Just the thread I was looking for. Our family probably watches slightly less TV than your average American family, although my kids alone are probably average as far as kids go. I've found that over the years we all have watched less live TV and are watching more streaming movies and shows and playing more video games. All of this time having to pay $100+/month to Comcast for three HD boxes (two DVR) and a mid-level channel package with only one premium channel (Showtime.)
In general, I agree with the statement (without having gone the route yet) that trying to divorce yourself from cable, *currently* is probably more work and expense than it is worth *for your average viewer's viewing habits*. It more "doable" for some than others. As this thread demonstrated, people's viewing habits can range widely. With that being said, I think we are to the point that we may now be borderline as far as being able to cut the cable and make it work. In looking at the channels that Roku and/or Playon offer it seems they cover about 80% + of everything we want to watch. It's the other 20% that I need to figure out though.
Live Sports - We are moderate sports fans. We like to watch the local Pro and College teams, some of the Playoffs, and some world events like the Olympics. With the Pro sports and Olymics, locally we should be able to get them via OTA (not sure about the local Div 1 College football and hoops though as that is usually Root Northwest but sometimes national - UW Huskies.)
News - I'm a CNN addict. Although I've gradually become more and more dismayed that most news, even CNN, views like a top 40 radio station playing the same stuff over and over again and focused more on entertainment (shock) value, than new/real national and world news. I don't need to see updates on the Aurora Massacre every day all day. So I may not miss CNN as much as I might think and working from home, I can stream a news audio feed over my office speakers. I actually found a station that mixes Pop Music with World News.
Premium Channels - My wife needs her Showtime, and I enjoy the shows on Showtime also (Big C, Dexter, etc. etc.) Is there a streaming subscription service you can get without Comcast. It seems this is how Comcast is keeping their hooks, at least as far as HBO. Sadly, if I can't get Showtime shows without cable or satellite, this would probably be a deal breaker. I already got beat up pretty bad when I changed to VOIP although our Internet is solid enough that we have no issues anymore.
So probably other than the Showtime issue, the big mystery is how well OTA is going to work for me. We are at elevation on the north side of a mountain about 15 miles directly east of downtown Seattle so I assume we have decent OTA reception. Is OTA HD here to stay?
Now to just figure out how to reduce my $150/month AT&T bill for our three iPhone (already with a 18% educational account discount!)
Well.. after a quick Google search my hunch is confirmed. I imagine the cable/satellite providers have semi-exclusive contracts or the premium Channels are just too slow and stupid to sell subscriptions for direct streaming. Hello Comcast, I want your cheapest package + Showtime.
Actually this give me an idea. Since we discovered that you can watch up to the last Episode of Showtime shows via On Demand, we have not need to DVR the shows anymore. So maybe I can at least get rid of all my boxes and just buy some cable cards for the two TVs and save a few bucks?