Cutting the Cord & Live Television

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abuss368
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Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by abuss368 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:28 am

Bogleheads -

How many folks have completely cut the cord of live television from any medium - cable or streaming boxes.

We eliminated cable a year ago with significant savings and moved to Apple TV with Hulu (movie library and live television). While Hulu library is minimal bucks a month, the live television component adds another $50 plus a month.

How many folks do not purchase or watch any type of live television? Do you miss it? Do you miss sports?
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

Silk McCue
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by Silk McCue » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:35 am

We use PlayStation Vue for our streaming service that includes live TV but Sony is shutting that down on January 31, 2020. We will be looking for another solution.

What I do know is that today I can, and likely you can, attach an HD Antenna to your TV and watch in true HD all of the broadcast stations available where you live. Have you tried this?

You can even configure a DVR and record those over the air shows.

Cheers

Jags4186
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:40 am

abuss368 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:28 am
Bogleheads -

How many folks have completely cut the cord of live television from any medium - cable or streaming boxes.

We eliminated cable a year ago with significant savings and moved to Apple TV with Hulu (movie library and live television). While Hulu library is minimal bucks a month, the live television component adds another $50 plus a month.

How many folks do not purchase or watch any type of live television? Do you miss it? Do you miss sports?
It’s really not a matter of “missing” it, it’s a matter of what do you want. You can get plenty of free TV and news via an HD Antenna and Pluto TV. If you want to watch the Yankees or Monday Night Football or your alma mater’s football games you’ll need to pay for YES/ESPN/Conference TV channel. If the answer to catching the ball game is to go to a bar and watch there, you’ll save money with a streaming service.

We had Direct TV Now (now ATT TV Now, now becoming something else). It was originally $35/mo and they gave us an Apple TV 4K for signing up. Then it went to $39, then $49, then $60 all within a year. I cancelled at $60 and went to YouTube TV for $50/mo.

No streaming service is perfect, but you can get a lot for a reasonable price. The best part is there is no hardware futz with or return and no contracts. If you just want NFL Redzone for the 4 months of the football season, you can sign up for Sling TV and have Redzone for 4 months.

anon_investor
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by anon_investor » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:42 am

We cut the cord 2 years ago, and we absolutely love it. We bought an amplified HDTV antenna for about $25 off amazon (probably much cheaper now), so we still get a lot of live sports free over the air. We have the non-live TV Hulu for free because of Sprint cell phone service, and we have Amazon Prime. Before we had a standard cable/internet package that was costing us over $150+/mo after factoring equipment rental+taxes/fees (not factoring in the cost of Amazon Prime). Now we only pay $50/mo for high speed internet (not including the cost of Amazon Prime).

We rarely watched TV shows live before (we would always end up watching it later (and Hulu works for this), it was mostly just sporting events. What we did find, is that we did not watch less after cutting the cord, but instead we just watched different things. We discovered new shows, and found free to watch movies on Hulu, Amazon Prime, but found other services that offer a revolving set of ad support free content, like VUDU, etc. As we are still in accumulation mode, that extra ~$100 we save just goes to savings/investing.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:56 am

Go to https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps and find out how many stations you can get and how close they are. If most antennas are in one direction, then google "homemade hdtv antenna coat hanger" and you'll find how to make an antenna, for inside your attic, from coathangers and a piece of scrap wood. We have this in 2 homes. Works great.

We use that for local (4 networks, PBS, a few independents that we never watch), some HDHomeruns for DVRing network shows on a PC with Windows Media Center (obsolete mid-Jan 2020).

We have Amazon Prime, get a lot of Netflix from our library on DVDs 6 months - 1 year later (also really obscure networks), and use a family member's access to cable via the internet.
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by SuperGrafx » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:00 pm

If you have decently fast internet, there's really no reason to go the cable or satellite route anymore.

I get my TV and movie fix from PlutoTV (Free), Locast.org(Free, but they do pester you for donations) and Amazon Prime video.

Admittedly the Amazon Prime option is not free, but I subscribe to that primarily for the shipping benefits and consider the video option to be an added bonus.

