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Update on Cord Cutting (Cable TV)
Old 06-27-2017, 07:41 AM   #1
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Update on Cord Cutting (Cable TV)

I think my Cable provider is getting the message. I was paying $195 per month for Cable TV, internet and landline. Dropped Cable TV which lowered my bill to $78 for internet (60Mbps) and landline. Got myself a great antenna and an over-the-air DVR. Life is good, except I, seasonally, bought Sling TV to get more sports. Already had Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Last week, I found out that the cable provider had developed a Roku app. So now I have one cable provided set top box. Everywhere else, I am streaming live tv over my Rokus. Previously, I had to pay $7 per month for a set top box at each location. So now, I am getting 100 Mbps for internet, land line and the lowest tier of cable tv (125 channels). The 125 channels includes a bunch of sports channels.

Please, note that I have no connection to a cable company. I am just happy that I have gone from $195 to $105 per month. Your take?
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:55 AM   #2
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Way too complicated for me. But congratulations on lowering your bill and still having what you want! I reduced my cable TV bill from $107 per month to $34 per month by reducing the service level from "expanded" to "basic". Much happier this way. Lost some sports but don't care.
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:56 AM   #3
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Repeating myself, but our Dish cost went from $96/mo to $43.85/mo when I called in Feb to cancel and go to streaming PlayStation Vue (at $40/mo). No OTA antenna or makeshift DVR needed for us. I tried several times to bluff my way into a lower rate with Dish to no avail, it was only when I actually asked to cancel and meant it that they acted. The deep discount is good for 6 months, but I will cut the cable if they threaten to increase the rate at all.
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:19 AM   #4
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My cable company still hasn't learned. When I tried to strip my services back to Internet only after getting Netflix, they wanted more than I was paying for Internet + Cable + Landline for Internet only (with no change in Internet speed).

I now have Netflix + Google Fiber + MagicJack and I'm saving about $65/month, which is going straight into my travel fund.

When I pointed out the cable company's ridiculous pricing to a customer service person she explained that, because Google Fiber was in the area, they provided the cable package "for free".
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:24 AM   #5
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This thread really interests me. I've always wanted to "cut the cord" and will be doing something along those lines in the near future when we move. No sense messing with it now. I have to admit, I don't know much about the alternatives. My wife is a TV fanatic. One of our big costs is the number of TV's we are running (5) which requires additional set top boxes and digital adapters. We're at $194/mo for TV, internet and phone. Plus we have Netflix and Amazon which puts the monthly bill at about $212. Will probably eliminate phone when we establish new residency. Wish I knew more about Roku, etc. Keep talking folks--I'm listening.
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:36 AM   #6
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Wish I knew more about Roku, etc. Keep talking folks--I'm listening.
I'm pretty comfortable with technology and found Roku very easy to set up. To me it's a conduit- there's some programming you can get free just with a Roku box but I don't know if it's any good. The Roku remote is very user-friendly- it has separate buttons for Netflix and Amazon Prime. You just have to set it up the first time by entering your user name and password for those services. I actually got a "Roku TV" at Costco- $250 marked down to $200 because the box hadn't been opened. So, Roku was built in and I didn't need a separate box.

I used to watch a few reality shows on cable ("Say Yes to the Dress", some HGTV offerings, "My 600-lb. Life"- yes, I AM highly cultured with sophisticated tastes) but there's plenty of good stuff on Netflix so I don't miss it. I catch some of it when I'm donating platelets, which takes a couple of hours and the chairs have individual TVs.

MagicJack was also very easy to do except that I couldn't keep my landline number. Other than that, I'm perfectly happy with it for $45/year. I want the landline because to me, my cell number is just for people who need to reach me no matter where I am. I don't want it ringing with marketing surveys and spammers, which is what happens when you give it out to businesses.
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
This thread really interests me. I've always wanted to "cut the cord" and will be doing something along those lines in the near future when we move. No sense messing with it now. I have to admit, I don't know much about the alternatives. My wife is a TV fanatic. One of our big costs is the number of TV's we are running (5) which requires additional set top boxes and digital adapters. We're at $194/mo for TV, internet and phone. Plus we have Netflix and Amazon which puts the monthly bill at about $212. Will probably eliminate phone when we establish new residency. Wish I knew more about Roku, etc. Keep talking folks--I'm listening.
Roku has a Facebook group that you can learn a lot and there is a FB Cord Cutting Tech Support group as well. I got a lot of good suggestions on equipment and other tips.
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:53 AM   #8
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Cut-the-cord 3 years ago. Save us $90/month. The only thing I missed was able to DVR shows. Lots of devices & SW out there to do OTA recording. We get a lot of "free" OTA TV stations here in PHX and the HD quality is better then cable/dish. Will never go back to cable/dish TV. We find all the programming we need from OTA, Netflix and Amazon Prime. I do not understand why cable/dish TV providers continue to think we will pay for programming w/ commercials and pay for DVR and HD add-ons.. They need to find a new business model fast to compete with the cord cutting options.

Side note: Really liking my FireTV box (Amazon). Lots of flexibility with APPS and Add-ons. Should be able to move my OTA DVR capability over to the FireTV box. This way I have one box to do everything...
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:58 AM   #9
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FWIW, my set-up includes: Frontier FiOS internet (50/50) plus broadcast tier TV for $70/mo (cheaper than internet alone). No set-top boxes and no antenna (too far). Two TVs equipped with Fire TV boxes. We run Kodi on the Fire TV boxes for live TV with free EPG and DVR functionality using two HDHomerun tuners. We subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Curiosity Stream (~$25/mo total). Landline phone uses Google Voice number on Obi-200 device for totally free VoIP phone service, but no 911. Voice search on the Fire TV remotes is extremely useful.

