Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

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DSInvestor
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby DSInvestor » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:56 am

Triple digit golfer wrote:Hi again all, OP here.

Would 10 mbps internet be adequate? Our house is just my wife and me, with a baby on the way, so at any one time the most devices we'd have streaming is two.


I think 10Mbps would be fine for you as long as you're not doing 4K. I once had 15Mbps service and was able to do two simultaneous streams in HD (720p or 1080p). Here's a link to netflix's internet connection speed recommendations:
https://help.netflix.com/en/node/306

Lifewire Internet speed requirements for video streaming:
https://www.lifewire.com/internet-speed ... ng-1847401

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Midpack
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Midpack » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:59 am

DSInvestor wrote:
Triple digit golfer wrote:Hi again all, OP here.

Would 10 mbps internet be adequate? Our house is just my wife and me, with a baby on the way, so at any one time the most devices we'd have streaming is two.


I think 10Mbps would be fine for you as long as you're not doing 4K. I once had 15Mbps service and was able to do two simultaneous streams in HD (720p or 1080p). Here's a link to netflix's internet connection speed recommendations:
https://help.netflix.com/en/node/306

Lifewire Internet speed requirements for video streaming:
https://www.lifewire.com/internet-speed ... ng-1847401

+1. PlayStation Vue recommends 10 mbps for HD, plus another 5 mbps for each additional device/stream. I have 10 mbps, and it's fine 98% of the time. I don't run into loading/buffering issues often, and when it happens, it's usually only for a few seconds. Once or twice a month, a video will freeze, and I have to close and re-open - I'm willing to accept that since I'm saving $509/year using streaming vs satellite. YMMV

Like the post above says, if you want 4K, you're going to need significantly more bandwidth though.
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TallBoy29er
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby TallBoy29er » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:13 am

Triple digit golfer wrote:Thanks to all. I am only 32 but I feel like I'm a dinosaur when it comes to some of the newer technology.

So I could essentially cut my $140 a month cable bill and instead spend $60 for internet only, plus $10 or $20 for a streaming service or two, plus spend around $100 or less for a Roku or other device to make my dumb TV smart.

Seems like a no brainer.


You got it. No new tv required.

If you want local stations, pick up an old fashioned antennae. A good mix of old and new together.

One other thought - if you are an Amazon Prime member, you get their video streaming service as part of the deal (as well as streaming music for free).

Triple digit golfer
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Triple digit golfer » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:16 am

Thanks all. I had already looked at recommendations from Hetflix and Hulu but I just was wondering in practice if anybody had any problems at 10 mbps. Sounds like that should be adequate.

MI_bogle
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby MI_bogle » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:21 am

Triple digit golfer wrote:Hi again all, OP here.

Would 10 mbps internet be adequate? Our house is just my wife and me, with a baby on the way, so at any one time the most devices we'd have streaming is two.


I think you'll be fine with those speeds

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby 2tall4economy » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:18 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote:Thanks to all. I am only 32 but I feel like I'm a dinosaur when it comes to some of the newer technology.

So I could essentially cut my $140 a month cable bill and instead spend $60 for internet only, plus $10 or $20 for a streaming service or two, plus spend around $100 or less for a Roku or other device to make my dumb TV smart.

Seems like a no brainer.


Yep, it is. And buy your own cable modem for $70 and reduce your bill another $10/month.

If you don't watch sports you probably won't notice a difference. I certainly don't. I have netflix but I barely use it (mostly stand up comedy for me and cartoons for the kids).
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cutterinnj
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby cutterinnj » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:15 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote:Hi again all, OP here.

Would 10 mbps internet be adequate? Our house is just my wife and me, with a baby on the way, so at any one time the most devices we'd have streaming is two.



I BELIEVE that should be fine for 2 non-HD streams (3-4 mbps?)

Much beyond that might clog things.

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tdhg566
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby tdhg566 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:06 pm

I won't comment on cable cutting as there is way more information about that on the Internet than a person can absorb in a lifetime, and your options are limited by the services offered in your area.

But with regard to smart TVs, I hate them. Tried the apps when we first got the TVs (high end TV failed under extended warranty, couldn't be fixed, got two current model TVs for the price we paid for one just 3 years ago). They didn't work well. Upgraded our Roku boxes to model 4 and couldn't be happier. All streaming services come through Roku, with the TVs as the master "switch" between game units, Apple TV, Roku, etc depending on the room.