MrBobcat
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by MrBobcat » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:10 pm

We cut the cord 6 years ago. We also live in the middle of nowhere so a HD antenna does nothing for us. (I'd go insane watching/skipping commercials anymore anyway). As far as sports we were never huge TV watchers. That being said we actually get to watch a fair number of our Alma Maters Division I, FCS games for free on Pluto TV... go figure.

Right now we have Amazon Prime (with HBO,Showtime and CBS all access channels added), Netflix and Hulu without adds. I don't really see myself adding any more channels, that could change with some of the new services coming out but it would probably entail adding a service and dropping a service at that point depending on content.

GT99
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by GT99 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:12 pm

Outside of sports, I personally prefer NOT to have live TV for the simple reason that watching TV becomes a "deliberate" act - i.e. I'm going to sit down and watch X show. It eliminates the time-sink possibility of just sitting down and flipping around and maybe watching a little of this show and a little of that show, or seeing that a movie you love that you haven't seen in ages is on, etc. If you don't do that now, then you can ignore me. But I didn't realize how much I did that until the option of doing so went away. And I don't miss it.

As for sports, I get a streaming service in the fall so I can watch football. I basically pay for it from September to January.

xb7
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by xb7 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:31 pm

In addition (?) to whatever streaming service(s) you might incline towards, I would encourage you to get a DVR and record local channels if you're anywhere near an urban center or in general are not too far from a cluster of broadcast antennas. We have Amazon Prime and Netflix, and do watch shows on both, but I'm surprised at how much broadcast content we watch, starting with news most evenings. We have TIVO, with a lifetime (on that particular model machine) service agreement, but have recently added the Fire TV DVR ("recast") from Amazon. Because I was having trouble with my tivo setup getting TV in two places, and I wanted a system that's simple and reliable for my wife to use.

The Amazon Recast approach did solve that, along with a pair of Fire cubes --- you can just tell the TV to turn on or off, and overall it's pretty good.

As a DVR, I think that Amazon is still --- I hope --- working on getting it up to the standards of Tivo. It's entirely usable, it's just that I find the Tivo experience overall to be more refined and "better". It's not an entirely apples-to-apples comparison, however; when travelling I can watch local recorded content on my tablet, and can't do that with Tivo without an expensive extra purchase.

Anyway, I would suggest getting an antenna and DVR setup as part of your solution, depending on where you live relative to broadcast sources.

Note that your DVR might be part of your overall streaming approach too. With the Fire TV setup in place, we no longer use Roku to stream. Tivo can stream too, but I always found that aspect clunky and slow (I don't have their latest hardware, however).

For selecting streaming services --- it's getting complicated. Seems to me that over time Netflix has gotten more expensive and that it will have less mainstream content as different walled gardens close off access, because the owners of a lot of content will now be Netflix competitors. My current theory is that we'll periodically switch from one to another streaming service, binge-watching stuff there that we find to be of interest, and then some months later, moving on. We'll see.

I will say that I've kept Netflix active longer than I had expected because they have a pretty rich set of foreign content. I personally don't mind subtitles, and in fact prefer to hear the original language (especially if it's one that I can understand somewhat). Perusing a lot of overseas content for me is like eating foods from other countries: enriching. Still, it's a sign that I should move on perhaps that I'm watching more content on the DVR !

rg422
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by rg422 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:40 pm

After DirectTV cut a few of the channels we normally watched, we cut the cord with them. Now we use a Firestick and have access to Netflix and Youtube (this actually has a surprising amount of great material). Surprisingly, we don't miss watching any live shows.

staustin
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by staustin » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:47 pm

we've enjoyed psvue and sorry to see it go... hopefully some day we'll reach the unbundled, ala carte stage in which we just purchase whatever particular channel app on the Roku or apple store. ESPN offering their service direct through an app would be the beginning of the end of bundled tv packages in whatever particular form. As for us, we'll be switching to youtube tv in order to continue to be able to watch sports via espn, fs1, fs2 etc.

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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by carolinaman » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:09 pm

We still use #$%*&* cable for TV. We did buy an over the air antenna when our power and cable was out last December due to ice storm. I used our generator and we were able to get dozens of TV stations. I think that and something like Roku would satisfy me, but DW has her favorite shows so we are not making change anytime soon.

That incident convinced me that cutting the cord is very feasible and saves a lot of money.

