TV blessed TVAs you can imagine, my family likes to watch television. We do not go to the movies or even rent movies usually because we just don't have the spare change to. We did break down and go see Free Birds last November for our youngest sons birthday. It cost us $115 for 6 people!! We haven't been back since.
We have always preferred to watch T.V. together as a family, watching family/age appropriate shows. Somewhere in the time that we started our homestead we purchased a T.V. antennae, only to learn that they were switching everything to digital instead of analog. So we sucked it up and called to get one of the free digital boxes they were offering to everyone that had analog T.V. The box came and we were so excited, supposedly the boxes were going to help us get more channels than the regular analog channels we were getting. Down went the analog antenna and up went the expensive $100 digital antenna. From that day forward we never got another channel from the months of February to October. You got it, the new fancy digital antenna took away our television signal for the entire year, except when the trees were leafless! So for three months out of the year we get to watch television like everyone else.
As you can imagine, with 3 young children at home our movie selection consisted mostly of Disney movies, cartoons and what ever else they could find that would drive us crazy. My husband scrimped and saved and finally took the plunge to get satellite T.V. Our options of course were Dish Network or Direct T.V., We went to both companies, but were turned away because of where our home was located (it was to far out of the way for service vehicles to reach) and because our cabin was not connected to the grid, (Something about not being liable, if something happened) and because we did not have a land line for a telephone. After much cajoling, begging and pleading, John finally convinced the Dish Network people that we would be responsible for any damages to the equipment should any occur due to the fact that we were off the grid and we would install it ourselves.
Hallelujah, we were in business. We headed home with a brand new dish, still in the box and visions of who was going to get first dibs on the remote control. Of course nothing ever goes as planned and before we could get home a huge thunderstorm hit. Me, being the level headed logical person that I am, suggested we wait until the storm passed to set up our new system. But no, John was not going to live another day without proper television. For the next 4 hours we battled the weather, thunder, lighting, wind, rain.. pretty much everything a thunderstorm can throw at you and not be taken away by a tornado or beaned in the head with a hail ball. and then finally it happened......
Gryffyn came to the rescue... our very own caped crusader. With his big brothers hat, his football uniform and a towel on his head he suited up and helped John install the satellite. I do not recommend sending your 9 year old out in a thunderstorm simply to get television reception, but I have to admit his little hands sure came in handy that day!!
Before we knew it we were snuggled in next to the fire watching our favorite shows, or rather we were fighting over who's show we were going to watch first.
Coincidentally, living off the grid has no impact what so ever on the quality of satellite reception. It turns out that as long as the dish itself is grounded and documented by the company then you are good to go, and as for the telephone line, it is simply for purchasing pay-per-view movies and such.
The biggest issue we had with satellite T.V. is the amount of time it takes for the receiver to load up. As I explained in an earlier post we turned our power off completely every night. When you cut your power off completely it stands to reason that when you turn it back on everything has to reboot, the satellite was no exception, and took the longest with a 10-15 minute average to reload, which is annoying but not life threatening :)