New old technology

When we originally cancelled our cable television subscription (around 10 years ago now), I purchased a rooftop antenna and a desktop PC that came with Windows Vista as well as their Media Center application installed. We used this setup for several years to watch and record over-the-air television content. When the PC died 4 or so years ago, Windows had evolved and no longer included Media Center pre-installed on new Windows machines.

That wasn’t a huge loss. We had migrated to Mac computers and so opted to purchase a TiVo Roamio for DVRing our OTA television signal. The Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 9500 USB stick I used in the PC was tossed into a drawer of technology leftovers.

Until now. Our son had been using a handed down 2010 Macbook Pro, but we recently decided it was time to buy him a newer computer that would be capable enough to get him through his high school years. Although my intent was to buy him a new Macbook Pro, he really wanted a gaming PC, which was less expensive than the MBP. Win-Win! A couple days ago I came across that WinTV stick and showed it to him. Although we weren’t sure if the device would work on a newer Windows 10 machine, he asked if he could use it. After reading several Google searches and forum posts, he finally got the television viewing and recording functions to work on his laptop. He’s pretty impressed that he was able to get it working and that he now has the option to watch content without the need for an internet connection. Perspective is a funny thing. When we were his age, an antenna was the primary technology for how we received a TV signal. It was the norm. Now it has become a nostalgic novelty and a way to circumvent the norm of paying cable/dish/internet companies in order to be entertained with video programs. What’s old is new again, and that ain’t a bad thing.

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