How are people "Cutting the cord"? (TV service) - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 42 Old 11-18-2013, 08:29 AM
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Before my first daughter was born, my wife and i made the decision to cut the cord 3 years ago because we knew that we could get everything we watched via other means and we knew that once our kids grew up, the notion of linear tv was going away and we would have less time watching tv while taking care of them. Also, the savings is a great motivation as well.

We had Fios tv and internet only and our bill was close to $150. My job pays for the internet so you can say that my bill was $100. We didnt rent their cable boxes (only cable cards) because i purchased 3 lifetime Tivos since we've been using the brand for over 10 years on various cable systems. They payed themselves off after 3 years or so 3 years ago.

We both looked at what we watched and we saw that 95+ % of our TV watching were from the broadcast stations. We live in NJ near the NYC market and can get every station with an antenna that's being broadcast from the empire state building, conde nast building and other stations around my area in NJ. I get about 100 channels, about 50 of them that we watch. all the major stations, their sub channels, news channels, various PBS stations and Spanish language stations.

Called verizon, got rid of the TV portion, put an antenna on the roof, hooked it to the Coax network being used by Verizon, changed the input on the tivos from cable to the antenna input, reprogrammed the tivos for OTA use and that's it. Tivos now record OTA stations, the 95% or so shows we watch with really no new learning curve on how to watch live tv.

now, to supplement that with some must watch cable shows, i download them after they air and push them to the Tivos for easy access. The rest of the stuff is watched via Netflix or amazon prime or the rare iTunes and amazon season passes.

For sports, I only watch the teams i am a fan of. So for football, the NY Giants are always shown in the local TV stations, so i never miss it. For baseball i get the MLB.tv package and a $5 month service called Unblock-US that will bypass local blackouts for the mlb, nhl, and others. For ESPN, Disney and others i use my fathers TV anywhere log in and can access all their channels via a roku or apple TV. As a last resort if there is something i cant catch, i have a slingbox at my fathers house that i can easily connect tv and watch.

All TV's in my house have a Tivo and Roku attached so they can access my movie collection and tv series that have been copied into a nas easily via Plex. The tivos offer live TV and recordings from any tivo on the network and the roku does all the streaming services.

My 2 and half year old has no clue on the concept of waiting for a specific time to watch her cartoons since she can easily watch it on Netflix, plex and other services.

Long story short, for every TV, we standardized on Tivo for live OTA TV and DVR'ing and Roku for the streaming services. Since my job pays for my internet, my TV viewing spending is $8 a month for Netflix, $125 a year for MLB, and if you want to count amazon prime (i don't since i had it before they started streaming), that's another $8 a month.

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post #32 of 42 Old 02-20-2014, 11:30 AM
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My setup:

Built my HTPC
Mohu Leaf
Netflix
Hulu +
Plex

Getting myself a HDHomerun Dual to be able to record local tv. Debating whether or not I want to get the MLB.TV season pass for the Mets and use a VPN to change my location.
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post #33 of 42 Old 02-20-2014, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcguidance View Post

Debating whether or not I want to get the MLB.TV season pass for the Mets and use a VPN to change my location.

Unblock-US . Better than a VPN, its a DNS service. Thats how i watch the Mets (they are in my blackout area).

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post #34 of 42 Old 02-20-2014, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Aero 1 View Post

Unblock-US . Better than a VPN, its a DNS service. Thats how i watch the Mets (they are in my blackout area).

I paid for the year when I signed up, ends in August I believe. I will look into unblock us, thanks.

Is the mlb tv worth it? Does it have the local broadcast crew?
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post #35 of 42 Old 02-20-2014, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mcguidance View Post

I paid for the year when I signed up, ends in August I believe. I will look into unblock us, thanks.

Is the mlb tv worth it? Does it have the local broadcast crew?

Totally worth it, especially since i am a cord cutter. Yes, you can always choose Gary, Keith and Ron and depending on the device you are using, you can not choose the local crew and have the local radio broadcast over the video. Its a neat thing watching the SNY feed and having Howie Rose announcing.

Unblock us will also allow you to watch nationally televised games on Saturdays, ESPN games and TBS playoff games without a problem since those are blacked out from the service. you wont be able to watch those using a United States VPN server, so make sure you pick something over seas.

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post #36 of 42 Old 02-20-2014, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Aero 1 View Post

Totally worth it, especially since i am a cord cutter. Yes, you can always choose Gary, Keith and Ron and depending on the device you are using, you can not choose the local crew and have the local radio broadcast over the video. Its a neat thing watching the SNY feed and having Howie Rose announcing.

Unblock us will also allow you to watch nationally televised games on Saturdays, ESPN games and TBS playoff games without a problem since those are blacked out from the service. you wont be able to watch those using a United States VPN server, so make sure you pick something over seas.