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sk2101
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by sk2101 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:14 pm

Have not had live TV for 15-20 years. Only time I miss it is when there is a big event like olympics, soccer world cup but usually I can get that with an OTA antenna or with a channel streaming. Amazing how much time I found when I significantly cut the tv out of my life.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:29 pm

Between Amazon prime and Netflix we have more shows than we can watch.

Wife likes to watch Grey's anatomy and watches on her iPad for free.

Neither of us watch any sports so we didn't need live TV.

Our Vizio TV has a live news app that we use to check in on wildfires once a year.

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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:55 pm

I'm in the process. What I've done:

First: Bought an amplified HDTV antenna. Yes, I know the big old channel master on the chimney is actually better but an ice storm destroyed it last winter. $39 for the new antenna. Mounted it outside.

Two: Bought a universal remote because our fios remote doesn't seem to switch the tv to antenna input nor scan for OTA stations. Ten bucks. Brought it home, set up the code to work, scanned for channels. 52 found. Take off half for home shopping and channels in languages we don't speak, so 26. Nice. And of course, full HD, unlike our fios service which is only 720.

Three: I'm working on this. Our fios contract ended. I'm going to switch to internet only from triple play. We haven't had a phone actually even plugged into the jack for over a year. Just have to make the phone call to change over. We already have a roku and pay for netflix. Plan to add sling.

Added benefit. Since I use the home internet for work, they pay for it.
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niceguy7376
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by niceguy7376 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:04 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:55 pm
First: Bought an amplified HDTV antenna. $39 for the new antenna. Mounted it outside.
Could you share this outdoor model?

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abuss368
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by abuss368 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:37 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:29 pm
Between Amazon prime and Netflix we have more shows than we can watch.
Add Amazon Prime and that is where my thought process has been evolving and moving towards!
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by abuss368 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:39 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:55 pm
I'm in the process. What I've done:

First: Bought an amplified HDTV antenna. Yes, I know the big old channel master on the chimney is actually better but an ice storm destroyed it last winter. $39 for the new antenna. Mounted it outside.

Two: Bought a universal remote because our fios remote doesn't seem to switch the tv to antenna input nor scan for OTA stations. Ten bucks. Brought it home, set up the code to work, scanned for channels. 52 found. Take off half for home shopping and channels in languages we don't speak, so 26. Nice. And of course, full HD, unlike our fios service which is only 720.

Three: I'm working on this. Our fios contract ended. I'm going to switch to internet only from triple play. We haven't had a phone actually even plugged into the jack for over a year. Just have to make the phone call to change over. We already have a roku and pay for netflix. Plan to add sling.

Added benefit. Since I use the home internet for work, they pay for it.
When actually turned off the home telephone number over a year ago. It was sitting there every month with an answering machine that was never used. Apple iPhones only and it is actually easier as the phone and voicemail is always with you.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

puravida
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by puravida » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:32 pm

Dropped cable, returned all the boxes and packets and remotes, kept internet only. Saves $100/mth.
Never miss it. Installed an RCA HD antenna in my 2nd floor attic very easily, pointed to the stations, great reception on all the major networks, about 50 stations. I already had Netflix and Prime. Streaming Netflix and Prime has more content than we ever need. During football season, I add Sling + sports option ($40) to get ESPN and all other sports channels for college football. Sling has gone up in price so I will research better options in the future.
Regarding the antenna, I simply connected it to the existing cables in the attic which fed the rest of the house. Those cables already had a power adapter amplifying the signal, it's plugged in anywhere in the house. So that helped to boost my antenna.
Antenna RCA Yagi installed in upstairs Attic https://www.amazon.com/RCA-Compact-Outd ... 11adf63f75 Amazon $45, non amplified
Simple, passive, effective - the Bogle way...

theplayer11
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by theplayer11 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:00 pm

so I assume people who drop live TV do not follow local sports teams. Hockey, Basketball, Baseball? I could go without most all TV shows and movies, but not my sports teams.

stoptothink
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by stoptothink » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:05 pm

theplayer11 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:00 pm
so I assume people who drop live TV do not follow local sports teams. Hockey, Basketball, Baseball? I could go without most all TV shows and movies, but not my sports teams.
Sports is, and always will be, the crux. I'm a HUGE sports fan, but if I just have to watch a game I'll go visit my parents 10min up the road. Several birds with one stone. Watching some games is not worth $2000+/yr for me personally.