Now if they would just put a switch on the back to eliminate all the smart stuff, I'd be in heaven.
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Triple digit golfer
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Triple digit golfer » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:19 pm

One final question, hoping for some personal experiences. I read some prior threads and Googled a bit and can't seem to find a definitive answer. I want to stop renting my Comcast modem and router and buy one. Is an "N" modem adequate or is "AC" recommended? House is 2,000 square feet.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby pennstater2005 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:31 pm

tdhg566 wrote:But with regard to smart TVs, I hate them.


The problem I expect to have with our smart TV is that eventually they'll stop updating the apps. It happened with our Blu Ray player about 2 years after we bought it. Couldn't use YouTube on it anymore. I was ticked! I may regret buying this smart TV. But for now it's pretty nice.
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knpstr
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby knpstr » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:40 pm

Roku + Sling + Netflix + OTA antenna

All the cable channels I care about (in HD) and local channels (in HD) withe some movies and unique shows from Netflix.

All for $29.98/month

Cable TV is a dinosaur. No need to bother with a Smart TV, the roku works better than TV apps
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inbox788
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby inbox788 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:16 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote:One final question, hoping for some personal experiences. I read some prior threads and Googled a bit and can't seem to find a definitive answer. I want to stop renting my Comcast modem and router and buy one. Is an "N" modem adequate or is "AC" recommended? House is 2,000 square feet.

What do they rent you and how much?

You couldn't have said it better yourself, an N modem is adequate, but I'd recommend one of the newer AC modems.

Seriously, most likely you'd benefit from a better setup with a newer AC routers. It all depends on your modem placement and where you're trying to reach. You probably don't need AC3100 (around $200 range), but should go at least AC1900 (around $100).

Triple digit golfer
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Triple digit golfer » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:14 pm

Would these two be a a good combo with a 10 mbps internet for a 2,000 square foot house with two people?

Modem: https://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-SURFboard- ... oard+modem

Router: https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-AC1750-R ... reports-20

hille141
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby hille141 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:35 pm

We have Netflix ($10/month), Amazon Prime ($100/year), and DirecTV Now ($35/month) for streaming services. Devices we can stream from are Roku 3, Apple TV 4, and Xbox One. Local channels are pulled through an antenna and played through the Xbox One. For internet, we had 8 mbit at $60/month for the last 3 years. Just recently upgraded to 15 mbit for $70/month. They will be running fiber to our house this summer so that will increase the speeds and bring down prices.

Personally, I wouldn't use or recommend relying on any of the built-in apps in TVs. These will quickly become outdated and lack the features available with the standalone devices like Roku. Also, many apps may never be available for your specific device.

For us the only option for TV was satellite or antenna. I refuse to pay the money for satellite or put one on the house again (previous owner had two I promptly unbolted and threw off the roof). Streaming is a good option for us.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby furwut » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:44 pm

10 Mbps is what I have and there is little to no issue streaming HD. As TSR said above, however, if you are streaming on the TV and someone else begins simultaneously steaming a video on the laptop you might experience buffering (e.g., pausing).

furwut
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby furwut » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:48 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote:Would these two be a a good combo with a 10 mbps internet for a 2,000 square foot house with two people?

Modem: https://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-SURFboard- ... oard+modem

Router: https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-AC1750-R ... reports-20


Comcast has an approved list of customer supplied modems that they will support. I have that Surfboard and it is supported by Comcast in my region as a legacy. In fact that model was the one given out by Comcast itself. However Comcast no longer supports company supplied Surfboard SB6141s On rare occasions when I need technical support it's always a big argument about my modem. Thus I recommend you work off their most recent modem list.

mouses
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby mouses » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:52 am

mhc wrote:Where I live, it is usually better to bundle the most basic cable tv package with internet to get the best pricing from Comcast.


Where I live it's impossible to get an Internet only package from Cox. Their lowest price package is Internet + tv, and I haven't had a tv for years.

inbox788
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby inbox788 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:03 am

Triple digit golfer wrote:Would these two be a a good combo with a 10 mbps internet for a 2,000 square foot house with two people?