I've totally cut the cord as well, OTA for me only. The only thing I'll miss is some football, I think. Although I'm sure there ways around that, too, I guess.

So VPN will work just not as well as Unblock us, which I can deal with until my subscription runs out. I'm actually glad it will since I can't get privateinternetaccess to work with plex.
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post #37 of 42 Old 02-20-2014, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by johnBlanker View Post

Those HULU plus subscribers.....The hulu website looks great, but for God's sake it is completely useless. How long does it take for shows to appear on it? Like, if a show airs on Sunday @ 9pm, when would HP get it?

It depends. My wife watches dramas like Bones, Castle, et. al. and this season's episodes are available. Can't tell you how soon after airing they show up, sorry. Anyway, HuluPlus has a ton of content for $8 bucks a month.

It seems to me that the delay is getting shorter for some shows at least. Just this morning I started the Roku and went to FNC. I was able to watch Special Report with Bret Baier from last night. It was broken into segments by news item/topic, but I could watch it all. Same for O'Reilly. The PBS channel had the documentary on Penn Station a couple days after airing. Just to give a few examples...

Strictly speaking you *can* watch some live TV. Add the "Nowhere TV" channel. It's not listed in the Roku channel store, do a search on other Roku channels and add it from your computer. It has local news broadcasts live from selected TV stations around the country. One happens to be in my wife's home town, so she often watches that when local news is airing. There's another channel (forget the name now) but if you sign up through a proxy or VPN to mask your U.S. IP address, you can stream US network TV. Free for SD, subscription for HD, IIRC.

I notice more available channels all the time. I recently added The History Channel and A&E. I don't watch much sports, but there are subscription channels available. What little sports I want to watch I can view OTA.

Tell you what, I don't miss cable TV one little bit. With streaming, you'll get "limited" ads, depending on the popularity of the program and how recent it is. Like a one minute ad spot every ten minutes or so. Nothing at all like the commercials on cable TV. And they're not an insult to one's intelligence either. That used to be agonizing for me, I hated it.
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post #38 of 42 Old 02-21-2014, 07:59 AM
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I've been thinking lately about taking the final step and cutting the cord completely on cable. We don't have a great OTH option here due to hilly terrain, just 3-4 digital channels receivable with a set-top antenna, so it's a big step. We still have a reduced basic cable package (on a promotion that makes it almost free), but we've cut all the premium cable channels we used to have. Our viewing habits have changed gradually to the point where now almost all of our TV viewing is internet TV rather than broadcast. I see several factors that influenced that:

1. Technically it has become dead easy to watch internet TV. All our TVs are now internet-connected, and internet content is just a few button-pushes away. The quality and reliability is now excellent where it was a bit erratic in the early days of internet TV. With internet TV it's really easy to watch on any TV around the house without worrying about extra cable outlets or digital TV receivers. And we watch on portable screens (tablets and smartphones) more often now. Can't do that with broadcast TV.

2. There's just a lot more internet TV available now. We can find almost anything we want from some source. But even more important, there's enough content available now that it has become the new rich buffet to choose from that premium cable once was. Hundreds of channels were a whole different experience than just a few channels, but now with the internet we have our choice of thousands of options whenever we sit down to watch some TV. There are many shows that we would never have seen on broadcast TV, like foreign series that never made it to domestic TV. That makes it harder to care about missing a few small things.

3. On-demand. Plenty of new shows come and go, but few stand out so significantly that we would want to make a special effort to be there from the start and watch every week at a special time. So when we do happen to catch these new series on broadcast TV, we're coming in in the middle somewhere, and the characters and plot don't make sense and it seems like too much trouble to get into it. Even with a PVR you have to take an interest in a new series in the first place and remember to set the PVR to record it and then to watch it before the PVR runs out of space. It just seems a lot easier to get into a new series in your own time, maybe a year later when you feel like checking it out, and then have the freedom to watch the episodes when you want, at your own pace, able to put it aside and return to it whenever you want like reading a book. We've watched and enjoyed many series on the internet that passed us by on original broadcast without leaving much of an impression.

4. Advertising. The amount of advertising on broadcast TV has gotten truly ridiculous, and it has become more and more intrusive to us the more we become accustomed to internet TV with little or no advertising. We don't really mind advertising - to us it has always been a part of watching TV, and it often entertains and informs. We treat it as a welcome intermission where we can either half-watch it or get up and do something else for a few minutes. But there's a limit beyond which it really breaks the flow of watching the show, and I think that limit has long been surpassed with broadcast TV. Some broadcast programs seem to be almost half advertising now. The interval between commercial breaks can be as little as 5 minutes, and sometimes they go on for 7-8 minutes at a time. We end up switching it off and drifting away. Of course with the PVR we can just hit Record, come back to it later and fast-forward through the commercials, but it's still an annoying interruption compared to the commercial-free version.

