Cutting the cord on Cable

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Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby ejvyas » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:10 pm

Excellent article in WSJ and lots of tips to dump the cable TV and use internet to get the same shows. It also offers advice on antennas, set top boxes, DVRs etc.

I found so many posts here. But this is a good summary
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby dave66 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:44 pm

The only problem with internet TV in it's current state, is that it's mostly pay per view. Decide to watch a show... pay for it... watch. I guess that's fine if that's the way you live your life, but I think a lot of people just put the TV on when there's nothing better to do, and see if something is worth watching... Or leave it on to keep kids busy, or keep tabs on the news, and so on. It's also very hard to know about new shows or what is available, when you just watch one show as PPV. So that's where regular TV is still the way to go.

However... I will say that I think TV, internet, and phone services in the US have become way too complicated, and the service in general is terrible. I was looking to set myself up with something that is easier than what I have, where possibly one vendor provides all three. Closest thing I've found is Uverse. Problem is, with any hardline service, you are at the mercy of that network and all it's inadequacies. And you won't know how bad that is until you get it hooked up. If you look at reviews now days for internet, phone or TV providers, virtually all of them have nothing but negative reviews from people. So right now, it seems like the best you can get, is the best of the bad. I had to call my ISP the other day and got the usual Indian robot treatment. Same thing goes for Dish Network. I don't know how we got to this point.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby mwm158 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:37 am

I can't believe how ridiculous the price is for cable. I would cancel it first and worry about what to do with your time after. I can't believe people pay as much as they do for this service. I wonder how much people end up spending over a lifetime.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby norookie » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:51 am

:peace Thanks for posting the WSJ article.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby ejvyas » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:04 am

dave66 wrote:The only problem with internet TV in it's current state, is that it's mostly pay per view. Decide to watch a show... pay for it... watch. I guess that's fine if that's the way you live your life, but I think a lot of people just put the TV on when there's nothing better to do, and see if something is worth watching... Or leave it on to keep kids busy, or keep tabs on the news, and so on. It's also very hard to know about new shows or what is available, when you just watch one show as PPV. So that's where regular TV is still the way to go.

However... I will say that I think TV, internet, and phone services in the US have become way too complicated, and the service in general is terrible. I was looking to set myself up with something that is easier than what I have, where possibly one vendor provides all three. Closest thing I've found is Uverse. Problem is, with any hardline service, you are at the mercy of that network and all it's inadequacies. And you won't know how bad that is until you get it hooked up. If you look at reviews now days for internet, phone or TV providers, virtually all of them have nothing but negative reviews from people. So right now, it seems like the best you can get, is the best of the bad. I had to call my ISP the other day and got the usual Indian robot treatment. Same thing goes for Dish Network. I don't know how we got to this point.


Its PPV if you want to stick to very particular programs and channel. I cut cable and forced myself to watch free TV and programs online/through antenna and found good alternatives. Important thing is there is a lot of information and alternatives to choose from.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby dave66 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:14 am

ejvyas wrote:Its PPV if you want to stick to very particular programs and channel. I cut cable and forced myself to watch free TV and programs online/through antenna and found good alternatives. Important thing is there is a lot of information and alternatives to choose from.


On air is great, and that's the way TV distribution should have stayed. They did it right the first time. DBS and cable are ridiculously complex and complete overkill for distributing TV. But unfortunately the major networks screwed all that up when they thought they could go toe to toe with other channels and win, instead of just joining together with them and utilizing their broadcast infrastructure. But unfortunately for me, I never watch anything on the air networks. Just never anything I'm interested in.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby ARM0R » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:25 am

After my 2-yr contract finished over Christmas time, I cut the cord. Here is what I've done:
Got RCA ANT1450B indoor antenna (with video amplifier included) and fed it to main input of cable hub and distributed it throughout the house. Cartoon, movie and documentary are streamed from NetFlix ($8/month) with AppleTV.
For old TV, I got converter box.
With iPad (loaded with many movies ripped from DVD - size is ~1GB each), I don't need DVD player for now. Playing movie from iPad is so convenient and we can take it on long trip without carry a bunch of DVD anymore.
We can search and play clips found on YouTube from iPhone/iPad and play it on TV.
Apple ecosystem serves our need quite well.
Going from $70 to $8/month is a significant saving.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby GregLee » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:35 am

I switched from cable TV to satellite four years ago, but satellite is also rather expensive. The problem for me in getting TV elsewhere is bandwidth. I get nothing at all over the air due local topography, and my internet connection -- DSL from my phone company -- is low quality. The only way for me to get enough internet bandwidth for streaming TV would be to, uh, subscribe to cable again.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby Sidney » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:51 am

mwm158 wrote:I can't believe how ridiculous the price is for cable. I would cancel it first and worry about what to do with your time after. I can't believe people pay as much as they do for this service. I wonder how much people end up spending over a lifetime.

