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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I plan to build a HTPC the link to that thread is right here .


This thread is about question with about ditching cable and watching TV solely online and OTA broadcast.


I need to convince the wife that all we need is online and not to pay comcast each month.


I think I did that last night, seeing that both of us don't watch tv that much shes seems to be ok with the fact that all our shows will be recorded just as they are now or we can watch them in realtime.


Does anyone here do that? How is it working for you? I'm sure its an adjustment, but i think we are willing to do it.


i have a young daughter who watches tv, most of the shows she watches are OnDemand or we record them from times throughout the day, these show come on Noggin or Nick JR. I checked those sites and they don't stream their shows for her, i could probably rip some dvds and store them for her to watch if it came to it. does anyone have young kids? what do you do for tv for them.


Does anyone purchase shows via Itunes or any other site?


All responses appreciated.
 

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I tried that but having cable is so much more convenient. There are a lot of shows on tv that you wont be able to find online. A lot of HD content with cable that can't be seen though the HTPC because of encryption the cable company uses.


I did compromise and just got the basic HD service and no movie channels, what you can find online and view easily though your HTPC is HBO, SHO, MAX programing and almost every movie in HD format.


If you do go that route of ditching cable please keep up updated on how that goes.
 

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Also, if you ditch cable TV (at least in some areas) the cost of your Internet service (cable) will go up. Frankly, I don't begrudge the cable company their fees; they are somewhat high, but for the entertainment it provides, I feel it is worth it.


I would make sure that you're not going to see your Internet bill go from 30/mo to 60/mo (or something like that) because of the loss of cable TV. In many cases, you are better keeping basic cable, in effect, you get the cable for free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In response to both, i don't watch that much TV which is why i hate paying so much for it. Every night i sit down and i watch what is ON instead of something I WANT to watch. I usually end up with a movie. on something i DVR off a network channel.


Also the have a few options with internet, I can pit one against the other, right ow i pay $19.99 (promo rate) a month for comcast internet, that will go to $60 without TV, i can see no reason to stay with them except for price, Verizon now offers 7mps dsl for $29.99 (not a promotion) as long as i have phone service which i do.


I've done it before and comcast wavered, that is i threaten to switch they drop the price to keep me.


Just ask to speak with a "customer retention specialist" they will give you whatever promo they have. Its cheaper to keep who they have than to lose one and have to replace them.


I've been with for 10 yrs. I have yet to full price for any service, but even with the promos for tv and internet with DVR service ans rental fees my monthly fee is still over $120 month, when it should be almost $200.


My goal is to drop that to $30-40,. it may not be as convenient but saving $1000 a year is worth it to me.
 

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Well I am in the same boat. When my intro deal runs out I plan on doing the same thing. Most of what we watch is available OTA and what is not is on Hulu or one of the TV network websites. Online TV has gotten significantly better in the last 6 months and I expect it will continue to improve a lot. I figure I can save >$30 a month and as a side benefit I find I watch less TV without cable. With cable I will often end up watching something just because it is there not because it is particularly good.


We also have Netflix which also reduces the need for cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ams123 /forum/post/15422281


Well I am in the same boat. When my intro deal runs out I plan on doing the same thing. Most of what we watch is available OTA and what is not is on Hulu or one of the TV network websites. Online TV has gotten significantly better in the last 6 months and I expect it will continue to improve a lot. I figure I can save >$30 a month and as a side benefit I find I watch less TV without cable. With cable I will often end up watching something just because it is there not because it is particularly good.


We also have Netflix which also reduces the need for cable.

I have netflix, but i dropped my plan to lowest for the time being since i ran out of time to watch the movies.


Do you watch the movies are online, how is the quality? are there lots of movies?
 

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This wasn't directed at me, but I figured I could add my experience.


I watch online sometimes from NetFlix. Quality is somewhere between VHS and DVD (but no 5.1 sound, which is a killer for me). It's great for things you just want to "see" but don't really care about the quality. However, for movies that I really like (or think I am going to really like) I continue to use the by-mail service. However, I can't complain ONE BIT about it, it's free to members, and it works!


The selection of movies is getting better every day. There are also some series on there, but I haven't watched any of them yet, so can't comment on quality/commercials/etc.


Also, they recently moved to the SilverLight player. It's MUCH better. If you get NetFlix, call them up and tell them you want to opt-in to the new player. IMHO, it's a big step up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 /forum/post/15422368


I have netflix, but i dropped my plan to lowest for the time being since i ran out of time to watch the movies.


Do you watch the movies are online, how is the quality? are there lots of movies?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 /forum/post/15422368


I have netflix, but i dropped my plan to lowest for the time being since i ran out of time to watch the movies.


Do you watch the movies are online, how is the quality? are there lots of movies?

I watch a good amount of stuff online. The quality is good and getting better with the new silverlight player. It is definetly better the SD but not as good as a DVD. They also have HD streams but they are not released for PC's yet.


The content is a mixed bag. Lots of TV, particularly from NBC and Showtime. The movies are mostly older, independent, foreign or documentary. There are a few good late releases from the Starz network. With you account you should be able to see what is out there even if you cannot watch it.
 

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This is exactly what I am in the process of doing. My only concern is how wife firendly it will be. I started watching shows on hulu.com a few weeks ago and it got me thinking about how much more I would enjoy watching the shows if it were on my 47" downstairs instead of my 22" monitor in the office.


My only concern is the Kid content. I have a 16 month old and she watches some of the disney stuff while we get ready for work in the morning.
 

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I personally have not had cable for quite a few years and I can't say as I miss it that much.


Back when TLC could actually get you a show about learning something and Discovery actually had shows where they documented the Discovery of something it was worth it. Now the only thing I can learn is how to remodel a house with a bunch of crap and the only thing I can discover is a couple of douchewads that run around telling me about a bunch of myths that they bust.


