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Old 10-15-2014, 08:35 PM   #101
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Reading through this thread, the cost of "cable" gets confusing... The only way I can get internet access is through the cable that comes into my house, unless I go to Hughes Satellite. We are in a dead zone for OTA, with two religious channels being the only possibilities. (no roof antennas (HOA).

So cable = internet, phone, TV or some combination thereof. DirecTV means Satellite TV to me, not cable. If I cut the cable, I get nothing at all.
In looking at the prices and the "deals" and the contracts, I wonder if anyone has just internet... not on a deal, or a contract, or a 1 or 2 year special... just a monthly bill for internet. If so, what connection speed and how much?

My blood pressure goes sky high, just talking to anyone at Comcast. My bills have ranged from $19/mo. several years ago to $89 which was on a recent "Deal" that offered the "Blast" Option if I added the TV. The Blast option without the TV was more expensive. Frankly I have no idea what I have. The TV interface is so bad i jut put it in the box for when I cancel.

The whole deal with Comcast is so dumb, it defies description. I don't use Comcast for my phone, because I have to sign up with a different Comcast company when I go to Florida. Instead I have the additional expense of VOIP phone, with Vonage.

We look at the cost as our entertainment cost, and put the stupidity of the whole situation out of our minds.

BTW... If you're ever bored, go to the Comcast page and look for the legal disclaimers. All together, they contain more words than the King James Bible. Old and New Testaments.
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:38 PM   #102
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Pretty soon you'll be able to watch Game of Thrones without cable. HBO Go Without Cable In 2015: Plepler On Subscription-Free Streaming | Deadline
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:31 PM   #103
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"I wonder if anyone has just internet... not on a deal, or a contract, or a 1 or 2 year special... just a monthly bill for internet. If so, what connection speed and how much?"

I can't tell if you can or cannot get wireline telephone service, but if so, VDSL can be had in lieu of cable in some areas. One telephone provider in western washington, for example, offers 7 mbps internet for 40$/ month + modem lease, or you can provide your own modem. Add phone or tv to that for more money.
The connection speeds offered went up to 40mbps.

I wouldn't imagine it is less aggravating dealing with a phone company vs cable.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:24 PM   #104
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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.
GREAT SUMMARY- thank you!

Next question related-what is the best equipment to watch this stuff? I want something that gets HuluPlus, Netflix, and Amazon Prime AND will also let me use apps on the IPad that somehow get to the TV screen. Less is best- as I am technical enough for what I use, but my modem and TV are in different rooms.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:32 AM   #105
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GREAT SUMMARY- thank you!

Next question related-what is the best equipment to watch this stuff? I want something that gets HuluPlus, Netflix, and Amazon Prime AND will also let me use apps on the IPad that somehow get to the TV screen. Less is best- as I am technical enough for what I use, but my modem and TV are in different rooms.
You're welcome!

I use a Roku to access Netflix, HuluPlus, and Amazon Prime, but I don't know how to do what you are asking (apps to the tv?). Maybe what you need is the Apple TV streaming device - maybe someone else will chime in and answer this. Good luck! I LOVE being free of cable tv.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:57 AM   #106
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Next question related-what is the best equipment to watch this stuff? I want something that gets HuluPlus, Netflix, and Amazon Prime AND will also let me use apps on the IPad that somehow get to the TV screen. Less is best- as I am technical enough for what I use, but my modem and TV are in different rooms.
We have a laptop hooked up to the TV with an HDMI cable and use a wireless keyboard as a "remote" control. That allows us to surf the web using the TV. We don't use any apps with this set up though. Our laptop connects to a modem in a different room via a wireless router.

I load all the software from the public library on that laptop - like Freegal, Zinnio and Overdrive so it doesn't gunk up our personal PCs and laptops.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:34 AM   #107
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We used to have AT&T uverse for internet (no cable or VoIP). Price was about $50 for 20mbps in San Jose. This was after the initial teaser rate (about half) had expired and we were simply going monthly. Might have been possible to get lower rates but I was being reimbursed by work so there was no incentive.


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Old 10-16-2014, 07:45 AM   #108
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"I wonder if anyone has just internet... not on a deal, or a contract, or a 1 or 2 year special... just a monthly bill for internet. If so, what connection speed and how much?"