Probably less than they pay in taxes or divorce lawyers.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby wander » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:38 am

Sony Google TV is also a good option. It has embedded Chrome browser.
I don't recommend to buy Boxee. I bought it before and had terrible experience with it.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby snyder66 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:10 am

I'm almost there...Down to basic cable and Roku with Netflix. I'm trying to find an HD indoor antenna to get my local in HD. I guess it just comes down to trial and error. Best Buy wasn't very helpful.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby blevine » Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:29 am

There are compromises, probably tolerable to most, but I have stayed with cable,
at least a hybrid. Considered switching to a different provider, but not going totally internet based.

My main reason is sports programming. There are local sports team that I can NOT get on the
internet unless I am already subscribed to cable (and want to pay an additional fee to have both).

I have taken the hybrid approach of using cable for television programming (sports, shows)
but using newer media for movies. I do not subscribe to HBO or any other movie
channel, would rather pay as I go for movies. I use a hodge podge of cable's own "on demand",
Xbox zune, DVD free from library, DVD for $1 from RedBox. Just don't like internet streaming services yet.

I recently upgraded my cable bandwidth to a premium service...from my cable company.
It works very well, and I can surf blazing fast now, but using Amazon video streaming
was still mediocre (better than before but subpar compared to my cable service).
Not sure if others (Netflix) are better than Amazon for streaming movies, but
I find that services that download content is far better than streaming.
xbox zune downloads and allows you to start watching once a sufficient portion
of the content is local, and will download the rest as you watch the beginning.

I spend so much attending one prof sports event, the cost of cable to watch the games
at home is nothing in comparison. While it's not frugal, your kids only grow up once,
and I am happy to have activities we can enjoy together, at home on cable and live at the stadium.
In fact we often go to the movie theater and spend a ridiculous amount compared to $5 for an
on-demand movie, just to do something as a family with the kids.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby dailybagel » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:11 pm

mwm158 wrote:I can't believe how ridiculous the price is for cable. I would cancel it first and worry about what to do with your time after. I can't believe people pay as much as they do for this service. I wonder how much people end up spending over a lifetime.


I think this point deserves emphasis. If cutting to OTA broadcasts leads to less TV time, is that a terrible thing? Our household (made up of roommates) made the switch and have no regrets.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby jebmke » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:18 pm

dailybagel wrote:
mwm158 wrote:I can't believe how ridiculous the price is for cable. I would cancel it first and worry about what to do with your time after. I can't believe people pay as much as they do for this service. I wonder how much people end up spending over a lifetime.


I think this point deserves emphasis. If cutting to OTA broadcasts leads to less TV time, is that a terrible thing? Our household (made up of roommates) made the switch and have no regrets.

True, although there is an on-off button on most remotes.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby Tom_T » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:21 pm

Has anyone had any problems canceling their cable? I've heard stories about Comcast being a real pain when it comes to cutting the cord. I am thinking of doing this. Do I just return the equipment to the local Comcast office (and get a receipt)? And/or call on the phone and deal with their "please stay" sales pitches?
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby dave66 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:52 pm

snyder66 wrote:I'm almost there...Down to basic cable and Roku with Netflix. I'm trying to find an HD indoor antenna to get my local in HD. I guess it just comes down to trial and error. Best Buy wasn't very helpful.



You're never going to get an indoor antenna to work as well as outdoor. Even an outdoor in an attic is going to be better than indoor. They try to sell small antennas with some sort of gimmick or another, but to get the best performance... you have to have an antenna that has elements at the the full half wave lengths, for all the frequencies used in the band. And that means big. Then the higher you get it, the better it will work.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby ejvyas » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:25 pm

Tom_T wrote:Has anyone had any problems canceling their cable? I've heard stories about Comcast being a real pain when it comes to cutting the cord. I am thinking of doing this. Do I just return the equipment to the local Comcast office (and get a receipt)? And/or call on the phone and deal with their "please stay" sales pitches?

