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Dropped Cable TV Today
Old 01-03-2015, 06:35 AM   #1
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Dropped Cable TV Today

We will be trying to live with just the internet (cable 50Mb/s). Streaming video programs through a Roku 2 when we want. Subscribing to Netflix as the only paid service right now.

Eliminated HBO and streaming Xfinity as well. Cut our cable bill from about $149/month to about $65/month.

Comcast gets a lot of negative publicity but in this matter we found them easy and efficient to deal with.

Are there any other paid streaming services you think are worth it? We're not sports fans....More ER fans. Planning to get there in 2 years, so preparing now. Hence the cable cutting.....
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:53 AM   #2
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My wife really love the "Feeln" channel, mostly for the old Hallmark Hall of Fame movies.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:04 AM   #3
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Are there any other paid streaming services you think are worth it? We're not sports fans....More ER fans. Planning to get there in 2 years, so preparing now. Hence the cable cutting.....
Congrats on the cable cutting. Been using OTA for 20 years supplemented by what we can get off the net. Have had subs to both Hulu and Netflix in the past, but started with Amazon Prime in 2014. Pretty good selection of movies, I'd say it compares very favorably over what I remember of the other two. Although Prime membership is a paid subscription too, free shipping on most orders makes it worthwhile for us - being in the sticks I like the idea of letting UPS/USPS/FedEx do the driving.

You may want to check for included movies available with your from internet provider - recently found that Charter internet includes "free" access to Epix, perhaps Comcast may have something similar. Took a little work to find out how to get it (on PC, XBOX, or "smart" TV) but Epix does offer the usual selection of movies, and if I recall, replays of some TV series as well.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:34 AM   #4
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If you like British shows, you might check out Acorn TV. It's $49 per year.


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Old 01-03-2015, 10:03 AM   #5
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I dropped cable TV last May and I am using a homemade over-the-air antenna instead. Also I have Amazon Prime for the shipping, so I watch some of their programs sometimes.

I am deliriously happy with this arrangement since I receive dozens of channels OTA and honestly this is more than enough for me.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:08 AM   #6
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Don't forget about Netflix's DVD service. For about $8 a month one can get many TV shows and movies that are not available on the streaming services. It's cheaper than paying the cost per movie or episode of many services.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:23 AM   #7
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I'm not much of a TV watcher and have never had cable. For many years I had only a small black and white and only used it every four years for presidential debates. Even DH seems happy with OTA for the most part. I tend theses days to watch nothing in the summer. We do have Netflix for the occasional movie and binge watching the odd series in the winter.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:39 AM   #8
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This is the time of year when I call my cable provider to persuade them to give me their promotional rate for my internet connection. They'll generally drop it from $50 to $35 without much resistance. Haven't had cable TV for around 5 years and don't miss anything I want to watch. I use Windows Media Center to record OTA, then MCEBuddy to compress and remove commercials. I then use various devices, like the FireTV etc., to view the shows on the 'big' screen!
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Old 01-03-2015, 11:41 AM   #9
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I strongly support anyone who cuts cable or satellite service. We have been 'off' the cable/satellite TV service for three years now. We have cable internet, free over air antenna, and netflix streaming. Together, they total about $63 month. Additionally, through the internet, I can actually dial up many movies and TV programs, as well as live sports. Yeah, some of the streaming is not actually completely legit, but it is available and anything that challenges these monopolistic cable/satellite providers is OK by me. The prices for their services have gotten out of hand.

When we travel, we see what we're missing in the hotels, but honestly about 85% of the channel offerings we don't watch. Until these companies lower their profit margins and/or start offering a la carte channel selections, it's just not worth it to pay the high prices for what we consider to be a waste of money. I think if enough people follow suit, they may face the reality of how their pricing & packages are becoming obsolete. I was happily surprised to see that HBO will soon be offering stand alone online streaming. This is the way of the future. It is interesting to watch how strongly the cable companies are now trying to gain control of the IP bandwidth market - they obviously can see the writing on the wall as people start to gravitate away from their overpriced TV packages and start to get what they want from internet streaming services. I feel strongly that they should not be allowed to control this market as well, as we will just have a repeat of the monopolies they already have. They are going to fight tooth and nail to protect their high profits.

It wasn't long ago that a basic cable service with 30 or so channels was about 25 bucks a month. Even though we can easily afford it, it's crazy to me to pay over a hundred bucks a month for TV. And if you combine this with your typical smartphone bill, it can easily add up to well over 200 bucks a month. We have simple flip phones, and avoid the higher costs of smartphone pricing as well. Again, a personal choice, but I don't need/miss having the latest greatest smartphone. All I want to be able to do is make/receive a phone call from my mobile phone. Besides that, I notice a lot of people use them to avoid talking to each other anymore when out in public, or even sitting in a room with friends!

A little bit of a rant. sorry...
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Old 01-03-2015, 11:50 AM   #10
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I was paying $122.00 a month for cable with no premium channels, the use of their (outdated) DVR and "Expanded Basic". I pretty much only watched network tv anyway.

Back in October, I got a Mohu Leaf antenna off Amazon--was surprised that I got 30 channels with it, all crystal clear HD format. I bought a Tivo OTA Roamio (the OTA model doesn't include a cablecard option but is only 50.00, compared to 200.00 for their lowest priced model).

It's exceeded my expectations--displays a nice 2 week guide on the screen, just like cable--lets you pause live tv, schedule recordings, and best of all has 4 tuners so (if need be) you can record 4 channels simultaneously.

