Cord Cutting in Regina

There has been a lot of talk over the last little while about the new skinny cable packages that the CRTC made the cable companies implement. I was interested in what the plans would be because it would have been simple to go from the rather large SaskTel MaxTV subscription we had to a smaller one, but the reality is, as we have all found out, the new skinny packages are all, to be blunt, crap. The extra fees for a PVR and extra channels really make the new plans useless or in some cases more expensive.

While we didn’t pay hundreds of dollars a month for our MaxTV subscription, the reality is we don’t watch a lot of what we were paying for. The kids tend to watch a lot of Netflix and YouTube and a very small amount of cable or broadcast TV. In fact the shows we watch are all on CTV these days anyway. At one time the kids watched a lot of DisneyXD and Family Channel but it has been awhile since they even switched the TV over to MaxTV. After talking about it a little bit and looking at what we watch we realized we only really watch a few shows on TV and all of them are on CTV. That made the decision to cancel our MaxTV subscription easy.

The switch had been really easy actually and I don’t see is going back to MaxTV or to Access cable any time soon. I asked around a little bit and after some research ordered a Winegard FL-5000 FlatWave HDTV Indoor antenna and a Mediasonic HW-150PVR HomeWorx ATSC Digital TV Converter Box from After doing some testing with the antenna it quickly became obvious I was not going to have much luck getting CTV to come in over the air in the basement, where our main TV is. I then proceeded upstairs and hooked the antenna up to the small TV we had upstairs. After a few adjustments to the antenna position I easily had a crystal clear picture of both CTV and CBC. This was not totally unexpected, since I had read to get a decent signal for CTV in Regina would require getting the antenna up around 10 feet off the ground. Looking at where I finally settled on the antenna placement it is roughly 10 get off the ground.

Now I just had to find a way to get the signal from the antenna into the basement where the main TV was. Luckily the previous owners of our house had run cable into every room on the main level and after a little exploring and checking it appeared all those lines were still intact. I hooked the antenna up to the cable line and hooked the corresponding out up to the Homeworx PVR in the basement.

We now get both CTV and CBC in full HD on our main TV and with the addition of an external hard drive I was not using we can record or favorite shows in full HD. While the Homeworx PVR is not as user friendly as the previous MaxTV PVR we do get several advantages. First the shoes we record are in full HD and the subscription and PVR we had previously was only standard definition. Second, I can easily disconnect the external hard drive, sneaker net it into my office and copy the recorded shows onto my computer so we can stream them easily using our Chromecast to any TV in the house. Third, I am not paying an extra $9.99/month for a PVR.

I had hoped that we would also be able to pick up GlobalTV over the air, and occasionally we do get a beautiful signal for Global, but it seems to be hit and miss. I could spend more time adjusting the antenna to pick up GlobalTV since the signal is so close to being clear, but after looking at the shows available on GlobalTV I decided to not bother. Perhaps that will change of they get a show we really want to watch.

Overall, I have been very pleased with our cord cutting experience in Regina. The quality of the signal of CTV and CBC over the air is exceptional in our area and i really can’t see a reason to going back to cable. Perhaps if any of us were huge sports fans my feelings would be different since there are little too no live sports on over the air stations in Saskatchewan. The next project is to install a Plex Media server so we can easily stream or recorded shows to the TVs in the house.

Roam Mobility Review in Disneyland

I don’t travel down to the United States very often but when I do get down there it is always nice to be able to stay connected. Unfortunately the mobile companies here in Canada like to charge fairly exorbitant prices for their roaming into the US. The last trip we took as a family I ordered some T-Mobile Pre Paid SIM cards and used them for less than what the Canadian mobile company would have charged. This latest trip to Disneyland I was thinking of doing the same thing but then I heard of a company called Roam Mobility. It was a bit of a hassle getting T-Mobile SIM cards the last trip so I decided to give Roam Mobility a try this trip and I was very pleased.

First off the prices for Roam Mobility were decent. I wanted to be able to make calls back to Canada, in the US, text and wanted data to be able to share photos and updates with friends and family. Not a huge amount of data, but being self-employed there was always the possibility that I might need to do some work while away as well so not having to worry about eating through data caps too quickly is always a concern. We were going to be gone for 12 days. My current Canadian service company, Koodo, has roaming packages for 10 days for $40, but with a data cap of 250MB (seriously only 250MB) and overage fees on data at $5/50MB. The next roaming package is 30 days for $75 with 750MB of data.

Roam Mobility lets you purchase a plan for the number of days you are going to be gone. So in our case for 12 days I would get 4.8GB of 4G LTE data plus unlimited texting and calls back to Canada for only $47.40 plus the cost of the SIM card ($15). Now I had to get that for two phones but it worked out to be a better deal for the Roam Mobility SIM cards than it was to use the Koodo roaming packages. Not to mention the Koodo packages offered unlimited talk in the US but we had to make several calls back to Canada due to a family emergency and the Roam Mobility plans let us do that and not worry about the cost. Price wise I felt it was worth using Roam Mobility over the Koodo roaming packages. Roam Mobility made it easy to order and easy to see what you price was going to be.

