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Considering cutting the cord, need some help

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am currently a Dish Network subscriber. I have some package that comes with about 40 HD channels + locals. I have the ViP 722 HD DVR receiver. I pay something like $55/month.

I have a 67" 1080P DLP Samsung display, Harman Kardon AVR3600 HDMI receiver, Sony BDP-something Blu-Ray, and a Logitech harmony remote (I think it is the 660).

We recently had fiber cable laid in our neighborhood and I am considering dropping my cable internet service for fiber. I can get 20/20 down/up for $50/month vs the 15/2 I am getting now for the same price. I also have the option to go to 50/50 ($70 or $80/mo) or 100/100 ($100/mo) with fiber should I choose too.

I am considering dropping Dish for streaming content. I do not currently have any devices capable of streaming content. I currently have an Amazon Prime account, and would like to utilize it for more than free shipping and occasionally watching a movie on our iPad's. I was a NetFlix customer and don't really want to go back if I can help it.

I have 2 problems.

#1 live sports. I am an NFL junkie. I am a transplanted San Diego Chargers fan (I no longer live in their market). What are my options? I have heard the PS3 has a deal where you can purchase the NFL Sunday Ticket for the PS3 without having a DirecTV subscription. How would this work? It only has out of network games, right? So what about games being broadcast in my local area? Will I need an OTA antennae to get these? How about Sunday, Monday, and Thursday night football on NBC, ESPN, and NFL Network respectively. I assume I can get SNF from NBC via an OTA antennae, but what about ESPN & NFL Network?

#2 The first thing my wife asked when I suggest this is "what about Food Network". She loves cooking shows. What are the options to replace Food Network via streaming? I have heard there is an offering, but it won't be Food Network, it will be something else. I imagine they have parity in programming? She also asked about "Bravo" as she is a fan of the various "Real Housewives" series.

Those are the huge items, secondary would be getting content from the networks, like "TheVoice", and various other shows like CSI, The Big Band Theory, etc. We also watch shows from TNT or TBS (Leverage & Southland) and USA. Is this a problem? I currently do not get AMC, so no "Breaking Bad", but I would REALLY like to be able to get that show. I am sure I am missing a few other shows we watch, but in general how does content offered online compare to what I have now?

I hate commercials. DVR is awesome. Will the online options just irritate me with forced commercials that I can't forward through like I can with the DVR?

I was looking at the Roku boxes. Is this compatible with Logitech Harmony remotes?

If I cut the cord, will I save money based on what I am paying now and what I want to get (aside from the extra cost of the Sunday Ticket)?

What other information should I be providing? Or what questions should I be asking?
post #2 of 13
Last first, yes Roku is compatible with Logitech remotes -- no issue there.

The rest you may not be happy with the answer. OTA will give you major networks, but unless you use your computer to record that content you will not have a DVR. You can pick up a Silicon Dust dual tuner setup on ebay quite cheap often and feed that to a windows machine and have a functional DVR, but you still need to get that content to the TV. Oh and BTW if you let Windows Media Center record stuff it's only playable on a PS3 or another windows computer, proprietary format -- there are other options for recording on your computer though they do cost $$. Once you get these things recoded here Roku sort of falls down. You'll need a third party app like PLEX or Play-on to stream that content to the Roku.

I currently use a WD media player to get content from my computer to my TV and a Roku2 XS for everything else. there are other streamers out there and you'll have to do the research to find the right fit. But as for the other non-OTA content you are basically screwed, little to none of it is available out there. TNT requires you to have a provider to access their content just as HBO requires you to have a sub. to use HBO to go.

My suggestion? See what is available from your FOIS provider. Often they offer decent deals for internet and TV for the first year. That may allow things to shake out a bit more with internet streaming and more of the content you want may be eventually available.
post #3 of 13
1. Yes you will need and antenna. You might experiment with an indoor antenna first and see how that goes. I had no luck with indoor antenna so I had to go install a rooftop antenna.

There are 4 games broadcast on Sundays on local television. (fox, cbs, and nbc). Monday Night Football games are not shown on ESPN3.com
You will have to ask someone to hook you up with their cable login so you can watch in on WatchEspn.com live. For Thursday Night Football there is no live stream.
Or you can sign up for NFL Game Rewind. Monday Night Football games are available 24 hrs after they're over. Thursday Night Games are usually made available after they're over.

2. That's a tough one. Some of the shows you mentioned are available through Netflix. The Voice, CSI, and Big Bang Theory are available on CBS and NBC local channels which you can get with an antenna. You can also access some of them through their websites.

If you can't stand commercials your only options would be building a DVR. Windows Media Center is probably the easiest one to start with. And you can use and Xbox as an extender (i'm sure that's what spec1alk meant to say not ps3).
Edited by gonzo90017 - 9/11/12 at 10:19am
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by spec1alk View Post

If I cut the cord, will I save money based on what I am paying now and what I want to get (aside from the extra cost of the Sunday Ticket)?
What other information should I be providing? Or what questions should I be asking?

