The Survival Podcast Forum

Finance and Economics => The Money Board => Topic started by: EagleSteel on February 13, 2014, 09:06:11 AM

Title: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: EagleSteel on February 13, 2014, 09:06:11 AM
Okay, so I officially had cut the cord with Comcast (except for the internet) today. My bill had increased to $261 a month! So much money is wasted on this company and I've had enough. Here is what I did.

1. I was given an Apple TV 2 from a friend.
2. Got a Subscription to Hulu Plus and Netflix - $16.00 a month for both
3. Jail broke the Apple TV 2 and added XBMC and set it up.
4. Called Comcast and told them to go pound sand.
5. Bought a cable modem that will work with Comcast for $90.00 (Motorola SB6141)
6. Still need to buy an HD antenna and another Apple TV for my Man Cave.

They tried to talk me into staying and they would cut $68 off my monthly bill. I told them no and that I wanted the internet plus package for $55. They then told me “that is for new customers only and you would have to be completely canceled for 90 days before you would be eligible for that deal”. That is the kind of crap that ticks me off with regards to cable companies and I think this is the beginning of the end for them. Anyways they said that it would be $85.51 for internet alone (with cable modem rental of $8.00). I said whatever and that is fine.

So once I get my new modem my costs per month will be $93.51.
I was paying $3,135 and now I will be paying $1,122.12
Savings of $2,012.88 a year!

I wanted to post this in case anyone was thinking about doing this and how they could do it. If anyone has questions on how or whatever I will be more than happy to answer them.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: inconel710 on February 13, 2014, 09:44:50 AM
I would love to do that, however, my family would scream bloody murder.  Paying $180/month here and I'll put up with it until we move this summer.  All bets are off then.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: HomegrownGal on February 13, 2014, 09:53:15 AM
Wow! Lol! I moved into the homestead i bought last year in June. I've never paid for cable and I didn't get a converter box when tv changed a few years ago. I'd love to have internet!! I thought it was too pricey around $50. I don't have a home phone, but an Apple 4s with 3G Sprint. Signal sucks! Unlimited text and internet. My MacBook Pro is my stereo and phone charger! Lol! I watch DVD movies on it sometimes for entertainment. I'd like to find an inexpensive way to have internet on my computer, but have a very limited budget since buying this place.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: EagleSteel on February 13, 2014, 10:23:14 AM
I would love to do that, however, my family would scream bloody murder.  Paying $180/month here and I'll put up with it until we move this summer.  All bets are off then.

Would they change there minds if they could get all their current TV shows and Movies that are still in the theaters?
I've heard that with the XBMC app on the Apple TV 2 you can do such a thing. Of course it may be illegal, so I don't do it.  ;)
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: NWPilgrim on February 13, 2014, 10:27:08 AM
I have only cut back to the basic DirectTV package.  But I have fiber optic internet through Frontier (formerly Verizon) and it is only $35/mo.  My daughter eliminated cable AND internet and just uses her phone for surfing and DVD player for movies/series.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: inconel710 on February 13, 2014, 10:39:58 AM
Would they change there minds if they could get all their current TV shows and Movies that are still in the theaters?
I've heard that with the XBMC app on the Apple TV 2 you can do such a thing. Of course it may be illegal, so I don't do it.  ;)

I won't do anything illegal either.  It's tough being honest sometimes.

It would also be another project where it would be all on me to get it done and keep it working.  That pushes it down the priority list.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: bigbear on February 13, 2014, 11:10:17 AM
Nice, I think we have elevated 'entertainment' way to high on our priorty list as a culture.  There's a place for it, sure.  But in general, I think it's wrongfully pushed out some many other worthy uses of our time and resources.

I'm not sure what you use the cable internet connection for, but if you can deal with a little slower connection DSL is can be had for $19.99 through Verizon.  Add in about $5.00 in taxes/etc and it comes to about $300 annually ($25/mo).  Another $800+ of less spending.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: EagleSteel on February 13, 2014, 11:12:24 AM
Nice, I think we have elevated 'entertainment' way to high on our priorty list as a culture.  There's a place for it, sure.  But in general, I think it's wrongfully pushed out some many other worthy uses of our time and resources.

I'm not sure what you use the cable internet connection for, but if you can deal with a little slower connection DSL is can be had for $19.99 through Verizon.  Add in about $5.00 in taxes/etc and it comes to about $300 annually ($25/mo).  Another $800+ of less spending.

The cable internet allows me to stream TV shows and Movies on the Apple TV.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: bigbear on February 13, 2014, 11:15:51 AM
Is that not an option with DSL?
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: inconel710 on February 13, 2014, 11:30:42 AM
Is that not an option with DSL?

Not really.  DSL tops out at 3Mb/s and that's too slow for video.  Good enough for everything else, just not video.  Cable modem is almost ten times that and fiber optic (if you can get it) is even faster.

Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fred.greek on February 13, 2014, 12:14:03 PM
We haven't had cable, satellite, or even an antenna for more than a decade.  Internet is Century Link at around $20/month. 
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: mountainmoma on February 13, 2014, 12:17:34 PM
We have cable to get internet. The phone lines where I live are very old and not upgraded and there is no DSL. It is cheaper for me to get internet plus basic channels than just internet from the cable company, so we have some limited basic channels. The TV is in the closet, I will pull it out in a diaster or somesuch if I think it will have news coverage.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: FreeLancer on February 13, 2014, 12:39:10 PM
With DSL, Netflix, Hulu, and HDTV over the air, there's really nothing the wife or I miss about not having cable.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Smurf Hunter on February 13, 2014, 12:44:26 PM
If it wasn't for my wife and kids, I'd ditch comcast as well.  The other problem is I've got the 3 service bundle: ISP, phone, TV cable

I think the whole package is around $180/month (we negotiated it down).  To just cut the cable and return the monthly DVR box we rent would only save $60 or so.

We've considered tossing the landline, but we do have a monitored alarm/security system hardwired (another monthly expense).
Also, with my wife and I on the same mobile carrier, there's no phone redundancy if that service was interrupted should we rely exclusively on cell towers.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: archer on February 13, 2014, 12:54:59 PM
cable for internet only. i have a roku someone gave me tied to netflix.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: ncjeeper on February 13, 2014, 01:00:00 PM
Last time I had cable tv was 1991. I can catch most shows using the internet anyways.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: EagleSteel on February 13, 2014, 01:00:26 PM
cable for internet only. i have a roku someone gave me tied to netflix.

Do you use Plex on your Roku? From what I've read it's kinda like XBMC.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: nkawtg on February 13, 2014, 01:03:24 PM
I already have a Ruku with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Redbox.
All those channels and nothing to watch...
 
As soon as my DirectTV contract expires it's out the window unless my internet provider starts metering my bandwidth after the overthrow of Net Neutrality, then I'm not sure. I may still toss Satellite anyway. What I'd really like to get rid of is my damned Cell bill.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Erigorn on February 13, 2014, 01:57:00 PM
I have been thinking the same thing though my bill is satellite for 80 a month.
Cancel that and get a roku or smart TV/DVD player.
I have Amazon prime but figured I'd get netflix or hulu plus.
Only thing i would miss are about a dozen live sporting events a year but saving nearly 700 a year. Not as much as you but I haven't been getting ripped off as bad yet...(i think mine jumps again when my 2 year contract is up)

2 questions for those out there:
1) if i have amazon streaming which would be better for me netflix or hulu plus? I guess which one fills the gaps of amazon better?
2) Is there a good DVR option out there for OTA antenna stuff? Or with amazon and netflix/hulu is DVR really important at all since you just stream when you want anyway?

Thanks. hope i'm not hijacking too much.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: AvenueQ on February 13, 2014, 02:13:50 PM
Not really.  DSL tops out at 3Mb/s and that's too slow for video.  Good enough for everything else, just not video.  Cable modem is almost ten times that and fiber optic (if you can get it) is even faster.

I have DSL and a 7Mb/s connection. I can watch Netflix and Amazon Prime video just fine with it. That will be highly dependent on the usage in your area, though.

I have not once had cable since moving out of my parent's house. Don't miss it in the slightest. I've been trying to convince them to ditch it too since they only watch about 4 channels. Mom just can't live without her Weather Channel ;)
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Jbrez6 on February 13, 2014, 02:49:58 PM

I have not once had cable since moving out of my parent's house. Don't miss it in the slightest. I've been trying to convince them to ditch it too since they only watch about 4 channels. Mom just can't live without her Weather Channel ;)

Pretty much the same here. We have rabbit ears on the tv and get pretty good reception out in the country. When we lived in the city it was okay, but out here we don't have any problem watching the olympics and the basic sitcoms on CBS etc. A lot of what we watch is offered online these days too.

Cutting the cable cord not only saves us money, but a lot of time we would otherwise have spent zombie-ing out in front of the tv.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: ChrisFox on February 13, 2014, 03:21:28 PM
Netflix takes care of most of what I watch. I don't watch any tv show until they are done and I can binge watch them. No more 2 year cliffhangers.  I gave up on Hulu. Still have commercials even after you pay. Nope. I miss the days of having the huge six foot dish in the backyard. Fun watching shows that were beamed from the networks to their affiliates without commercials.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: nkawtg on February 13, 2014, 04:06:39 PM
My problem with HuluPlus is you still get commercials.
True you get more content than with standard Hulu, but darnit if I'm going to pay for service I don't want commercials.
So we chose Amazon prime, Netflix, and RedBox.
You don't get everything free, but you do get a pretty good selection.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: archer on February 13, 2014, 04:22:25 PM
Do you use Plex on your Roku? From what I've read it's kinda like XBMC.
not heard of it, i'll have to check it out. thanks.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Smurf Hunter on February 13, 2014, 04:33:38 PM
I have been thinking the same thing though my bill is satellite for 80 a month.
Cancel that and get a roku or smart TV/DVD player.
I have Amazon prime but figured I'd get netflix or hulu plus.
Only thing i would miss are about a dozen live sporting events a year but saving nearly 700 a year. Not as much as you but I haven't been getting ripped off as bad yet...(i think mine jumps again when my 2 year contract is up)

2 questions for those out there:
1) if i have amazon streaming which would be better for me netflix or hulu plus? I guess which one fills the gaps of amazon better?
2) Is there a good DVR option out there for OTA antenna stuff? Or with amazon and netflix/hulu is DVR really important at all since you just stream when you want anyway?

