Cutting the Cable TV Cord - I have Questions

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Nathan, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Today's mail brought a letter from the cable company that the rates are going up yet again. I've had enough. I don't watch that much TV and when I do it is mostly local network channels or USA / TNT mostly.

    Internet access I can't give up. But I can pit the players in my area against each other to get my cost down.

    My questions are what is a good service, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast or something else to stream from my Windows laptop or iPad Mini to the TV.

    What is a good indoor antenna for picking up HD signals in an urban area. I'm pretty much line of site to all the broadcast networks transmission antennas.
     
  2. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    I have a Samsung Smart Blueray player, with wifi, that has Android apps built in for Youtube, Hulu, Netflix and others. I don't need cable TV with that set up.

    There are many other wifi capable DVD/Blue Ray besides Samsung.

    Dave
     
  3. eMINIparts

    eMINIparts Well-Known Member
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    Same boat here.....Everytime I call ComCast and tell them I want to quit cable , they hook me with a new package .....I want out !! But now there are too many options..cant wait to hear what people recommend.....:D
     
  4. 05r50

    05r50 Well-Known Member

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    I have Hulu and Netflix on both SmartApps on the the TV and also Roku. They work just great. I can pick up NBC/ABC shows the next day most of the time. Also some of the cable channels like USA etc.

    CBS is a problem. They like to keep their content on their website. My son just convinced me to get a Chromecast today. ($29 on Amazon). I can stream the CBS content from the laptop browser straight to the ChromeCast.

    I am also getting to my limit on cable prices. This is ridiculous. I will have to shop around for sports but there are streaming sites that carry the games. My nephew was streaming the Lions/Packers game from a website yesterday.
     
  5. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Hmm, never did think about a WiFi capable Blue Ray. I don't have player of that type, no DVD, no BlueRay, no gaming system.

    Hmm, have to look at that option too.
     
  6. Steve

    Steve Administrator
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    For over the air, you might want to check out the Mohu Leaf. Go to their site and enter your location info and you'll see a list of channels theoretically in range based on the different models. Scroll down that page for a map of local antennas and their ranges to help you decide what sort of antenna/model you might need (which will also help if you're looking at other antennae).

    I'm quite far from the best towers anywhere near me so I bought the Ultimate model which is the basic Leaf plus a signal amplifier.

    As to streamers, when I researched this some months ago (things may have changed a bit) Roku came up top of my list mainly because you get a much longer list of channel options than any other client device and the list continues to grow. Most channels are free and the pay channel options are no different through Roku than others, other than that Roku offers pretty much all of them.

    It also seems to be well supported and the service and options most likely to adapt over time.

    I have the LT model because it was cheap and I still didn't care about HD (for TV) and I didn't think I needed any of the additional options offered by the more expensive models. Other than my warming attitude toward HDTV, the other bit I wish I had is the option to load an SD card which allows the device to retain more channel info and therefore load things a bit more quickly.

    Keep in mind that in order for any of the streaming devices to work well, esp. with HD movies, etc, you need a good router and good signal strength, etc, wherever you plan to place the client. OR you need to pick one that will accommodate a hard wire and run a line.
     
  7. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Mohu thinks Columbus Ohio is not in the US.

    That's funny.
     
  8. Steve

    Steve Administrator
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    #8 Steve, Nov 29, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
    Yep, same here, very strange. Switch to zip code, it's less accurate than a street address to see actual range(s) but you can still see what channels are available in the area and learn where the antennae live.
     
  9. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    Another idea. If your computer has an HDMI port, you could plug it into an HDTV and stream shows from your computer.

    Dave
     
  10. docv

    docv Well-Known Member
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    Just purchased a TV for our guest bedroom, the TV I purchased was a smart TV. The only thing I did was plug it in, connect to router, sign in to Netflix, Boom have TV.
     
  11. Spa2k

    Spa2k Well-Known Member

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    If you think the cable service is worth saving, call the company's customer service line and ask for the customer retention department. Tell that rep you no longer can afford to pay their rates - and that you've been a good customer for a long time and that you're tired of the company offering all the good deals to new customers instead of the faithful customers they've had for years. (Here they've been advertising $9.95 for the same Internet service that was costing me $59.95 a month.) I managed to get my total monthly bill (basic cable TV plus some premium channels plus Internet) reduced by about 30% for a 2-year extension - I've done this a couple of times, and I'm about to do it again. I hate feeling like a good customer who's getting screwed.
     
  12. c0op3r

    c0op3r Active Member

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    Here is the simplest question you need to ask yourself, to see if you can do without cable TV.