Local office return


dave66 wrote:
You're never going to get an indoor antenna to work as well as outdoor. Even an outdoor in an attic is going to be better than indoor. They try to sell small antennas with some sort of gimmick or another, but to get the best performance... you have to have an antenna that has elements at the the full half wave lengths, for all the frequencies used in the band. And that means big. Then the higher you get it, the better it will work.

I use Terk HDTVa indoor antennae which can catch channels almost 50 miles away. I live 30 miles from Boston city with no major broadcasting station besides me

blevine wrote:My main reason is sports programming. There are local sports team that I can NOT get on the
internet unless I am already subscribed to cable (and want to pay an additional fee to have both).


The local channels follow the home team (NFL. MLB, NBA playoffs only, NHL playoffs). These local channels are freely distributed in HD format. Use any good antenna.

My major problem has been the difference in internet only plan v internet+cable plan. I pay $35 for internet+basic cable but internet only plan is $55. So I guess the cable companies are more intelligent now (Comcast n Verizon at least)
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby dave66 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:46 pm

ejvyas wrote:I use Terk HDTVa indoor antennae which can catch channels almost 50 miles away. I live 30 miles from Boston city with no major broadcasting station besides me



An indoor antenna *can* work fine... But for the people that it doesn't... an outdoor is always going to be a far better performer.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby ejvyas » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:54 pm

dave66 wrote:
ejvyas wrote:I use Terk HDTVa indoor antennae which can catch channels almost 50 miles away. I live 30 miles from Boston city with no major broadcasting station besides me



An indoor antenna *can* work fine... But for the people that it doesn't... an outdoor is always going to be a far better performer.

Of course outdoor is the best but in most rental units, condos, townhouses you cannot attach antenna outside just in the attic
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby norookie » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:57 pm

:D ^Above^ Odd, VZ internet only (not FIOS) on BOS border, in Quincy is 17.99. I believe FIOS is just mkt hype anyway. I go from one to another weekly and see no difference^^. By that, I mean FIOS, to VZ internet only @ another location.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby stan1 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:03 pm

What do news junkies do when you cancel cable?

We might watch CNN, Headline News, MSNBC, and BBC at various times during the week (not the talking heads)
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby tj218 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:09 pm

WSJ Live channel on Roku is pretty good for news. It has limited live coverage, but stories on most of the relevant topics of the day.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby blevine » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:27 pm

ejvyas wrote:
blevine wrote:My main reason is sports programming. There are local sports team that I can NOT get on the
internet unless I am already subscribed to cable (and want to pay an additional fee to have both).


The local channels follow the home team (NFL. MLB, NBA playoffs only, NHL playoffs). These local channels are freely distributed in HD format. Use any good antenna.


Simply not true (certainly not universally). We only get maybe one game/week on local channels of our MLB team.
NBA/NHL, most or even all are on cable only, not local broadcast stations. NFL is the only exception.
I see from your post, you are close to Boston. Red Sox own 80% of NESN and all but Friday night games are on cable only.
There certainly is plenty of sports on broadcast, but if you are die hard fan who wants to watch regular season games,
not just playoffs (and many NBA/NHL playoff games are only on cable). I left Dish Network because they refused to carry
anything but the broadcast games for our local MLB team (once/week until playoffs).
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby ilmartello » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:28 pm

cable even on the higher end for all the channels is like 55 bucks a month without dvr.
that's one dinner out a month for a family.

I'd keep the cable, and skip the dinner. I think people put way too much effort into saving 50 dollars a month and then having to create these complex systems with streaming and etc. just to get a worse deal.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby ilmartello » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:37 pm

And how are you going to legally watch shows on television that you watch right now?
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby dave66 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:55 pm

ilmartello wrote:cable even on the higher end for all the channels is like 55 bucks a month without dvr.
that's one dinner out a month for a family.

I'd keep the cable, and skip the dinner. I think people put way too much effort into saving 50 dollars a month and then having to create these complex systems with streaming and etc. just to get a worse deal.


I tend to agree... Saving money is great, but I'm not going to punish myself over it. At some point, what are we living for?
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby magellan » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:01 pm

ejvyas wrote: Of course outdoor is the best but in most rental units, condos, townhouses you cannot attach antenna outside just in the attic

I don't think that's entirely correct. As I understand it, the FCC made a rule to make it tougher for homeowners associations or landlords to prevent owners and tenants from installing antennas and satellite dishes for video reception.

Here's a link to the FCC website with the details.