A good price of course is one thing but if you don’t have coverage where you are going it doesn’t matter how good the price is. Checking the Roam Mobility coverage map it looked like we would have great coverage in Anaheim. We were going to Disneyland and California Adventure mostly with some day trips to San Diego and Hollywood. For the most part we had great coverage everywhere we were, except one. For some reason in Disneyland in the Tomorrowland section I had no coverage at all. My signal would drop by the time we got to Star Tours. My son thought it was pretty funny that I could not connect in Tomorrowland.

My wife’s phone, a Moto G, had no problem connecting everywhere we went, even in Tomorrowland, so I don’t know if it was something about my Nexus 5 that was having problems or what the problem was. My phone would say I had a connection but I could not send or receive texts, data or calls anywhere in the Tomorrowland area of Disneyland. Other than that one area I did not notice many other problems with coverage.

The map says I should have had good coverage but I had problems in Tomorrowland.
The map says I should have had good coverage but I had problems in Tomorrowland.

I ordered our SIM cards online, and got a deal when I ordered. Two SIM cards for $15 with free shipping. Apparently you can buy the SIM cards at a few places like Staples and even 7-Eleven but I never did find see them when I was at those places. I had enough time to order the SIM cards online plus you need to create an account to activate them and purchase you plan anyway so if you know you are going to the US (and Mexico now as well it looks like) you might was well just order the SIM cards online, setup your account so you can activate the cards when you get them.

It was easy to setup the account, order the cards and purchase the plans. You can even tell them when the plans should start and stop in advance so all you have to do when you get to the US is put the SIM card in and perhaps add a new APN and you are ready to go. Roam Mobility will even send you a text with some instructions when you insert the SIM card in the US to help you along. It was all pretty easy.

The only problem I could see some people having is not having an unlocked phone. I have always made sure to buy unlocked phones, but many people that just get their phones at a discount from the Canadian mobile companies are almost always locked. Just something to be aware of if you are planning on using Roam Mobility, to make sure your phone is unlocked.

I am not a mobile review expert but overall I was very pleased with Roam Mobility on our trip. I plan on keeping the SIM cards active for our next trip south and it sounds like that will be a fairly inexpensive option than having to order new SIM cards every time. I would recommend Roam Mobility if you are planning a trip to the US. It could end up saving you from some of those insane $1000’s of dollars cell phone horror stories you hear about on the news.

If you have used Roam Mobility what was your experience?

Is Flippa Over Hyped?

As I mentioned in my previous post I have been spending some time on Flippa. Partly for fun and partly to see if I can raise some extra cash from sites and domains I just don’t think I will ever have the time to develop. I suppose I should be posting this over on the LGR Internet Solutions blog, but this is more of a personal project than a business one.

I have been testing the waters over on Flippa since September 2012 when I put up for sale. Since then I have had a total of four auctions on Flippa. Two websites and two domains. One website and one domain sold, the other two did not. That does not mean that the auctions that sold made me any profit though.

For example my latest auction for I have had that domain for a number of years and I always thought it was a pretty decent name. Two words and descriptive of what could be on the site. I probably should have kept the reserve on the auction higher, but I was pretty sure it would go higher than it did. Here are the numbers for that auction.

Final Selling Price: $100.00
Total Listing Price: $94.00
Total Profit: $6.00

Of course that does not include the number of years I have had the domain and have paid to keep it registered. If I include that in the price I have lost money. What I have learned from selling domains on Flippa, well that is PRICELESS!

Perhaps I simply over estimated the quality of the domain name but considering some of the crap that does sell on there I thought what I put up was probably of equal or better.

Yes I did say crap, because let’s face it there is a lot of crap on Flippa and a lot of it sells for ridiculous amounts. Don’t believe me check out this, this and this. See absolute s***, yet they sold for stupid amounts of money! If you don’t know why those sites are crap that is a whole other post. Heck you could make a website talking about the crap that is actually selling on Flippa.

Is Flippa worth using to sell your domains and websites? I think there are some developed websites that would sell well on Flippa but considering the cost of listing and closing I have to honestly say the hype about Flippa is over rated. Certainly some people are making money selling on Flippa if the crap I linked to above can sell, but the only people guaranteed to make money on Flippa is Flippa.

I will probably still browse Flippa occasionally simply for amusement to see what has been sold but I can’t see myself putting anything else up on there for awhile. I will probably make a list and post it on LGR Internet Solutions, I bet I will have better luck.

What has been your experience on Flippa?

Update: Well I have to give the Flippa social media team a high five. They noticed my tweet.

and did something about it that I was not expecting. Congrats to the Flippa social media team on handling that. It was a pleasant surprise.