Modem: https://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-SURFboard- ... oard+modem

Router: https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-AC1750-R ... reports-20


Cheap bundle. Don't know if it's any good in your situation.

NETGEAR Smart WiFi Router AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit & High Speed DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Bundle
$69.98 & FREE Shipping
https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Router-A ... 01DKWGNEG/

Triple digit golfer
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Triple digit golfer » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:29 am

inbox788 wrote:
Triple digit golfer wrote:Would these two be a a good combo with a 10 mbps internet for a 2,000 square foot house with two people?

Modem: https://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-SURFboard- ... oard+modem

Router: https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-AC1750-R ... reports-20


Cheap bundle. Don't know if it's any good in your situation.

NETGEAR Smart WiFi Router AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit & High Speed DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Bundle
$69.98 & FREE Shipping
https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Router-A ... 01DKWGNEG/


That's a heck of a deal! I wonder why so cheap?

Triple digit golfer
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Triple digit golfer » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:05 pm

I just purchased the $69.98 bundle. Thanks again, inbox788!

Trev H
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Trev H » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:19 pm

I have 3 mbps (ATT DSL)... best I can get at my location.

We can stream Ok on two devices... but if the 3rd joins in we start getting lots of pauses, loading, etc...

I would not recommend a Smart TV... Get a Dumb one... and use a Roku Device for the streaming.

I had a dumb Sony 1080p LED TV that we used with the Roku 3 player... and it worked great.

Upgraded to a new Vizzo 4K Smart TV 55" ... but we did not like the streaming app and functions built into the smart tv.

I installed the Roku 3 on one of the HDMI ports and we use it rather than the smart tv streaming options...

Roku is just BETTER !

And I expect you would save some $$$ by not paying the extra for the Smart in the Display.

Trev H

sketchy9
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby sketchy9 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:59 pm

Just beware of smart TVs and security risks. Not sure if posting the story would violate forum rules, but do an internet search of that topic to learn more. Keep in mind that many of the embedded operating systems on smart TVs and the like are never or infrequently updated compared to, say, a computer or Roku/apple TV.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby knpstr » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:21 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote:I would think that I need a pretty fast internet connection. In my area AT&T offers a 45 mbps service for $40, which goes up to $50 after 12 months. Add taxes and fees and it's probably $60.


My comcast internet is a speed of 20 mbps and has no problem running Netflix and SlingTV

haven't had cable in 3 years or so
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Jackson12
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Jackson12 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:10 am

pennstater2005 wrote:
tdhg566 wrote:But with regard to smart TVs, I hate them.


The problem I expect to have with our smart TV is that eventually they'll stop updating the apps. It happened with our Blu Ray player about 2 years after we bought it. Couldn't use YouTube on it anymore. I was ticked! I may regret buying this smart TV. But for now it's pretty nice.


We had a Sony Google tv and it was great but the apps stopped updating and, although we didn't know it was even a possibility, the remote stopped working when Sony cut their contract with the company making the remote ('or vice Versa).

It seemed like it was soon after we bought the tv but time flies and it was really years. But not enough years.

Until the apps failed , we had direct access to Netflix, Google, etc...all by using the remote and scrolling through a menu at the bottom of the screen.

All I know is that in the course of a day, the tv stopped functioning as it once had..as did the remote control.

We got around that by hardwiring he tv to the router and modem and using a Fire stick in a port . Eventually it will be outdated as well.
Last edited by Jackson12 on Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

cookiez
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby cookiez » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:23 am

Oh, and btw, Roku is on the expensive side. Amazon Fire TV stick or google chromecast can be get ~$30.

And me? I only stream over iPad/Laptop so no device at all. And I have a comcast for 10Mbps $30/month.

Jackson12
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Jackson12 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:35 am

Casper wrote:
bloom2708 wrote:At $117 you are on the lower end of what people with "full cable" might be paying. So you are fine staying put. Some are paying $150, $175 for their internet/phone/tv bundles.

Our internet is $42.95, Playstation Vue is $34.99 and Netflix is $11.99. $89.93 total. I agree it isn't worth switch for ~$30/month. Especially if you are now missing channels you watch. (For some, $30/month might be enough savings to justify).