The FCC wrote:As directed by Congress in Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission adopted the Over-the-Air Reception Devices (“OTARD”) rule concerning governmental and nongovernmental restrictions on viewers' ability to receive video programming signals from direct broadcast satellites ("DBS"), broadband radio service providers (formerly multichannel multipoint distribution service or MMDS), and television broadcast stations ("TVBS").

The rule (47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000) has been in effect since October 1996, and it prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. The rule applies to video antennas including direct-to-home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37") in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas. The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal.

Our homeowners association had a rule that satellite dishes couldn't be visible from the road. One homeowner disregarded the rule and installed a dish on the front of his house. The association contacted a lawyer to see about forcing the owner to relocate the dish and the lawyer said the association would have a tough fight because of the FCC rule.

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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby ejvyas » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:18 pm

magellan wrote:
ejvyas wrote: Of course outdoor is the best but in most rental units, condos, townhouses you cannot attach antenna outside just in the attic

I don't think that's correct. As I understand it, the FCC made a rule to make it nearly impossible for homeowners associations or landlords to prevent owners and tenants from installing antennas and satellite dishes for video reception.

Here's a link to the FCC website with the details.

The FCC wrote:As directed by Congress in Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission adopted the Over-the-Air Reception Devices (“OTARD”) rule concerning governmental and nongovernmental restrictions on viewers' ability to receive video programming signals from direct broadcast satellites ("DBS"), broadband radio service providers (formerly multichannel multipoint distribution service or MMDS), and television broadcast stations ("TVBS").

The rule (47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000) has been in effect since October 1996, and it prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. The rule applies to video antennas including direct-to-home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37") in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas. The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal.

Our homeowners association had a rule that satellite dishes couldn't be visible from the road. One homeowner disregarded the rule and installed a dish on the front of his house. The association contacted a lawyer to see about forcing the owner to relocate the dish and the lawyer said the association didn't have a leg to stand on because of the FCC rule.

Jim


My apartment complex does not allow. The townhouse I lived in previously also did not allow. I also checked out nearby complexes and they also do not allow. They have complex rules about touching or supporting the antenna structure so its not a simple point to prove in court.
Heck they have rules about things you can keep in the balcony and where children can play.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby V572625694 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:04 pm

dave66 wrote:The only problem with internet TV in it's current state, is that it's mostly pay per view. Decide to watch a show... pay for it... watch. I guess that's fine if that's the way you live your life...


That is the way I'd like to watch television, which is only a modest part of my life. All movies at the theater are pay-per-view, and most people consider the risk of not liking a move they pay to see acceptable. It would be better, in my opinion anyway, if you paid a nominal fee to the cable company--say $10/month--and decided for yourself whether it was worth five cents to see a three-year-old rerun of "Two and a Half Men" or $3 to see the Dolphins play the Seahawks or $10 to see "Avatar" in 3-D just after it came out. I would much prefer this to the cable-and-satellite companies preferred system of "bundling," where you have to buy ESPN3 and the right to watch fencing trials from Belgrade in order just you can get, say, CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC. It's just irritating as all get-out to have to pay an annuity to the cable company for the supposed privilege of having access to a bunch of stuff you never intend to watch but which it is in their interest to stream into your home.

The cable/satellite companies' will resist any attempt at unbundling, claiming it's technically impossible, even though they've been offering pay-per-view for many years. I'd hoped that satellite or U-verse would provide the competition to make unbundling happen, but so far, they have not. The Internet might do it, one day.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby Mudpuppy » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:25 pm

ilmartello wrote:And how are you going to legally watch shows on television that you watch right now?

Hulu, iTunes and network websites often have the latest episodes online within a day to month of the broadcast (depending on network). Most have them up for free, so I'm not quite seeing the pay-per-view argument of the original article (except for things like sports and premium cable shows). Amazon and Netflix streaming is also available once the season boxed set comes out. You have to wait, but delayed gratification never hurt anyone, particularly not for something as trivial as a TV show.

stan1 wrote:What do news junkies do when you cancel cable?

We might watch CNN, Headline News, MSNBC, and BBC at various times during the week (not the talking heads)

One of the substations of the over-the-air channels here shows BBC, France 24, and other international news programs. I realize this is a location-specific solution, but you might check for the same in your area. Also, CNN has many of their major stories on their website and MSNBC has a lot of streaming content. And you can check to see if any of your favorite shows have Hulu and/or iTunes accounts, in addition to what might be on the network website.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby topper1296 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:51 pm

I called Comcast to drop my service. I was on hold for about 5 minutes when a woman answered the phone and asked for my number and the reason I was calling. I gave my number and told her I wanted to drop my service. She said I would receive a phone call before the end of the day. Well, 4 hours later I didn't receive the call. Comcast cable. . . . it [removed --admin LadyGeek].
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby aja8888 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:18 pm

topper1296 wrote:I called Comcast to drop my service. I was on hold for about 5 minutes when a woman answered the phone and asked for my number and the reason I was calling. I gave my number and told her I wanted to drop my service. She said I would receive a phone call before the end of the day. Well, 4 hours later I didn't receive the call. Comcast cable. . . . it [removed --admin LadyGeek].


