New equipment – new Vizio TV, Tivo Roamio Plus, TV stand, and moving furniture around

New stuff for the house!

With Thanksgiving coming up, and the Philadelphia Eagles playing the Dallas Cowgirls, err, Cowboys, on Thanksgiving Day, and people hanging out all day, we thought now would be a good time to get a 2nd TV for the Family Room on the main floor. This way, the kids could play downstairs far away from the parents, and the adults could enjoy some time upstairs with everyone else. Last week, we started ordering everything we need for right now. With the budget constraints, we kept it very simple:

  • new VIZIO E550i-B2 55-Inch LED TV for the Family Room for around $650. Not my first choice in televisions, but it’s good enough, and the price is right.
  • a new Tivo Roamio Plus with six tuners, 150 hours of HD recording capacity, and 802.11n wireless (though I can’t get better info on the exact specs)
  • new TV stand for the downstairs home theater area

The only major wrinkle we experienced was with FiOS. Back in July, as Verizon is apparently phasing out usage of CableCARDs, I ordered a 2nd CableCARD from Verizon for their FiOS service back in July. It was an extra $5 a month to keep around unused, but we were grandfathered in having one in use already, and I knew it was likely that we would eventually get a new Tivo Roamio this year. After some frustrating time trying to get the CableCARD to work on Sunday night, I called Verizon FiOS Technical Support, and it turns out that their CableCARDs need to activated soon after delivery. If not, one of the ID codes associated with it (I’m still not sure which) will get assigned to another card. Verizon had to overnight another CableCARD to us, which arrived Tuesday. Cutting it close, eh? At least everything is working now.

The Vizio TV is pretty decent, I must say. It is Internet-enabled (has built-in “N” WiFi) and many apps, but I can’t get the Plex app downloaded and working properly. Must get back to that later. We don’t have the budget for a new AV Receiver or distinct home theater speakers of any good quality, so we’re sticking to the built-in TV speakers for now. I know I know, I must be dying inside. Shut up.

The Tivo Roamio Plus is very nice. The UI is much faster than the Premiere, and we can now stream or transfer recordings between both Tivos. Now I just need to get them connected via Gigabit Ethernet.

We ordered a new TV stand, but couldn’t find anything in the right brownish wood color. We ended up ordering one in charcoal wood, and I assembled it Tuesday morning between 3 AM and 6 AM, and then got ready to go into the office. Later that night, Nums and I moved the old TV stand from the basement to the upstairs Family Room.


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