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Old 03-01-2014, 09:57 AM   #21
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I'm in the NY metro area...since the transition to digital we get 40+ OTA channels... If you have a PC connected to the TV... recommend HD homerun....Never had cable tv.... compounded ...probably saved tens of thousands over the years
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:04 AM   #22
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I've thought a lot about ditching cable, but, so far, I still have it. I too like watching television on my schedule, so I like having my DVR. I did buy a small over the air antenna to try but found I'm located in a hollow or something. I can get all of the networks that I watch from the stations 60 miles away, but can't get the one I want, for local news and weather, located here in my town. grrrr I tried Hulu once and didn't like it because of the ads, but for the $$, I might be willing to try it again if I ever decide to get rid of cable.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:26 AM   #23
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I was looking at Comcast site and it said it had a promotion going for Digital Preferred (like 160 channels - including TLC, CNBC, and a bunch of other channels I don't currently have) for $39.99 (2 year commitment). I currently have Digital Economy for $35. I called them and they said since I am an existing customer, I cannot use this promotion (You have to be off their TV package for 120 days to qualify), it will cost me $89.(What) I feel totally taken advantage of.

I just ordered a cheap leaf antenna ($19 - AmazonBasics Ultra Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna) on amazon. I have 2 cable boxes right now, so I will replace one and see how it works.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:36 AM   #24
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I don't know why people get basic cable when they could just get an antenna and have perfectly clear HDTV for the basic channels. I don't even need a roof antenna, rabbit ears work fine. All the new TVs have built in tuners, all that is needed is an antenna.
I tried to cancel my cable (TWC) but keep internet service late last year. After a little haggling they gave me internet service at the introductory rate from a competitor. Then, they gave me basic cable for free. Free was the highest price I would be willing to pay for something like that. As you said an HD antenna picks up all the same stations and is actually higher quality than basic non HD cable. By doing this they are able to claim I am still a cable TV subscriber. However, my primary TIVO box uses an HD antenna to record the programming that I most frequently watch.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:45 AM   #25
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I don't know why people get basic cable when they could just get an antenna and have perfectly clear HDTV for the basic channels. I don't even need a roof antenna, rabbit ears work fine. All the new TVs have built in tuners, all that is needed is an antenna.
Well, I'll tell you why. The new digital signals are great! I get good reception with rabbit ears on all but one local channel at my place and the HD picture is fantastic. But...... A friend who lives about a mile away is up against a hill. He has an outdoor antenna mounted on his roof which worked OK in the days of analog TV signals. Today, the digital signal is not so good. So, his TV usually just shows a "no signal" message for most stations.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:49 AM   #26
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I was looking at Comcast site and it said it had a promotion going for Digital Preferred (like 160 channels - including TLC, CNBC, and a bunch of other channels I don't currently have) for $39.99 (2 year commitment). I currently have Digital Economy for $35. I called them and they said since I am an existing customer, I cannot use this promotion (You have to be off their TV package for 120 days to qualify), it will cost me $89.(What) I feel totally taken advantage of.
You have a problem with them treating new customers better than existing, long-term customers like you? Tsk, tsk....
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:52 AM   #27
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If you have a PC connected to the TV... recommend HD homerun...
+1

HDHomeRun is a low cost (under $100) TV tuner designed to allow you to view OTA TV on your computer (you'll need an antenna). You can use Windows Media Center to record shows and it functions exactly like a DVR. We use the heck out of ours, like recording the Tonight Show so we can watch it the following day while we eat lunch...
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:26 PM   #28
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We cut the cable in the 80's. DW has wanted it for years now, for just a few shows (Food network mainly). I'll just have to explain to her that I was ahead of the curve, and look at all these people just now catching up with us!



Whenever I bring up the idea of some sort of OTA DVR capability to DW, she says she can watch most of the shows she wants from the provider's web site on her computer. I guess it has all the commercials, so they are happy to have you watch, the medium is not important to them?

I'd still like a DVR, for the occasional TV I do watch (especially the local news), and would love to have live pause, instant replay for ALL the TV's - I HATE it when I miss a few seconds of something because I didn't hear it or got distracted by something. I like the 'simple.tv' concept (we already have the RoKu boxes), but last time I checked they still seemed to be in late alpha stage. And like 'simple.tv', I want it to record to a hard drive, as our internet isn't the fastest. Two streams tends to bog it down.

-ERD50
Anything I can play on my computer I can watch on my TV thanks to the built-in air-play capability of Macs with Apple TV.

Things like Food Network channels aren't available to me thought because they ask for a cable provider to watch them on-line.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:32 PM   #29
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Interesting, how did it affect your internet bill?

