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Author Topic: The Push to Get Rid of Cable  (Read 1425 times)
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Covenant
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« on: December 14, 2011, 07:09:07 PM »

So every month I look at my gigantic cable bill and think about ditching it completely (the wife isn't so easy to persuade).  Recently, the wife has been bugging me to put a cable box in the bedroom (which i really don't want to do). To combat this, and begin to test the waters, I just picked up a Roku2 internet streaming box and hooked it to the TV in the bedroom. I setup netflix, hulu plus (just started my free trial), amazon streaming (for on-demand rentals), and since I subscribe, the HBO and Epix apps.

The amount of content seems fantastic to me; plenty of options for movies/shows, and rentals right at my fingertips to fill in the gaps.  Now to see if the wife goes for it. The only thing  I'm not jazzed about is that you have to browse each data source independantly. We really need something that creates a master list of all content and provides it in a single menu driven/search menu broken out by category. I'm hoping this arrives in the future.

Hopefully this will pan out, as I can save a boat-load of money each month if it works out.  Anyone else gone the internet streaming route and managed to ditch your cable? What limitations did you run into?
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 07:17:31 PM »

I ditched my cable.  I've since lost any interest in keeping up with broadcast TV shows that I used to plan my fall around.  The only TV I watch now is through Netflix, either disc or streaming.
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2011, 07:41:23 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on December 14, 2011, 07:17:31 PM

I ditched my cable.  I've since lost any interest in keeping up with broadcast TV shows that I used to plan my fall around.  The only TV I watch now is through Netflix, either disc or streaming.
well damn, I always used your charts for the upcoming tv schedule. 
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2011, 08:29:09 PM »

Time will tell if I'm still able to hold off come next fall. In the event that I'm cohabitating and cable/DVR comes back into the mix, that very well may change.
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2011, 08:32:00 PM »

Shows like Dr. Oz that get played in my house piss me off, and it makes me want to get rid of cable entirely.

If I wanted entertainment, I'll take entertainment. Don't give me a show where a bunch of headbobbing housewives are being "trained" to be nutritional "experts". The ground that nutrient recommendations stand on is shaky at best. Hundreds of years from now, our day and age is going to be laughed at the same way we laugh at "balancing humours".
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2011, 09:09:00 PM »

I've been without cable for the last year.  I make use of streaming Netflix, discs, and yeah, I torrent some current shows, but generally, if they're good, I'll wind up buying them on disc anyway.  So far, I've had no shortage of things to watch.  With my old cable box DVR, the capacity was low enough that I felt a constant pressure to watch shows to clear it off.  Now that that's not a problem, I watch what I want, when I want.  So much better and cheaper. 
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2011, 09:48:00 PM »

Issue #1: Sports.
Issue #2: HBO requires an HBO subscription for HBO Go.
Issue #3: Showtime is the same.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2011, 09:48:26 PM »

That brings up the point.  The reason that I've stopped watching broadcast TV isn't that I cancelled cable.  Technically, I'm still getting basic through the wire.  it's really the loss of the DVR functionality.  I don't have the funds (or honestly, the inclination) to either pick up a Tivo or make a media center PC to replace it and add something else to manage.  

And I was in the same boat as Chaz.  The DVR filling up started to mandate when stuff got dumped and which weekends I had to spend on my couch watching stuff.  It just wasn't worth it to me anymore.
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2011, 12:19:36 AM »

Using a windows 7 media center connection to an Xbox can be just as good as a TiVo, IMHO.
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2011, 12:25:02 AM »

If not for sports I would dump cable/dish/uverse completely. In fact I would probably get rid of my TV.
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2011, 12:44:16 AM »

I've been cable-free for about a year and a half.  Netflix + Amazon Prime streaming give me more to watch than I have time for.  With broadcast TV I rarely ever bothered.  Of course, I don't watch sports at all, so that isn't a factor for me.  The main thing is that a month of Netflix plus an entire year of Prime cost me less than what I used to pay for one month of cable.
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2011, 01:19:12 AM »

Been without cable for a year or so now.  I don't watch sports and can wait on HBO shows for the DVDs, except for Game of Thrones where I go to a friend's place to watch.  It's been fine - there's more on Netflix than I could possibly watch given my free time.  The only thing I miss is kind of the random noise that's provided for cooking or laundry or other household stuff where I used to just turn on the Discovery Channel and watch Mythbusters or some bullshit.  I miss it but it's not worth $100/month or more.
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2011, 02:26:08 AM »

I keep trying to get my parents to ditch their satellite but even with all the digital streaming options the one way they watch doesn't seem to be available. frown  They tend to just leave the tv playing all day.  My dad on MSNBC, my mom on FOX.  bah!
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2011, 11:01:48 AM »

Ive been cable free for quite some time.  I put up a rooftop antenna to get the local stations, it cost me like $30 at radioshack.  I have Prime so I get streaming there and Ive had Hulu plus for awhile free but its not really worth the subscription price.  Anything else I want is easy to find on the internet at the network sites.  Theres generally a delay but thats no big deal.  The only show I cant get ( and I refuse to pirate anything, its stealing no matter how you rationalize it ) on the net is The Walking Dead.  Its worked out fine for me. 
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2011, 03:37:04 PM »

I also gave up my cable years ago.

