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Old 10-27-2014, 09:32 AM   #121
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Update: My fancy ($69) HDTV OTA arrived. Setup was 10 minutes. Shifting around to get the best signal was about an hour. I plug it into a cable jack and use that as an input into a punch block of cable feeds. This block powers 4 TVs. I can get 70 OTA channels. I said 70. Many are duplicates of Public television, QVC, HSN, etc. so I knocked it down to 50 usable. (CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, ION, GetTv, METV, Bounce, Movies! and many more). I live on a mountain top and can pick up signal from 108 miles away. I also found a site (TitanTV) that gives you programming in your area. It also allows you to customize to add or remove channels. Did I say "Free"? The TV portion of my cable bill is $120. I knocked one tier off which will reduce cost by $35 a month.

My Tablo OTA DVR should arrive today. If that is successful, I will nuke the remaining $85 of cable TV and plug the remaining TVs into the OTA. Tested it already and there is no loss in signal. It will be 7 TVs OTA.

The Tablo with lifetime programming and a USB drive will be $430. Add in antenna cost of $69 and you have $500 to save $120 a month. And the picture quality is better, too.

We plan on dropping land line of maybe $30 soon.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:51 AM   #122
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Update: My fancy ($69) HDTV OTA arrived. Setup was 10 minutes. Shifting around to get the best signal was about an hour. I plug it into a cable jack and use that as an input into a punch block of cable feeds. This block powers 4 TVs. I can get 70 OTA channels. I said 70. Many are duplicates of Public television, QVC, HSN, etc. so I knocked it down to 50 usable. (CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, ION, GetTv, METV, Bounce, Movies! and many more). I live on a mountain top and can pick up signal from 108 miles away. I also found a site (TitanTV) that gives you programming in your area. It also allows you to customize to add or remove channels. Did I say "Free"? The TV portion of my cable bill is $120. I knocked one tier off which will reduce cost by $35 a month.

My Tablo OTA DVR should arrive today. If that is successful, I will nuke the remaining $85 of cable TV and plug the remaining TVs into the OTA. Tested it already and there is no loss in signal. It will be 7 TVs OTA.

The Tablo with lifetime programming and a USB drive will be $430. Add in antenna cost of $69 and you have $500 to save $120 a month. And the picture quality is better, too.

We plan on dropping land line of maybe $30 soon.
Sounds great!

I am saving $110/month by dropping cable TV, and honestly I don't miss it one bit (especially all the ads). I am thinking of dropping my landline soon, too.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:54 AM   #123
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Thanks for the tip; at $19 I figured I should have one too - especially as it runs the Plex app and can presumably play all/most of my locally stored media.

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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, 11:24 AM   #124
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Sounds great!

I am saving $110/month by dropping cable TV, and honestly I don't miss it one bit (especially all the ads). I am thinking of dropping my landline soon, too.
OMG - drop the landline, seriously. Unless you really, really love getting pummeled with telemarketers and politicos, Do Not Call list not withstanding.

It's completely feasible to communicate solely by cell phone, and increasing numbers are doing so in such rapid numbers that it's actually going to be more normal to do so than not in the not-to-distant future

Still have a land line? 128 million don't. Here's who's going wireless - LA Times
.
http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB100...57402031104502

And if still on a pricey cell phone plan with one of the Big Boys, also seriously consider kicking them to the curb in favor of a second tier player like StraightTalk. No discernible difference in service that we can tell after almost two years of having made the switch. The extra $750+ in our pocket each year since doing so, though? That we can definitely discern.
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:36 AM   #125
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To above, I should add that I continue to list my expired landline number when it's a mandatory fill in a phone number anywhere I conduct business. I keep my cell phone number close to my vest to avoid a repeat of the hostile takeover that eventually happened with our landline. (It's still a disconnected number some two years later because of the mass exodus from landlines.)
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:01 PM   #126
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Credit card activations use landline #s to verify sometimes. What happens when you are cell only?


"OMG - drop the landline, seriously."
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:21 PM   #127
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Credit card activations use landline #s to verify sometimes. What happens when you are cell only?
I've had no land line for nine years and have activated credit cards via my cell phone on many occasions. Not an issue.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:31 PM   #128
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We dropped cable TV early this year. We don't miss it all. We got tired of the ever increasing monthly bill. We purchased an OTA antenna and installed it in the attic. We get about 57 channels, with excellent HD on some channels. Matter-of-fact, we were surprised to see better graphics quality than on cable and satellite. We also watch Netflix movies and TV shows. We got rid of our landline because we weren't using it. Always looking for ways to save money.


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Old 10-28-2014, 08:59 PM   #129
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Credit card activations use landline #s to verify sometimes. What happens when you are cell only?


"OMG - drop the landline, seriously."
Adult DD's, 32 and 29, have only ever had cell phones, and between them, trust me, they have CC's aplenty. We've been cell only for three years and have experienced no negative issues whatsoever. And the bliss of not having the phone ring off the hook with political calls at this time of year? Priceless.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:01 PM   #130
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Credit card activations use landline #s to verify sometimes. What happens when you are cell only?