Thanks. hope i'm not hijacking too much.


A few things I like about amazon prime video:

* A reasonable amount of "free" movies.  Not quite netflix scale, but lots.
* Many movies available for "rent" at all pricing tiers.
* Many movies available for "sale".

Imagine your wife or whoever wants to watch a new release DVD.
Netflix doesn't have it.
Amazon doesn't have it for free, but it is available for $2.99.

While you'd prefer it be free, it's nice to have the option from amazon.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: TexDaddy on February 13, 2014, 04:35:38 PM
We have not had cable for several years.

We have an antenna for watching Cowboy games and a few PBS shows.

We get most of what we watch from Amazon Prime.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Alan Georges on February 13, 2014, 05:58:58 PM
I've got cable for internet and that's it.  At $70/month, it's high but I like the speed.  If there was a viable alternative for less money, I'd look into it.  (anybody?)

After that... Netflix 3-disk-at-a-time keeps me in movies.  Maybe I ought to put up a TV antenna to get the local broadcasts, but I just don't feel motivated to.  Life's too full already!
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: boyscout57 on February 13, 2014, 07:22:25 PM
I didn't see the choice that says "got rid of cable...the biggest time waster"
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: cpf240 on February 13, 2014, 09:59:19 PM
... That is the kind of crap that ticks me off with regards to cable companies and I think this is the beginning of the end for them.

um, they'll be around for a while yet... Comcast is buying Time Warner Cable...  http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/12/investing/comcast-time-warner-cable/index.html (http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/12/investing/comcast-time-warner-cable/index.html)
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: AvenueQ on February 14, 2014, 06:37:14 AM
I didn't see the choice that says "got rid of cable...the biggest time waster"

Bingo
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: livinitup0 on February 14, 2014, 07:40:08 AM
Not really.  DSL tops out at 3Mb/s and that's too slow for video.  Good enough for everything else, just not video.  Cable modem is almost ten times that and fiber optic (if you can get it) is even faster.

Nope... I have DSL and use a roku box exclusively for my TV. Might get a buffering issue once in a while but I havent had any real trouble with it at all. Cut the cable cord a year ago and pay $50 a month for ATT DSL internet. the Roku is playing for about 4 hours a day and I have yet to go over my bandwidth limit either.

cable is a flat out scam imo.   
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: livinitup0 on February 14, 2014, 07:42:07 AM
Do you use Plex on your Roku? From what I've read it's kinda like XBMC.

yes and It works fantastically.

also... any of you roku guys out there... look into the roku private channels, lots of cool stuff out there that roku doesn't publicly publish... and most importantly... My Video Buzz - its a roku specific youtube browser... you kind of have to hack your roku to install it but its super easy and its really the only youtube option for the roku right now. 
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: AvenueQ on February 14, 2014, 07:57:24 AM
Nope... I have DSL and use a roku box exclusively for my TV. Might get a buffering issue once in a while but I havent had any real trouble with it at all. Cut the cable cord a year ago and pay $50 a month for ATT DSL internet. the Roku is playing for about 4 hours a day and I have yet to go over my bandwidth limit either.

cable is a flat out scam imo.   

Yep, the cable companies make you think you need this "ultra-turbo high-speed" connection to stream anything longer than a YouTube video and then charge 50+% more for it than a "slow-as-mud" DSL connection. There are days where Netflix is on in my house for 3+ hours without a connection problem, often simultaneously with other internet activity. I don't notice a speed reduction with this. I'm considered a "power user" by my internet company (literally - they've sent me letters stating as much trying to get me to upgrade). Unless you are uploading/downloading large files constantly (yarrrrr!), you probably will do just fine with DSL.

I live in a major metro area (dozens of other routers pop up in my wireless connections window). I do have occasional buffer issues, but I changed a couple settings in my router several months ago and they have virtually disappeared. I will never go back to slaver-- I mean, cable.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 14, 2014, 08:15:40 AM
we cut our cable a couple years ago. we have a blue ray player that goes online so we can stream netflix and amazon prime. i am looking at getting an antenna so i can pick up local channels, they are about $40 bucks but i haven't gotten around to it yet.

i will say this for those wanting to cut the cable but holding back due to a large ETF - i chose to pay mine when i cut early because the fee was less than the total i would have paid if i'd waited for my contract to expire.

so between internet, netflix, and amazon prime i pay $740 a year, can watch just about anything, and if i want to make the prime portion even more valuable i can include the fact that i get free 2 day shipping and can rent books on my kindle. i really only have prime for shipping, i think prime video is far inferior to netflix - the UI is horrible on our TV and the selection is about the same. if we rent one book a month then prime has already paid for itself so i could say i only spend $660/year on TV/internet.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: LizardGurl on February 14, 2014, 08:19:58 AM
Not really.  DSL tops out at 3Mb/s and that's too slow for video.  Good enough for everything else, just not video.  Cable modem is almost ten times that and fiber optic (if you can get it) is even faster.

I have not found this to be true.  We don't have cable.  Our internet is a DSL connection.  I do need to hard wire the tablet into the router with a network cable when we stream videos.  Using the wireless can be problematic. 

We get all of our TV and film viewing by streaming it on my tablet PC.  I plug that into the TV with a mini-HDMI cable.  The only thing we can't get is professional sports.  If there's something we must watch, we go to a spots bar or a friend's house.

We are actually paying about $8.00/month for TV.  I subscribed to Modern Family.  We get our other content through our Amazon Prime membership.  There are a lot of free things like Dr. Who and Sherlock.

LG
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: FreeLancer on February 14, 2014, 09:32:59 AM
There are reports that Comcast is specifically throttling netflix downloads to unusably slow rates for many of their subscribers. Not cool!

I haven't had many problems with AT&T DSL throughput speeds for streaming, but there are reports of them throttling too. This is why monopolies suck!
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: AvenueQ on February 14, 2014, 09:48:33 AM
I'm lucky and have a small, regional carrier available in my area. No throttling that I've noticed (so far).

It's funny, I've seen a couple people mention that they don't want Hulu Plus because there are still commercials despite the monthly fee. This is different from cable how? ???

(Not berating anyone or defending Hulu, I hate commercials and will pay to eliminate them too, just a funny coincidence I noticed ;) ).
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 14, 2014, 09:53:23 AM
with hulu you at least get to watch what you want, when you want, right? i guess that is the selling point over regular cable. we don't watch enough 'current' tv to justify getting into hulu.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: livinitup0 on February 14, 2014, 10:41:08 AM
I'm lucky and have a small, regional carrier available in my area. No throttling that I've noticed (so far).

It's funny, I've seen a couple people mention that they don't want Hulu Plus because there are still commercials despite the monthly fee. This is different from cable how? ???

(Not berating anyone or defending Hulu, I hate commercials and will pay to eliminate them too, just a funny coincidence I noticed ;) ).

I worked for an ISP for a while... they might actually be leasing from one of the big companies and reselling the same service under their name.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: gopack84 on February 14, 2014, 11:32:53 AM
I'll add another anecdote. I live in a fairly rural area with 3.5mps DSL. I run a Roku with Amazon Prime with very few problems. Worst case it drops out of HD mode and takes a few more seconds (sometimes 20 or 30) to buffer.

Now when my oldest is home from college and does a lot of streaming in addition to the youngest watching stuff, it becomes a problem. But that's when there are 3 of us streaming(the Roku and 2 laptops). When it's only 1 video stream it works fine. When it's 2 devices streaming I can't stream HD but even when it drops down it drops down to like 720p which still looks pretty good on a TV sized display from a proper distance away.

EDIT: Does anyone have a personal recommendation up or down on over the air HD antennas for local channels? Brand/models?
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: FreeLancer on February 14, 2014, 12:18:48 PM
I've got a large Winegard Yagi (http://www.amazon.com/Winegard-HD7694P-High-Definition-Antenna/dp/B001DFTGR4) antenna in the attic, spliced into the home cable system that the house came wired with, and it is bringing in HDTV at full strength from 45 miles away. 

Almost all the channels in my area broadcast from the same mountain top, so the directional capabilities of a yagi works perfectly in my situation.  I literally just tossed it between the rafters and pointed it in the right direction, and it is totally out of sight under the roof.  The rabbit ears or omnidirectional "HDTV" antennas I tried before were not as reliable, often only resulted in 70-80% signal strength, and a good rain would often take out half the channels. 

All the antennas say HD on them now, but it's all marketing hype.  The same UHF/VHF antennas that worked with analog TV work just as well with HD tuners, so if you've got an old one laying around you might as well try it first before buying a new one.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Biscuits and Gravy on February 14, 2014, 04:34:13 PM
We actually just cut the cable cord.  End up saving $100 per month. 

I bought a digital antenna last night and we can access Netflix, YouTube, and others through our Tivo.  I am not a huge TV watcher and usually watch things through YouTube or Netflix on my phone or computer.  My wife was the big TV watcher, but as weaned herself off lately.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: kid_couteau on February 15, 2014, 05:15:45 PM
Hi All

We cut the cable a few years ago

Just got tired of everything on cable either being the same Western over and over again or the shows about gay teenage vampire artists.

We use Netflix and the internet.  Lots of old movies on u-tube for free and shoot you can download them.  We just signed up for Amazon Prime and it is worth it in my opinion.

We like NCIS and CBS now has its own website with shows.

Hard to beat it.  Dont miss the cable
Kid
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: MississippiJarhead on February 15, 2014, 06:32:51 PM
We made this move over three years ago. At first we had a PC with tuner card, to DVR local programming, and had Netflix. Later we added an AppleTV and got additional AppleTVs as we added a TV for the kids room and our bedroom. They are capable of streaming ripped content from the main PC.

We moved out to the sticks, over the air is pointless out here. So we now only have the AppleTVs and tried Hulu but canceled it. We have strict control of not only what our kids can see but the hours they can see it.

The vast majority of what plays on out TV is kid friendly fair (to include Duck Dynasty) while they are awake and a handful of shows (The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, Sherlock, etc.) for the grown ups once they are in bed.

Oh, BTW the PBS app on the AppleTV has allowed me to catch the most recent season of Sherlock without waiting for it to hit Netflix.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: FreeLancer on February 15, 2014, 06:39:46 PM
Oh, BTW the PBS app on the AppleTV has allowed me to catch the most recent season of Sherlock without waiting for it to hit Netflix.