I get stand alone internet through the local cable company for $55. per month. 12 mbps.
But starting next month they will charge an additional $10. for stand alone.
Still not a bad deal though as I use xbmc for tv viewing which is free and nettalk for an internet based landline for $29. per year.
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:01 AM   #109
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I wonder if anyone has just internet... not on a deal, or a contract, or a 1 or 2 year special... just a monthly bill for internet. If so, what connection speed and how much?
I tried to cut my video portion of the cable earlier this summer. My cable/internet combined bill had gone up to $120/month - without any premium channels like HBO. I was pissed.

It took 45 minutes on the phone explaining that I wanted keep internet but cut cable.... They finally did it. My bill is now $35.99.

Since it costs them money to install a filter to remove the video coming in on the same pipe as the internet, they let me keep the barest of basic cable. It's all standard def - no hdtv. Fortunately, we are line of sight to the OTA big channel attennas so cbs/nbc/abc were easy. We purchased an hdtv attenna and we now get the stations that broadcast from Tijuana (CW, Fox, WB) - all in beautiful HDTV.

Our internet is the "standard" speed - which is defined as "up to" 15MPBS download, "up to" 5mpbs upload.
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:06 AM   #110
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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?
Before you mess with the antenna, I would ask Charter if they offer internet plus broadcast TV only. Most cable operators offer a bare-bones TV tier that includes local broadcast and a handful of other things, like the Weather Channel and local access. I have Verizon FiOS, and this was cheaper than internet alone, plus saved the hassle and expense of an antenna. I know several cable-cutting friends who have done the same thing. It's a great option when you are a little beyond the range for reliable OTA reception. And since it's cheaper than internet alone, it's kind-of a no-brainer.
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:09 AM   #111
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Dropped land-line phone last year to save $20/moth. Only use our Verizon smart phones. Hope to find a way to reduce smart phone cost ($133/mo for 2 phones) when our contract is up early next year.

Dropped DirectTV last month. Was paying $84/month with no premium channels. We live in PHX so we get a good number of OTA channels and the local HD channels look just as good as the Satellite and it is free!! OTA, Netflix and Amazon Prime is all we need to keep us entertained at a much lower cost than satellite/cable TV. I do not miss it at all. However, if you are a big sports fan you are almost force to keep Satellite/cable.

Bought a HomeWorX box (HW-150PVR) on Amazon for $40 to record shows OTA ( I do miss the DVR feature)... You need to use your own external HDD or Flash drive. It is not a high quality unit by any means and the setup to record was not easy, but once you figure it out it does work and the HD recordings look great. Ordered another one, but the tuner was bad so I had to send it back. Not sure if this is my final solution for OTA recording.

My new project is to try the HDHomeRun (HDHR4-2US). Just order it yesterday on Amazon for $89. It is a dual tuner that takes OTA and connects it to your LAN & Wireless network. This is "suppose" to allow you to watch live and record OTA TV shows on your PC and then you can access them via media devices on your network. It sounds like a more difficult setup, but if it works it will be a more flexible solution. It I'm able to access TV and recording on my medial devices that support DLNA. Hope it really works, if not it will keep me busy trying to get it to work ..

We get our Internet service (no TV or Phone) from Cox Communication for $63/moth. I believe it is the "preferred" package (50mbps download & 10mbps upload). I just upgraded my cable modem from DOCSIS2 to DOCSIS3 to take full of advantage of the bandwidth that my internet package offers. Based on the before/after speed test it doubled+ the down/up load speeds. Not sure I will really notice the difference ....
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:19 AM   #112
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Hope to find a way to reduce smart phone cost ($133/mo for 2 phones) when our contract is up early next year.
Check out the pay-as-you-go no contract providers like Virgin Mobile. We pay $87/mo for two smart phones (purchased up front) with all the bells & whistles.
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My new project is to try the HDHomeRun (HDHR4-2US). Just order it yesterday on Amazon for $89. It is a dual tuner that takes OTA and connects it to your LAN & Wireless network. This is "suppose" to allow you to watch live and record OTA TV shows on your PC and then you can access them via media devices on your network.
I have this set-up and it works great using Windows Media Center on my PC. Be sure to get the remote control.
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:22 AM   #113
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My setup:

