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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As of right now I only have a ps3, but do have intentions to build a HTPC maybe now is the time. But what I want to do is get rid of cable, price keeps going up and up, and the only thing I could do is go to satellite, which I don't want to do.


Here are my needs, my family currently does a lot of rebbox for movies and netflix for normal entertainment. There are about a handful of shows we watch.


Justified, SOA, on FX

Walking Dead AMC

Suites USA,


There may be a couple other but those are the main concerns,


I know HBO doesn't offer any streaming options unless thats changed, and does anyone know if the Big Ten network is avalible. If I can convince my wife to forget about the couple of shows she watches on HBO, then I could give up BTN and go to the bar and watch games. This would save me over $100.00 a month.


So what are my options, and the best and simplified way of going about this.


Thanks
 

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Hey duder. I'm researching the same thing right now. Since you don't watch all that many shows, you can probably purchase them through Amazon Instant Video or Google Play. Full seasons of TV shows are usually from $30-$40. Still a lot cheaper than the cable bill. The Amazon app should be available on most smart HDTVs (same with Netflix) or you can buy a Roku ($60-$99), Apple TV ($99), or Chromecast ($35) to get the apps.

 

If you want to get over the air stuff (like live sports) and have some DVR functionality, you can do what I'm thinking about doing and buy a tuner card for your PC (if you have one). Buy an HD antenna (like the $35 Mohu leaf), hook it up to your PC tuner card, and use Windows Media Center to record TV shows (if you have a PC). Then you can use Plex Server to stream the content to your devices (TVs, tablets, smartphones, etc) in your home network. Sounds easier than it is, but it should be doable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey thanks for the tips, I was talking to my sister, she was telling me my brother inlaw has some good ideas. Hopefully I will be talking to him this weekend. The good news is I convinced my wife to drop HBO, so we just need to figure out the minor details. With the money I save, I will be building a dedicated HTPC for all of this. So a lot of the things you speak of will be more due-able.
 

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Definitely share any insights your brother in law has. I'm looking onto setting up the Plex side of things tonight to see what additional hardware I need to serve media to my TVs and other devices.
 

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If you are in Comcast territory you might want to try their "Internet Plus HBO" package. I just signed up with this package a few weeks ago. For $39/month I get 30mbs internet, HBO, Xfinity Streampix, Xfinity On demand, and limited basic tv channel package (20+ channels including all locals). Previously I had a comcast internet service for $49 so I'm paying less and getting more. The cost is fixed for 12 months. I use my own modem and have a Tivo Romiao (cablecard is free) plus $2.70 for HD service for the Tivo. My total monthly cost including tax and junk fees is less than $50.


Jay
 

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I'm in Time Warner Cable country, so I don't think I have that option. But that sounds awesome. I'll look into it. I would definitely jump at that deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by kphammond9  /t/1525702/how-do-i-cut-cable-and-start-streaming#post_24568737


Definitely share any insights your brother in law has. I'm looking onto setting up the Plex side of things tonight to see what additional hardware I need to serve media to my TVs and other devices.

I use Plex to with my PS3 to watch the movies I have stored on my compture, and DLNA for music it works very well. I haven't thought about getting a DVR card or what ever hardware it takes to record then just use plex through the PS3. Let me know how it turns out.


I have COX, for other options we have Century Link which offers internet and phone service, they now offer cable but no lines in my area. So basically its either a dish or Cox. I am paying 65.00 a month for 25 mbs of internet, 45.00 a month for phone, and 110.00 for 200 plus cable channels including HBO, and HD. It kills me when I see people are only paying 40.00 a month for 30 mbs of internet. I definitely am calling Century Link to see what they offer for internet and phone.
 

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Quick update. After more research and experimenting, I think I have my hardware solution figured out. For the tuner, I'm probably going with the HDHomerun Prime from Silicon Dust. It's a 3 channel HD tuner that will work with WMC to record OTA channels. I got a chromecast and it works great with plex, but my wife doesn't like the interface. So I think we may end up going with the amazon fire tv, since it seems to have most of what we're looking for app and interface-wise. I'll post again once we get it set up.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by duder1982  /t/1525702/how-do-i-cut-cable-and-start-streaming#post_24570159


I am paying 65.00 a month for 25 mbs of internet, 45.00 a month for phone, and 110.00 for 200 plus cable channels including HBO, and HD. It kills me when I see people are only paying 40.00 a month for 30 mbs of internet.

Wow, that's rough. It's amazing what they can charge and get away with. Good luck getting a better deal.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kphammond9  /t/1525702/how-do-i-cut-cable-and-start-streaming/0_40#post_24576976


Quick update. After more research and experimenting, I think I have my hardware solution figured out. For the tuner, I'm probably going with the HDHomerun Prime from Silicon Dust. It's a 3 channel HD tuner that will work with WMC to record OTA channels. I got a chromecast and it works great with plex, but my wife doesn't like the interface. So I think we may end up going with the amazon fire tv, since it seems to have most of what we're looking for app and interface-wise. I'll post again once we get it set up.