I'm really liking that PBS app.  Catching up on a bunch of missed Frontline and Nova episodes.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: MississippiJarhead on February 15, 2014, 06:42:35 PM
I'm really liking that PBS app.  Catching up on a bunch of missed Frontline and Nova episodes.
The Smithsonian and Crackle Apps are decent too.

I forgot to add that we have Amazon Prime, for shipping savings, but have begun to stream the iPad/ iPhone app to the AppleTV as well.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: FreeLancer on February 15, 2014, 06:49:25 PM
I forgot to add that we have Amazon Prime, for shipping savings, but have begun to stream the iPad/ iPhone app to the AppleTV as well.

Clever!  I need to try that, too.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: JLMissouri on February 15, 2014, 07:39:12 PM
I didn't see the choice that says "got rid of cable...the biggest time waster"

Neither did I, if not carefully controlled TV is a good way to make yourself fat and lazy. I got rid of it over a decade ago when I noticed that I would sometimes spent prime parts of the day watching stuff that doesn't matter in real life. An occasional movie is great, but cable is a time waste with terrible return.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: BriGy86 on February 16, 2014, 05:53:43 PM
I got rid of cable TV about 3 years ago,  I've had a Netflix subscription that whole time and it was decent.

Recently I went with the Amazon prime sub. and it has gotten a lot better.

And for those that need more:  I have some friends that have a Sony Blu-Ray all in one player at their cabin.  It has access to all sorts of stuff, Youtube, Crackle, Netflix, Amazon etc.  That would probably be the best route.  You have access to all sorts of free services and it's able to log into just about anything with a subscription.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 16, 2014, 08:48:06 PM
Yup, our blue ray has all of those services, I think most mid range blue ray players now have all of the big/common app services built in.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: MTUCache on February 16, 2014, 09:05:34 PM
Another Roku fan here... Amazon Prime, Netflix, and PBS get us 90% of the non-sports programming we ever watched anyway.

$120 for MLB.Tv subscription added onto the Roku and I'm a happy man from March to November. That alone gets me more programming than I could watch in a day anyway.  ;D
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: EagleSteel on February 20, 2014, 09:44:54 AM
There are reports that Comcast is specifically throttling netflix downloads to unusably slow rates for many of their subscribers. Not cool!

I haven't had many problems with AT&T DSL throughput speeds for streaming, but there are reports of them throttling too. This is why monopolies suck!

If those reports turn out to be true I would not be shocked and yes monopolies do suck. Welcome to the second age of the American robber barons.  :-\
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on November 16, 2014, 03:03:23 PM
I'm reviving this thread.

I've been attempting to cut the cable (or in my case DirectTV) for quite a while.  I it was up to me, it would be done already.  Almost everything I watch is on Netflix, Amazon Prime or some other online source.  My kids watch a few shows, but I think most of these are online.  The problem is the wife.  She doesn't want to get rid of the local channels for news and a soap she watches.

But I'm winning her over a little at a time.  We have a lot of DVDs.  I've been ripping them to the desktop computer.  I downloaded Plex Media Server and put the Plex channel on the Roku.  She's really happy with this.

Now if I could only find a way for her to watch The Young and the Restless, I'd have her won over.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: FreeLancer on November 16, 2014, 04:21:34 PM
The problem is the wife.  She doesn't want to get rid of the local channels for news and a soap she watches.

Get an antenna and pull in the local channels over the air in digital high definition.  I've got a $50 yagi between the trusses in the attic, spliced into the cable system, and I'm pulling in full strength signals from 45 miles away.  The quality is better than either cable or satellite, since there's no bandwidth constraints.  Even old rabbit ears will do the job if you're not that far out from the transmission towers.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on November 16, 2014, 04:39:02 PM
Yeah, I've looked at doing this, but I'm quite a ways away from the towers.  If I could find someone locally that is doing this already I could prove to her that it's working.  I also need to be able to record that soap. 



Heaven help me.   I just ripped the Howard the Duck DVD.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: FreeLancer on November 16, 2014, 05:14:18 PM
Fortunately all the shows my wife wants to watch are on Hulu, so I haven't had to mess with a recording solution.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: jhull87 on November 16, 2014, 09:44:00 PM
My problem with HuluPlus is you still get commercials.
True you get more content than with standard Hulu, but darnit if I'm going to pay for service I don't want commercials.
So we chose Amazon prime, Netflix, and RedBox.
You don't get everything free, but you do get a pretty good selection.

I feel the same way. Plus any "popular" shows on Hulu only have the newest season.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Tactical Hamster on November 17, 2014, 04:50:34 AM
We cut cable a few years ago. It sucks most when we are watching seasons with holes in what is provided. Season 1-8 is free, got to pay more for final season. We had Hulu, watched everything, went to Netflix, watched everything, now on Prime, which is great. If I want local news the internet is there. Only downside is our internet is horribly slow, buffers for 30-50 seconds every 2-3 minutes at the worse time.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: gpowers01 on November 17, 2014, 05:19:58 AM
My wife and I decided to cut cable about five years ago.  Quite happy now to not be charged almost $200/mo for the privilege to watch a tremendous amount of commercial content.

First it was a PS3 w/ Netflix and Amazon Prime (not a fan of Amazon's TV service).  Then we eventually bought an AppleTV. 

We subscribe to Hulu for the shows my wife wants to watch (things like Nashville, Parenthood, and Modern Family), and have a TV antenna for other local broadcasts.  $7/mo

We have Netflix for our two year old son (Netflix Kids is pretty darned good) and myself (currently watching Blacklist and SOA). $8/mo watch on 2 screens at once with HD plan here.

Charter 30-60Mbps high speed cable internet is the major expense, which costs me about $60/mo.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: jhull87 on November 17, 2014, 09:21:55 AM
I had to get DSL a few years ago for school and work. I've never paid for cable but I do use Amazon Prime, mostly for the free shipping and downloading books for free. The wife uses her sister's NetFlix and HBOGo accounts but other than that, the TV is hardly ever on.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Beetlebum on November 17, 2014, 09:33:42 AM
Only downside is our internet is horribly slow, buffers for 30-50 seconds every 2-3 minutes at the worse time.

To anyone concerned about or having speed/buffering issues... Try your hardest to hardwire your system and don't use a wireless connection. Nearly all wireless connections will be substandard to a hardwired ethernet connection and will not maximize the connection speed you have purchased. If you are wirelessly connected, distance is your enemy.

The Roku 3 has an ethernet connection but 1/2 do not. It's worth the few extra dollars IMO.

Also, Roku has tons of channels many for free. For example, PBS. They also have an ESPN channel - so if you were to have a subscription to a cable provider for a different TV (or location), you could log into the ESPN channel to watch your games. (Extrapolate that as you may)

I think its kinda funny, my parents didn't (don't) have cable and I used to felt deprived as a child. I bought cable for a few years on my own and now fully understand why they didn't and how I wasn't.

I see people saying how cable companies are on their way out and many people switching to cell service only, but that industry seems to have a very similar business model. If cable companies are truly on their way out, I don't see traditional cell companies lasting much beyond either. I'm not sure what will fill the void but something certainly will.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Cedar on November 17, 2014, 10:17:39 AM
Don't forget your local library or Bookmobile either.

When I lived in the bush in Canada, I would grab DVD's from the library, of entire seasons of series, National Geographic Shows, Documentaries, Movies and such. Even now I am working on seeing "Lost", "Northern Exposure", "Once Upon a Time", "Eureka"... and I really don't care they came out years and years (and maybe even a decade or two) ago. I did not have a TV for 10 years, my internet connection up there was 14kbps... so it was either a book or the library for DVD (or buy them).

I had cable for 2 years when I moved back down, (just don't try to get out of their system, or they will totally hoop you over -- told them to kiss off anyway and called the FCC on them), and for 2 years we have been without 'tv' again. And we do not miss it. We can watch almost everything through the computer (and I still get DVD's from the library). We somehow have better internet connection here than Z did in a college town. We have the most expensive internet package and it is $60 a month.

Plusses with some things, is when I did that with the DVD's in Canada, I would get foreign films 1-2x a month (even if I had to read them outloud to the rest of the family - the entire movie) and then I would make a meal which corresponded to that country. Now that SP is 5, I think I will start to get some foreign language DVD's for her. She actually used to speak some Russian due to my friend Olga (who was from Moscow) and her son. SP also used to know sign language before she could talk.

So sometimes (IMO) even if you have to be more creative sometimes, there are alot of ways to save money on TV entertainment which is a luxury... but in many ways, saving the money and finding better 'shows' is much more luxurious.

Cedar
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on November 17, 2014, 02:11:58 PM
We have a Roku2.  We used to subscribe to Hulu Plus, but I quickly discovered that while I got the programs I wanted to watch, I also got commercials.  The big problem is if I record a program on the DVR I can fast forward through the commercials, not so with Hulu Plus.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: ericksonrs on November 17, 2014, 02:15:01 PM
What are you using to Rip your DVDs for your plex?
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on November 17, 2014, 02:16:44 PM
What are you using to Rip your DVDs for your plex?
Currently using Pavtube. 
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: mountainmoma on December 04, 2014, 10:22:57 PM
I downgraded our Comcast (cable) to a slower internet speed and we dont notice any difference and we are saving $20 a month -- so that's good. (it is still about $50 a month)
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: mxitman on December 05, 2014, 12:26:45 AM
We cut our cable about 3-4 years ago, I miss some of the shows on Discovery/History channel and some sports as they have their own network but I don't miss the high bills. We have a HD antenna for local and netflix stream thru a Sony player, it works good enough for movies with our limited DSL connection only 2-3 Mbps. We went from paying $140 month for internet/cable to $40 now and my wife gets reimbursed up to $50 from her work.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: hackmeister on December 05, 2014, 08:55:38 AM
I've been mulling over cutting the cord. The biggest obstacle seems to be my kids "have to watch cartoon network". They currently don't stream over any legal service.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: archer on December 05, 2014, 09:05:29 AM
I've been mulling over cutting the cord. The biggest obstacle seems to be my kids "have to watch cartoon network". They currently don't stream over any legal service.

pull the plug ;)
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: MTUCache on December 05, 2014, 09:34:13 AM
pull the plug ;)
ditto.... we've found our kids are WAY more resilient to the change than we are.