I have Cablevision in NY, other option is FiOS and I currently pay $68 for 15/5mbps internet and very basic cable (OTA channels only, mostly). I called and told them that I do not want TV and I was informed, my internet bill will be $70/month. I was like, she did not hear me correctly, I repeated and same thing.

FiOS comes out same after taxes AND want a 2-year contract, where they jack it up by $10 next month.

It is extra-ordinarily frustrating these buggers milking me out. I can't wait to have Google Fiber.
We had HD cable with no premium movie channels, 6mbps internet and digital phone for $150 a month. Upgrading to 10mbps Internet only drops it to $60 a month.

DH has wanted to do this for a while, but we had to get our alarm monitoring switched to cellular rather than dedicated phone line first.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:37 PM   #30
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Yes.

We live on a hill with line of sight to the TV "antenna farm" 42 miles away. Installed an outdoor antenna in the attic and connected to all our TVs using RG-6 cable (pre-wired when we built the house). With the rare exception of unusual weather conditions, the antenna provides outstanding reception.
Which antenna do you use? We also want to put in an attic antenna. We can connect it to our existing cable wiring inside the house.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:40 PM   #31
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I am leaning towards cutting the cable. Girlfriend loves HBO shows though which is our basic hangup. We are considering a basic package and her getting HBO for the months she watches shows.

Time Warner just sent me our bill and are raising costs and it is pissing me off. I can watch anything I want (except sports) without cable. There are a couple of shows I would have to pay per episode to watch currently, but even doing that the cost is substantially less than cable.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:45 PM   #32
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Which antenna do you use?
It is an old Radio Shack antenna I bought before we built our house in 1998. Very similar to this one:

AntennaCraft by RadioShack C290 Colorstar UHF VHF FM HD TV Antenna (C290) from Solid Signal

I have a large attic and hung the antenna from the underside of the roof using a couple of small lengths of rope. You can use this website to figure out where to aim it: AntennaPoint.com - Antenna Locator
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:51 PM   #33
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The thing with cable…….

10 years ago I watched quite a bit of cable. But one of the main reasons we don't watch it anymore, and a lot of the broadcast shows, it that it has been overrun with ridiculous "reality TV" programs.

Most of the business channels turned into yelling political channels, so I quit watching those.

The cable news channels totally went brain-dead and downhill, so I quit watching those.

The cable "nature" channels seemed to go to an all shark and snake and whatever disgusting or prurient thing they could follow and make super scary, so I quit watching the nature shows I used to love.

The Weather Channel seemed to get overloaded with scary weather programming - with such totally predictable reveals - blah, blah, blah, boring! Their website has also recently gone downhill with headlines sprinkled everywhere enticing you to see videos with ridiculous headlines, many of which have nothing to do with weather! - extremely annoying. "Watch: Weatherman attacked by Spider on Air". "Man Brings a TIGER into a Bar". I quit watching cable to bet away from that crap!

The only channel that hasn't really changed in all that time is The Food Network, but somehow our provider dropped the HD version and you just have to see food porn in HD or it's not worth it! So I stopped watching that.

So that's really why we stopped watching cable.

end cable rant.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:01 PM   #34
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I moved into a 3rd floor apartment over a year ago. I bought a digital antenna and only get 4 channels (Fox, NBC, COZI, and country music). When family comes over, they want to know where I get my "cable" channels from since the reception is so spectacular. I tell them it is over the air reception and is free. Can't tell you how good it feels to see the envy. Yes, I don't get the variety, but I have no problems finding something to watch on the limited selecton. Cozi TV just started airing "The Danny Thomas Show." Priceless and time honored humor!
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:54 PM   #35
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Cable TV, actually Direct TV in our case, is one of the few luxuries that we still pay for. I just can not cut it out of my life. I love football (college football) too much to ever cut the cord . We have cut the landline (home phone) and have not regretted it at all, actually wished we had done that earlier....
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:31 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by jim584672 View Post
I don't know why people get basic cable when they could just get an antenna and have perfectly clear HDTV for the basic channels. I don't even need a roof antenna, rabbit ears work fine. All the new TVs have built in tuners, all that is needed is an antenna.
Look around you. A number of folks on this board aren't living in your house at your location. The availability of OTA signals varies widely from place to place. I helped a buddy put up a high gain antenna at his house in northern Wisconsin last summer. Even with a rooftop, high gain antenna with preamp, he receives only 3 stations.

At my home in the Chicago area, we have about 30 stations/sub-stations.

Are you under the impression that OTA signals are uniformly distributed from coast to coast?
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:41 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
The thing with cable…….

10 years ago I watched quite a bit of cable. But one of the main reasons we don't watch it anymore, and a lot of the broadcast shows, it that it has been overrun with ridiculous "reality TV" programs.