theplayer11
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by theplayer11 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:08 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:05 pm
theplayer11 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:00 pm
so I assume people who drop live TV do not follow local sports teams. Hockey, Basketball, Baseball? I could go without most all TV shows and movies, but not my sports teams.
Sports is, and always will be, the crux. I'm a HUGE sports fan, but if I just have to watch a game I'll go visit my parents 10min up the road. Several birds with one stone. Watching some games is not worth $2000+/yr for me personally.
I'm a huge sports fan..so it's not just a few games. 162 baseball, 80 hockey and B-ball. That's a lot of visits to my parents ..lol

stoptothink
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by stoptothink » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:11 pm

theplayer11 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:08 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:05 pm
theplayer11 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:00 pm
so I assume people who drop live TV do not follow local sports teams. Hockey, Basketball, Baseball? I could go without most all TV shows and movies, but not my sports teams.
Sports is, and always will be, the crux. I'm a HUGE sports fan, but if I just have to watch a game I'll go visit my parents 10min up the road. Several birds with one stone. Watching some games is not worth $2000+/yr for me personally.
I'm a huge sports fan..so it's not just a few games. 162 baseball, 80 hockey and B-ball. That's a lot of visits to my parents ..lol
That is a lot of time sitting in front of a TV.

Dregob
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by Dregob » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:15 pm

We got rid of cable years ago. Stream Netflix and HBO and watch antenna TV. However, the signal is weather dependent. Sometimes it is pixaled or no signal unlike pre-digital TV where the picture may have been snowy but there always was a picture. Ah, progress.
But I do have a remote unlike when I was literally the remote, standing before the TV while Dad decided if he wanted to watch that channel or told me "turn it"! :happy

DetroitRick
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by DetroitRick » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:18 pm

Dropped cable in 2004, no regrets since. We currently use ATT Internet (formerly Uverse) and mostly stream Amazon Prime stuff. OTA TV reception is quite good where we live (indoor antenna) but I don't watch much of it, while wife watches mainly local news and a few shows. For what little sports I watch, I'm happy with my local pub or friends' houses. Better beer anyway. We supplement all this with blu-rays and dvds.

We don't find anything lacking, and we could always easily expand our Prime programming through some of Amazon's subscription channels. Probably will do that, off and on, soon. Selection is big, and growing.

Three big benefits for us. 1)Never dealing with Comcast again, 2)Makes watching TV less of a fill-in activity and more purposeful - TV is never "just on" anymore. It goes on to watch something specific that we enjoy. 3)Almost no commercials.

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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by abuss368 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:18 pm

Dregob wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:15 pm
We got rid of cable years ago. Stream Netflix and HBO and watch antenna TV. However, the signal is weather dependent. Sometimes it is pixaled or no signal unlike pre-digital TV where the picture may have been snowy but there always was a picture. Ah, progress.
But I do have a remote unlike when I was literally the remote, standing before the TV while Dad decided if he wanted to watch that channel or told me "turn it"! :happy
The dial days before remotes! I recall fondly!
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Toons
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by Toons » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:22 pm

4 years ago,cut it
Stream
YouTube premium 9.95 month
Netflix
Don't miss the "ad delivery system" of commerical Tv or cable whatsoever
:mrgreen:
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

theplayer11
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by theplayer11 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:29 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:11 pm
theplayer11 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:08 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:05 pm
theplayer11 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:00 pm
so I assume people who drop live TV do not follow local sports teams. Hockey, Basketball, Baseball? I could go without most all TV shows and movies, but not my sports teams.
Sports is, and always will be, the crux. I'm a HUGE sports fan, but if I just have to watch a game I'll go visit my parents 10min up the road. Several birds with one stone. Watching some games is not worth $2000+/yr for me personally.
I'm a huge sports fan..so it's not just a few games. 162 baseball, 80 hockey and B-ball. That's a lot of visits to my parents ..lol
That is a lot of time sitting in front of a TV.
Actually in front of a computer doing multiple tasks with game on as well. Don't get judgemental now...

