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Old 03-02-2014, 03:23 PM   #81
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As I said, Da Bears have the best free TV coverage. You miss only 1 - 2 or 3 games all season.

BTW, since you mentioned not having cable, are you able to pick up WYIN (PBS out of northern Indiana)? There're in our basic cable package and we really like them. The antenna web site indicates it's going to be tough for me to pull them in even with a specialized antenna mounted high, but I'm going to try. Fortunately they're in the same direction as the bulk of the other stations coming out of Chicago so won't require adding a rotator to the plans.
I don't know where you're getting the info on non televised Bears games, there hasn't been a non televised Bears games for over a 1-2 decades in Chicago. Maybe you're confusing when they move a game to WCIU (26)or WPWR (50) for Mon or Thurs night games? Yes, I get WYIN (56-1,2,3) stations and PBS WTTW (11.1,2,3,4) and WYCC (20.1,2,3) here and I'm in the n. burbs (just n. of Old Orchard mall). I have a chimney attached antenna, but no rotator. When I reattached the old antenna, it was pointing due E at Lake Michigan instead of toward downtown Chi (SE).
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:26 PM   #82
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I don't know where you're getting the info on non televised Bears games, there hasn't been a non televised Bears games for over a 1-2 decades in Chicago.
The only rub comes in when the local team is playing on cable -- either the Thursday night game on NFL Network or Monday Night on ESPN. But in those cases, I believe the NFL requires that these games be made available on free OTA TV to the local markets involved (subject to blackout rules on the home team if applicable).
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:34 PM   #83
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The only rub comes in when the local team is playing on cable -- either the Thursday night game on NFL Network or Monday Night on ESPN. But in those cases, I believe the NFL requires that these games be made available on free OTA TV to the local markets involved (subject to blackout rules on the home team if applicable).
We dropped cable about 7 yrs ago. Any Mon night or Thurs night game is free on WCIU (26) or WPWR (50) in the Chicagoland TV viewing area. Even all the preseason games are televised free here, some on NBC and WGN. I haven't missed any games in all this time and I watch all games at home.
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:46 PM   #84
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We have Dish satellite principally there is a mountain between us and the transmitting antennas of our local rural stations and our OTA would be nada. Local news is important to us. We have some friends in a more suburban area 50 miles away who have OTA digital antenna, TIVO, etc and a much smaller tv bill. Until we can solve the local stations issue (something like Aereo perhaps) , we'll stick with Dish. Our service, DVR for two tvs and a third TV wihtout a DVR is only ~$65/month. More than I would like, but not outrageous.
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:50 PM   #85
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We dropped cable about 7 yrs ago. Any Mon night or Thurs night game is free on WCIU (26) or WPWR (50) in the Chicagoland TV viewing area. Even all the preseason games are televised free here, some on NBC and WGN. I haven't missed any games in all this time and I watch all games at home.

Well, that's good news. Watching on cable, I thought the Mon night game was blacked out on OTA TV. I happily retract thinking that I"d miss 1 -2 or 3 Bears games per season without cable.

On the Cubs....... Here's some news indicating that the 70 or so games broadcast on OTA TV by WGN may not be after this season and even less likely after 2019.

Cubs exercise option to end WGN-TV contract - chicagotribune.com

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Currently, Cubs games are split between Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV, earning the club about $60 million in annual broadcast rights fees combined, according to sources. The CSN deal runs through 2019 and includes the White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks as partners. Comcast owns about 30 percent of the network.

The Cubs get about $20 million to air 70 games each year on WGN. While the deal ran through 2022, the option resets the agreement for a five-year term after the 2014 season. The clause included a different fee schedule for the 2015 to 2019 seasons at substantially higher rates, and also called for a fair market value appraisal to be conducted. The appraisal came in slightly below the increased fee schedule, and by the terms of the contract, the Cubs are entitled to the higher of the two rates, according to sources.

The Ricketts family renegotiated the broadcast agreements as part of their 2009 purchase of the Cubs from Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV. The $845 million deal -- then the highest in Major League Baseball history -- included Wrigley Field and a 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

By exercising the option, the Cubs’ broadcast and cable rights will sync up in 2019, giving the team a target date and its full slate of games to potentially form a much more lucrative cable sports network.
The rest of the Chicago sports scene is already pretty much in the cable realm, something I'm unhappy with.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:08 PM   #86
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Yes, I get WYIN (56-1,2,3)
Excellent! I'm really glad to hear that. DW would also miss the cable-only sports we'd lose by cutting cable and going OTA. But, she also has developed a liking for WYIN. Retaining that station would be a big help in quieting any of her objections.

I asked about WYIN because I was using one of the Internet sites that gives the direction and anticipated difficulty of reception for various stations from your location and WYIN seemed to be the most difficult.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:04 AM   #87
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We dropped directtv and netflix back in Dec. It was costing $107. per month with no premiums.
I bought 2 mx2 xbmc boxes for $99. each,1 Mohu antenna for $50. and have all the tv we could ever want.
Xbmc has just about every movie and every tv show ever produced.No commercials either,since a hour tv program has 19 minutes of commercials. You can subscribe to a tv show as a favorite and have every season episode by episode. There are a ton of great British and Canadian shows available as well. There is also live tv. I watch the Cleveland Indians live. Live tv may not have your own locals,thats why I bought the antenna.
I can also get all the premiums with xbmc.