They had been fully engrossed into several different series on the Disney Channel, none of which were available on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
It took a rough week or so of finding something new that they would enjoy, but there's a TON of stuff just on Netflix that they quickly fell in love with.

Nowadays, they don't even remember those shows.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: hackmeister on December 05, 2014, 09:47:33 AM
It looks like there are two ways to stream Cartoon Network:
USTVNow - originally a streaming service for U.S. military/ex-pats but now allows domestic customers. $19 a month for the first 3 months, then $29 a month. Looks like they have a pretty extensive lineup that mirrors Hulu plus a bunch more:
http://www.ustvnow.com/

PlayOn - this is windows only software that basically streams to a client on a device (Roku, AppleTV, Chromecast, etc.). You still need to pay for your services individually. The PC has to be on when watching your shows.
http://www.playon.tv/supported-devices

Both of the above mentioned services have Roku channels.
 
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: kid_couteau on December 05, 2014, 10:54:22 AM
I find for us we can find a lot of the shows we like on the individual tv networks.

Youtube has a lot of old shows as well.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on December 06, 2014, 07:10:28 AM
I've been playing around with Plex.  I intend on putting all our videos on a stand alone box to stream.  The are channels that you can add, like on a Roku.  One is CBS and they have the past 5 episodes on Young & the Restless.  So that's one of the big hurdles with getting my wife on board.  It's a really tough sell to get her to cut cable, or in our case DirecTV.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: riverbend_rich on December 06, 2014, 08:00:48 AM
There is literally only two things keeping me from cutting the directv. 1st I can't get decent internet out here in the boonies... 2nd OKC THUNDER! I cant miss a game.

We just do our internet stuff either at our buisness or on our iPhones.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: alan123 on December 06, 2014, 09:24:09 AM
I've been mulling over cutting the cord. The biggest obstacle seems to be my kids "have to watch cartoon network". They currently don't stream over any legal service.
Netflix has a kids channel and they do have Cartoon Network shows on there. usually a couple seasons of each. They have Phineas and Ferb and a bunch of the older ones. Hope they post another season of Samurai Jack. You can get a month free to try before you cut the cord.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on December 06, 2014, 10:15:28 AM
There's also Amazon Prime Video.  Lots of current TV shows on there.  Some are current up until last season, some not so recent.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Cedar on December 06, 2014, 10:22:54 AM
There's also Amazon Prime Video.  Lots of current TV shows on there.  Some are current up until last season, some not so recent.

We tried that for one movie and the they sent us a questionaire on how we liked it. Felt invasive.. so we will not be using it again. We don't need a documentation of what we watch.

Cedar
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: kckndrgn on December 06, 2014, 11:06:38 AM
We tried that for one movie and the they sent us a questionaire on how we liked it. Felt invasive.. so we will not be using it again. We don't need a documentation of what we watch.

Cedar
Had Amazon Prime for over 3 years now, never had a questionnaire sent to me, and if I did I just ignored it.  Don't think it matters how you watch TV now, some company some place is tracking what you watch.  Whether it is on Amazon, Netflix, cable or satellite, the owners of the service know what you watch, when you watch.
I think the only way you can avoid it is to watch DVD/Blu-Ray discs and buy them with cash only, no store rewards card either.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on December 06, 2014, 11:33:22 AM
I don't know that I've had a survey either.  I would guess it they wanted to know how the picture was and technical things.  Any streaming, they already know what you are watching.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: TexDaddy on December 06, 2014, 12:02:04 PM
We use mostly amazon prime. We have also been doing it for 3 years and never received a survey. And yes, all that you watch through any of these services is being tracked.

DVDs, blue rays bought for cash with no reward type card and broadcast TV with an antenna is the only hope of not being tracked.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Cedar on December 06, 2014, 01:53:37 PM
I think the only way you can avoid it is to watch DVD/Blu-Ray discs and buy them with cash only, no store rewards card either.

Pretty much what I have done since 2001. Except from 2010-mid2012. Or YouTube.

Cedar
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: TexDaddy on December 06, 2014, 02:36:10 PM
...Or YouTube.

Cedar
Google is tracking this for sure.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Cedar on December 06, 2014, 03:09:05 PM
Google is tracking this for sure.

I am not overly worried about it. But did annoy us about Amazon.

Cedar
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: hackmeister on December 10, 2014, 08:39:46 AM
Just got a notice that my cable bill going up $10. Talked to the wife and we've decided to cut the cord. We're going to try the USTVNow service and Amazon Prime. If the kids weren't so adamant about Cartoon Network we would just go with Hulu+, Amazon Prime & Netflix. On the main tv we're using a Roku2 box. In the mancave I'm going to install Kodi (formerly XBMC) on my MythTV (linux DVR) box. Once we finish watching all of the recordings on the MythTV box I'll just leave Kodi on it. 
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on December 10, 2014, 02:59:28 PM
I didn't know that xbmc changed their name.  I have xbmc running on a Raspberry Pi, so technically it is RaspBMC.  Works well and for $35 and an hour or so, it's a great deal.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Theswerd on December 10, 2014, 03:19:54 PM
We cut the cable a few months ago. Wife misses being able to do some work from home, but it is a pretty big savings for us... something like 60-80 bucks.


I may be getting a new position soon which would require me to be on call and work from home and would also reimburse some of the internet bill. If that happens, it's coming back.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: alan123 on December 10, 2014, 07:33:07 PM
It is not just the cable access bill- they add all the rental charges- remote, cable box, dvr fee, cable modem. They nickel and dime you (adjust for inflation $5 and $10) every chance they get
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Klonus on January 01, 2015, 06:52:36 PM
There is a great podcast on cord cutting called "CordKillers".  It is a great resource for those thinking about giving it a shot.  I have been a cord cutter for about 5 years now and have saved easily $5000 in cable costs during that time.  I have access to about 90% of what I watch for about 5% of the cost.  It can be tricky for sports but I have found that most of the games I watch are available over the air with a digital antenna.  There are so many options these days for streaming services and devices.  Give it a shot.  You have nothing to lose but high cable bills!!!
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: John Doe on January 01, 2015, 09:01:32 PM
Last time I had cable tv was 1991. I can catch most shows using the internet anyways.

yup. EVERY channel has a website & runs episodes..

We bought a 55" smart TV this past Summer & have Amazon Prime & hulu. Finally ditched cable & phone service (we had the bundle) Now we chromecast & watch hulu if we're not watching over the air via a $50 dollar digital antenna.
Cable companies have out priced themselves. We went from $180/ mo for cable internet & phone to $40 for internet  ;D  ;D  ;D
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: r_w on January 01, 2015, 09:39:12 PM
You can buy a lot of dvd's, and they don't have to be from the $5 bin, for what you spend on cable. 

We buy a few good movies, use prime (on DSL) and cut most of the crap shows from our lives.  I don't miss them at all. 
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: mountainmoma on January 02, 2015, 01:14:55 PM
I had cable with faster internet speed and limited basic TV channels, this package being $3 more than just having the internet.

But, last month, I canceled the limited basic TV and took the internet speed down one notch, and, as I had anticipated, we do not notice a difference in the internet speed at all. So, I cut $20 off our monthly bill. I already save as we do not pay cable modem rental, I bought one a couple years ago. It is much cheaper to buy our own, they are a little expensive, but at even $5/month rental fee, it is paid off in a year and then it is just savings.

We do not do gaming online, just movie streaming and regular communication stuff and almost never upload. So, the medium speed is working just fine even when 2 computers are streaming movies
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: gopack84 on January 05, 2015, 12:03:37 PM
Gaming typically doesn't require a big pipe or high speed in terms of Mb/sec. It benefits far more from low-latency which is a bit independent of the speed. Satellite might be fine for streaming movies but it would suck for gaming. For example, I do online gaming all the time with no real problems on a 3.5Mb/s DSL line but I can't stream video to two computers at once. Even streaming to only one computer sometimes is a little jittery. I'm looking at upgrading speed but that would mean switching from DSL to cable for my ISP and that makes me nervous because I work from home full time and the DSL has been pretty stable over the years, even if it is a bit slow sometimes. But with the amount of youtube watching my kids do now, I'm starting to run out of options. I've talked to the phone company and this DSL link is never going to be faster out here. I'm too far from the DSLAM and they're not going to be adding one because there's not enough housing density to justify it on their end.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Smurf Hunter on January 05, 2015, 12:15:20 PM
Gaming typically doesn't require a big pipe or high speed in terms of Mb/sec. It benefits far more from low-latency which is a bit independent of the speed. Satellite might be fine for streaming movies but it would suck for gaming. For example, I do online gaming all the time with no real problems on a 3.5Mb/s DSL line but I can't stream video to two computers at once. Even streaming to only one computer sometimes is a little jittery. I'm looking at upgrading speed but that would mean switching from DSL to cable for my ISP and that makes me nervous because I work from home full time and the DSL has been pretty stable over the years, even if it is a bit slow sometimes. But with the amount of youtube watching my kids do now, I'm starting to run out of options. I've talked to the phone company and this DSL link is never going to be faster out here. I'm too far from the DSLAM and they're not going to be adding one because there's not enough housing density to justify it on their end.

Yup - marketers for ISPs has dumbed down the product details for public consumption.

Bandwidth != latency

Driving around a parking lot a golf cart seems much quicker than an 18 wheeler, but obviously the 18 wheeler has more hauling capacity.
Another metaphor for bandwidth are lanes of highway, while latency is the speed limit.

Would you rather have one lane with a 100mph limit or two lanes at 50mph? 

Generally, for anything NOT realtime, like skype, or live gaming higher latency won't impact the average consumer much. 
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: hackmeister on January 06, 2015, 08:22:24 AM
Dish Network announces Sling online streaming service for only $20 a month:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/dish-network-unveils-web-video-service-1420481845

More options are definitely good.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: hackmeister on January 06, 2015, 10:57:46 AM
I didn't know that xbmc changed their name.  I have xbmc running on a Raspberry Pi, so technically it is RaspBMC.  Works well and for $35 and an hour or so, it's a great deal.