The best way to drop Comcast is take the modem and all the set boxes to their store and cancel it at the counter. I've done that twice so far. Only once with Uverse though.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby ilmartello » Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:34 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
ilmartello wrote:And how are you going to legally watch shows on television that you watch right now?

Hulu, iTunes and network websites often have the latest episodes online within a day to month of the broadcast (depending on network). Most have them up for free, so I'm not quite seeing the pay-per-view argument of the original article (except for things like sports and premium cable shows). Amazon and Netflix streaming is also available once the season boxed set comes out. You have to wait, but delayed gratification never hurt anyone, particularly not for something as trivial as a TV show.




A lot of people prefer to watch tv on their actual television. Seasons that come out later, if you match more than a couple of shows will come out much more expensive.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby Mudpuppy » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:01 am

ilmartello wrote:
Mudpuppy wrote:
ilmartello wrote:And how are you going to legally watch shows on television that you watch right now?

Hulu, iTunes and network websites often have the latest episodes online within a day to month of the broadcast (depending on network). Most have them up for free, so I'm not quite seeing the pay-per-view argument of the original article (except for things like sports and premium cable shows). Amazon and Netflix streaming is also available once the season boxed set comes out. You have to wait, but delayed gratification never hurt anyone, particularly not for something as trivial as a TV show.




A lot of people prefer to watch tv on their actual television. Seasons that come out later, if you match more than a couple of shows will come out much more expensive.

So you get a Roku or any other multi-media device that can access the Internet and stream to the TV (including gaming consoles) to stream from the Internet to the TV. It's really not that difficult. I was even able to buy a $20 RF converter box from Walmart that converted s-video and audio out from my desktop to coax and plug that into the old CRT TV (no HDMI inputs) a couple years ago.

As for expense, Amazon Prime and Netflix are a fixed monthly charge, regardless of how much you watch. You could watch one season, you could watch five seasons. The monthly expense would remain the same. And yes, it would "come out later", but as I already said, a little delayed gratification never hurt anyone.

The only "actual TV" you'd miss out on is channel surfing or using the cable company's cable box. And sports, but that's already been well-covered by others.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby ilmartello » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:52 am

amazon prime and netflix don't carry current tv shows.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby Mudpuppy » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:47 am

ilmartello wrote:amazon prime and netflix don't carry current tv shows.

They do if you're willing to wait for the box set to come out. I'm beginning to feel like you are intentionally overlooking my "delayed gratification never hurt anyone" point about TV shows.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby gabbar » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:26 am

My problem is similar to what was described an earlier poster. My Basic TV + internet is cheaper than internet only at Comcast. So I keep the basic TV and my 30 odd channels.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby ilmartello » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:58 am

Mudpuppy wrote:
ilmartello wrote:amazon prime and netflix don't carry current tv shows.

They do if you're willing to wait for the box set to come out. I'm beginning to feel like you are intentionally overlooking my "delayed gratification never hurt anyone" point about TV shows.


if the object is to save money, buying a box set later is much more expensive
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby Tom_T » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:21 am

Mudpuppy wrote:
ilmartello wrote:amazon prime and netflix don't carry current tv shows.

They do if you're willing to wait for the box set to come out.

No, they don't. They carry a very small percentage of what you can watch on cable on any given night.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby Sammy_M » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:31 am

In my experience, the best and least expensive long-term solution is to connect a computer with a digital tuner to your TV. Windows Media Center is a very powerful and very under-utilized software application. You can feed off of a main home theater PC's (HTPC) Windows Media Center content with extenders (like XBox 360) in other rooms. This approach pairs well with both over the air antennas as well as streaming internet. Hulu, Netflix, etc. seem to put constraints or impose fees on Roku and similar devices that they do not on regular computers. An HTPC is even worthwhile if you maintain cable, as you can cut your ongoing equipment rental expense. It requires a mild amount of tech-savvy, but is really not that difficult.