    DO you watch sports? If yes just keep the cable, if no you can do with out it.

    It really is that simple, I download everything I watch and I watch it without commercials! But my answer to sports - Dont give a damn.
     
  13. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    I called the company as said that their competition in the area is offering the same internet speeds for $20 less a month. They had someone from the retention department call me back. We talked for about 15-20 min. My bill has dropped significantly, from ~150 mo for 50/5 internet and 108 channels, HD and DVR to ~106 mo for same internet speeds and now 350 channels plus the HD and DVR. Those figures include the fee's and taxes. I use WoW and most of my neighbors have Time Warner. So even though the cable internet is a "shared service" in the neighborhood since so few of my neighbors are using the same company I'll not see that evening speed drop that they see.

    Now if only I could get faster upload speeds.

    The most frustrating part is AT&T ran fiber in the neighborhood last year. I can almost reach out and touch the lines from the house. Yet the best speed they offer is 18/3. I do miss the 30/30 FiOS I had in Dallas.

    Sure do wish that Google Fiber came in and offered 1GB like they do in Kansas City, Austin and Provo. Not that I'm not already beholden to the Google for so much already, yikes.
     
  14. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    I love my Verizon FiOS Quantum service 150 /65 fiber Internet speed. :Thumbsup: both my wife and I work from home so we need the speed.

    I also have 4 TV's and the 3 Samsung LED's are all on FiOS HD and the picture is unreal during any sports event.
     
  15. 05r50

    05r50 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if Meth should be allowed to be combined with FIOS. :)


    Just sayin. Maybe it's time to spread the love.
     
  16. minirab

    minirab Well-Known Member

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    I'm not worthy, I feel so low tech!!!!
     
  17. ZippyNH

    ZippyNH Well-Known Member

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    Too bad you don't have AERO in your zip....so close to Boston (one of the rollout/rest markets)...
    One tip though...
    Watching broadcast TV hdtv on an anteana is actually BETTER than cable...no compression...
    One more tip...
    The BEST HDTV I have is an old analog RadioShack one..cost about $15...it has a pair of bowties in front of a wire mesh...gets signals from 45-50 miles away fine...about the size of a hardcoverbook...the 50-100$ trecks, etc are all marketing...making an anteana "look" cool is not important...and usually gives up functionally....
    Look up antenna web.org (not sure of the exact address)... They will give you a list of stations you can receive based on WHICH SIZE ANTENNA you use and where you point it...good info.
    Nothing bests live sports UNCOMPRESSED ON BROADCAST HDTV when available...
     
  18. ZippyNH

    ZippyNH Well-Known Member

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    Just read your last post Nathan...good to hear you figured out a good way to make it work and save some $$.
    We use Comcast here...its ok....
    We have dead, half installed FiOS from verizion, hanging on the pole next to the house....verizion sold all NH service ( land line etc)and stopped installs a few yeas ago citing dying " landline service" and the need to get cash to continue FiOS expansion in other states...
     
  19. Zapski

    Zapski Well-Known Member

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    #19 Zapski, Dec 1, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
    Nathan - I've been cable TV free for years now. Here's what I do: I've got an old Mac Mini (mine's pre mid 2010 when they changed the form factor) hooked into the TV, Hulu Plus and Netflix. That's it.

    The Mini plays DVDs for me, and anything else I want as well, and by not using an Apple TV or similar box, I get to watch those programs that Hulu won't let you view outside a web-browser on a full blown computer (for example The Simpsons).

    Googling "Watch _______ online free" gets me a lot of other content, streaming, not downloaded so I don't worry about piracy. And being on a Mac, NO VIRUSES! (sorry PC folks, it's still true.)

    I do however install Glimmer Blocker and AdBlock to cut down on the more obnoxious ads that show up on the "Watch _______ online free" sites.

    For everything else, I use a plain old antenna.

    Plus, since I know you are familiar with how to get Top Gear episodes, you can watch any format on the Mini with VLC.

    As for BluRay, a used Play Station 3 is a good option, and allows you to play Gran Turismo as well.

    I've been doing this since 2007.

    My recommendation would be to get a Mid 2010 model used, not the server version. The Mid 2010 still has a DVD drive, that was removed on later models. If you don't have too many DVDs, though, any of the post 2010 models would be best - they all have HDMI ports.

    Oh, and I speak as an IT pro, specializing in Macs.
     
  20. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Cut the cord today. Keeping the internet for obvious reasons.

    Don't plan on replacing broadcast TV. For me, I'd sit there late and night and graze while pretty lights flickered images of stuff in front of my face.
     

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