How's the latency with the Rapsberry Pi? Any issues with the HDMI connection? I assume you're running linux on it? My ZotacIon box that was a MythTV frontend died from a static discharge earlier in the year. I was thinking of going this route for a replacement.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on January 06, 2015, 07:02:51 PM
How's the latency with the Rapsberry Pi? Any issues with the HDMI connection? I assume you're running linux on it? My ZotacIon box that was a MythTV frontend died from a static discharge earlier in the year. I was thinking of going this route for a replacement.
When it's in the camper, I run RaspBMC (actually it's named something else now)   When it's in the house, I run RasPlex.  Works wonderfully and I've never had any sort of latency on it.  I have one of those tiny USB wifi dongles in it.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: AvenueQ on January 06, 2015, 08:19:37 PM
Guess they got tired of fighting the pirates: HBO Launches Standalone Streaming Service in 2015 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/15/hbo-streaming-service-go-web-2015_n_5989866.html).

Maybe this will start to catch on?
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on January 07, 2015, 08:31:23 AM
I cut my cable TV about 6 months ago.  I kept internet.   I don't miss the bills and the garbage offerings forcing me to subsidize channels I won't watch.  While I do miss the real-time financial news, that is all I have really lost.   Most other news can be obtained via radio/internet.

I would like to try running an antennae for local channels but I could not even set the clock on my old VCR.  I was very upset when it died to find out that I cannot even record direct from the television to tape or CD/DVD without paying for DVR service via cable.   Grrrrrrrr   >:(

Now when I visit friends I find the TV more of an irritant.  Last night in a hotel room I chose my audiobook over my previous addiction to FNC/FBN and CNBC.   The more I see people glued to their electronic devices with no idea of what is happening within 2 feet of themselves, the more I want to unplug even more than I have already.   8) 8)

 
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: osubuckeye4 on January 07, 2015, 09:18:55 AM
I almost cut cable last year when my "promo rate" expired and my bill jumped from $175 all the way up to $240.

Called Comcast and they set me up with everything I had, plus threw in a home security system and I'm paying $160 a month now.



If it wasn't for live sporting events and Disney Jr. (I have a toddler)... I would have dropped cable a long long time ago and went over to Netflix. The wife and I discuss it at least once a year. Down the road, that's the path we might take.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Smurf Hunter on January 07, 2015, 10:19:39 AM
If it wasn't for live sporting events and Disney Jr. (I have a toddler)... I would have dropped cable a long long time ago and went over to Netflix. The wife and I discuss it at least once a year. Down the road, that's the path we might take.

Sports streamed over the internet or DVR'd are never as nice.  We may eventually get there, but today it's hard to beat watching ESPN in HD from a set top box.

Regarding the toddlers - same deal when my kiddos were younger, but now at 8 and 10 they are perfectly happy with netflix and amazon prime video and can troubleshoot A/V issues better than their dad now :)
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Prodigy on January 07, 2015, 11:31:51 AM
There are a million kids shows on Netflix, so there's no reason you should ever need cable just because of having young children.  Diapers and daycare cost enough as it is - cut the cable cord!

If you want to skip the TV entirely, there are plenty of easy and cheap ways to get over the air TV to your computer if you need that for sports.  You just need a tuner card, and there are even USB ones you just plug in and go.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Josh the Aspie on January 07, 2015, 11:33:57 AM
I just watch TV online for free at Hulu, Crunchyroll, youtube, and a number of other different sites around the internet.

If it's not available for free somehow, then it probably isn't worth the effort for someone else to put it online.

I do not see the point of Netflix or Hulu Plus, when I can get the same stuff for free else-where.

But then my relationship with sports is "If I'm not doing, or preparing to do, why would I be watching?"  The only way I'd watch sports is if I'm at the martial arts tournament waiting my turn / supporting team-mates, or on the side-lines during a football game at a family reunion or the like.  I'd much rather watch a sports anime that teaches me how to do the sport (like the commentary on various bits of bike equipment or techniques in Yoshimura Pedal) than commentary on zoomed out and blurry video of other people playing the sport, that teaches me nothing about how to do it.

So sports fans probably can't go the route I have.  *Shrugs* Different tech for different folks with different interests.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Smurf Hunter on January 07, 2015, 11:49:35 AM

So sports fans probably can't go the route I have.  *Shrugs* Different tech for different folks with different interests.

That's exactly the point.  A live sport contest has a very different dynamic than watching movies, or even a TV series.

I became a sportsfan for social reasons.  Throughout my work and personal life, there are so few things you can hope to relate to other people.  When your local professional team is doing well, and makes the playoffs, it's the talk of the town - and generally a very positive thing for people to rally around.

It is sad that it takes something that amounts to little more than entertainment to bring about this "good will toward men", but it is what it is.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: osubuckeye4 on January 07, 2015, 02:14:13 PM

So sports fans probably can't go the route I have.  *Shrugs* Different tech for different folks with different interests.

I can't even begin to try to defend my love of sports (especially college football and my Buckeyes).

I generally like to consider myself a very rational person, but the amount of time and effort that I spend on sports is entirely irrational and I'm completely aware of that fact.

I enjoy it though.  :)
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Josh the Aspie on January 07, 2015, 05:31:25 PM
I became a sportsfan for social reasons.  Throughout my work and personal life, there are so few things you can hope to relate to other people.  When your local professional team is doing well, and makes the playoffs, it's the talk of the town - and generally a very positive thing for people to rally around.

It is sad that it takes something that amounts to little more than entertainment to bring about this "good will toward men", but it is what it is.

Meh, I get annoyed at talk about stuff that doesn't matter as far as I can see.  I'm one of the guys that hopes the local team looses so he doesn't have to hear about it that bout, or at least that there won't be an extended "playoffs" season I have to hear about.  The only affect that people that play a game I have no interest in has on me is to raise the total acoustic volume over time of 'things I don't care about making it harder to concentrate' at work.  And the more distracted I am at work, the sooner I get fired from my job, so I actually resent sports talk in the office.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: AvenueQ on January 07, 2015, 08:04:00 PM
I would like to try running an antennae for local channels but I could not even set the clock in my old VCR.  I was very upset when it died to find out that I cannot even record direct from the television to tape or CD/DVD without paying for DVR service via cable.   Grrrrrrrr   >:(

My parents still record their shows on VHS tapes. Crude, but it works. You shouldn't need DVR in order to do it, though it will probably take some knowledge of your VHS player to program it. Maybe someone could help you?
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Josh the Aspie on January 07, 2015, 09:27:53 PM
If you purchace a VCR second hand, and give me the model number, I might be able to walk you through setting things.

Lots of things have manuals online.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on January 26, 2015, 01:16:18 PM
Internet based Sling TV (from DISH) is debuting tomorrow for a beginning flat rate of $20/mo. 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/sling-tv-a-giant-step-from-cable-1422270001?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on January 26, 2015, 03:12:40 PM
Seems interesting.  I'd be curious to see if you actually have access to these shows "live" or if it's like the current online access to cable network shows.   
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: hackmeister on February 10, 2015, 07:52:21 AM
Just ordered a Raspberry Pi 2 to build a Kodi box for my family room:
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-16530

Those guys have them in stock and aren't gouging like some vendors. If you plan on doing a build make sure to get a case, power supply and SD card for the OS to boot off of:
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/28-17985
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-16536
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-16320

You'll also need either a remote/IR receiver or a wireless keyboard for navigation. I'm using an old Microsoft usb IR receiver and remote from an MythTV box I built.

Here's a video someone took running Kodi (Openelec build) on Raspberry Pi 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFpkjRV-hI0

It looks much more responsive and usable than the boxes using the original Raspberry Pi.

Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: hackmeister on February 13, 2015, 07:49:55 AM
I got my Raspberry Pi 2 yesterday. Installing openelec (Kodi) took about 3 minutes. The thing is super fast and responsive. It literally boots up in about 3 seconds. Full HD playback with no issues. I setup my main plugins in about an hour. Still have some minor tweaks to do to get everything 100% the way I like it. I'm super impressed by this setup. The only negative is there is no physical power button. I'm planning on installing an old pc switch as described by this article:
http://tech-diggers.com/add-reset-switch-raspberry-pi/

Less than $70 for this setup is a phenomenal deal IMHO. I'm thinking of building a bunch more and handing them out as Christmas gifts for family.

People are also building emulation arcade boxes with these things:
http://pimame.org/



Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Prodigy on February 13, 2015, 08:59:22 AM
People are also building emulation arcade boxes with these things:
http://pimame.org/

Thanks for the link - I think I'm going to try that.  I've been working on an emulator box with just an Ubuntu Linux machine and it's been a pain to get all the different emulators working correctly.  I have absolutely no doubts I could get it working eventually, but if this raspberry pi solution saves me time, it's worth it.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: helix2301 on February 13, 2015, 09:17:22 AM
I cut my cable TV about 6 months ago.  I kept internet.   I don't miss the bills and the garbage offerings forcing me to subsidize channels I won't watch.  While I do miss the real-time financial news, that is all I have really lost.   Most other news can be obtained via radio/internet.

I would like to try running an antennae for local channels but I could not even set the clock on my old VCR.  I was very upset when it died to find out that I cannot even record direct from the television to tape or CD/DVD without paying for DVR service via cable.   Grrrrrrrr   >:(

Now when I visit friends I find the TV more of an irritant.  Last night in a hotel room I chose my audiobook over my previous addiction to FNC/FBN and CNBC.   The more I see people glued to their electronic devices with no idea of what is happening within 2 feet of themselves, the more I want to unplug even more than I have already.   8) 8)

We have basic cable, netflix, amazon prime and hbo. Now that wwe has its own network we are pretty much going to cut cable all together just keep the internet.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: hackmeister on February 13, 2015, 09:18:40 AM
I've been working on an emulator box with just an Ubuntu Linux machine and it's been a pain to get all the different emulators working correctly.  I have absolutely no doubts I could get it working eventually, but if this raspberry pi solution saves me time, it's worth it.
Ubuntu is great. I run it along with Linux Mint on all my machines but it is a bit heavy for anything besides a desktop/laptop setup. The image for OpenElec (Kodi) is like 150 meg! For an appliance like setup the raspberry pi is the way to go. Check out some of the youtube videos for arcade emulators with raspberry pi. Really cool.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Prodigy on February 13, 2015, 11:18:36 AM
Ubuntu is great. I run it along with Linux Mint on all my machines but it is a bit heavy for anything besides a desktop/laptop setup. The image for OpenElec (Kodi) is like 150 meg! For an appliance like setup the raspberry pi is the way to go. Check out some of the youtube videos for arcade emulators with raspberry pi. Really cool.

