Poll

What are/will do about your cable/sat bill?

Nothing I don't mind paying that bill
1 (5%)
Buy a Ruko with Hulu Plus and Netflix
13 (65%)
Buy a Apple TV 2 with Hulu Plus and Netflix
2 (10%)
Buy a Apple TV 2 Jailbroken with Hulu Plus and Netflix
2 (10%)
Nothing because I don't know how
2 (10%)

Total Members Voted: 19

Voting closed: May 14, 2014, 10:11:07 AM

Author Topic: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord  (Read 69486 times)

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #90 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

Offline gopack84

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #91 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.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #92 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. 

Offline hackmeister

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #93 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.

Offline hackmeister

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #94 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.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #95 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.

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #96 on: January 06, 2015, 08:19:37 PM »
Guess they got tired of fighting the pirates: HBO Launches Standalone Streaming Service in 2015.

Maybe this will start to catch on?

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #97 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)

 

osubuckeye4

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #98 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.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #99 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 :)

Offline Prodigy

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #100 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.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #101 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.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 11:40:28 AM by Josh the Aspie »

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #102 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.

osubuckeye4

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #103 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.  :)

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #104 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.

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #105 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?

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #106 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.

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #107 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

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #108 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.   

Offline hackmeister

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #109 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.

« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 01:54:44 PM by TexDaddy »

Offline hackmeister

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #110 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/



« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 07:56:47 AM by hackmeister »

Offline Prodigy

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #111 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.

Offline helix2301

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #112 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.

Offline hackmeister

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #113 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.

Offline Prodigy

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #114 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!

Offline hackmeister

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #115 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!   

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #116 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?



Offline cpf240

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #117 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...

Offline Prodigy

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #118 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?

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Save $ Cutting the Cable Cord
« Reply #119 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.