Best part is...........it's free......after you buy the box. My internet is only 5 mg,but I still get great picture. Many are 1080 and 720,some are sd if they are older.

Our setup has already paid for itself. I can't remember just how I found out about xbmc,but sure am happy I did. I bought both the boxes and antenna from amazon since they have a terrific return policy if they did not work out.

So now I have great tv on a 50" plasma with no commercials unless I'm watching live tv, and it's FREE.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:55 AM   #88
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...
I bought 2 mx2 xbmc boxes for $99. each,1 Mohu antenna for $50. and have all the tv we could ever want.
Xbmc has just about every movie and every tv show ever produced.No commercials either,since a hour tv program has 19 minutes of commercials. You can subscribe to a tv show as a favorite and have every season episode by episode. There are a ton of great British and Canadian shows available as well. There is also live tv. I watch the Cleveland Indians live. Live tv may not have your own locals,thats why I bought the antenna.
...

Best part is...........it's free......after you buy the box. My internet is only 5 mg,but I still get great picture. Many are 1080 and 720,some are sd if they are older. ....
Can you give me some background on this? I'm confused how you get all these shows w/o commercials for free, and I don't see any antenna input on this (is this the box you have?):

Amazon.com: G-Box Midnight MX2 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Dual Core XBMC Streaming Mini HTPC TV Box Player: Electronics


-ERD50
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:00 AM   #89
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Can you give me some background on this? I'm confused how you get all these shows w/o commercials for free, and I don't see any antenna input on this (is this the box you have?):

Amazon.com: G-Box Midnight MX2 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Dual Core XBMC Streaming Mini HTPC TV Box Player: Electronics


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Old 04-11-2014, 01:57 PM   #90
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XBMC is open-source media center software, similar to Windows Media Center, which is typically used in a home theater PC (HTPC) set-up. You don't need any special hardware, as it will run on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, even Raspberry Pi.

I "think" what raysk was referring to is the ability to use XBMC to stream all kinds of content from the internet (some legal, some not so much). There are hundreds of unofficial XBMC plug-in's called "content aggregators" which allow the user to stream specific content from all over the web in a very organized, user-friendly, Netflix-type interface. Much of this content appears to be hosted in countries with little-to-no enforcement of US copyright law.

I think some people who purchase a small Linux or Android box with XBMC pre-installed are under the impression that they are entitled to all this content for free, which is clearly not the case. XBMC itself is perfectly legal and far superior to Windows Media Center, which is no longer supported by Microsoft. But just like anything on the internet, you need to be aware of what content you are accessing and steer clear of the obviously illegal stuff.
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:33 PM   #91
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I started using XBMC last month and love it. It takes some time to set up but I can find any show or movie. I installed it on DW's tablet and on my Apple TV in my bedroom. She loves it.

We have not dropped cable (yet), but from DW's comments, I'm sure she would be open to it. It will be tough convincing the kids though.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:35 AM   #92
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Programs that are "live" will have commercials. Streamed tv weekly shows do not. It's like watching on netflix or amazon prime. As far as legality goes, many of the movies and shows are already on the internet and can be watched on computers. IMDB, Internet Movie Data Base, has an extensive data base that is free.

I don't care to sit in front of a computer to watch tv. Thats why I prefer spending $100. and sit in a recliner comfortably.

the days of cable and satellite are coming to an end. Since I dropped directv they have been calling constantly,sometimes three calls per day for me to resubscribe to them. They offered pretty good pricing,but want a two year contract. I passed and asked to be taken off the call list as it was burdensome with all the calls.

I just regret that I did not know about xbmc sooner. Thinking about how many dollars I've spent over the years on cable and satellite is depressing. Now it's free. If it snows or rains I still have a terrific picture.

I will be making one more improvement though. The closest tv towers are about 30 miles and an indoor antenna does go in and out at times. When the weather breaks I'll put up an outdoor antenna for local stations. Best of all.......it will be paid for with the money I've saved by not having to pay for TV.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:31 PM   #93
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I don't watch a lot of TV but prefer network programming and local news most. HGTV is also a favorite. DH loves history channel.

We are outside do the area that reliably receives ota signals.

So our question is this: if we cut the cord to cable, can we get this years seasons of our favorite programming from the major networks using huluplus and Netflix?
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:58 PM   #94
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Adding to an old post. I want to reduce my bill. Have a bundled Charter plan for $195 a month. I can drop the land line (about $25), I will keep the internet (about $60), but am trying to nuke the TV (about $105). Today, I see that HBO will come out with an unconnected plan. The DW will like that. I already have 2 Roku's, 2 Google TV's (Logitech), 2 Chromecasts, Netflix and Amazon Prime.