delamer
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by delamer » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:33 pm

puravida wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:32 pm
Dropped cable, returned all the boxes and packets and remotes, kept internet only. Saves $100/mth.
Never miss it. Installed an RCA HD antenna in my 2nd floor attic very easily, pointed to the stations, great reception on all the major networks, about 50 stations. I already had Netflix and Prime. Streaming Netflix and Prime has more content than we ever need. During football season, I add Sling + sports option ($40) to get ESPN and all other sports channels for college football. Sling has gone up in price so I will research better options in the future.
Regarding the antenna, I simply connected it to the existing cables in the attic which fed the rest of the house. Those cables already had a power adapter amplifying the signal, it's plugged in anywhere in the house. So that helped to boost my antenna.
Antenna RCA Yagi installed in upstairs Attic https://www.amazon.com/RCA-Compact-Outd ... 11adf63f75 Amazon $45, non amplified
You have ongoing costs for Netflix, Sling with the sports option, and Amazon Prime.

Plus you have one-time costs for an antenna, DVR, and any other equipment — although those probably are recovered quickly.

How much are you really saving v. cable? It depends on how TV dependent you are, I suppose (which we are).

It also strikes me that the streaming services make you more Internet dependent. Has anyone had to upgrade their Internet service due to extensive streaming?

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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by abuss368 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:48 pm

delamer wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:33 pm
puravida wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:32 pm
Dropped cable, returned all the boxes and packets and remotes, kept internet only. Saves $100/mth.
Never miss it. Installed an RCA HD antenna in my 2nd floor attic very easily, pointed to the stations, great reception on all the major networks, about 50 stations. I already had Netflix and Prime. Streaming Netflix and Prime has more content than we ever need. During football season, I add Sling + sports option ($40) to get ESPN and all other sports channels for college football. Sling has gone up in price so I will research better options in the future.
Regarding the antenna, I simply connected it to the existing cables in the attic which fed the rest of the house. Those cables already had a power adapter amplifying the signal, it's plugged in anywhere in the house. So that helped to boost my antenna.
Antenna RCA Yagi installed in upstairs Attic https://www.amazon.com/RCA-Compact-Outd ... 11adf63f75 Amazon $45, non amplified
You have ongoing costs for Netflix, Sling with the sports option, and Amazon Prime.

Plus you have one-time costs for an antenna, DVR, and any other equipment — although those probably are recovered quickly.

How much are you really saving v. cable? It depends on how TV dependent you are, I suppose (which we are).

It also strikes me that the streaming services make you more Internet dependent. Has anyone had to upgrade their Internet service due to extensive streaming?
I was initially concerned about bandwidth but we have been fine. There was an article in the WSJ not to long ago that provided research on how bandwidth is largely underused.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by neilpilot » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:56 pm

DetroitRick wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:18 pm
Dropped cable in 2004, no regrets since. We currently use ATT Internet (formerly Uverse) and mostly stream Amazon Prime stuff. OTA TV reception is quite good where we live (indoor antenna) but I don't watch much of it, while wife watches mainly local news and a few shows. For what little sports I watch, I'm happy with my local pub or friends' houses. Better beer anyway. We supplement all this with blu-rays and dvds.

We don't find anything lacking, and we could always easily expand our Prime programming through some of Amazon's subscription channels. Probably will do that, off and on, soon. Selection is big, and growing.

Three big benefits for us. 1)Never dealing with Comcast again, 2)Makes watching TV less of a fill-in activity and more purposeful - TV is never "just on" anymore. It goes on to watch something specific that we enjoy. 3)Almost no commercials.
Similar experience to DetroitRick.

Dropped cable in 2008, no regrets since. We currently use Comcast internet (ATT is so slooow where we live) and mostly stream Amazon Prime stuff. OTA TV reception is good where we live (indoor antenna).

Two benefits for us. 1)Never having to deal with AT&T, 2)Switched cell phones from AT&T to Xfinity. We save over $800/yr on our 2 lines, for the same service in the USA and better & cheaper calls when we travel to Europe.

Temporal Adventurer
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by Temporal Adventurer » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:57 pm

I dropped DirecTV in 2007. I receive over-the-air TV with an RCA ANT751R antenna connected to a TiVo digital video recorder with a lifetime program guide subscription.