I too am a Netflix stream subscriber, the Tivo comes with Netflix, Hulu Plus & Amazon Prime installed so if you subscribe to any of these services, they're just a channel-click away on your tv. The tivo service does cost 15 bucks a month, but I've gone from 131.00 a month (Comcast, Netflix) to 23 bucks a month. I couldn't be happier.
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:55 PM   #11
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We eliminated cable more than 20 years ago, & when "Uncle Sam" made broadcast switch from analog to digital, we stopped bothering with even broadcast.

After a brief withdrawal period, you should find you don't miss it at all. When we're at a motel on trips, we can't stand what's coming to the TV in the room...
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Old 01-03-2015, 05:24 PM   #12
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I'm a huge advocate of cable-cutting. We subscribe to Netflix and Amazon Prime, the latter mainly for free 2-day shipping, but we're starting to watch their streaming offerings as well. We don't subscribe to Hulu Plus anymore, but their free content is quite good as well. We might pay for HBO when that becomes available as a standalone streaming service.

We also run XBMC on an old laptop connected to the main TV to find other online streaming content. It also functions as a free DVR and online program guide for OTA content. We also have Chromecasts on all the TVs, including spare bedrooms, so guests (mainly our kids) can use their own Netflix account on their smartphone or tablet and cast it to the TV.

With all the above, we never have trouble finding anything we want to watch, and we didn't give up any other functionality like DVR. Our cost went from $200/mo to $80, which is mainly for the FiOS 50/50 internet. We also use Google Voice with an Obi100 for free home phone service; and we use an MVNO (ting.com) for cell service, both of which save even more money.

The best part is we never watch commercials anymore. Even the OTA programs we watch are usually recorded and watched later with commercials skipped. We also find that binge-watching a whole season is a fun activity for a cold, drizzly winter day.
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Old 01-03-2015, 05:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by unno2002 View Post
We eliminated cable more than 20 years ago, & when "Uncle Sam" made broadcast switch from analog to digital, we stopped bothering with even broadcast.

After a brief withdrawal period, you should find you don't miss it at all. When we're at a motel on trips, we can't stand what's coming to the TV in the room...
I haven't turned on the TV in a hotel room in over a year. And we stayed in several hotel rooms last year! We don't even notice it is there.

I only care if I have Internet!
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:28 PM   #14
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I haven't turned on the TV in a hotel room in over a year. And we stayed in several hotel rooms last year! We don't even notice it is there.

I only care if I have Internet!
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:19 AM   #15
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We tried to dropped cable TV two years ago but they came crawling back with a great bundle offer that included basic cable. When that promo ended, I finally did cancel cable. Being 50 miles from a large city, I can receive clear HD broadcasts using an attic-mounted antenna. We have a TiVo with lifetime service to record and pause programs, and use a Roku 3 to stream Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Recently, I purchased an OBi200 and ported my landline to Google Voice, and this has been working quite well. As for the cell phone, when my Verizon contract ended, I switched one line to StraightTalk ($45/mo) and the other to PagePlus (for low usage, $30 per year!).

It feels great to be saving thousands each year, and I certainly don't feel deprived of entertainment.


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Old 01-04-2015, 11:16 AM   #16
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I would love to cut cable, but DH needs to watch his sports especially this time of year with football and then again during NCAA basketball bracket games - live games.
Is tis still doable without cable or satellite?



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Old 01-04-2015, 11:35 AM   #17
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I would love to cut cable, but DH needs to watch his sports especially this time of year with football and then again during NCAA basketball bracket games - live games.
Is tis still doable without cable or satellite?



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Love to hear the responses to this as I am a football, hockey and basketball addict.
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:31 PM   #18
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Love to hear the responses to this as I am a football, hockey and basketball addict.
I can generally tune in any live NFL game for free, through several website 'sources' on the web. These free broadcasts are not legit, and frowned upon by the networks. They are people streaming these broadcasts from their home. They're not always the greatest picture quality, but usually acceptable. If there's a must see game that isn't broadcast on network (antenna) TV locally, I will tune it in this way.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:00 PM   #19
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During the season, OTA, I typically can watch 7 different NFL games each Sunday. This weekend, I was able to catch all 4 Wild-Card games. Through our ISP (Charter), it appears that internet-only customers have much ESPN access through the WatchEspn app or through WatchEspn.com. I was also able to catch the College Football Playoffs. This is more than I deserve. Quality was HD.
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:06 PM   #20
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Through our ISP (Charter), it appears that internet-only customers have much ESPN access through the WatchEspn app or through WatchEspn.com. I was also able to catch the College Football Playoffs. This is more than I deserve. Quality was HD.
It's my understanding that live streams on WatchESPN are only available if you get ESPN as part of a cable or satellite TV subscription. Internet-only subscribers get access to ESPN3 only. I believe that is true for all providers. Here's a link to their explanation. So I'm curious how you were able to watch the College Football Playoffs.

I'm not a huge sports fan, but I watch one or two NFL games every week on network TV during the season. I can't watch Monday night except when the local team is playing, when it's also available OTA. I usually watch one college game every Saturday on network TV if I'm not attending one of the local games live. Local pro basketball and baseball is a little harder to find OTA, but there's plenty available for my limited needs. I also go to 10-15 MLB games live every year. I prefer baseball live vs TV, but that does get expensive. My son and I go to a sports bar 2-3 times per year when there's something we really want to watch that's not on network TV. We watched a couple ESPN college bowl games that way recently and had a great time.

Yes, there are online streams available for pretty much any live sport anywhere in the world. But these are most likely illegal and certainly of very low streaming quality, if they work at all. I stay away from these for both reasons. For the hardcore sports fan who appreciates HD, cable or satellite is your only viable option for now. I'm not hardcore enough to justify the additional cost. Hopefully, we'll get more a-la-carte options in the near future as hordes of people cut the cord and migrate to streaming.
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