I've got a series 3 tivo, and an antennae, so I get the broadcast channels in high def along with ease of recording.

In the beginning I missed sports a bit, but as time went on I just didn't care anymore.

All in all, it's been a fairly liberating experience, and the money savings is pretty nice!

It's actually been kind of nice not being a slave/zombie to tv.  I go over to friends houses and flip through their 200+ channels,
and can't find anything I want to watch anyway.

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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2011, 03:46:22 PM »

Chalk up another cable tosser.  We cancelled ours about three years ago as well.  Everything but the internet connection and even THAT has climbed from $40/Month to more than $50/month.

It's regoddamndickulous how much money the cable/satellite companies want for their 800 channels of crap.

The only thing I've even remotely missed since dropping cable was being able to watch Futurama and The Walking Dead and those are easy enough to find online and I pick up on DVD when released anyway.
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2011, 03:51:07 PM »

Have not had cable in years.

I just use netflix streaming + DVD.  Apple TV in living room, PS3 bedroom, WII another bedroom, 3DS and ipad and computers are always streaming something for someone. (it seems like it)

If you are not into sports or cable news, and you can handle being "1 season behind" I see no reason for cable, or anything else.
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« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2011, 04:07:50 PM »

My wife and I would love to get rid of cable, but we don't know how to get our HD hockey fix.... any Canadians ditch their cable and still be able to get HNIC, Sportsnet and TSN?  I want to watch my Oilers in glorious HD on the 60 inch TV and the lousy low res stream the Oilers put out sucks.
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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2011, 04:18:59 PM »

Ah, hockey fan here myself, which is very rarely on broadcast tv here, which sucks.

I looked in to the NHL center ice thing, since I could stream it over my ps3, but you can't get home market games, which was the whole reason I wanted it.

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« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2011, 04:26:01 PM »

I got the center ice package, and Dallas, if I care to watch them, has a local tv deal, so blackouts are never an issue. Of course, that doesn't stop me from being blacked out when Versus picks up my Sabres game.
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« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2011, 04:32:35 PM »

I'm still on Cox's converted "analog cable," which has insulated me from digital boxes and digital cable subscription costs. I do think they're supposed to stop offering that at some point (2013 I think?), and so eventually I'll have to make some decisions or pay out the nose.

I'm generally very happy with my Cox cable internet. Am getting exceptionally low pings in SWTOR so far (knock on wood), for example.
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« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2011, 05:24:12 PM »

We ditched DirecTV a couple of months ago, and I have not missed it at all.  At first we used an XBox 360 in the family room for ESPN, Netflix and Hulu Plus.  With the savings from the first month (~$100) we bought a wifi-capable blu-ray player for the TV in our bedroom, so now we have Netflix and Hulu Plus streaming to that TV as well.  Most of the network shows we watch are on Hulu Plus, and we have easily months of TV backlogged on Netflix. 

The ONLY thing I cannot watch is St. Louis Blues hockey games, since they're all on Fox Sports, but I'm not going back to $70+ per month just for that.
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« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2011, 06:23:40 PM »

Well, I showed the wife last night, and she LOVED it.  Spent the rest of the evening (and this morning when she first woke up) playing around with the box browsing what's available.  So far so goode biggrin
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« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2011, 10:23:44 PM »

We cancelled cable about 2 weeks ago.  The absolute only thing I miss is Fox Soccer.

We have the Wii in our bedroom for Netflix streaming, and the 360 in the living room with Netflix, ESPN & the best thing ever created, TVersity...

I'm not giving up my 30/30 Fiber Optic internet though...
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« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2011, 11:01:29 PM »

Cable internet by itself is $45/mo. With TV and phone it's $99. For $54/mo I get 800 channels of crap without having to figure out how to cobble together all those streaming services and make my TV work with them. Lazy FTW!

Gonna drop the phone part when the $99 deal expires, though.
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« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2011, 11:58:51 PM »

Quote from: Covenant on December 15, 2011, 06:23:40 PM

Well, I showed the wife last night, and she LOVED it.  Spent the rest of the evening (and this morning when she first woke up) playing around with the box browsing what's available.  So far so goode biggrin

I'm liking the sound of this. But I think we have at least a year to go on our Dish contract.
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Covenant
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« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2011, 01:42:53 PM »

Yeah, that's the other thing... I have to at least wait out my contract. The plan will be to cut way donw on the number of channels we get (maybe ditch all movie channels and reduce to the minimum package), then when then contract is up, ditch cable and the phone, keeping Internet and possibly bumping up the internet speed to the top tier if it doesn't cost much more.
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« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2012, 04:16:32 PM »

I broke down finally and got a Roku. I'm still using a kludgy 1997 27" JVC TV (standard def). I got the cheapest HD model (works with standard def too) model at Target today, they had a little sale going on.