I struggle with live sports and news. I live in the NC mountains, near nothing. Just purchased a modernized, super-duper, whiz-bang, extra-special antenna. Claims it can pick up stations very far away. Should arrive in a few days. Cannot mount outside as we have high winds. It will just blow away. Will mount in my attic. Anyone have experience 1) in remote areas? 2) hooking into a house that is pre-wired for cable, cat-5, etc? 3) I have 6 TV's. If the antenna needs to be one way for TV in den and another way for TV in another room how does that work? Should I get two of these puppies (after making sure first one works) and split the TV's between 2 antennae?
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:09 PM   #95
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Here's something you should have checked before you bought your antenna.

The Digital TV Transition: Reception Maps

I looked at getting a digital antenna. The antenna supplier I looked at had a site that told you whether you could get the signal in the attic or if it had to be installed on the roof. The site I looked at was specific to the Houston area but you probably have something available in NC.

One installation problem I saw was that the TVs are fed off the same coaxial cable as the internet. One of those systems need to be rewired. Splitting the internet off is probably the easiest.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:39 PM   #96
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I don't watch a lot of TV but prefer network programming and local news most. HGTV is also a favorite. DH loves history channel.

We are outside do the area that reliably receives ota signals.

So our question is this: if we cut the cord to cable, can we get this years seasons of our favorite programming from the major networks using huluplus and Netflix?
Hulu Plus:
It depends on the network and the show. Some of the networks put an entire current season of a show on Hulu Plus, some just put the most recent few episodes, and some don't put anything on Hulu Plus. If you go to the Hulu Plus website you should be able to search for each show and find out how many episodes (if any) are on Hulu Plus. That's what I did before I "cut the cord" about 18 months ago.

Netflix:
As far as I know, Netflix does not have any current season episodes of tv shows, but they often make an entire season of (some) shows available right before the next season begins, so I binge-watch those shows in late summer/early fall, before the new season begins. This means I am often a year "behind" but this doesn't bother me. Just another form of delayed gratification!

Amazon Prime:
You can purchase individual episodes of (some) current network shows on Amazon Prime if you are a member. If you think you will watch the entire season, you can save some money by clicking on "season pass" rather than buying each episode individually. You will charged for each episode as they air, and can watch them at your leisure.

Good luck! I find between HuluPlus, Netflix, and Amazon Prime I can see everything I really want to see. NOTE: some things which Amazon charges for are already available on Netflix or Hulu Plus, so I always check there first.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:37 PM   #97
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If Aereo can convince the Feds it is just another cable-like company then you might have a good option there. But, don't hold your breath.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:45 PM   #98
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Hulu Plus:
It depends on the network and the show. Some of the networks put an entire current season of a show on Hulu Plus, some just put the most recent few episodes, and some don't put anything on Hulu Plus. If you go to the Hulu Plus website you should be able to search for each show and find out how many episodes (if any) are on Hulu Plus. That's what I did before I "cut the cord" about 18 months ago.

Netflix:
As far as I know, Netflix does not have any current season episodes of tv shows, but they often make an entire season of (some) shows available right before the next season begins, so I binge-watch those shows in late summer/early fall, before the new season begins. This means I am often a year "behind" but this doesn't bother me. Just another form of delayed gratification!

Amazon Prime:
You can purchase individual episodes of (some) current network shows on Amazon Prime if you are a member. If you think you will watch the entire season, you can save some money by clicking on "season pass" rather than buying each episode individually. You will charged for each episode as they air, and can watch them at your leisure.

Good luck! I find between HuluPlus, Netflix, and Amazon Prime I can see everything I really want to see. NOTE: some things which Amazon charges for are already available on Netflix or Hulu Plus, so I always check there first.
We started out with those three and basic cable on one TV that comes at no extra charge with Internet service. No one has been watching Hulu Plus so we are dropping that. We do watch regular Hulu but that is free.

I used to use Bing rewards to get Hulu Plus gift certificates but this past month I just got an Amazon gift certificate instead.
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:36 PM   #99
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We started out with those three and basic cable on one TV that comes at no extra charge with Internet service. No one has been watching Hulu Plus so we are dropping that. We do watch regular Hulu but that is free.

I used to use Bing rewards to get Hulu Plus gift certificates but this past month I just got an Amazon gift certificate instead.
I did wonder if it made sense to have all three, especially since there is some overlap between their offerings, but so far I have concluded that it is worth it to me to pay for all three. It is still a huge savings cost compared to my old cable bill, even factoring in the internet charge of $50/month.

I plan to regularly evaluate how much I am using each service, and whether it makes sense to continue all three. For right now I am enjoying watching several seasons worth of some shows I never got into before, so Netflix is getting a workout!
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:21 PM   #100
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Haven't seen any real benefit to dropping cable for me. I guess mine is reasonable costwise compared to others. I get a discount for cable+internet. If I drop cable the internet costs goes up, and then subscription cost for hulu+, netflis etc. OTA reception is spotty to none.
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