I've always been an Arduino guy, and for a long time after hearing about Raspberri Pi I always assumed they were competitors, so I never looked into it.  Knowing how different they are now, I will be picking one or two up.  Using one to skip on the cable bill is pretty awesome, but never something I cared to do.  Arcade emulator, though?  Sign me up!
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: hackmeister on February 13, 2015, 12:15:04 PM
I've always been an Arduino guy, and for a long time after hearing about Raspberri Pi I always assumed they were competitors, so I never looked into it.  Knowing how different they are now, I will be picking one or two up.  Using one to skip on the cable bill is pretty awesome, but never something I cared to do.  Arcade emulator, though?  Sign me up!

Arduino in definitely more low level type stuff. I've done some basic robot projects with the kids with Arduino and enjoyed it. It's definitely cool stuff and the scene has just exploded. The raspberry is more of a full blown computer that can handle slim installs of Debian and Arch. People are starting to figure out uses that integrate both platforms together which is great. I've had Kodi running on my old MythTV box for a couple months and it runs great. The appeal of running it on a Raspberry Pi is that it's cheap, uses very little power and performs extremely well. I had a small form factor Zotac Ion MythTV frontend that I built for around $300 while I spent $70 for the Raspberry Pi 2 setup!   
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on February 13, 2015, 05:06:13 PM
What I do with my RasPi is have it plugged into a power strip and I just turn that off.  But I'll look into that switch.

For Linux, I've always been an Ubuntu/Mint person.  But at work I use Red Hat.  I have been playing around with Centos 7 lately to prepare for the Red Hat exam.  Not something I'm running on the RasPi, I picked up a small server and run it there.

Arduino stuff is very cool.  But as you said, it's an entirely different animal.  I never got into Arduino because there are so many different models and I didn't really know where to start.  But since the Raspberry Pi is really just a tiny computer, it makes it very easy to get started.

I would like to learn more about the Arduino.  Could one of you Arduino guys start a thread about it and tell us how to get started and what useful things you've used them for?


Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: cpf240 on February 14, 2015, 09:22:09 PM
This looks pretty cool, thanks for sharing!

Now if I can just find a Radio Shack clearing out some Raspberry Pi components...
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Prodigy on February 17, 2015, 08:37:07 AM
I would like to learn more about the Arduino.  Could one of you Arduino guys start a thread about it and tell us how to get started and what useful things you've used them for?

I don't think I'd have a whole ton to say, but I could make a quick post with some helpful tidbits.  What forum would that even go into?
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: oktheniknow on February 17, 2015, 08:43:31 AM
We just have a tv antenna for picking up local channels. Get movies/shows to watch via the library. Got an Amazon Kindle Fire to download movies when we're on wifi, included with our prime account. Getting rid of Netflix.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on February 17, 2015, 01:55:37 PM
I don't think I'd have a whole ton to say, but I could make a quick post with some helpful tidbits.  What forum would that even go into?
Probably the DIY board.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Prodigy on February 18, 2015, 10:59:59 AM
Probably the DIY board.


http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=53598.0
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: stayfrosty on March 29, 2015, 01:23:13 AM
I've almost convinced my wife to give up cable. We have Netflix, Amazon Prime and just got an Amazon Fire Stick to upgrade our 10 year old TV to a smart tv. We spent some time today playing around with all the options, Youtube, Prime music, looking at old photos and playing apps. I will miss having the Nationals games on in the background but I've read about ways to bypass the mlb.tv system that doesn't allow you to view local teams.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: ChrisFox on March 29, 2015, 09:52:39 PM
More and more of my entertainment is coming from youtube. Every night I get home from work and watch the new episodes of the channels I subscribe to. 30min to sometimes a few hours. I find I don't watch tv shows anymore unless they are finished and I can watch it all in one go. Only one I can't do that with is Game of Thrones, I tried can't do it. Not a sports guy so that's good for me.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 05, 2015, 09:17:53 PM
We recently moved our PC near our TV, and a 15 foot minidisplay to HDMI cable linked them up. It's been great since I can now stream anything I want right on the TV. I'll probably upgrade the optical drive to Blu Ray since we do have a few of those that we enjoy that we can't stream, but until then 98% of our viewing is taken care of. Now if only I could find a solid wireless keyboard/mouse combo that actually worked 10 ft away from their receiver...
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: R_Morgan on April 05, 2015, 10:24:19 PM
Originally we were using the xbox to stream netflix about a year ago switched to roku. 9.99 a monthe for xbox live (on top of netflix charge). In 6 months we broke even on the roku and have been saving money ever since.   We just recently also purchased our own modem to use with time warner. Was 60 bucks docsis 3.0 compatible. Given our semi rural area we won't come close to ever using the full capability of the modem so we are good till it dies. In about 10 months the savings on modem rental fees will pay for itself. Its true if we use our invisbox to stream "free" our movies and tv shows over a latop via usb to our tv we would save on cable etc.  However I don't mind paying a bit for convenience. I have cut the fat down to the most acceptable level I am willing to go. Pay 35 for internet per month for 15 mb down. More than enough to do what we want. It hurts a bit for uploading for my new site but hey. I make a big upload que before I go to bed. In the morning its uploaded then I edit and get posts ready the next day.  Roku is great we have amazon prime for shipping savings and our roi for that is enough to warrant it until they really raise the price. For big bags of gluten free flour we buy we see savings in 3-6 months so until the over double the cost of prime we will stay and that on top of netlfix we have our fill of shows. Plus roku has youtube app (get a roku 3 if you are looking for one the youtube app for that is great compared to earlier ones) plus many other apps like crackle that are free (with commercials).  My brother in law got unlimited data from verizon. Years and years ago for like 30 bucks a month and as long as he doesn't change his contract he has kept it. I'm jealous. He has no cable and just hotspots his phone for internet!  He will get throttled during high use at times but shoot he saves hundreds a year! 
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: GrizzlyAdams on October 02, 2016, 06:22:43 PM
We got rid of cable and stream Netflix and Hulu over XBOX.

Probably going to get rid of the XBOX and switch to Roku or Amazon fire soon to get rid of the xbox fee.

Also, there is so much good content on YouTube, we don't miss cable at all.  It's just a matter of looking for the good content creators in the areas that you are interested in learning about.

GA
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 04, 2016, 11:15:13 AM
We got rid of cable and stream Netflix and Hulu over XBOX.

Probably going to get rid of the XBOX and switch to Roku or Amazon fire soon to get rid of the xbox fee.

If you're referring to Xbox Gold you don't need that to stream online services, only to play online. We use an Xbox that we've had around and stream Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, etc, without issue.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: CarbideAndIron on October 05, 2016, 05:36:26 AM
Are there any ways to watch football on these? We got rid of comcast a couple months back. Don't have anything right now. We are probably getting a firestick so we can get Netflix. But is getting some kind of dish our only choice for getting the basic channels like Fox, NBC, CBS, etc...?
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Beetlebum on October 05, 2016, 07:03:07 AM
Are there any ways to watch football on these? We got rid of comcast a couple months back. Don't have anything right now. We are probably getting a firestick so we can get Netflix. But is getting some kind of dish our only choice for getting the basic channels like Fox, NBC, CBS, etc...?

You may be amazed at what an over the air antenna can get (if you're waaay out of town or in rough terrain, it may be tough). NBC, Fox, CBS, ABC, PBS, CW and sometimes others (along with their subchannels like Grit TV - basically very old reruns) are available over the air.

There are several websites that can show you the closest antennas to you. https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps is the "official" map but there are several online retailers that will sort your specific location to a type of antenna to purchase.

If you're in a relatively populated area like a suburb or better, and are only wanting to connect a single TV, an indoor antenna may work fine. The Mohu Leaf  is the number 1 rated indoor antenna.

If you previously had satellite TV, connecting an outdoor antenna to the existing satellite dish mast is very simple. And you can reuse the existing coax cable runs.

As far as football, CBS shows NFL games relevant to your region and ABC will show select NCAA games from ESPN. Beyond that, you're pretty much out of luck watching football without a major TV provider account and login. If you were able to acquire access to a TV provider login, ESPN, NCAA conferences, NFL etc. all have apps for the major streaming devices (Roku, Fire etc.) you can live stream games.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: CarbideAndIron on October 05, 2016, 01:27:14 PM
You may be amazed at what an over the air antenna can get (if you're waaay out of town or in rough terrain, it may be tough). NBC, Fox, CBS, ABC, PBS, CW and sometimes others (along with their subchannels like Grit TV - basically very old reruns) are available over the air.

There are several websites that can show you the closest antennas to you. https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps is the "official" map but there are several online retailers that will sort your specific location to a type of antenna to purchase.

If you're in a relatively populated area like a suburb or better, and are only wanting to connect a single TV, an indoor antenna may work fine. The Mohu Leaf  is the number 1 rated indoor antenna.

If you previously had satellite TV, connecting an outdoor antenna to the existing satellite dish mast is very simple. And you can reuse the existing coax cable runs.

As far as football, CBS shows NFL games relevant to your region and ABC will show select NCAA games from ESPN. Beyond that, you're pretty much out of luck watching football without a major TV provider account and login. If you were able to acquire access to a TV provider login, ESPN, NCAA conferences, NFL etc. all have apps for the major streaming devices (Roku, Fire etc.) you can live stream games.

Thanks, I'm further out than the suburbs, but I checked the map of signals and it looks like I should get good reception on the main networks I wanted. I ordered the Mohu Leaf 50, so hopefully this will get me my football, and my wife her Hawaii 5-0.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: I.L.W. on October 06, 2016, 08:39:30 AM
Use Kodi (Formerly XBMC)
http://kodi.tv
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr5Mz2Yci4c

This is simply a media player, it doesn't actually bring you content. What it does however is catalogue your content and make it easily browsable. Beyond that, it enables add-ons which supplement the content. For example, if there are non-English parts of the film and you want subtitles, It will get them for you. If you want to know who some actor is, you can pull up their profile and see other movies or TV shows they've been in. It's loaded with features.

To use it, you download your content from whatever sources you have, and it will play them from your hard drive, or over your local network. The advantage to this is that people with connections too slow to stream online media can download it and watch it later without buffering every 20 seconds.