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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by 22twain » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:06 pm

Before we got married, I had basic cable in my apartment. This was in the days when basic cable was really basic: local channels, C-SPAN and a local access channel. DW-to-be used indoor rabbit ears and got two barely watchable channels; she was too cheap and too disinterested in TV to pay for cable.

When we got married and bought our house more than 30 years ago, it had an antenna on the roof, so we used it. We've replaced it 2-3 times since; once when a limb fell off our neighbor's tree and knocked it down. Fortunately he was good about paying for the replacement.

The local channels suit us fine. We watch mainly news, some game shows, some PBS, some sports, We're not big sports fans or movie buffs, so we don't miss the cable/satellite channels for those.

When digital broadcast TV arrived, all the local channels sprouted subchannels with more content than we can shake a stick at, mostly reruns of old movies and TV shows, some of which we watch occasionally.

We seldom watch TV really "live." We use a TiVo to watch it in delayed mode, so we can fast-forward through commercials, spread a long figure-skaing show over a couple of nights, etc.

We don't use streaming TV because our Internet connection is too slow. The only really fast option here is... ugh... The Cable Company, which we want to avoid dealing with unless our "DSL lite" becomes really intolerable for Web use. It might be cheaper to switch to cellular for all our Internet stuff instead of going with TCC.
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sschoe2
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by sschoe2 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:07 pm

I paid $180 for a rooftop antenna install. I have a Clearstream 4 long range, live 25 miles outside of downtown Chicago and get 72 channels. I also get a ton more over the internet. That is all I really need.

Longtermgrowth
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by Longtermgrowth » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:16 pm

I stopped cable years ago, but added a 65 mile antenna in the attic along with a preamplifier to get all local channels.

Have you considered a large antenna?

rich126
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by rich126 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:23 pm

As an engineer this irks me more than it should but there is no such thing as a HDTV antenna.

Those of us older remember the old UHF/VHF antenna that you had to move around to get a good signal. Sometimes for every channel. Well that same antenna works for HDTV because they use the same frequency range (ultra high and very high frequency ranges).

I happened to have an older uhf/vhf antenna that has the output as a coax cable and can plug it into any tv that has a coax input and receive signals.


As far as cutting the cord, I moved this summer and in my new house have been streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime. For the occasional football game I can often view it over the air. Also with Amazon (and probably most of the streaming products), I can add various channels such as Acorn (British, NZ, etc. tv shows), Hallmark, etc. usually for about $5 a month with no contracts.

I've slowly moved away from watching a ton of sports. Probably due to the salaries and the saturation of the market. Games are on nearly 24/7. The only thing that would be nice if there was a way to pay one price for follow one specific team. Usually that is hard due to all of the various networks that cover the sports and black out rules.

Money wasn't the main driving factor but the contracts, bundles, annoying need to negotiate/fight with the provider over the pricing, etc. that caused me to stop. Directv at my new location wanted a 3 yr contract, Cox would give you a cheap 1 year price but the contract was 2 years and would at least double in price. Since I don't have 4K streaming needs, my 30 Mb/s Internet connection works fine for several feeds and only costs $40/month.

Now if only I could find a way to get rid of my swimming pool and save another $300/month. That will probably require selling and buying a new house.

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Kenkat
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by Kenkat » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:30 pm

I put a Clearstream 2Max HD antenna on the old Dish Network J-mount to get local channels and that’s it for us. No streaming services. I had Sling for awhile after I dropped cable but eventually got rid of that as well. We get movies on DVD at the library, watch over the air TV (not a lot) and I will occasionally watch sports on my iPad or phone on NFL Network. I can usually get Thursday Night and Monday Night football that way while Sunday games are usually available over the air.

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GerryL
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by GerryL » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:44 pm

Never have had a cord to cut. Life-long OTA gal here.
I can get local channels with a simple table-top antenna. I have basic Netflix. Bought a Tivo OTA box several years ago that has a lifetime programming subscription. (That's life of the box, not you). Almost never watch anything in real time anymore.
Recently joined Amazon Prime and also bought the most basic Roku unit. With the Roku I have access on the tv to OPB Plus, the Kanopy movie streaming service through the local library (better than Netflix, actually) and more other options than I can keep track of.
I don't have an interest in live sporting events, for the most part. The sports franchises might be extortionists for the cable companies. :happy

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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by stoptothink » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:51 pm

GerryL wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:44 pm
Never have had a cord to cut.
+1. Never had cable in my life, in fact I didn't even ever have a TV as an adult until I married 6yrs ago (I'm 38).