This actually came about because I'm on a trial subscription with Fandor (foreign and indy movies, rather eccentric mix). Although it works great on my iPad, the movies don't actually look so hot on my computer's monitor at full size. Since Fandor works via Roku too, just wanted to see if it looks OK on my TV and try some of the other streaming services. It may be that everything will just look terrible, in which case I'll return the Roku.  icon_razz

I'm still on basic cable but don't have any premium channels. I haven't rented movies or streamed or anything for many years now -- not since Cox stupidly kicked a bunch of us Virginia subscribers off premium channels several years ago while they redesigned their channel lineup -- so I'm trying to catch up a little.  icon_smile
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« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2012, 04:57:43 PM »

Sports... one of the only reason I still subscribe to cable
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« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2012, 05:15:31 PM »

Quote from: Soulchilde on June 27, 2012, 04:57:43 PM

Sports... one of the only reason I still subscribe to cable
Oh yeah, I'm in heaven right now cause both of our area baseball teams (Nationals and Orioles) are playing pretty well for a change and are exciting to watch. So I'm often ping-pong bouncing between Comcast Sports' two channels and Mid Atlantic Sports Network (which are all basic cable channels).

I've heard Roku is easy to set up so I don't anticipate problems. If I run into any, I'll seek help in the Hardware Hell area here.  icon_smile I don't see myself getting rid of cable, but I could maybe see subscribing to Netflix as well as this Fandor I'm trying (Ebert has both and had mentioned the latter, I hadn't heard of it) as long as they look OK on my crummy old TV via Roku.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 05:17:35 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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Covenant
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« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2012, 08:49:48 PM »

Roku turned out to be a fantastic device for my needs. Between my netflix and hulu subscriptions, there is a TON of  content to watch and I managed to reduce my cable bill by nearly $100 without feeling the change at all. The only thing I'm missing right now is a channel to stream content from my PC but there are several available , I just need to figure out which one to get and set it up.
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« Reply #31 on: June 28, 2012, 02:39:52 PM »

The Roku installed easily. Saw some old favorites listed on the free Crackle (Night of the Creeps, the original Fright Night). Also a lot of awful dreck. But hey, it's free.  icon_smile

Some Crackle stuff looked kind of poor on my Standard TV but I'm not sure if it's because it's not HD or because it's just filmed on video or something. The Trenches sci-fi action series looked pretty interesting.

Fandor's stuff looks fine on it and "synching" to my account was simple. I had one freeze up that required disconnecting the Roku's power (since there's no power switch). I guess there's no reboot button per se?

I'd like to add Hulu+ and/or Netflix. Do any of the streaming services carry Homeland? (even just season 1). I guess with the Season 1 DVD/BluRay coming out in August, maybe they're keeping it out of streaming for now? I'm just not up on that stuff. Someone please enlighten me.  icon_smile
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« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2012, 03:20:20 PM »

I did a search and neither Hulu nor Netflix carries Homeland
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« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2012, 06:33:39 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on June 28, 2012, 02:39:52 PM

The Roku installed easily. Saw some old favorites listed on the free Crackle (Night of the Creeps, the original Fright Night). Also a lot of awful dreck. But hey, it's free.  icon_smile

Some Crackle stuff looked kind of poor on my Standard TV but I'm not sure if it's because it's not HD or because it's just filmed on video or something. The Trenches sci-fi action series looked pretty interesting.

Fandor's stuff looks fine on it and "synching" to my account was simple. I had one freeze up that required disconnecting the Roku's power (since there's no power switch). I guess there's no reboot button per se?

I'd like to add Hulu+ and/or Netflix. Do any of the streaming services carry Homeland? (even just season 1). I guess with the Season 1 DVD/BluRay coming out in August, maybe they're keeping it out of streaming for now? I'm just not up on that stuff. Someone please enlighten me.  icon_smile

Hey Blackjack, I work in Roku QA so if you have any questions, just fire away.  icon_cool

Re: Crackle, yes they content there is not encoded in high bitrate HD so it's not going to look as good as the HD stuff in Netflix or Amazon. Free is free I guess...

There is no power switch or reboot button on any Roku players. This is by design because the box will periodically check into the account servers to keep your channel lineup up to date and do an automatic update whenever we push out firmware upgrades.