Honestly, I travel for work about once or twice a year and it seems those couple of stays in a hotel allow me to keep up with all the new programming that comes out on the channels I like to watch.


The biggest thing I miss out on is getting to watch shows on sci fi or the like until a year after when they come out on DVD (BSG Season 4 on netflix in about 6 more days) but to be honest, I really enjoy getting the season on DVD and watching them all through in a marathon session over a weekend with no commercials much more than watching them once a week with commercials to break up the storyline.


My wife and I can find enough things on broadcast to keep us interested. We record shows like Fringe, House, Lost, NCIS, Heros, Office etc. etc. that we both watch. In addition to that there are her shows like One Tree Hill, etc. that she will watch on the extender upstairs and I can always find a documentary stored up to watch while doing work around the house or sufing on the laptop (PBS HD - Nova, Independent Lens, Wide Angle, etc.) Lastly, storing up the daily syndicated runs of Family Guy, Simpsons and South Park means I always have short/mindless shows to put on if nothing else is going on (or to transcode to my phone jic.) So their always seems to be something available to watch on Sage when we are ready to watch TV. We also have Netflix subscription and when they come I tend to just rip them to the HTPC for storage until we get around to watching them.


Lastly, netflix on demand can always turn up something to watch if you don't feel like watching anything else. I'm currently, slowly working my way through the old classics of Buck Rogers when I feel the need. Yes, they are campy, but then so is 99% of the junk you find exclusively on cable anymore.


To be honest, I have been meaning to get Hulu integrated into my HTPC setup, but I haven't gotten around to it. As we always seem to have something available to watch as it is, I've never felt the need.

Now what is this talk about silverlight player and calling netflix about it? This is news to me. More info please.


-Suntan
 

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Oh also, for the download your video types, most all of the PBS documentaries provided through Nova, Wide Angle, Independent Lens, Nature, frontline, etc. can be downloaded from their various PBS websites. I haven’t ever done it myself as I usually record them when they are broadcast. But if you are looking for another source of documentaries, check it out.


They tend to be the shows you think you are not all that interested in watching prior to viewing them, then you think “my wife/mother/friend/etc. should watch that documentary” after you view it.


Go check it out. Good stuff:

http://www.pbs.org/video/


-Suntan
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by BPMOU /forum/post/15423164


This is exactly what I am in the process of doing. My only concern is how wife firendly it will be. I started watching shows on hulu.com a few weeks ago and it got me thinking about how much more I would enjoy watching the shows if it were on my 47" downstairs instead of my 22" monitor in the office.


My only concern is the Kid content. I have a 16 month old and she watches some of the disney stuff while we get ready for work in the morning.

To start, Suntan you sound like me. Cable is worthless there is nothing worth watching, all the shows are free on OTA network TV, and now in HD...


BPMOU, this is my biggest concern, my wife is on board, but i have a 3 year old, soon to be 4, she doesn't watch much live TV except pbs or tbs in the morning, which will still be there. but before she goes to bed at night, its some show on demand or something we recorded from noggin or nickjr. I'd like to hear what solution others have come up with...
 

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Have you looked if you get PBS-Kids as a subchannel in your area? Always a bunch of kid shows on that one (haven't really bothered with that yet as our 17 month old is not allowed to watch TV yet.)


Also, there are thousands of Kids titles at netflix.


-Suntan
 

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Call up NetFlix and tell them you would like to "opt-in" to the new player. They will send you an e-mail with a link in it. Once you click the link (and login to NetFlix) when you click anything Watch Instantly, you will download and start to use the new player (SilverLight).


It's an improvement (IMHO) from the old player. Still not great, but getting to "good", and should be "very good" in the next few months. I don't see any downside (compared to their old player).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan /forum/post/15423213


Now what is this talk about silverlight player and calling netflix about it? This is news to me. More info please.


-Suntan
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was just on itunes and i think i found my solution, you can buy and entire season of a lot of kids shows, or individual episodes.
 

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I have been watching TV online for a while now. Just about anything you want to find it out there.


Is cable/satellite more convienent? Sure, but once you get used to the interface, watching online is a very viable solution.


If you want to know where to find content, I started a thread on that here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1098626
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 /forum/post/15423403


Cable is worthless there is nothing worth watching, all the shows are free on OTA network TV, and now in HD...

I think you've answered your own question here. If you don't watch cable channels, why would you keep cable TV service?


My two youngest kids mostly watch PBS, there's lots of good younger children programming there. Anyone seen the junk on the Cartoon Network or Disney Toons? Jeez......My teenager doesn't watch much PBS.....unfortunately



I purchased Battlestar season 4 in HD from iTunes only because I didn't have satellite/cable when it originally aired and didn't realize they rebroadcasted it about a month and a half ago until after the fact. It looked very good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack /forum/post/15423681


I have been watching TV online for a while now. Just about anything you want to find it out there.


Is cable/satellite more convienent? Sure, but once you get used to the interface, watching online is a very viable solution.


If you want to know where to find content, I started a thread on that here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1098626

nice list.


now can you streamline the interface by linking to these sites from a media center type interface or do you have to fire up a browser and go to the site like i do now?
 

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I've been off cable for almost 3 years now, and the only thing I miss is sports. (My local baseball, basketball, and hockey teams are on cable 99% of games, and stupid MLB.com blacks out local games live.) If you are a total sports nut, no cable might not be an option. Heading out to a bar to catch a game a few times a month will add up to the cost of a cable subscription pretty quickly.


As everyone else has been saying, Netflix and Hulu are a good combo for most everything else you'll miss.


I don't have kids, so I can't comment on that side of things.
 
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