To find content, there is BitTorrent. Some of the content is legal (like the bitTorrent-only "Pioneer One" series), much is free of copyrights, but a lot of it is not. Use common sense there. If you download a major hollywood movie two months before it hits theaters, the MPAA might take issue with that. Network broadcast TV is available for free. While it is a copyright violation, they don't really pursue it. They ask that you visit their site to view it online, and often have incentive bonus or interactive content for doing so, but they don't really lose money on individual downloads as long as they can track the total number of views (which feeds into product placement deals). They could give you problems, but they don't. Then you have free content, usually indie-productions which are distributed freely without any restriction on downloads. Its up to you what content you go after.

TV: eztv.ag
Movies: yts.ag

An over the air antenna is best for live sporting events. There are online means of getting the live feed, but they are flimsy at best and get shut down constantly.

Of course, Netflix, Hulu, Vemeo and YouTube have tons of videos if you have a connection which can support the streams.

Personally, I'm not above downloading from pirate sources. I also have no issues paying for content, it's more a matter of convenience. I won't pay for cable or satelite. Basic packages with the channels I want start at $130 a month. I can't get channels ala carte. I either get 2,000 channels, 3 of which I might watch, or I need the basic package and can't have two of them. Even then, I watch maybe two shows on each of those channels. I would gladly pay the producers of the show directly for those shows. Bundling has driven me away from conventional TV services. Beyond that, a 30 minute show is now 17 minutes long, with 13 minutes of commercials. If I'm paying $130 a month, they don't need to waste 13 minutes of my time to make an additional 10¢ in ad revenue off of me.

The cable industry is dieing. Look at the demographics http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/12/21/4-one-in-seven-americans-are-television-cord-cutters/

The only reason the numbers are that high is that TV service is mandatory in some markets for top tier internet service. I can get 100MBps through my cable company IF I get the TV/Phone/Internet/Home Security bundle. Without that package, I can only get 30MBps. Much of the remaining subscriptions are attributable to Sports fans who don't have as many good online options for major events, and renters who get cable through their rental agreement. The cable companies, rather than innovate and compete for customers have resorted to strong-arming people. Hidden fees, long term contracts, requirements to lease their equipment, bundling services and content. You absolutely should get rid of paid TV service.

There are so many other options for cheap (or free) content. You pay for what you actually watch, the content producers make more money per viewer that way, while you pay less by cutting out the middle-man. No commercials, ever! I haven't seen a TV ad since 2001 (save for the odd superbowl commercial). And you can get real HD content... your HD cable package is upscaled 720p at best (they fake 1080). 4k broadcasts are non-existent in the US TV market. Online, they're all over the place.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Beetlebum on October 06, 2016, 11:06:26 AM
I can't believe the sports channels are holding on so tightly to the cable/satellite providers. Once they finally let go those providers will finally die.

As far as a la carte, Sling TV offers closer to a la carte service at prices generally better than cable and without a contract. I haven't tried it but it looks promising.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 06, 2016, 05:49:54 PM
I was reading/listening to something a while ago and sports channels get a pretty large premium from cable for each subscription that includes them. I don't think it's that they don't want to let go, but rather they can't because it would be financial suicide for them to do it.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: AnnsSolo on October 06, 2016, 05:57:02 PM
Are there any ways to watch football on these? We got rid of comcast a couple months back. Don't have anything right now. We are probably getting a firestick so we can get Netflix. But is getting some kind of dish our only choice for getting the basic channels like Fox, NBC, CBS, etc...?
Sling.tv is the cheapest way to get ESPN, which I only want during NFL season. The four networks we can get over the air. We had a Comcast package for the internet in the big city apartment and so could watch ESPN over the internet at our rural home. But once it doubled in price, we killed it, got a DSL connection in town + Sling for the football, and it's cheaper than Comcast every was. So far the service has been fine.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: farmnurse on October 06, 2016, 06:32:35 PM
Even through we use our satellite and pay the bill to watch current programs and you just can not beat cable for internet (ours is unlimited).

We have also discovered that we can use Kodi app with the exodus addon http://bestforkodi.com/install-exodus-addon-kodi/?

With this we can watch almost anything with a device that can stream. We have it on tablets, PCs, kindle fire stick and our phones
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: will slacker on October 07, 2016, 05:15:52 AM
We to got tired of the high prices of u-verse. So we canceled and use Hulu and Netflix. Sucks I can't get every show (the walking dead ) but I be lived. But I have to say the Amazon Fire Stick is a saver. I was using my Xbox but after I reloaded it was in 24/7 I wanted a different way to let the family stream tv with out wear and tear on a $300.00 gaming system. Enter the $40.00 Fire stick. Turns your tv into a smart tv. Love it. And it supports third party apps.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: jhalstead on October 07, 2016, 05:53:40 AM
Will,

Check out Sling TV, $20 a month will give you AMC (the walking dead) and some other channels you may be interested in as well. Have to be careful not to buy so many 3rd party packages that you eat your savings from cutting cable. But I think this one may be worth it to you.

--
Justin
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: osubuckeye4 on October 11, 2016, 07:40:46 AM
Anyone checked out Playstation Vue yet?
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Mastoo on October 11, 2016, 06:25:22 PM
Anyone checked out Playstation Vue yet?

Playstation Vue being on the Roku got me interested. I did the one week free trial, got too busy to try it, and paid for a month.

I tried it for a week before giving up. Of the shows I looked for, only 1 was available. Although they have the main networks, it seems like they are On Demand flavors of the networks so only a subset of the network content is available.

Also, the availability of local stations varies by locale but in my case none of these were available

For the finale, I couldn't find a way to cancel my subscription. That wasted 15 minutes of my life. Fortunately I signed up with a single-use credit card so I just turned that number off.

Summary: I'm a big fan of Roku, Netflix streaming, and Amazon (Prime) video. Playstation Vue is a joke and I want my $30 back.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: osubuckeye4 on October 18, 2016, 08:55:16 AM
Playstation Vue being on the Roku got me interested. I did the one week free trial, got too busy to try it, and paid for a month.

I tried it for a week before giving up. Of the shows I looked for, only 1 was available. Although they have the main networks, it seems like they are On Demand flavors of the networks so only a subset of the network content is available.

Also, the availability of local stations varies by locale but in my case none of these were available

For the finale, I couldn't find a way to cancel my subscription. That wasted 15 minutes of my life. Fortunately I signed up with a single-use credit card so I just turned that number off.

Summary: I'm a big fan of Roku, Netflix streaming, and Amazon (Prime) video. Playstation Vue is a joke and I want my $30 back.

Thanks for the report.

I figured that it would be buggy/subpar at the outset.

I'm going to wait 6-10 months and double back on the reviews at that time. See if they improved processes at all.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: iam4liberty on October 18, 2016, 10:02:05 PM
FYI.  Vudu has now started adding ad supported movies to augment its rental/purchase offerings: http://www.vudu.com/movies/#new/movies_on_us (http://www.vudu.com/movies/#new/movies_on_us).  Click "view all" to see listings for each genre.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Richard (richard) on October 19, 2016, 06:59:08 AM
I make playlists on my YouTube account and watch them via the YouTube channel on Roku. I have found numerous full-length movies and documentaries on YouTube.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: RitaRose1945 on October 19, 2016, 05:01:46 PM
 :knitting:
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: I.L.W. on October 19, 2016, 09:59:54 PM
Here are legal video sources.

TV Shows
These have lapsed in copyright, were not renewed, or published without restriction. Most are very old (1960's and earlier), but it's a great resource if you like that sort of thing. No special effects, more story telling.
https://archive.org/details/classic_tv

News:
A lot of people don't realize this, but TV news is generally free. Many news agencies also exist in the public domain (virtually all of it, except satirical news or entertainment formats).  This is due to several factors: It's part of the licensing of wireless spectrum for network television. News broadcast that way is exempt from copyright (thought it's a bit more complex than that, that's the general rule). Also, a non-profit organization like a library can lend or distribute materials, including video without infringing on copyright. Archive.org meets the legal criteria of a "library". Additionally, most news providers do not challenge this, as news has very little copyright value (if it's not live, nobody will pay for it), so it's a way to increase their exposure at no cost, and with no substantial loss in profits. TV news is fair play on the internet.
https://archive.org/details/tv

Moives:
These are all legal to download for free.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_in_the_public_domain_in_the_United_States
https://archive.org/details/feature_films?&sort=-downloads
http://www.publicdomaintorrents.info/nshowcat.html?category=ALL *requires a bit-torrent client like utorrent (free)

Vodo:
Newer Indie films, low budget (kickstarter) productions, or just movie producers and professional actors goofing off and putting their independent projects out there for free.
http://vodo.net/films/

TedTalks:
https://www.ted.com/talks

YouTube:
The best video site, hands down. Http://youtube.com
Lots of TV, Movies, and more importantly, user-produced content.

Foreign:
A lot of foreign content is free. When the core audience is over-seas, there's very little incentive to get it copyrighted here in the US, and while that's often not needed, some countries have copyright laws which are not directly compatible with our own. A lot of foreign material (especially non-English) is free in the US.

Getting around Geo-fencing:
If you're trying to access content restricted to a single country, get the GPS coordinates of a place in that country (google maps can help with that). Now in Chrome, Firefox, or Vivaldi browsers, press [F12]
In thee "Console" tab, look for "Emulation" (chrome) or "Sensors" (Vivaldi). Set the GPS coordinates there and refresh the video page.

*Now that you know how to fake your GPS location on the internet, don't abuse it, lol.

Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: RitaRose1945 on October 20, 2016, 08:26:46 AM

https://archive.org/details/feature_films?&sort=-downloads (https://archive.org/details/feature_films?&sort=-downloads)



I'm a HUGE fan of silent movies, and this has long been the best source of them for me.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Black November on October 20, 2016, 08:35:24 AM
Roku & Netflix

+

Clear stream antenna for local channels and Football (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/antennas-direct-clearstream-2v-long-range-hdtv-antenna-black-silver/6847298.p?skuId=6847298)
Title: Cutting the Cord
Post by: Freespool on December 04, 2017, 10:39:17 AM
I currently have ATT internet and TV along with Amazon Prime and Netflix.  Looking at cutting the TV for just DishTV Now and use my Roku devises.  I have kids so they want TV and wife wants her shows but I need to cut some bills.  How do you get TV and internet to keep the family happy without all the bills?
Title: Re: Cutting the Cord
Post by: Zef_66 on December 04, 2017, 11:09:43 AM
We live out in the woods, so internet is only available via satellite. So we have Hughesnet. For entertainment, we use Netflix and Amazon Prime. The kids will agree and pick one show to watch daily. The wife and I will watch one show in the evening. On the weekends, we will splurge and watch a movie or two.