One thing I do like about our current setup with Fire TV/Fire Sticks is the simplicity. I ripped out all the cable boxes, coax cable runs, HDMI cords from cable/dvr boxes, extra audio cables, etc. Each TV has a Fire TV or a Fire stick. Watch what you want. Or leave it off. We are luckly that our internet bandwidth is "unlimited". If that ends, then I can easily see moving back to a cable package. Although going back would be hard.

I must be in an area (Philly metro) where competition is keeping prices a little lower.



Firestick is awesome, and you're right about the simplicity. We had a 10-year-old TV in the basement we didn't know what to do with, so we got a firestick, plugged it in, and off you go.

Amazon must be trying their hardest to sign up some sports networks, because if they did then it would be a no-brainer for a lot of people, including me.

Anazon is making progress in signing sports networks. MLB is about to hit Fire tv and is already available without a cable tv package : http://exstreamist.com/how-to-watch-mlb-network-online/

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Midpack
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Midpack » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:48 am

furwut wrote:10 Mbps is what I have and there is little to no issue streaming HD. As TSR said above, however, if you are streaming on the TV and someone else begins simultaneously steaming a video on the laptop you might experience buffering (e.g., pausing).

+1. I've been streaming 1080p every day for more than a year, loading/buffering issues are very rare, and short lived when they occur. However, I am usually streaming in device at a time, never more than two at once.

While I'd also wholeheartedly recommend a Roku or other streaming device with/instead of a smart TV like others above - my Samsung smart TV receives periodic software updates, though I have no idea what they include. So at least with Samsung, they do receive software updates.
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HomerJ
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby HomerJ » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:56 am

DSInvestor wrote:You don't need a smart TV. I have a dumb TV and use streaming boxes like Roku and Apple TV to access services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video. Note that Apple TV does not support Amazon Video. I started with Apple TV and then bought a Roku 3 to get Amazon Video.


Do NOT buy a "smart" TV, is my opinion. At least not with built-in Roku.

Built in Rokus have their own wireless channel (for a remote that no one uses - the normal remote is fine) that can interfere with your home's wireless channel. And you can't turn off a built-in Roku without turning off the entire TV. Nor can you change the wireless "channel" on the built-in ones. Even if you change your wireless "channel" on your home router, the Roku (which is hooked up to your wifi after all), will change ITS "channel" to match.

Normally, it's not a problem, but if you have any wifi trouble while watching TV, it can be very annoying.

I would only buy a stand-alone box, not the built-in ones.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby BogleBoogie » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:11 am

No regrets here, cut cable over a year ago. We bought the apple TV devices (our TV's aren't smart :happy )

If you have friends or family that DO have cable, you may be able to utilize their passwords to access channels on your TV that are really intended for mobile devices for the cable subscriber. I called the cable company to confirm this wasn't against the rules. Surprisingly, the cable company had no issues with doing that.

DSInvestor
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby DSInvestor » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:36 am

Triple digit golfer wrote:Hi again all, OP here.

Would 10 mbps internet be adequate? Our house is just my wife and me, with a baby on the way, so at any one time the most devices we'd have streaming is two.


You can always try with what you have. Do you have any streaming devices right now? If you do not have a Roku or similar device, try streaming on your PCs/tablets/smart phones simultaneously. IMO, 10Mbps would be fine for 1 stream and possibly two streams. I had 15Mbps service and was able to use it with 2 simultaneous HD streams and internet usage on PC/iPads.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby flyingbison » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:52 am

cookiez wrote:And me? I only stream over iPad/Laptop so no device at all. And I have a comcast for 10Mbps $30/month.


Same here. We have an Amazon firestick, but only use it a couple times a year.

Jackson12
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Jackson12 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:08 pm

flyingbison wrote:
cookiez wrote:And me? I only stream over iPad/Laptop so no device at all. And I have a comcast for 10Mbps $30/month.


Same here. We have an Amazon firestick, but only use it a couple times a year.

For about $16 and an HDMI cable male to male cable you can connect your iPad to your tv (if it has a port ) and get a larger picture.

It doesn't bother me to watch HBO or Netflix or laptop on an iPad but when we have friends over its nice to have the large screen option. The cable Works great with YouTube and HBO and we also experiment with viewing free online shows like Comedians In Cars Drinking Coffee, ( a free Internet series) or the Louis. c.K show ( free online) Horace and Pete. And whatever else we can find.

