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post #1 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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A Year Without Cable TV
Author - Mark Anderson


A little over a year ago, I went cold turkey with Cable. I had literally everything that one of the big providers could offer (as my sister-in-law worked there, and we owned a two-flat with her). In this article, I'll share my experiences and the current state of play with TV in my house.

A little research is needed to determine availability of OTA broadcasts and antenna requirements. With today's hardware prices, the hardware and software component could be had for around $500. I estimated that our cable bill would have been about $50/month plus 2 DVR's at $15/month each. Given this, I estimate that we're saving about $60-70/month. So the payback for the investment is less than a year and my Media Center can do way more than my old cable DVR. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

Read the complete article at HomeToys.com
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post #2 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hetherington View Post

A Year Without Cable TV
Author - Mark Anderson

A little over a year ago, I went cold turkey with Cable. I had literally everything that one of the big providers could offer (as my sister-in-law worked there, and we owned a two-flat with her). In this article, I’ll share my experiences and the current state of play with TV in my house.

While this is a nice tactic, there are two issues.

If you are acquiring your internet from same cable company, your still stuck with them and basic cable service (they like to bundle). Nothing gained by cutting the cable if you need internet or lack alternatives of internet access.

FCC is in cahoots with the telephone companies (wireless providers) and is attempting to sell OTA RF frequencies, to the detriment of OTA users so that cell users can have better internet downloads/ better coverage. The whole wireless industry is a mess, they need to share cell access points not create separate cell access points in every neighborhood.

If all you want is the local OTA channels sure this is the cheapest way to go. Don't forget to ground your antenna.

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post #3 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 12:20 PM
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The majority of Americans use cable, but nearly all video enthusiasts are antenna guys. Transmission over the air maintains greater signal integrity than transmission over wires.

The only real difficulty is antenna installation. This is easy, but all too easily a guy fails to maintain his balance, and that can bring disasterous consequences. Watch your safety!
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post #4 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 12:41 PM
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I been without cable/dish for 8 months now. I do not miss it.

You can always do hulu or netfix or download or streaming.

I do get free OTA stuff thru my cable. I dont need antenna. Just split the Y and connect it to your HDTV or your network.

For DVR, I use my computer w/o opening up my computer. Check out SiliconDust toy.
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post #5 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 12:44 PM
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Reading your experience makes me want to do the same, but if we drop the basic cable portion of our cable/internet service, the internet price jumps by almost as much as the basic cable costs. We get all of the local networks in HD, so we wouldn't be gaining anything (except higher PQ) by going to an antenna.

Still, Comcast is reputedly going to encrypt all HD channels in the coming months, so if/when that happens, I will come back to investigate "cutting the cable" again.
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post #6 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 12:47 PM
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I convinced my wife to cut cable two years ago. After an initial investment of about $500 (Antennas, Amp, Digital converters, DTV Pal DVR), we're still loving our break from cable. We used to be on Comcast's Triple Play, paying about $145 a month for TV, Internet, and home phone. With the switch, we have spent two years on AT&T's DSL - home phone (just the line) and Internet for about $40 a month. We made up for our investment in just 5 months! Since then, we're saving well over $1,000 a year.

Cable TV shows can be viewed on Hulu or other streaming sites. Our main viewing is shows like Survivor, The Amazing Race, The Office, Family Guy, The Apprentice, and The Big Bang Theory.

We also get access to the subchannels like NBC's weather channel or sports network. It's not ESPN, but it's more than enough for us. We have never once regretted our change. We get full HD broadcasts (some at even better quality than cable/dish), and we get to watch all the shows we care about. We still have a DVR to record and rewind live TV. So what have we lost? About 100 channels we never watch anyway.
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post #7 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 12:49 PM
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I cut the cord about a year ago and I don't miss anything. I watch NFL thru The Sunday Ticket thru PS3, which is awesome btw, and I watch old episodes of my favorite shows thru HULU or Netflix.

Alcohol. The cause of and solution to all of life's problems.
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post #8 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 12:59 PM
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ota reception of hdtv is always better than cable or either dish since its not compressed
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post #9 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

Still, Comcast is reputedly going to encrypt all HD channels in the coming months, so if/when that happens, I will come back to investigate "cutting the cable" again.

I am still seeing local channels as 1080i directly into HDTV tuner for my area. I know they last year encrypted their typical cable channels but not the local channels. You occasionally have to rescan.

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post #10 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 01:20 PM
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We too cut the cable 6 months ago. We do keep high speed internet and pay for Hulu Plus. Between the internet and Hulu Plus, we get just about every thing we want. I did install a HDTV antenna for the local channels, which come in crystal clear.