Landline (yeah, I know): ~ $55/month, unlimited local and long distance package

Comcast cable (internet only): ~ 19.95/month promotional rate, will go to $39.99 in several months

OTA DTV - use Magnavox DVR/DVD combo, with HD Frequency antenna

Amazon Prime streaming - don't use too often but part of Prime for all them packages
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:41 AM   #114
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Thanks REWahoo for the advice... Question on the remote. I was planning on using my Sony blu-ray boxes to access the TV recordings via Window Media Player. I already use WMP to access video, pictures and music from my PC and I can use my Logitec Harmony remote to control the Blu-Ray player for this. I assume this remote is required to watch "live" TV via WMP and/or WMC? It is my understanding the Windows Media Center (WMC) is only compatible on devices that can be seen as a "Extendable" to the WMC. Sounds like the Xbox is the only device I found that had this feature.
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:56 AM   #115
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If I understand your question, the remote isn't necessary to watch live OTA TV via the PC. Everything can be controlled via point & click using the mouse. The remote is for convenience only.

Not sure about the "Extendable" issue. I have a simple set-up with the HR tuner feeding my PC and recording on an external drive. My 60" TV is hooked via HDMI cable to my nearby desktop as a second monitor for viewing the programs I record, Netflix and other streaming sources.
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:14 AM   #116
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Unfortunately my PC is in my office and far away from the family room (and all other rooms) so that is why I'm hoping I can use my Blu-Ray players to access TV & recordings via WMP or WMC.. I Believe I will have to rely on WMP for recorded TV only for now and will have to find "Extender" media devices if I want to use WMC to watch live TV as well as record.... Either way still saving lots of money now that I dropped DirectTV ....
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:37 AM   #117
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Next question related-what is the best equipment to watch this stuff? I want something that gets HuluPlus, Netflix, and Amazon Prime AND will also let me use apps on the IPad that somehow get to the TV screen. Less is best- as I am technical enough for what I use, but my modem and TV are in different rooms.
A $35 Chromecast would work for what you described. You could run all 3 services, plus other apps, on your iPad and "cast" them wirelessly to your TV.

We have 2 Vizio "smart" TVs and access all 3 services directly through apps on the TVs. From my experience, these apps are not as good as dedicated, stand-alone hardware such as the Roku or a gaming console. But they do work and are very convenient since they are built into the TV and thus controlled from the TV remote.

As someone else mentioned, we also have a laptop connected to the TV via HDMI with both a wireless keyboard and a WMC remote control. We occasionally use this for web browsing and Amazon Prime, just because the Amazon app on Vizio is horrendous. It can also be used for Netflix and Hulu.

But more importantly, the laptop runs XBMC (now called Kodi), which enables all sorts of TV/media goodness... DVR functionality, program guides, internet streaming, local storage of movies/music/photos. IMHO, XBMC is a "must-have" for serious cable-cutters. But be warned, it requires a fair amount of upfront configuration effort, which will quickly rile even a well-seasoned geek. And much of the internet streaming content is unreliable, illegal, or both. So, it takes some effort, but it's a great resource for finding legal content that's not on the major streaming services. And it's a great way to get full DVR functionality and program guides for live TV, after you return all your stupidly-expensive STBs to the cable company.

XBMC is free, open-source HTPC software. It's the only viable alternative to WMC, which is no longer being developed by Microsoft.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:52 AM   #118
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Don't know if this has been mentioned, but for those who want to watch live sports for free...

first row sports

use adblock
.................................................. .............
the other alternative is to add Play On to the PC or Roku type device... One time cost of $50... lifetime.
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Old 10-27-2014, 09:09 AM   #119
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Ordered the Amazon Fire TV Stick today for $19 (two-day Amazon Prime special). Not sure how useful this will be but thought it was worth a shot for the price. Regular price will be $39.
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Old 10-27-2014, 09:29 AM   #120
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We could not afford cable TV growing up, so I never missed it. We have Sat TV on the ship, and honestly I don't see much original content that interest me. Any TV shows or movies I like, I can get from netflix.

My set up:

Internet 30 gig At&t Hotspot currently extra $30.00 on cell phone bill.

Netflix $8 to $12 dollars a month.

Sirius Sat Radio $0 lifetime subscription for CNBC and other news as well as music obviously.
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