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Author Topic: Ever think about getting rid of cable TV?  (Read 1215 times)
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Lee
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« on: September 06, 2010, 08:22:33 PM »

Playing with the idea. After my initial one year price special is done (even though I am going to move and will be going to a different cable company and can probably get special rates again) I will be paying probably $80+ per month for cable TV, HBO, and a DVR. That is on top of the $50 that cable internet costs. I have a new Apple TV coming to hook up my LCD TV, and I already have Netflix which I use a lot with my iMac and iPad. The picture isn't perfect on the 27" iMac's screen, but it's not bad, so I assume it will be decent on my TV.

Looking through shows that I watch almost everything can be rented/bought through iTunes or streamed from the stations website (or I could wait for it to come out on DVD and get it through Netflix). So is it worth it to buy an iTunes Season pass for shows at $30+? Figuring shows I watch are probably aired for about 2.5 months and I don't watch that much TV, it probably would end up being cheaper than cable. The most expensive shows I watch would be The Daily Show and Colbert Report. iTunes has them for $10 for 15 episodes. Between the two I would be paying over $20 a month to keep up with.

Sports would be the big issue. I follow the Premier League, NHL, and Formula 1. I can get all of the Premier League games online through Fox Soccer Channel online for something like $140 for an 8 month season. NHL (Avalanche) and Formula 1 would be much harder. Probably have to give up F1, which wouldn't be a big deal, and would have to watch the Avs in bars, also not a big deal.

The only drawback would be picture quality. Stuff like soccer looks likes hell full screen, so I would have to watch it in a window. Netflix and iTunes have very good quality, but it's not up to a real TV signal when streaming.

I am really thinking it's feasible with as little TV as I watch. Thoughts? Ideas?
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gellar
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2010, 08:33:30 PM »

Yeah I consider it, but Sports is the big NO GO.  I suppose I could subscribe to the online streams for NHL and MLB, but that doesn't exist for the NFL (in the US, anyway) and the loss of F1 and other sports that I probably can't even think of is too much.  Couple that with the stream not looking very good on a 50" HDTV and the assumption that I can't get 5.1 sound... there are too many trade offs.  Then you add in the cost of the shows I do watch and the unavailability of some of them to buy/stream online and it just doesn't work out.  Thus I willingly fork over $100/mo to DirecTV.
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Lee
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2010, 08:47:30 PM »

Sports is one of those things that really needs to be in HD too. For soccer unless its on ESPN the quality is shit anyway so watching it in a window isn't that much worse.

I didn't know I could stream NHL games, although I am not sure if I would want to.
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Moliere
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2010, 10:02:16 PM »

I got rid of cable TV 6 years ago. I go weeks without turning on the TV. I get by with Hulu or streaming on the network's sites.
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2010, 10:04:06 PM »

Get rid of cable?  That's crazy talk!
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Chaz
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2010, 10:39:02 PM »

I'm likely moving into my own place in about a month.  My plan is to try going without cable for a while.  I'll have internet to stream/torrent shows, and I'll be getting an antenna to watch the Pats games.  Fortunately, I don't follow any other sports, so that's simpler.  I'm hoping it'll leave me more time to do other things that seem to get postponed in favor of clearing shows off the DVR.
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TK-421
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2010, 10:43:48 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on September 06, 2010, 10:02:16 PM

I got rid of cable TV 6 years ago. I go weeks without turning on the TV. I get by with Hulu or streaming on the network's sites.

This.  Last year. 

Streaming Netflix over the XBox gives me my movie fix and then throw in a media PC for watching Hulu and other streaming shows on the big screen TV and you're golden.
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rshetts2
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2010, 12:39:37 AM »

I have done this as well.  No cable for me.  I get everything I need tv wise on the intrawebs.  Most of the networks have HD sreams of almost everything they show.  I use an Over the air antennae for the local channels and since Im  in the metro Detroit area I can get all the networks in HD, plus a bunch of independents and pbs stations.  You can also get anything from USA, TNT, SyFy etc either on their sites or hulu.  With the exception of some sports and ESPN, I really dont miss cable at all.  I got tired of paying 50-60 a month to subsidize a gazillion channels I neither watched nor wanted.  No regrets here.
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YellowKing
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2010, 01:27:28 AM »

I've considered it, but ultimately I talk myself out of it for the sake of convenience/laziness. My wife and I watch so many different shows between us that it would be a bit of a hassle to try to rent/download/stream them all without significant effort.
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theohall
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2010, 01:36:02 AM »

Quote from: Lee on September 06, 2010, 08:22:33 PM

The most expensive shows I watch would be The Daily Show and Colbert Report. iTunes has them for $10 for 15 episodes. Between the two I would be paying over $20 a month to keep up with.
 If you don't have to see it the day they air, both shows are available online for free.