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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby Random Musings » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:20 pm

ilmartello wrote:amazon prime and netflix don't carry current tv shows.


Hopefully, if I live to an old age, I'll put on my tombstone "In the last year of his life, he missed the most recent year of quality TV broadcasting".

RM
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby cubby08 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:06 pm

Just cancelled the cable portion of my Time Warner Cable (keeping Internet). This thread inspired me to take a look at my last few months of bills which are in the 150-160 range for cable + broadband. I switched to broadband only for $49, so the tv was costing me $100 a month.

For me, its a non-usage issue. I watch some sports occasionally, but don't tv regularly anymore (last show I watched weekly was LOST). I already have Amazon and Netflix and those are enough. Not sure why standard tv was $100 a month since I had no premium (hbo, showtime) channels. I'm going to investigate getting an antenna, but even without it, I dont think I'll be missing much
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby Sidney » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:19 pm

Random Musings wrote:
ilmartello wrote:amazon prime and netflix don't carry current tv shows.


Hopefully, if I live to an old age, I'll put on my tombstone "In the last year of his life, he missed the most recent year of quality TV broadcasting".

RM

Which year was that?
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby Toons » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:26 pm

gabbar wrote:My problem is similar to what was described an earlier poster. My Basic TV + internet is cheaper than internet only at Comcast. So I keep the basic TV and my 30 odd channels.




Yep,its called Bundled services,a way for the cable company to keep your eyeballs viewing the constant stream of advertising on cable stations.
For those of you who have a few years on you can you recall when there was little if any advertising on cable,way back when :D :D :D
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby nonnie » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:13 pm

stan1 wrote:What do news junkies do when you cancel cable?

We might watch CNN, Headline News, MSNBC, and BBC at various times during the week (not the talking heads)


+1 although since we only watch two of those channels regularly, esp. BBC I'm not sure we're "junkies." :D

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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby supersharpie » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:34 pm

I doubt anyone posting about cutting cable are big baseball fans. The only way to watch your favorite team (assuming you live within that team's proprietary blackout zone) is to have a cable or satellite package.

If I didn't care about sports I would cut it all and stick with Netflix and Hulu Plus ($15.98 a month combined)
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby awval999 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:45 pm

Lol. If I cut the cord on cable my girlfriend would be cutting the cord on something else that I like more than money.

I get 15Mbit internet + HD cable for $99/month (after taxes and fees). Doesn't seem that bad of a deal. I get WOW! over here.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby topper1296 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:41 pm

topper1296 wrote:I called Comcast to drop my service. I was on hold for about 5 minutes when a woman answered the phone and asked for my number and the reason I was calling. I gave my number and told her I wanted to drop my service. She said I would receive a phone call before the end of the day. Well, 4 hours later I didn't receive the call. Comcast cable. . . . it [removed --admin LadyGeek].


I called [Comcast --admin LadyGeek] again and downgraded my service for now. Once college basketball season is over, I will drop down to the bare bones package that still has ESPN, ESPN2, and CNBC. I will even drop the HD service at that time and use rabbit ears to watch some stations in HD and stream over the internet for more HD. I figure this is a decent intermediary step to cutting the cable completely. On a side note, [Comcast --admin LadyGeek] cut me a 6 month deal on my downgraded package.
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby aja8888 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:58 am

topper1296 wrote:
topper1296 wrote:I called Comcast to drop my service. I was on hold for about 5 minutes when a woman answered the phone and asked for my number and the reason I was calling. I gave my number and told her I wanted to drop my service. She said I would receive a phone call before the end of the day. Well, 4 hours later I didn't receive the call. Comcast cable. . . . it [removed --admin LadyGeek].


I called [Comcast --admin LadyGeek] again and downgraded my service for now. Once college basketball season is over, I will drop down to the bare bones package that still has ESPN, ESPN2, and CNBC. I will even drop the HD service at that time and use rabbit ears to watch some stations in HD and stream over the internet for more HD. I figure this is a decent intermediary step to cutting the cable completely. On a side note, [Comcast --admin LadyGeek] cut me a 6 month deal on my downgraded package.


What happens after 6 months?
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Re: Cutting the cord on Cable

Postby pete82 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:52 am

stan1 wrote:What do news junkies do when you cancel cable?


CSPAN!

Their video library is searchable by topic and person. Incredible learning resource. As unbiased as you're likely to find anywhere.

http://www.c-span.org
"What everybody else knows is not worth knowing." - Gerald M. Loeb
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