Typically, stuff shows up on DVD/Blu Ray before or at the same time as the streaming services. Since Homeland isn't out on disc yet, it isn't available online. I don't believe Netflix has the streaming rights for it so I doubt it will show up there. My guess is that it will appear on Amazon Instant Video.
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« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2012, 06:39:24 PM »

I love that I can watch ESPN on the 360!

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« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2012, 04:29:53 PM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on June 28, 2012, 06:33:39 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on June 28, 2012, 02:39:52 PM

The Roku installed easily. Saw some old favorites listed on the free Crackle (Night of the Creeps, the original Fright Night). Also a lot of awful dreck. But hey, it's free.  icon_smile

Some Crackle stuff looked kind of poor on my Standard TV but I'm not sure if it's because it's not HD or because it's just filmed on video or something. The Trenches sci-fi action series looked pretty interesting.

Fandor's stuff looks fine on it and "synching" to my account was simple. I had one freeze up that required disconnecting the Roku's power (since there's no power switch). I guess there's no reboot button per se?

I'd like to add Hulu+ and/or Netflix. Do any of the streaming services carry Homeland? (even just season 1). I guess with the Season 1 DVD/BluRay coming out in August, maybe they're keeping it out of streaming for now? I'm just not up on that stuff. Someone please enlighten me.  icon_smile

Hey Blackjack, I work in Roku QA so if you have any questions, just fire away.  icon_cool

Re: Crackle, yes they content there is not encoded in high bitrate HD so it's not going to look as good as the HD stuff in Netflix or Amazon. Free is free I guess...

There is no power switch or reboot button on any Roku players. This is by design because the box will periodically check into the account servers to keep your channel lineup up to date and do an automatic update whenever we push out firmware upgrades.

Typically, stuff shows up on DVD/Blu Ray before or at the same time as the streaming services. Since Homeland isn't out on disc yet, it isn't available online. I don't believe Netflix has the streaming rights for it so I doubt it will show up there. My guess is that it will appear on Amazon Instant Video.
Thanks, all good to know. I only have praise for Roku so far. I wish everything was so easy to use.  icon_cool I still have nightmares about some "wireless extender" devices I tried with my PS2 several years back. Things are so much easier now. I just feel kind of stupid I waited so long. I'm just sort of burned out on gaming at the moment, so it seemed like the right time to check it out.

I went ahead and got a Netflix trial last night. Finally got to see Winter's Bone (Jennifer Lawrence's Oscar-nominated performance). My main problem is I get so involved in just browsing through what's available on Netflix, Crackle, Fandor, etc., that I forgot to actually take the time to watch something.  icon_smile

Yeah i guess there's an understandable delay between DVD releases and when the studios officially allow streaming. Netflix seems to have Breaking Bad up through the end of two seasons ago, I think, for example. Homeland's definitely something I want to get on DVD and catch up in the fall so i'll live on that.  icon_smile

I think my perceptions of video details are perhaps getting a little warped by having a New iPad (Retina screen), a 1920HD 23" widescreen PC monitor and then... a 27" JVC TV circa 1997. Probably bouncing back and forth my eyes are going "ugh" when I'm watching on the old tube. I'll do something about that eventually.  icon_smile
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 04:33:36 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2012, 04:43:28 AM »

Well, I spoke too soon about Roku.

We had an awful storm here tonight, with some power fluctuations. Apparently the Roku didn't like this at all. Now I can't access Netflix or Fandor, not via Roku or by app. It's connected but it just pulls up an empty screen for those. I can't even load the Netflix or Fandor web sites, and the apps no longer work on my ipad.  saywhat

I tried unplugging the Roku. I eventually resorted to restoring factory settings, but even that won't bring back functionality to Netflix or Fandor. I think I have to figure out some way to change the Roku link code for those accounts but I can't even open the web sites to do so. I'm completely at a loss what to do.  icon_confused

Crackle still works fine.

I dunno, maybe both services are down from these ferocious storms. I give up. I hope something works in the morning.  icon_razz
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 05:05:18 AM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2012, 03:33:22 PM »

Now I get it...

Netflix, Instagram, Pinterest knocked out by storm-related power outage at Amazon
http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/netflix-instagram-pinterest-knocked-out-by-storm-related-power-outage-at-amazon/
Quote
It's not the first time – Amazon is working to fix what it calls "power issues" at its Elastic Compute Cloud data center in North Virginia following a severe storm. Popular sites and services such as Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest are currently affected.
It seems the clouds are causing problems with the Cloud tonight.
A slew of sites, including Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest, have gone down this evening, thanks to “power issues” at Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud data center in North Virginia. The websites rely on Amazon’s cloud services to power their services. Some pretty violent storms in the region are apparently causing the problems.
Had no idea Amazon provides Netflix data center services.

Storms were hellacious around here last night, including a couple fatalities from falling trees.  paranoid
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 03:35:58 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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