Lalamimi
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by Lalamimi » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:18 pm

Does anyone remember when cable TV started - TOLD us - no commercials. But with areas locked in to certain providers and rising cost, we cut cable 3 years ago, use rabbit ears. Save over $100 a month, but it was more the principle. We do have basic internet so we use Amazon Prime fire stick. So tired of Medicare commercials, though.

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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by samsdad » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:39 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:28 am
How many folks do not purchase or watch any type of live television? Do you miss it? Do you miss sports?
We cut it over a year ago and don’t miss it a bit. We tuned out, and got turned on and into Hi-Fi internet radio via a network audio device (Marantz NA 6005). We listen to crystal clear streaming audio from stations around the world coming from the internet through that device which is fed into modern-day vacuum-tube amplifier that sounds so good it stays on 10-14 hours a day in the background.

We listened to more music in last two years or so than we had in the previous 40. We know more about classical compositions and jazz now than we ever did. And we can airplay music from our digital collection or anything on YouTube at the drop of a hat. We literally have the world of music at our fingertips with a few clicks.

Do I miss sports? Sports are boring. I miss hearing the next piece by Rimsky-Korsakov or Monk on KUSC or KCSM, or blasting Zeppelin or Muddy via YouTube when the girls are out of the house.

I gifted my parents the same setup and they couldn’t stop thanking me for months. Total cost for the system was about $2k. My dad routinely listens to music all morning now instead of turning on the TV. The gift of music is, IMHO, the best gift you can give anyone. Listening to world-class musicians through a world-class amplifier? Priceless. TV is boring. Music is where it’s at.

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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:50 pm

I enjoy/need live news. Both general and business news. I have a 3 fund portfolio, but still enjoy the business news channels as well as the other cable news channels. If it wasn't for those, I could do without live TV. I had PS Vue streaming. I recently switched to Youtube TV streaming. Both are around $50 per month. Much less than cable (esp counting dvrs, equipment). I just am not at a point in my life where saving $600-$700 per year feels better than not having those 70+ channel capabilities for live tv.

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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by abuss368 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:21 pm

Thanks Bogleheads for the wonderful and useful responses.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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abuss368
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by abuss368 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:16 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:50 pm
I enjoy/need live news. Both general and business news. I have a 3 fund portfolio, but still enjoy the business news channels as well as the other cable news channels. If it wasn't for those, I could do without live TV. I had PS Vue streaming. I recently switched to Youtube TV streaming. Both are around $50 per month. Much less than cable (esp counting dvrs, equipment). I just am not at a point in my life where saving $600-$700 per year feels better than not having those 70+ channel capabilities for live tv.
I enjoy the business news and documentaries as well. I don't use any of the information to make investment decisions however.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

CoastalWinds
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by CoastalWinds » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:36 pm

TV is an exercise in brain-rotting and letting corporate America market and solicit you 24/7. No thank you.

shunkman
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Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Post by shunkman » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:26 pm

Lalamimi wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:18 pm
Does anyone remember when cable TV started - TOLD us - no commercials. But with areas locked in to certain providers and rising cost, we cut cable 3 years ago, use rabbit ears. Save over $100 a month, but it was more the principle. We do have basic internet so we use Amazon Prime fire stick. So tired of Medicare commercials, though.
We finally cut cable about 3 months ago. Yes, I do remember when cable was commercial free and MTV was all music videos . Now, the commercial airtime keeps getting longer and longer. I could not take it anymore. In my opinion, they should pay me to watch a 3 hour NFL game that consists of at least 20 commercial breaks containing more than 100 ads. Now we use an Amazon Recast and Firesticks. I record the free OTA news on the Recast and then fast-forward over the endless, mind numbing drug commercials. I'm saving over $200/month and eliminating the crazy (sometimes triple+ CPI) annual price increases. When I returned my Comcast equipment the clerk was down right rude...typical Comcast. It was such a great feeling saying goodbye to Comcast. Yet they keep on making money.

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