Ray

 

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post #11 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 01:48 PM
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I thought about cutting the cable, but my wife watches Diners, Drive ins , & Dives and other cooking shows. I have not turned on the TV on cable in my viewing room for over a year. It is DVDs, blu rays, Netflix, crackle & other free stuff on the Roku box. So, how can my wife get her shows still with cable gone????? Help me out & I will ax the cable (except phone & internet) quick.

Visit my home page for ideas on your HT project.
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post #12 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digital_b_avs View Post

ota reception of hdtv is always better than cable or either dish since its not compressed

It depends on where you live.

In the Colorado Front Range area the affiliates and PBS love subchannels to the point that the main HD feed is artifact riddled.

Low bitrate MPEG-2 ain't pretty.

And NBC Sports has been moving, in most markets, to a cable and satellite sports package channel.

Free OTA is getting squeezed out by design. There's no money in it.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #13 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 02:33 PM
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I dont think Comcast will ever encript those OTA channel like ABC, CBS, etc.

Is anyone sure Comcast make it low bandwidth with no 5.1 stereo on it with the OTA stuff?

Otherwise I have to invest on a good indoor bonefish antenna.

Anything you want to see like Man vs Food, Food Bizzare, Animal Hoarding Pitbull Save me, Britains Got Talent, China Got Talent, NFL from last year, yes, its all there on Netflix, Hulu and others.
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post #14 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 03:03 PM
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I don't know maybe I differ, but I have the triple play and I like it! I would like to look more more into a hd antenna, but I need HBO and Showtime and sports. I am also waiting to see what happens with the future of Apple tv! I also believe that I have almost zero signal!
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post #15 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 04:28 PM
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Cut cable about a year ago. The vast majority of shows that we watch were OTA anyway. Use my pc as a dvr. Move the recorded show to my homeserver. Love it.

The only thing I miss is MNF - but since I usually have class on Mondays, I only missed it a little.
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post #16 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 04:37 PM
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Enjoy Free OTA channels while you can, the main reason scamcast bought universal was to be rid of any OTA reception in this country, and force everyone to pay for any form of television, it's only a matter of time, and no one thought they would have been permitted to buy universal, and look what happened....
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post #17 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheaterChad View Post

Enjoy Free OTA channels while you can, the main reason scamcast bought universal was to be rid of any OTA reception in this country, and force everyone to pay for any form of television, it's only a matter of time, and no one thought they would have been permitted to buy universal, and look what happened....

I think you may have been correct before the cord cutting started. But I have a feeling that all the folks fleeing cable/dish will keep OTA around. Just a hunch though.

It's been about a year for me and I must admit, I miss Directv. I'm a sports fan though, so it's been a tough road for me. We just lost the OTA Universal Sports channel, so now it gets even worse. I'm going to hang on though, for a-la-carte over IP at some point.
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post #18 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 05:14 PM
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I have been without cable/sat for almost two years now and I don't miss them. I use OTA+AT&T DSL+Hulu Plus+Netflix for a grand total of $76 a month(inc. phone and internet), I was paying Concast(spelling intentional) $90 a month just for TV.
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post #19 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 05:28 PM
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I cut the cord about a year ago, and haven't looked back. The only downsides for me was the lack of sports programming on Network TV these days, but with my home internet I have access to ESPN3. This has been a major lifesaver for me. Even when I had cable, I needed to use ESPN3 occasionally to watch a game that wasn't on one of the networks, so I figured why not just cut the middle man. I successfully made it through the NFL and NCAAF season without missing a single game that I wanted to see. I even used the opportunity to go to the gym and watch MNF and Thursday Night Football.

I would be willing to pay to subscribe to ESPN3 separately if they offered HD and 5.1 for their programming.

~Tighr: Not helping the situation since 1983

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post #20 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 05:53 PM
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This isn't for everyone. If you enjoy programming on channels such as Bravo, Nat Geo, Discovery, TLC, History, Oasis, Sports channels, etc... you're stuck paying for cable.
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post #21 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 06:36 PM
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I don't miss cable at all. Been OTA only for about 2 years.

"Hi. I'm Bob and I've been cable free for 2 years".
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post #22 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 06:37 PM
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I've never had cable or satellite. I get over the air from two major markets. I have the Google TV box which I use something for ESPN3 or something of that nature. You can get some free stuff cable offers online like some of the History Channel and other programming - http://www.ovguide.com/tv/history_ch...umentaries.htm
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post #23 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAV View Post

While this is a nice tactic, there are two issues.

If you are acquiring your internet from same cable company, your still stuck with them and basic cable service (they like to bundle). Nothing gained by cutting the cable if you need internet or lack alternatives of internet access.

