "The Office" episodes, the past two years of "Smallville" episodes and about 50 feature films. All of the TV shows have been downloaded via Azuerus and bittorents, the movies are downloaded by using Handbrake freeware.
***NBA season starts next week. This will be a real test for us as we follow the World Champion Miami Heat. Heat games are very rarely on broadcast TV, so we'll see.....