What we got was a A Male to A Male Cable which Supports Ethernet, 3D, 4K video and Audio Return Channel (ARC) It connects Blu-ray players, Fire TV, Apple TV, PS4, PS3, XBox one, Xbox 360, computers and some iPads ( just check that you get right cable ) other HDMI-enabled devices to TVs, displays, A/V receivers and more

The Cable allows you to share an Internet connection among multiple devices without the need for a separate Ethernet cable

We got the one that supports bandwidth up to 18Gbps and backwards compatible with earlier versions
We got the Cable Length: 10 feet (3 meters) but you can get longer or shorter ones,
Last edited by Jackson12 on Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Jackson12
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Jackson12 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:13 pm

BogleBoogie wrote:No regrets here, cut cable over a year ago. We bought the apple TV devices (our TV's aren't smart :happy )

If you have friends or family that DO have cable, you may be able to utilize their passwords to access channels on your TV that are really intended for mobile devices for the cable subscriber. I called the cable company to confirm this wasn't against the rules. Surprisingly, the cable company had no issues with doing that.


Netflix used to be fine with this. When a son moved to another city, I called Netflix and asked them if he could do this . They said, " No problem" I only write that they "used to be okay with this" because I have no idea of current policies and our son doesn't watch Netflix any more ( imagine that)'

MathWizard
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby MathWizard » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:55 pm

I was fine with 2 HD's streaming netflix on a 13 Mbit calble internet. I upgraded to
50Mbit (for $5/month) when they started charging me $10 for going less than 50 GB
over a 250 GB data cap.

The 50 Mbit subscription doubled my data cap, so I have faster internet, but didn't
really need it, as much as I needed a higher data cap.

cookiez
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby cookiez » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:05 am

iPad works too. Although there is no reason not to buy a Chromecast for $20 as priced last black friday, except those like me who doesn't own a TV.

Jackson12 wrote:
flyingbison wrote:
cookiez wrote:And me? I only stream over iPad/Laptop so no device at all. And I have a comcast for 10Mbps $30/month.


Same here. We have an Amazon firestick, but only use it a couple times a year.

For about $16 and an HDMI cable male to male cable you can connect your iPad to your tv (if it has a port ) and get a larger picture.

It doesn't bother me to watch HBO or Netflix or laptop on an iPad but when we have friends over its nice to have the large screen option. The cable Works great with YouTube and HBO and we also experiment with viewing free online shows like Comedians In Cars Drinking Coffee, ( a free Internet series) or the Louis. c.K show ( free online) Horace and Pete. And whatever else we can find.

What we got was a A Male to A Male Cable which Supports Ethernet, 3D, 4K video and Audio Return Channel (ARC) It connects Blu-ray players, Fire TV, Apple TV, PS4, PS3, XBox one, Xbox 360, computers and some iPads ( just check that you get right cable ) other HDMI-enabled devices to TVs, displays, A/V receivers and more

The Cable allows you to share an Internet connection among multiple devices without the need for a separate Ethernet cable

We got the one that supports bandwidth up to 18Gbps and backwards compatible with earlier versions
We got the Cable Length: 10 feet (3 meters) but you can get longer or shorter ones,

cutterinnj
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby cutterinnj » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:56 am

I just completed my biennial Comcast negotiation, in an effort to "cut the cord".

Bottom line: I "failed" to cut the cord, but I'm paying a heck of a lot less than many who do for a LOT of cable services!

My family relies on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime (which my wife subscribes to solely for the shipping, but we end up using the video perks as well.)

I believe that Comcast is becoming more desperate in trying to keep customers "on the cord", and that may be a good thing for us!
It is well known that their retention agents get penalties if they lose a subscriber to any of their services (i.e. downgrade from cable+internet to just cable, or something like that) and they are able to "offer the world" to keep their numbers up.