I think instead of focusing on what bills to cut, you need to focus on how to cut the addiction to your TV. I you can't go a week without the TV being on, your family is addicted, and it is unhealthy. Get outside more. Play games. Do family activities. Anything that gets you away from the electronics is a good thing.
Title: Re: Cutting the Cord
Post by: Morning Sunshine on December 04, 2017, 11:53:07 AM
I currently have ATT internet and TV along with Amazon Prime and Netflix.  Looking at cutting the TV for just DishTV Now and use my Roku devises.  I have kids so they want TV and wife wants her shows but I need to cut some bills.  How do you get TV and internet to keep the family happy without all the bills?

can't really help with the wife - she is an adult and can make her own decisions.  With her, you will need to convince her.  Maybe agree to pay for access to her shows on her phone or something.
The kids - cut the cord now.  How old are they?  They will hate you for a while.  they will be bored and wandering around looking for things to do.  Cut them cold turkey.  After a detox period, they will find other things to do and eventually thank you.  Movies - as a family - become a treat and something to look forward to.

You could make it a family thing and suggest an end - "let's cut tv for a month.  that is on devices too.  Just for a month.  Let's see if we can do it."  Then make a list of things everyone can do when they are bored and need something to do.  Biggest thing is to not use the tv as a babysitter.
We did this with sugar - we cut it out for 6 months (with a few "fudges" built in - birthday cake, etc).  At the end, when we went back to sugar, even the 15-yo had a hard time eating just half of what he would have inhaled without thinking a few months before.
Title: Re: Cutting the Cord
Post by: Freespool on December 04, 2017, 12:15:29 PM
I have almost 4 year old twins.  We do use the TV as a babysitter often because I am gone 11-12 hrs a day Mon-Fri and wife needs to clean and make dinner.  On weekends they get it as I get things done around the house like yard work and house fixing.  They are not old enough to help.  We are having some money issues and TV + internet is $200 month.  Could cut to about $75 for just internet and DirectTV now. 
Title: Re: Cutting the Cord
Post by: FreeLancer on December 04, 2017, 12:56:07 PM
Check out Hulu and see how many of the familY’s shows are on there, it’s cheaper than Netflix per month, but you have a few commercials to watch.  If you’re Amazon Prime there is some stuff you could stream for free, too. Over the air TV is free and better quality than cable, and very doable if you’re within 40 miles line of sight of the station, for the local network stuff.  Internet only from Spectrum is $44/mo for me and it’s damn fast, way faster than my AT&T DSL.
Title: Re: Cutting the Cord
Post by: Morning Sunshine on December 04, 2017, 12:59:40 PM
I have almost 4 year old twins.  We do use the TV as a babysitter often because I am gone 11-12 hrs a day Mon-Fri and wife needs to clean and make dinner.  On weekends they get it as I get things done around the house like yard work and house fixing.  They are not old enough to help.  We are having some money issues and TV + internet is $200 month.  Could cut to about $75 for just internet and DirectTV now. 

I have to disagree with the "not old enough to help."  4-6 year olds are the BEST time to teach them to help.  They are soooo excited to be with dad, they will hold things and hand screw drivers.  My then 5-yo pulled frozen chicken breasts out of the freezer, added some broth, covered the pan, and put it in the toaster oven the day her little brother was born.  My husband made the rest of dinner but she did that so it could cook for a few hours.

You have REALLY got to get your wife on board with this.  If she is not, she will be using the tv for the kids behind your back, even if she agreed not to.  And that will cause marital problems.  My kids have never had tv as a babysitter, even when small.  They built with blocks, did puzzles, build with wooden train tracks, etc.
 When they learned to read, that is ALL they do (I have seriously weird kids - they read all the time and fight over whose turn it is to play the piano :o
They can clean up their own messes, unload dishes from the dishwasher, sort laundry, wash sinks and mirrors.  There are a dozen lists with age appropriate chores for children.  Your wife should not be doing everything.  Although, she will feel that it would be faster and easier to do it herself.  She has to change her mindset (and you too "like yard work and house fixing") that you are not doing the things to get them done quickly, but to teach the kids how to do them.  That will free some of her time AND occupy the kids instead of watching tv.
Title: Re: Cutting the Cord
Post by: Cedar on December 04, 2017, 08:10:25 PM
Or you can do what we do. Get to watch DVDs when the generator is running to charge the trailer 12 vt batteries. I get to watch YouTube on my phone at that time, and write emails and stuff on my computer to send later when I go to the cafe that has internet.

My 8yr old  daughter likes likes living off grid enough that I was teasing her if we should get electricity in the cottage we will be building, and she said no. She reads, colors, plays with toys, instead of the "tv" most of the time.

Cedar
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on December 05, 2017, 05:27:33 AM
I've been trying to cut the cord for a couple of years.  But the wife is not on board with it.  So, we still have Dish Network.

Where we get our content:
We have Amazon Prime, but I rarely think to turn to that for viewing.
We have Netflix and that is used A LOT.  I have the "2 can watch at a time" account, and it's a couple of times a month that one of us will get a message saying that 2 people are already watching.
I built up a Plex server and have the 300+ DVDs on it.  I also have about 15-20 full TV series.  I'll also borrow DVDs to put on the Plex server, once they are watched they get deleted to free space.
We've had Hulu in the past, but it was prior to the current way of doing things, so may have to look into it again.

The problem comes down to The Young and the Restless, Hallmark Channel and the local news.  I haven't looked in the past 6 months or so, but there doesn't seem to be any way to get The Young and the Restless without broadcast or cable TV.  We don't have a good line of sight to the towers ~35 miles away, so I don't want to spend the $100 for a good antenna just in case I can't pull in the signal.

Good luck with your quest to cut the cord.  The only thing you can really do is get your wife on board.  Without her buy in, it cannot happen.
Title: Re: Cutting the Cord
Post by: Zef_66 on December 05, 2017, 10:22:37 AM
I have almost 4 year old twins.  We do use the TV as a babysitter often because I am gone 11-12 hrs a day Mon-Fri and wife needs to clean and make dinner.  On weekends they get it as I get things done around the house like yard work and house fixing.  They are not old enough to help.  We are having some money issues and TV + internet is $200 month.  Could cut to about $75 for just internet and DirectTV now.

I agree with MS:

Quote
4-6 year olds are the BEST time to teach them to help.

I have a 4 year old and a 6 year old. They are not hooked to the TV and love to help out. We don't give them chores. They are just expected to help out when asked. And in turn, they find they enjoy doing the things they are asked to do. So much so, on Saturday or Sunday mornings, the 4 year old will often ask me "What do you need help with today." And I love that he wants to spend time with me. Even if it means I have to take a few more minutes to get a picture hung because he wants to pound in the nail. We are doing it together. And it creates work ethic and memories.

I'm right with you that I am gone almost 12 hours a day. My wife stays at home all day with the two littlest ones. And gets the biggest ready for school and off the bus, then starts homework. And usually has dinner cooking by the time I get home. But she does it without using the TV as a babysitter because the kids were never raised that way. Like MS, our kids love to read (even the 4 year old will sit and look at picture books for hours), love puzzles, enjoy building with legos, lincoln logs, blocks, doing crafts, etc. Just last night the two oldest devised a plan to go into each other's rooms and take toys, wrap them in newspaper, and put them under the christmas tree until christmas. They figured they wouldn't miss them much, and then it would be exciting to get to play with them again. So they spent all evening doing this after I got home.

But if your wife isn't on board with it, it will never work.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: CagedFeral on January 20, 2018, 04:34:49 AM
Somehow we are lucky to have att dsl now. I put up an antenna for local and pay for Netflix and Amazon prime. That's enough for me but the wife wants Game of Thrones. I'm paying $16/mo for that too now. Seems like a soap opera with swords to me.

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" is worth every penny right now though!   Love this show!
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Smurf Hunter on January 21, 2018, 03:18:24 PM
Week 2 at our house without cable.  We upgraded to the premium hulu, which costs < 1/3 of our comcast TV.
I also made this antenna as a proof of concept.

(https://i.imgur.com/tnMYG4f.png)

While I haven't been watching much NFL this season, I am currently watching the NE/JAX game in 1080p using a cedar fence board and 12 gauge copper wire bent in very specific ways.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: archer on January 21, 2018, 05:09:30 PM
that's a great antenna
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: LvsChant on January 21, 2018, 08:23:58 PM
We haven't had cable or dish since 2010 or so... we have an antenna on our house and are able to pick up a seriously good number of local channels in our relatively small town (including your soap operas and local news) for free. We also have Amazon Prime and Netflix. We have gotten really spoiled by streaming and almost cannot maintain interest in regular TV through the commercials... I highly recommend cutting the cable.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: Redman on January 20, 2019, 04:52:49 AM
We got rid of cable TV 4 years ago bought a Roku and HD converter and been happy with that and our old analog TV since. Recently our son in law bought us a "smart" TV, came with a bunch of stuff installed. All is good except I can't install the channels some of the other that we like. Stuck with what the manufacturer installed. I still have the Roku and recently thought I could connect to the composite connection on the TV, already got a DVD player there, and run a set up like I had on the old TV. Roku, DVD player connected to a switch box and that connected to the TV.  Switching TV inputs is accomplished via the TV, switching the Roku and DVD accomplished with the external switch box. Haven't done it yet but seems it should work.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on January 20, 2019, 12:20:43 PM
I only sort of cut the cord.

We have YouTube TV to cover the wife's requirement of Young and the Restless.  We have a Roku on each TV.  We also have Netflix, but the kids are the main ones that watch that.

The biggest thing that we watch is movies and TV on my Plex server.
Title: Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
Post by: fritz_monroe on September 21, 2019, 07:45:31 PM
Just renewing the thread.  Looking to see what you guys are doing.

It's now 2 years later and I figured I'd expand on what we are doing.

My wife's Y&R fix is still fulfilled wit YouTube TV.
Netflix fulfills the majority of my daughter's TV viewing.
My son watches mainly YouTube, but occasionally watch stuff on Plex.
The rest of what my wife and I watch is on Plex, but we watch some series on Amazon Prime.  Once the rest of the family go to bed, I watch YouTube.