Quote from: Lee on September 06, 2010, 08:22:33 PM

Sports would be the big issue. I follow the Premier League, NHL, and Formula 1. I can get all of the Premier League games online through Fox Soccer Channel online for something like $140 for an 8 month season. NHL (Avalanche) and Formula 1 would be much harder. Probably have to give up F1, which wouldn't be a big deal, and would have to watch the Avs in bars, also not a big deal.

NHL has a Center Ice online.  The only games you don't get in the regular season are the Saturday games which conflict with NBC, Vs games, and games aired on the local sport channel.  So you might be stuck going to the bar since almost every Avs game is aired via cable.  (Luckily, I watch the Blues and don't live anywhere near St Louis, so it works for me).

Lived without Cable for 7 years.  Didn't notice it the 1st three due to being super busy.  The last 4, had an apartment and discovered how much is available via streaming.  This exploded in terms of content available the past 3 years.  Since my work schedule does not usually let me watch stuff live anyway - Hulu's subscription service (free version) works fine for me.  Most Hulu shows are available 7-8 days after the original airs, unless the show isn't getting good ratings (Haven), then they are available the day after they air.

FX streams most of their shows, also time-shifted 7-8 days after the original airs.  Watched Justified this way.  But they only keep shows up for about 1 month after it's posted.  Wish there was a better way to track when FX has new shows, but have not found a good option, yet.

atdhe.net is good for lots of sports, but the quality leaves quite a bit to be desired.  All of the F1 races show up via that site.  This can also be used to circumvent the NHL blackouts, but, again, quality is always lacking.

Currently, living with a couple in Jacksonville and they have DirecTV, so have not had to rely on the internet/go to the bar to watch college football games.

It's feasible to live without cable/Direc TV, but it is not as good as having it.  You just have to be willing to accept less quality for some things, pay for television shows if you want to see them when "new" instead of one week old, find and use the "free" subscription services (they really help keeping track of stuff for you), and have the patience to look for something if it isn't readily apparent where it is showing when looking for some sports stuff.

If you are looking to save some cash, it works.
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ATB
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2010, 01:40:30 AM »

Haven't had cable since I was in my early years of high school.  HD over the air is the best way to be. DVDs and Hulu cover the gaps.
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Lee
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2010, 01:45:15 AM »

Thanks for the helpful post Theo. I can afford cable, it just seems like a waste of money for how little I watch it. Paying for all these channels I will never ever watch.
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Jarrodhk
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2010, 01:55:54 AM »

If it didn't come included in the rent, I would not have cable right now.  Just don't watch TV all that much, on the actual TV or over the net.
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Rumpy
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2010, 02:06:43 AM »

No, since streaming is very limited in Canada. Not enough to make it worthwhile.
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2010, 02:49:26 AM »

Quote from: gellar on September 06, 2010, 08:33:30 PM

Yeah I consider it, but Sports is the big NO GO. 

This.  I don't watch anything other than sports, but wouldn't be able to live through football season without cable.  Plus, the little one loves watching the Sprout channel, so we keep it.
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Ralph-Wiggum
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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2010, 04:29:22 AM »

I've gone the last year or so without cable. I was mainly concerned about missing sports, but almost everything I'd want to see is either on a free, over-the-air channel (ABC, CBS, FOX, etc) or on ESPN3. I haven't regretted the decision at all.
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Sarkus
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2010, 09:09:59 AM »

Sports is the big thing I miss as well.  I've been renting a room for a past few years and don't have cable in my room, though the house has it in the living room.  Problem is that I rarely get to decided what's on in the living room.  icon_confused  I don't really miss a lot, as I can pick up the major channels on the TV in my room, but screwing around with an antenna to get good reception is a pain.  NBC is the hardest to get where I'm at and guess who's showing the NFL season opener on Thursday? 

And streaming the NFL is pricey.
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« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2010, 02:28:40 PM »

Been doing it for over a year and don't regret it.  Not missing the 120+ dollar cable bill that I used to get every month.  smile  OTA HD NFL Football is all I really care about everything else can be seen either on DVD or through some sort of streaming service. 
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« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2010, 03:20:07 AM »

Quote from: Sarkus on September 07, 2010, 09:09:59 AM

Sports is the big thing I miss as well.  I've been renting a room for a past few years and don't have cable in my room, though the house has it in the living room.  Problem is that I rarely get to decided what's on in the living room.  icon_confused  I don't really miss a lot, as I can pick up the major channels on the TV in my room, but screwing around with an antenna to get good reception is a pain.  NBC is the hardest to get where I'm at and guess who's showing the NFL season opener on Thursday? 

And streaming the NFL is pricey.


If you don't have to see the game "live", NFL Rewind is an option that is not that pricey.  Streamed in HD.  39.99 for the entire regular season.  Price will go up to 49.99 shortly.  It also has every game archived from the past two seasons if you want to see old games.

Quote
Unlimited access to watch all 2010 NFL regular season games
Commercial-free broadcasts in HD-quality
Complete DVR controls
Fully indexed games - search for specific plays or moments

Most important FAQ
When are new games posted to Game Rewind? Why isn't Game Rewind available during certain times of the week?