Wrong. The Prime is cable only. They make a 2 tuner OTA box though.
 

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I dumped Comcast for DirecTV and dumped DirecTV for OTA. Using OTA I get about 45 channels and the quality in HD blows away Comcast or DirecTV since compression is a lot less with OTA signals. Another nice thing is that no digital boxes needed for TV's, just plug the cable in. I use Mythtv to record shows that I can watch on the various front ends I have through the house. This includes a Minix G4 running XBMC and Roku XD, and a Raspberry Pi.


My Mythtv Backend is also my Plex Server which allows me to stream to the various frontends along with smartphones and tablets, both locally and through the Internet. At first I thought I'd miss channels like Discovery Channel, History Channel, etc, but my Roku allows me to use sites like Hulu, Amazon, & Netflix to name a few for this type of content. Also it's amazing how much can be found on Youtube now a days too.


Personally I found it easier to dump Comcast and DirecTV than I thought, although there was some adjustments to how I watch TV, but for those that remember the old days of OTA signals, it's nothing like you get now a days with OTA HD signals, makes Comcast & DirecTV look like a joke in terms picture quality, plus the $100 a month in my pocket now is nice!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy  /t/1525702/how-do-i-cut-cable-and-start-streaming#post_24577052


Wrong. The Prime is cable only. They make a 2 tuner OTA box though.

You're right. I should have said HD Homerun Dual.
 

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In case anybody is interested, here's the setup I went with eventually:

HDHomerun Dual ATSC tuner

MediaPortal TV Server software (live TV and PVR backend, Win 7)

2 Raspberry Pi running Openelec (XBMC frontend, one per TV)

Plex Media Server with PleXBMC plugin (not totally necessary, but I like Plex)

PlayOn Media Server (for DRMed Flash and Silverlight based apps like Hulu, Amazon Video, etc)

 

System still needs some tweaking, but it's working and delivers pretty much what I was looking for: Live OTA TV and PVR; local media including movies, music, and photos; and content aggregation apps all in one interface.

 

Tuner was about $100, RPis were about $60 each (including power source and case).

 

PlayOn is about $60/year or $80 lifetime. Still not sure if I'll keep that one, since I just set it up today and it's not entirely necessary except that it pulls everything into one interface (XBMC) for me. But if I put it through its paces and it performs ok, it'll be worth it for me.

 

I've been happy with the Raspberry Pis so far. I had to exchange one with a faulty SD card port, but aside from that, they've been great. Not exactly plug and play (at all), but I've been able to figure out most of the kinks and set it up how I want it. I like that XBMC is a pretty open platform. That's the main reason why I opted for it over the Roku and the Amazon Fire TV. Although, if I hadn't wanted to integrate live TV, those would have been better choices, probably.

 

PS- One annoying thing I discovered last night, Amazon Instant Video only plays in SD via PlayOn. The issue is that my PC running the PlayOn server is not a HDCP compliant device. It's an extra layer of copy protection which means I can't watch HD on my computer, much less over the network. It doesn't invalidate PlayOn for me, but it does mean that, if I want HD Amazon videos, I have to pop out of XBMC and watch on my LG TV app (which is HDCP compliant).
 

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fyi - XBMC is available to side load on the Fire TV. Also, you now have older HBO content available to Amazon Prime members.
 

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** Note ** I do not know the legal repercussions of using the below solution. Proceed at your own risk! **

 

Look Into SickBeard, CouchPotato, and SABNzbd.  These are amazing pieces of software!  You will need a usenet account, and a usenet indexer account.  There are several usenet providers and index providers out there, so it's your preference.

 

SickBeard - Downloads TV shows 

CouchPotato - Downloads Movies

SABNzbd - Receives the Download requests from SickBeard & CouchPotato and downloads them from your usenet provider

 

The above solution merely gets the media for you.  If you are wanting to watch (stream) the media to your TV, this will depend on the viewing hardware you have.

 

For example, if you have an AppleTV, then any media you download will have to be converted to a format iTunes can play (mp4/m4v) and then imported into your iTunes library so AppleTV can access it.

 

If you have Roku, there are several options. I don't have one, so I wont go into them. A google search can help on that one.

 

If you have TiVo (like I have), there is an amazing application called pyTiVo.  pyTiVo is based on Python.  So any computer than can run Python (Windows/Mac/Linux) can run pyTiVo.  pyTiVo accesses the media files on your computer, then streams them directly to a TiVo. It works like having a second TiVo in your home that you are transfering a video from.
 

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An additonal note, I have Comcast. I use them strictly for Cable Internet. In my area, they haed a special promo going on where you could get Internet + HBO Go together in a package.
 
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