5. Live vs. canned. At first it seemed hard to give up the "live" aspect of live broadcast TV, but we've come to realize that there's very little "live" on live broadcast TV. It's almost all endless repeats of previously recorded material that's also available on the internet. Even if the first showing of a TV episode is on network broadcast, do we really care if we have to wait a day or a week to see something that was actually recorded weeks or months ago and will still be just as entertaining a year from now? There are certainly live news, sports and events on broadcast TV, but many of those are available on the internet too, or on free local over-the-air broadcast. In any case the news is mostly just packaged clips that are available with better organization on the internet.

6. And of course the biggie: cost. The premium cable package was costing us 5x what our internet TV services cost, and we watched it less and less. Eventually it was time to fix that.
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post #39 of 42 Old 02-21-2014, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by fritzi93 View Post

With streaming, you'll get "limited" ads, depending on the popularity of the program and how recent it is. Like a one minute ad spot every ten minutes or so. Nothing at all like the commercials on cable TV.

 

I find the reverse to be true. With OTA/subscription I get zero ads... as I time shift and or skip over them. The few times I have used Hulu Plus the ads drove me crazy. First you can't skip them and almost worse is they often repeat the same ad dozens of times in a row. Try to sit through a marathon... it's next to impossible. Back when I had TiVo I received Hulu Plus for four or six months free... I used it roughly twice. Previously, I caught the last season of 24 on Hulu Plus and that was that for me... I couldn't go back.

 

I used to catch Covert Affairs on Hulu. Same commercial issues. I never knew when to go looking for new episodes. Image/audio quality varied almost as bad as the weather and overall it virtually wasn't worth the hassle. Heck I'm OTA only with roughly 40 series scheduled to record and unlimited disc space. Right now I have over 80 hours of recordings I haven't watched from the Fall season.

 

If you are going to go to the bother of streaming Netflix's original series make a great case. Commercial free and content you can't find anywhere else.

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post #40 of 42 Old 02-21-2014, 03:32 PM
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Just an FYI....Next week the WWE is going to start streaming all of their live shows exclusively thru Roku.This will include ALL live PPV events including Wrestlemania.They also promise to have their extensive library of past shows available on demand.This is a fee based service.The cost is $10.00/mo. This is a big step forward for Roku(and the entire OTT world).

Iv'e heard that Dish is threatening to drop them,but Vince McMann(scuse the misspelling) is a smart cookie and believes he'll make more money in the long run streaming over the internet than staying with cable/sat.exclusively .I hope he does.
If other networks see him making lotsa $$$$$$$$$ they may be more inclined to create their own channel for Roku w/o needing to have a cable/sat sub.smile.gif

Yea i'm one of those cord cutters too.I dropped dish 1 1/2 yrs.ago and never looked back.Glad i did.I've found all the content i could ever want using a combination of a DB-2 antenna,a Roku 2-XS,and my laptop,for streaming content i can't get elsewhere.rolleyes.gif
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post #41 of 42 Old 02-21-2014, 05:47 PM
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I just checked a couple shows on HuluPlus:

1) Wonders of the Solar System, a BBC documentary series. For episode one:
Runtime: 58.34
Plus 7 one-minute ads, counting the one before the show begins.

2) Bones For the latest episode my wife watched:
Runtime: 43.11
Plus 6 one-minute ads, same deal as above.

(If you hit "Pause", the timeline pops up, showing total runtime, and where the ads are. The ads don't count for total runtime.)

Lets see, for Bones, a network TV series, you get 6 minutes of ads on HuluPlus. On OTA or cable, obviously you get the difference between 43.11 and 60 minutes. That's a good deal less ads on HuluPlus, don't you think? As to the BBC documentary, I watched the series on The Science Channel on cable. As I recall, it had the normal glut of ads, and total runtime was an hour. I'm not absolutely sure now whether they didn't bump it up to an hour and a half to accommodate the ads, but I think it was an hour per episode. In which case they had to edit it down to fit the show and all the ads into one hour. Dirty scoundrels.

Let's not forget that the demographics are different for those who stream, versus those using OTA or cable. And surely advertisers know it. At any rate, I find the ads on HuluPlus and streaming in general to be far, far less infantile, condescending and infuriating than with OTA or cable. I didn't notice that any ads were repeated on those two above shows. Now, when we were snowed in last month we watched the old Ironside series (Raymond Burr) all day. We noticed that we did see a lot of the ads repeated. Not just episode to episode, but from one ad spot to another. So it varies.

Others are of course welcome to their own opinions
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post #42 of 42 Old 02-28-2014, 02:35 AM
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Hmmmm I watched a really serious anime and one of the lead character's GF's died and it was a really sad and grim part of the anime... and some really obnoxious verizon ad comes up right after that scene.

I was so mad at Hulu plus for totally ruining that anime for me. No more Hulu for serious stuff. Never again!
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