New games are published to Game Rewind after the completion of the game(s) and will be available to Game Rewind subscribers by 6am EST the day after the game, except in the case of the Monday Night Football game which will be available by 12am EST the Wednesday following the game

NFL Game Rewind Service is unavailable during the live broadcast of NFL games, and as a result the service will be unavailable during the following days and times during the 2010 NFL Regular Season (Sept. 9, 2010 to Jan. 2, 2011). Times of blackout are subject to change:

Code:
Day Blackout Start Time Blackout End Time
Sundays        1:00 pm EST 11:59 pm EST
Mondays        8:30 pm EST 11:59 pm EST
Thursdays*     8:20 pm EST 11:59 pm EST
*All Thursday games broadcast on NFL Network

The following dates (subject to change) have unique schedule blackout requirements:

Day        Blackout Start Time Blackout End Time
Thursday, Sept. 9 8:30 pm EST 11:59 pm EST
Monday, Sept. 13 7:00 pm EST 1:30 am EST (Tuesday Sept. 14)
Thursday, Nov. 25 12:30 pm EST 11:59 pm EST
Saturday, Dec. 25 7:30 pm EST 11:59 pm EST
There may be additional or different periods of unavailability for the NFL Game Rewind Service added throughout the season due to changes in game date and/or time.

More details here.
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« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2010, 03:44:52 AM »

If my local cable sports network ever went online I would dump cable in an instant, but I am a slave to Bruins games so cable stays for now.
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Lee
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« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2010, 02:52:35 PM »

Well I am going to do it. Moving to a new place next week and have internet ordered but no cable TV. The worst part is this has been a great Formula 1 season and I am going to miss the final 2 races. I am not even sure a good stream could make up for it, F1 is meant for HD. Hockey I have stopped following for various reasons. After that it will still be cheaper to rent the shows I watch rather than pay for cable. I have an Apple TV, Netflix subscription, and will be picking up a Logitiech Google TV this week (I believe they come out this week). I had Netflix already so the $70 plus I am saving a month can go towards TV show rentals.

In the long run I am expecting it to be much cheaper and it means I will watch less crap.
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Jimmy the Fish
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« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2010, 05:29:52 PM »

According the Google TV specs page on the Logitech website, it requires a cable or satellite box.

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/smartTV/revue

Click on the specifications tab near the top.
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« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2010, 05:32:30 PM »

You'll have to let us know how it goes after a few weeks.  I am seriously considering dropping my Comcast cable and just going with Netflix/Hulu as well.  I can't wait to see Hulu available on Xbox and PS3.
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« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2010, 07:33:29 PM »

Apparently on Logitechs twitter page of all places they said that you don't need a cable/satellite you can still use the internet and the apps.

http://twitter.com/Logitech/status/26757603622
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Lee
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« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2010, 08:55:21 PM »

The Sony Blu-Ray Google TV hit Best Buy today, really tempted to go get one, but am going to wait for reviews. I could sell my PS3 if I got that.
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Lee
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« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2010, 12:45:04 AM »

I am so weak. I bought a Sony Blu-Ray Google TV. It isn't quite what I expected, and really needs cable to make the most of it. It is kind of neat, but I have a lot of learning to do and it seems a bit rough around the edges so far. Its not a cable TV replacement, but adds to the experience. In the week before I move I have to decide whether it makes cable worth getting in my new place. frown

It's a pity, I would love a product that is a cross between Apple TV and this Sony Google TV. Blu-ray player, iTunes, linking to a computer to stream, lots of rental options. My very initial impressions is both have lots of room to improve.
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« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2010, 01:52:45 AM »

We got rid of cable a few years ago. Yeah, I miss baseball, but besides that I'm not dying for it. I have my laptop streaming content from my desktop PC and then I connect it via HDMI to the TV, and that covers just about everything.
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« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2010, 03:36:47 AM »

Quote from: deadzone on September 07, 2010, 02:28:40 PM

Been doing it for over a year and don't regret it.  Not missing the 120+ dollar cable bill that I used to get every month.  smile  OTA HD NFL Football is all I really care about everything else can be seen either on DVD or through some sort of streaming service. 

Been thinking about dropping cable for a long time, but for one primary reason:
I'm spending $50/month for about 60 standard channels (no premium). And I do watch a lot of them, however I am sick and tired of being forced to watch those animated advertisements in the bottom right corner continuously during every single show on every single channel I watch. And those spinning ads and logos seem to be getting bigger every year. In fact, some of them are taking up the entire bottom quarter of the screen. And I'm paying good money for this ?!? And I got nobody to blame but myself, since I'm hooked on a few shows and have been putting up with it.

But now I'm wondering how tough it would be to just wait a few extra months and get my favoritre shows on DVD, where I can see them without all the crap. I can buy a lot of DVD seasons of a lot of shows for that same $50/month.
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