 

As a two-time cord cutter you can't replace the content at any price. Saving money? Sure you can but you'll never retain the same experience... DVRing OTA is simple and you can replace the experience and save money. All of the other content you either won't have available at any price or the user experience is not the same. Sure there are a few exceptions (not many). People will tell you to use Hulu and other sites and what they won't tell you most of the shows you want aren't there, they come and go, their image and sound is rather poor and yes you have commercials.

 

Going forward it's only getting worse rather than better. Take ESPN3 for example. It used to the shining example of what's available online for free (if your ISP allowed you access to it). Well they recently gutted the service removing virtually all of the desirable content and moved it to WatchhESPN which requires an ESPN subscription. In my opinion if one is looking for OTA (only) cutting the cord makes a lot of sense... the moment you want pay-TV content not so much.


Edited by Charles R - 9/11/12 at 5:23pm
post #5 of 13
Charles R is correct. If you really don't watch much TV then you could cut the cable cord and save a bunch. I thought about doing the same thing and getting my fix of the shows and sports I watch from other venues. I can't. I love all manner of sports, especially local teams. I could buy the sports packages separate but not only would my local teams be blacked out, after doing the math of what my cable costs now and what each package would cost plus having to pay for streaming services, I would be saving a big whopping $5 a year. That's it. So I would be spending the same and not be able to see my teams, plus there's shows that I watch that you can't get online so for me cutting cable really doesn't make sense. Streaming is a good supplement, but it can't replace cable.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo90017 View Post

2. That's a tough one. Some of the shows you mentioned are available through Netflix. The Voice, CSI, and Big Bang Theory are available on CBS and NBC local channels which you can get with an antenna. You can also access some of them through their websites.
If you can't stand commercials your only options would be building a DVR. Windows Media Center is probably the easiest one to start with. And you can use and Xbox as an extender (i'm sure that's what spec1alk meant to say not ps3).

Actually, I did mean PS3. It has the ability to subscribe to the NFL Sunday Ticket, which makes it appealing to me. I don't know that I would use it as a Blu-Ray player as I have a Sony player that works with my harmony remote.

I have heard (please confirm) that the XBox requires a "Live" subscription in order to support streaming services. Unless it is cheap (like $20/year), I wouldn't want to do this.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Guys, I really appreciate the feedback. As much as I want to move to streaming content on-line (and I am willing to pay for it a la carte), it seems like it doesn't make sense for my families needs at this time.

It does sound like it would be a worth-while 1-time investment to purchase a device (like a Roku) to stream Amazon Instant Video as I already have a Prime account and the video is essentially free.

I don't want to shift the conversation too drastically, but how is the streaming quality of Amazon Instant Video? Is it HD? Is the audio of good quality? Will it only get better? I am leaning towards getting a Roku that has HDMI out. Does the Roku have upgradable software/firmware that would allow it to leverage additional streaming services in the future?
post #8 of 13
Roku adds "channels" often, so pretty much once you buy it you're all set. The only thing I wish it had was optical out.

I have Amazon Prime and they have added quite a bit of new stuff and yes the library of HD is growing. The only time I've had issues with streaming has been when my ISP has had issues but other than that I like it.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
BTW if you let Windows Media Center record stuff it's only playable on a PS3
Quote:
Originally Posted by spec1alk View Post

Actually, I did mean PS3. It has the ability to subscribe to the NFL Sunday Ticket, which makes it appealing to me. I don't know that I would use it as a Blu-Ray player as I have a Sony player that works with my harmony remote.
I have heard (please confirm) that the XBox requires a "Live" subscription in order to support streaming services. Unless it is cheap (like $20/year), I wouldn't want to do this.
post #10 of 13
As I've said on another thread if not for NCAA football I would.

I already get MLB.tv since my team is out of market and I don't watch local sports (orlando fl). On top of that I purchased the NBA package and we buy UFC fights all the time, so almost all my sports watching is not really on cable except.....That dang NCAA (buckeyes). So in my case paying for cable is probably a net lose-lose, but the damn college football keeps me from cutting.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

As a two-time cord cutter you can't replace the content at any price. Saving money? Sure you can but you'll never retain the same experience...
I agree with this one.
We got tired of the endless games played by DirectTV and the others, so we went OTA.
In Sacramento, the OTA quality is simply superb, but limited.

I tried the paid version of HULU, but their servers were overloaded, and it annoyed me no end paying for a service loaded with commercials.
Kicked HULU to the curb.

Currently have OTA and Netflix Stream+DVD+BD.
As noted above, the content absence cannot be replaced.

I keep asking DirectTV for a basic package at $29.95, but they keep insisting on losing me as a customer.
Too bad.
I'm of the age, where reading a book is just fine.
post #12 of 13
Does anyone know if AMC and HGTV are free on Roku? Also, can I get ESPN Monday NIght Football free on Roku? I'm considering the Roku 2 XS. Thanks.
post #13 of 13
No, you can't get "cable" channels on a Roku.
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