This time around, I was able to get:
Blast! Internet (200 mbps, enough for around 10 4k streams at once. Overkill, for sure.)
XFinity X1 with HD (we used to have just an old 10+ year old receiver that we never used)
Streampix (their streaming/Netflix competitor)
HBO
Showtime

for 2 years, $70 all in (plus just under $8 in "fees", so really right around $78)

To get JUST high speed internet would've cost me $85 at that time;
now, I could've negotiated further down to probably $50-$60 for slightly less speed, but for an extra $20 over internet alone, I'm now getting Showtime, HBO, HD TV, Streampix (including all the Netflix-like apps so we can watch anywhere on any device)

This ends up being a lot cheaper than the equivalent Sling/Playstation Vue/etc packages.

I'm pretty sure that the deals will only continue to get better as Comcast gets more desperate.

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Midpack
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Midpack » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:13 pm

That's incredible, ^^^, congrats. I thought I did well getting Dish Network from $82+/mo to $43+/mo.

Could you elaborate on your TV package? How many channels? How many TV's? DVR?

And what does it go to after 2 years, though I assume you'll move on anyway.

Regardless you've done way better than most!

It'll probably take quite a while, but streaming is going to cripple or kill off cable and satellite TV - they're saddled with the overhead of more infrastructure and costly in-home service. And those who provide internet, like Comcast, will get a lot of their revenue back there. Dish and DirecTV can't make it up on internet (too slow), they rolled out Sling and DirecTV Now to keep their foot in the door. But PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, Hulu Live and others will hamper them there. Interesting times.
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inbox788
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby inbox788 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:19 pm

cutterinnj wrote:I'm pretty sure that the deals will only continue to get better as Comcast gets more desperate.

I like getting a deal as much as the next guy, but I'm getting tired of having to negotiate at every turn. But if you don't, you're stuck paying more. It's like coupons and rebates that trade hassle and time for money.

Cable companies aren't the only ones who play this game of raise prices and negotiate lower with customers who balk. Pay high prices or waste time with haggling with the retention department. Works for a monopoly, but thankfully, there is a third option of cutting the cord.

Wish there was a way to get Everyday Low Prices on these types of services.

sleepwell
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby sleepwell » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:07 am

I don't know if this would help, but if you mainly watch TV shows which are provided by the major networks (NBC, CBS, ABC) and simply don't want to pay for cable, perhaps an antenna such as the Leaf by Mohu would suffice. It's less than $50, it is flat so you can hang it on your wall behind a picture where it doesn't show, and it will allow you to watch all the local channels in your area. My neighbor has one and he gets wonderful HD reception on his television, including public TV stations as well as the Big 3 networks and FX. A couple of friends who travel in RVs also have these antennas and are pleased with them. You don't need a smart TV but it does have to be an HD TV.

Sleepwell

Atilla
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Atilla » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:17 am

Dropping cable turned out to be way better than we thought it would when we did it over a year ago. The only downside is some college and pro football games aren't available - but we can live with that. That's why they invented taverns with televisions.

Roku 3 boxes with regular TVs; we pay for Hulu Prime and Netflix, plus log into Amazon using our mother in law's account. The variety compared to cable is beyond outstanding. No commercials and you can pause or stop watching a show any time and resume later.

All this for about $20 a month. Digital antenna brings in another 20+ channels. It's a complete no-brainer for us.
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Midpack
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Midpack » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:39 am

sleepwell wrote:I don't know if this would help, but if you mainly watch TV shows which are provided by the major networks (NBC, CBS, ABC) and simply don't want to pay for cable, perhaps an antenna such as the Leaf by Mohu would suffice. It's less than $50, it is flat so you can hang it on your wall behind a picture where it doesn't show, and it will allow you to watch all the local channels in your area. My neighbor has one and he gets wonderful HD reception on his television, including public TV stations as well as the Big 3 networks and FX. A couple of friends who travel in RVs also have these antennas and are pleased with them. You don't need a smart TV but it does have to be an HD TV.

Sleepwell
An OTA antenna works very well in most urban areas, but not everywhere. Depends on distance to broadcast towers, and relative elevation and obstructions. We're lucky, we get over 40 channels from towers 38-50 miles away. There are several online sites that can predict how many and which channels you're likely to pick up with a suitable OTA antenna (their capabilities vary considerably). Here's just one channel finder http://www.antennaweb.org/Address
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Midpack
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Midpack » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:45 am

Atilla wrote:Dropping cable turned out to be way better than we thought it would when we did it over a year ago. The only downside is some college and pro football games aren't available - but we can live with that. That's why they invented taverns with televisions.