Most of the business channels turned into yelling political channels, so I quit watching those.

The cable news channels totally went brain-dead and downhill, so I quit watching those.

The cable "nature" channels seemed to go to an all shark and snake and whatever disgusting or prurient thing they could follow and make super scary, so I quit watching the nature shows I used to love.

The Weather Channel seemed to get overloaded with scary weather programming - with such totally predictable reveals - blah, blah, blah, boring! Their website has also recently gone downhill with headlines sprinkled everywhere enticing you to see videos with ridiculous headlines, many of which have nothing to do with weather! - extremely annoying. "Watch: Weatherman attacked by Spider on Air". "Man Brings a TIGER into a Bar". I quit watching cable to bet away from that crap!

The only channel that hasn't really changed in all that time is The Food Network, but somehow our provider dropped the HD version and you just have to see food porn in HD or it's not worth it! So I stopped watching that.

So that's really why we stopped watching cable.

end cable rant.
While I agree with you about all the bad things that are on cable, those aren't my issue. I can always choose to not watch them and generally don't.

My issue is that I like certain sports at certain times of the year. And the cable companies have certainly done a fine job of grabbing those contracts. Very little sports available OTA. Not watching the Blackhawks during the Stanley Cup playoffs, for example, would have been a bummer. Not a life or death necessity of course. But I find watching certain college or pro sports during certain points of their seasons very entertaining.

So, for now, we still have cable.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:55 PM   #38
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While I agree with you about all the bad things that are on cable, those aren't my issue. I can always choose to not watch them and generally don't.

My issue is that I like certain sports at certain times of the year. And the cable companies have certainly done a fine job of grabbing those contracts. Very little sports available OTA. Not watching the Blackhawks during the Stanley Cup playoffs, for example, would have been a bummer. Not a life or death necessity of course. But I find watching certain college or pro sports during certain points of their seasons very entertaining.

So, for now, we still have cable.
Oh, sure, I understand why sports fans keep their cable. I'm just explaining why I stopped watching cable.
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:15 PM   #39
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From 1996 to 2006 I lived without cable. Long story, but basically we determined that paying $40/month was too expensive for something we didn't have the time to watch. Remember the days when cable was $40 including 1 premium channel. HBO in our case. Back then we were working 60 to 80 hour weeks and had a munchkin to deal with.

So anyway, in 2006 things at worked had settled down and the boy was older. So we decided to hook back up to cable. Once I got the TIVO setup to pull from the cable instead of the rabbit ears, my wife and I sat down to watch our first cable show in a decade. It was "Dirty Jobs".

So Mike Rowe had this plastic glove on up to his shoulder and was doing something terrible to a cow. I looked over at my wife and said, "you realize we are paying to watch this."
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:18 PM   #40
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My Story...

Before ER, we paid Verizon FiOS around $200/mo for TV/internet/phone. We also had HBO and a house-full of set-top boxes. Here's how we cut the cable and reduced our bill to less than $80/mo with no impact on our services:

Home phone: First, we fired ADT and converted the security system to wireless with a local company monitoring for half the price. We canceled FiOS phone, but we still use our home phones using a Google Voice number and Obi100 VoIP device for free.

Internet: We pay $69/mo for 50/25. We could go cheaper, but we need the bandwidth since we are now using it for phone and streaming TV.

TV: FiOS has a bare-bones "broadcast tier" which, in conjunction with internet, is CHEAPER than internet alone. Works for me. This also saved us the cost and hassle of an antenna, plus we get beautiful 1080p and 5.1 SS, and about 20 independent channels on top of the network broadcasts. We subscribed to Netflix for $8/mo, which accounts for about 75% of our viewing. We also subscribed to Hulu+, but canceled mainly due to ads and the fact that most of what we watched was available for free anyway.

HTPC: Here's the fun part... We also hooked up a laptop to the main TV and are using XBMC (open-source media center software) and the HD Homerun (dual tuner) for Live TV, electronic program guide, and DVR functionality. XBMC also has add-ons (content aggregators) that allow easy access to any streaming content that we can't find on Netflix, including some live sports and cable news. We also hooked up an external hard-drive with our entire collection of movies, music, photos, home movies, etc. Basically, everything we watch on TV is funneled through the laptop and XBMC. This made it a lot easier for DW to buy-in to the whole cable-cutting thing, as it is quite easy to use.

Bottom line, we went from $200/mo to $80 with no impact whatsoever on what we watch or other services. As I said, we could probably cut the $80 to $50 with a cheaper internet package, but we are bandwidth hogs and love the FiOS fiber internet service.
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