FCC is in cahoots with the telephone companies (wireless providers) and is attempting to sell OTA RF frequencies, to the detriment of OTA users so that cell users can have better internet downloads/ better coverage. The whole wireless industry is a mess, they need to share cell access points not create separate cell access points in every neighborhood.

If all you want is the local OTA channels sure this is the cheapest way to go. Don't forget to ground your antenna.

I use comcast business internet and basic cable is extra.

I agree they are in cahoots
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post #24 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 07:25 PM
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I've saved plenty of money doing the following:

1) Replaced home landline phone ($35 a month) with OOMA VOIP services (FREE). Quality is excellent and no problems.

2) Replaced expensive cell contract ($100 a month) with unlimited data GO PHONE on Virgin Mobile ($35 a month).

3) Currently researching replacing DISH ($100 a month) with streaming services and OTA locals. So far VERY PLEASED with PQ (Netflix, AMAZON PRIME, VUDU, and HULU are all much better than Sat/Cable when it comes to PQ. Unfortunately, HULU+ isn't ready for prime time yet (unlike the other services, it stops to buffer constantly)... as soon as HULU gets its act together, I'll pull the plug. I've taken care of my bandwidth issues by upgrading to charter and consistently pull greater than 16 Mbps (plenty for HD streaming), now HULU just needs to take care of their end of the deal.

4) Switched from ATT DSL ($45 per month) to Charter Cable Modem ($19.99) -- it's cheaper and 3 times faster.
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post #25 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 08:22 PM
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Gremmy,

What does Charter run a month?
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post #26 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 08:47 PM
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I cut my Comcast bill from about $180 to $70 for high speed "blast" internet only (bought my own docsys3 modem to save the rental fee). I get about 18 channels OTA with great reception ~40 miles from the Boston area with an old Radio Shack antenna in my attic. I use an HTPC to record shows; Internet TV and Netflix takes care of the rest at a nominal cost. Phone service is free via Google voice and an Obihai box.
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post #27 of 120 Old 02-01-2012, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebberry View Post

This isn't for everyone. If you enjoy programming on channels such as Bravo, Nat Geo, Discovery, TLC, History, Oasis, Sports channels, etc... you're stuck paying for cable.

Enjoy? Yes. Need? No.

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post #28 of 120 Old 02-02-2012, 03:05 AM
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Back in November of 2008 I canceled my cable subscription when the bill hit $83 a month. It has been raised even more and if I didn't cancel I would be I would be paying around $100 a month right now. I have saved $3,200 in cable fees since I cut the cord. It hurts when I think of all the money I paid for cable the last 3 years I had it. If I would have spent that money on DVDs I would have 3 bookcases full of DVDs instead of the one bookcase full I have now.

But I still have plenty to watch. I'm now watching more TV than ever since I cut the cord. My DVDs are my ala-carte paid for programming I'm watching that is what I want uncut, commercial free, and with a clutter free screen. Then I get to keep them. No more paying to watch repeats. Also I have 60 years of programming to choose from instead of just whats on TV.

I get 14 channels (6 in HD) for free with my antenna. I get MeTV which is a classic TV channel that beats the heck out of TV Land. Also there is a lot of free programming on Hulu and Youtube. I'll never go back to pay TV and I don't miss it a bit.

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post #29 of 120 Old 02-02-2012, 03:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VendorBS View Post

Gremmy,

What does Charter run a month?

I am paying 19.99
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post #30 of 120 Old 02-02-2012, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gremmy View Post

I've saved plenty of money doing the following:

1) Replaced home landline phone ($35 a month) with OOMA VOIP services (FREE). Quality is excellent and no problems.

2) Replaced expensive cell contract ($100 a month) with unlimited data GO PHONE on Virgin Mobile ($35 a month).

3) Currently researching replacing DISH ($100 a month) with streaming services and OTA locals. So far VERY PLEASED with PQ (Netflix, AMAZON PRIME, VUDU, and HULU are all much better than Sat/Cable when it comes to PQ. Unfortunately, HULU+ isn't ready for prime time yet (unlike the other services, it stops to buffer constantly)... as soon as HULU gets its act together, I'll pull the plug. I've taken care of my bandwidth issues by upgrading to charter and consistently pull greater than 16 Mbps (plenty for HD streaming), now HULU just needs to take care of their end of the deal.

Hi,

That's strange that you are having problems with HULU+, we almost use it exclusively to keep up with current shows and do not have any problems. We stream through Roku2 XS boxes, so not sure if it's a streamer issue in your end (what are you using?).

Ray

 

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