Roku 3 boxes with regular TVs; we pay for Hulu Prime and Netflix, plus log into Amazon using our mother in law's account. The variety compared to cable is beyond outstanding. No commercials and you can pause or stop watching a show any time and resume later.

All this for about $20 a month. Digital antenna brings in another 20+ channels. It's a complete no-brainer for us.

We're having trouble with the idea of giving up live programming, especially news & sports (even prime time shows for my SO). But I know plenty of people are happy with ZERO live programming, and $20/month is a very strong incentive vs $50-250/mo for cable or satellite. I note you have some live with OTA, but my SO refuses to deal with several remotes and changing input sources. We're starting with PlayStation Vue for $40/mo, big savings, but we still have 40+ live channels (including majors), cloud DVR, on up to 5 devices - with no contract. Hopefully we'll wean ourselves off live programming in time.
You only live once...

cutterinnj
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby cutterinnj » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:51 am

Midpack wrote:That's incredible, ^^^, congrats. I thought I did well getting Dish Network from $82+/mo to $43+/mo.

Could you elaborate on your TV package? How many channels? How many TV's? DVR?

And what does it go to after 2 years, though I assume you'll move on anyway.

Regardless you've done way better than most!

It'll probably take quite a while, but streaming is going to cripple or kill off cable and satellite TV - they're saddled with the overhead of more infrastructure and costly in-home service. And those who provide internet, like Comcast, will get a lot of their revenue back there. Dish and DirecTV can't make it up on internet (too slow), they rolled out Sling and DirecTV Now to keep their foot in the door. But PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, Hulu Live and others will hamper them there. Interesting times.


So, we get "100+" channels, but it's missing a lot of things like HGTV. Surprisingly, my wife can still watch the HGTV shows she likes on Streampix (which is on her phone/iPad as well as on the X1 box they gave us.) as it has like 50 episodes of shows like "House Hunters."

We only have the 1 received- I could've pushed for more, but honestly I still don't see a NEED for the one we have- our other TV's have FireTV or Roku, which gives us Netflix, Hulu, Amazon (and now HBO and Showtime and Streampix.)

I'm sure that in 24 months, the package will skyrocket in price;
I'm also pretty sure that around month 22.5 I'll start getting calls from their sales people again asking if I want to "upgrade" our package for nominally more than what we pay now, and I'm also pretty sure that 2 weeks before our special ends, I'll be able to either negotiate for the same package or something slightly better (or much better, depending on how quickly 5G and Sling-like services manifest.)

ten2go
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby ten2go » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:23 am

Netflix recommends 5 Mbps for HD quality streaming... If your bandwidth drops below this, it will compensate by showing slightly lower resolution video - you may not even notice.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby cheese_breath » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:31 am

I smartened up my dumb HDTV with a permanently attached old Chromebook I had no use for after I got a new one. In my case it's especially useful because I watch Australian Rules Football over the Internet, and I'm not aware of any of the standard services such as Netflix, Hulu, etc. offering it.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

Triple digit golfer
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Triple digit golfer » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:13 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Triple digit golfer wrote:Would these two be a a good combo with a 10 mbps internet for a 2,000 square foot house with two people?

Modem: https://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-SURFboard- ... oard+modem

Router: https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-AC1750-R ... reports-20


Cheap bundle. Don't know if it's any good in your situation.

NETGEAR Smart WiFi Router AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit & High Speed DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Bundle
$69.98 & FREE Shipping
https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Router-A ... 01DKWGNEG/


Just wanted to follow up - I received the above modem and router that inbox788 posted and they have been working great for 48 hours. Set-up was a breeze and my internet speed is at least as fast as it was on the $10/month Comcast device. Thank you, inbox788!

Also, thank you to all for your insightful posts regarding cutting the cord. We are still considering it and may wait until our Comcast contract is up in 18 months. By then I am thinking that the live TV streaming services will be even better.

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dratkinson
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby dratkinson » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:34 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote:... thank you to all for your insightful posts regarding cutting the cord. We are still considering it and may wait until our Comcast contract is up in 18 months. By then I am thinking that the live TV streaming services will be even better.


Other options to consider: Tivo Roamio OTA and Channel Master DVR+. Why? Both these boxes are designed around free OTA TV, whereas the Roku box seems to support streaming-video only.