We also do some password sharing with family members. We share our Amazon Prime and Netflix with the in-laws and DD. DD subscribes to Hulu and set us up with her password on both Fire TV boxes. The in-laws have a basic cable subscription and shared their login credentials with us, so we can run any of the "cable apps" on Fire TV. Mostly, we just use it to watch Texas Rangers games on Fox Sports Southwest.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:07 AM   #10
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Did something similar earlier this year when cable bill was kissing $200 a month.

Cancelled cable and changed internet plan to 100/10 with no data cap for $39.95 a month.

Signed up for DirecTV Now (the streaming version, not satellite) with 100+ channels and free HBO for a year: $35 a month.

Put an antenna in the attic and ran the signal thru the existing coax.

Total: $75 a month and actually have more available content. I can even stream the DirecTV Now on my T-Mobile cell phone ($30 a month) and they don't count it against my data cap. This is really useful when we go camping and I cast the video from the phone to a flat panel TV in the travel trailer.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:12 AM   #11
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A Roku stick can be bought for under $30 at Walmart https://www.walmart.com/ip/Roku-Expr...&wl13=&veh=sem

We bought one and played around with it for awhile. Then bought another. Then bought a Roku tv. Then installed an OTA antennae. Once everything was setup to our liking, we canceled cable. We love our Rokus. Every tv in the house is either a Roku TV or has a Roku stick. We see no need to buy the more expensive boxes. Our sticks work like a charm.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:15 AM   #12
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We've been streaming PS Vue for a week. So far, no issue with the programming but the interface is disappointing. We use an Amazon Fire Stick , and the delay in response time is beyond anything I've ever experienced. I takes around 4 minutes to turn on the tv and get to a specific channel, not including any browsing of the guide. I have no way to determine if this is the Fire Stick, the wi-fi, or the PS-V interface, and am not willing to buy a new Roku unit to find out. The Roku unit we have for our other second TV won't download the PS-V app, it apparently is too old. We've paid for the month so we have a few weeks to decide what to do, but so far the PS-Vue is not the robust option I expected.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:30 AM   #13
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We've been streaming PS Vue for a week. So far, no issue with the programming but the interface is disappointing. We use an Amazon Fire Stick , and the delay in response time is beyond anything I've ever experienced. I takes around 4 minutes to turn on the tv and get to a specific channel, not including any browsing of the guide. I have no way to determine if this is the Fire Stick, the wi-fi, or the PS-V interface, and am not willing to buy a new Roku unit to find out. The Roku unit we have for our other second TV won't download the PS-V app, it apparently is too old. We've paid for the month so we have a few weeks to decide what to do, but so far the PS-Vue is not the robust option I expected.
We have an older FireTV stick and the new version of the FireTV box. The older FireTV stick/box has a slower processor and less memory, but it is still way faster then my old (5 year) Sony Blu-Ray box with the Netflix and Amazon APPS. We still use it in the spare bedroom TV and works just fine. The new FireTV box faster/better then the older version. The guide and APP response time is awesome. It also handles HD OTA programs with no issues. The older FireTV stick has issue with HD OTA and will shutter. I still need to bring up DVR capability and if that works then I will buy more FireTV boxes for all TV's in the house.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:42 AM   #14
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In our area an antenna will not work.

In the last negotiation with the used car people (Comcast) I got the bill down to $127/mo. But I had to sign up for a year to do this.

Does anyone know if the Roku box offers the PBS news (as well as the programming like Masterpiece)? We watch BBC America news and The News Hour when the news programming appears to be views we don't find too objectionable .

Also is it possible to fast forward through commercials on the streaming from the Roku? With Xfinity on Demand it is not possible to do this so this one advantage of the DVR setup.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:48 AM   #15
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my take is that you did great. you are saving a $ 1000 a year and it seems you lost nothing. I like to cut down my triple play price. I also threatened to switch companys, did not work either.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:59 AM   #16
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Until Roku offers the ability to record off of streaming services so that I can use trick play to skip through commercials that don't interest me it isn't really a comprable service to the service I get from the cable company.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:08 AM   #17
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I agree, OP did great! I have three main issues with cable cutting.

1. While many options now exist to replace many of the packaged services, they invariable are significantly more complicated (setup, but also require switching inputs, etc), so unless you are willing to accept more hassle, or a cut in choices, cable cutting is not quite "there" yet.
2. DVR options are even more complex, if available at all. So, in order to be able to skip commercials, extra complications (makes sense - no free lunch )
3. Obviously, all (well, most) of it requires internet access. Once enough people cut the cords from cable, internet prices will go up and up until profits are restored. Sometimes, this will mean companies go out of business and new ones emerge, but often, this will simply be a switch of services. Say, Spectrum will derive MORE money from internet service and less from TV subscriptions, but they will still make their cash.

In the meantime, I'm all for minimizing expenses - though I AM prepared to pay a little extra for simplicity and convenience.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:09 AM   #18
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It is a private free channel that can be added to your Roku.

http://streamfree.tv/roku-channels/p...96-thread.html
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:12 AM   #19
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Until Roku offers the ability to record off of streaming services so that I can use trick play to skip through commercials that don't interest me it isn't really a comprable service to the service I get from the cable company.
I guess this means we are forced back into commercials for some Roku app offerings?
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:14 AM   #20
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I am just happy that I have gone from $195 to $105 per month. Your take?
That's about what I pay for all cable channels + HBO and 75mb HSI from Comcast, $110/mo.

It does help to have a Tivo + 3 Tivo Minis because I don't pay set-top rental fees. That's where they really screw you.

Bonus to this setup is auto-skip of commercials on all the popular channels. I like to watch sports so a good DVR is really a necessity.
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