This topic has me dusting off my research. I'm coming at this problem (best/cheapest TV experience) from the opposite direction as a confirmed OTA-only TV viewer. My old analog TV died, replaced it with a new digital LCD TV, and was disappointed the new TV's (electronic program) guide feature is much worse than that on my old digital (to analog) TV converter box.

So I've looked for a box to give me a good OTA TV guide and DVR capability (never needed to record more than 2 OTA programs at once, while watching a third), and maybe a streaming video capability (if I get a faster internet connection than my current dial-up).

My research (internet and YouTube reviews) has led me to these boxes (~$400 each, but can be found for less with research). Of the two, the Tivo seems to be the most feature-packed. (Recall the two supported different wifi devices and streaming services.)
--Tivo Roamio OTA: 4 tuners/DVRs, 2-day TV guide w/o internet connection, 14-day TV guide + streaming video w/ internet connection.
--Channel Master DVR+: 2 tuners/DVRs, 2-day TV guide w/o internet connection, 14-day TV guide + streaming video w/ internet connection.

If I stay with just OTA TV (no streaming), looks like either above box would get me a better TV guide, allow me to record 2-4 OTA programs simultaneously, while using TV's built-in tuner to watch another live, for a total monthly subscription cost of $0 (zero). Adding an archived streaming video service would require a faster internet connection and monthly subscription*. (*Another research topic.)

Bottom line. If you want a box that supports free local OTA TV/guide/DVR, you can get it. If you want a box that supports subscription-based streaming video services, you can get it. If you want both integrated into one box, you can probably* get it. (* Depends upon supported services.)


From this topic I'm pleased to learn that I'd probably be happy with ~6 mbps internet to add streaming video. (I'm leaning toward powered-copper DSL so home landline phone will continue working during a power outage.) And that I don't need to buy a smart TV.
d.r.a, not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

bloom2708
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby bloom2708 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:52 am

Triple digit golfer wrote:Hi again all, OP here.

Would 10 mbps internet be adequate? Our house is just my wife and me, with a baby on the way, so at any one time the most devices we'd have streaming is two.


10 should be just fine for 1-2 streams. There can certainly be some varying speed within that 10 mbps connection. Cable modem tends to peak and valley when others in your area are using it.

Start with 10 and see how it works during your prime viewing times. If you see issues, consider moving up to 25.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead | | Want to buy something? Watch this first: https://vimeo.com/41152287

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Midpack
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Midpack » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:24 pm

dratkinson wrote:Other options to consider: Tivo Roamio OTA and Channel Master DVR+. Why? Both these boxes are designed around free OTA TV, whereas the Roku box seems to support streaming-video only.

My research (internet and YouTube reviews) has led me to these boxes (~$400 each, but can be found for less with research). Of the two, the Tivo seems to be the most feature-packed. (Recall the two supported different wifi devices and streaming services.)
--Tivo Roamio OTA: 4 tuners/DVRs, 2-day TV guide w/o internet connection, 14-day TV guide + streaming video w/ internet connection.
--Channel Master DVR+: 2 tuners/DVRs, 2-day TV guide w/o internet connection, 14-day TV guide + streaming video w/ internet connection.

I don't know this aspect of cord cutting very well, but is this another alternative for those looking for a convenient way to merge OTA and other channels (via streaming)? $100 instead of $400?

https://www.sling.com/devices/airtv
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bloom2708
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby bloom2708 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:11 pm

Air TV looks interesting. I am curious if the experience is comparable to Roku or Fire TV. Made by Dish Network specifically to use with Sling it appears.

It really isn't much of a hassle to switch the input from HDMI 1 to TV to get to our local broadcast stations. The 9 year old has been doing it for a number of years.

I can't tell if the Air TV can actually DVR from the OTA or do you just get the channels/guide without having to switch TV inputs? It looks like just a way to view the OTA through the same box with guide.

The one item we are missing is the OTA DVR. We only get CBS through Playstation Vue at this point due to market size (no ABC, NBC, Fox through Vue yet).

We have liked TiVo over the years. Buying the Lifetime subscription (used to be $15/month as an option) is steep to just record OTA.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead | | Want to buy something? Watch this first: https://vimeo.com/41152287


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