"OMG - drop the landline, seriously."
What's a landline??
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:13 PM   #131
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What's a landline??
I understand, but there are folds in my brain and neurons that haven't been used for decades apparently. I think the decision to keep the copper emerged from somewhere in that zone. I finally trained my relatives to dial my cell, maybe it's time reduce expenses by $40/mo.
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:43 PM   #132
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To above, I should add that I continue to list my expired landline number when it's a mandatory fill in a phone number anywhere I conduct business. I keep my cell phone number close to my vest to avoid a repeat of the hostile takeover that eventually happened with our landline. (It's still a disconnected number some two years later because of the mass exodus from landlines.)
My landline expired (in the literal sense) about 4 years ago when the guy digging around for my septic tank accidentally cut through the phone line. I had been debating getting rid of the landline anyway, so I just never had it fixed. I continue to put that old expired number on my checks and any forms that require a phone number. I guard my cell phone number carefully and only give it out to a limited number of people/businesses.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:06 AM   #133
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What's a landline??
We still have one. But only because we aren't paying for it. (We live in a parsonage and the church here, DW's employer, pays the utilities and such.) And as so many of the folks there are north of 60, I'm pretty sure they want to keep their landline. If nothing else, it gives us a small discount on DSL, I guess, which is the only non-satellite "broadband" available in this tiny little town.

Our council approved our putting an antenna up. We have the antenna and it's a matter of mounting it on the mast where the dish currently resides. The problem is that I need a really big ladder or other equipment to get up there, as it's on the edge of the roof, about 15 feet up, not really accessible with anything I have now. Once I do that I plan to shut off the dish. And as it's over $100 a month until then, I guess I have motive to get it done.

One tiny nit here: There is no such thing specifically as an "HDTV" antenna or a "digital" antenna. It's a marketing thing often done to convince people they needed to buy new antennas to replace their perfectly good antennas that had been picking up analog signals. An antenna is an antenna, it either picks up the RF frequency or it doesn't, regardless of whether the airwaves carry an analog or a digital signal. Other than that nit, carry on!
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:14 AM   #134
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I'd like to get rid of cable, but I'm not sure how clear a picture I can get from an OTA antenna. Also, we watch a lot of tv in the winter and channel selection is very important to DW. So I'll need to research this to make sure she would still be able to get her shows. Then I'll tackle the landline issue.
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:36 AM   #135
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I'd like to get rid of cable, but I'm not sure how clear a picture I can get from an OTA antenna.
There's an app for that...free!

I use this 'antenna helper' app on my Android phone when we are in the RV. Tells me all the OTA signals I can get at my location, their strength and direction. Our small antenna on the top of our RV gives us a great picture on any signal the app rates as 'moderate' or better. With a better antenna even the weak signals would probably be flawless.
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:42 AM   #136
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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.
I use mid-range DSL from ATT and the intro price was $24 a month, going to $44 after 6 months. It is fine for web stuff, Netflix, and the like. I imagine it would be slow if you are used to cable or whatever, but we live in the country and that's all that is really available. No other paid service.
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:15 AM   #137
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There's an app for that...free!

I use this 'antenna helper' app on my Android phone when we are in the RV. Tells me all the OTA signals I can get at my location, their strength and direction. Our small antenna on the top of our RV gives us a great picture on any signal the app rates as 'moderate' or better. With a better antenna even the weak signals would probably be flawless.
Thanks!!! I should have suspected that there was an app for that. There's an app for almost everything.
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:05 AM   #138
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The subject of internet, phone and television is so complex that very few are able to deal with all the options.

Imagine a personal service, that would allow you to sit down with an expert, to match needs with expense. Perhaps a community college course. ... Or... maybe to develop a new franchise designed to save the average household hundreds of dollars a year.

It's a jungle out there... Not a day goes by that I don't find a new program, app, or video source that is either free, or better than what I have settled on.

The platforms are becoming infinite. While I use Plex, the number of free channels available from other sources widen the playing field. The free "frontrowsports " mentioned in an earlier post provides a free alternative to the costly TV sports contracts.. Kodi (XMBC) and some older programs are listed here, as are many of the newer specialty alternatives.
If for no other reason than to be familiar with geektalk, this website lists some of the alternatives.

Plex Alternatives and Similar Software - AlternativeTo.net
When you get to the bottom of the page, click on the "more" button.
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:34 AM   #139
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Sounds great!

I am saving $110/month by dropping cable TV, and honestly I don't miss it one bit (especially all the ads). I am thinking of dropping my landline soon, too.
We dropped the landline a few months ago. I ported the number to a new cell phone as we have had that number for 35 years and I felt like I needed it for several reasons. I then killed my old cell phone as only five or so people even had that number (who all know our old landline number anyway). It has worked out really well.
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Old 10-29-2014, 12:16 PM   #140
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I just finished my annual call to Time Warner. This call is to lower my monthly payment back to the intro rate for internet service. They keep throwing in free starter cable tv on top of that when I ask them to cancel the TV part of the service. This is the second year they have done that. Five minutes of phone call equals $600/year savings. Having a local competitor makes this negotiation easy.

I already have my primary TIVO box recording OTA in HD. So the cable TV is almost irrelevant too me. It's lower quality (SD vs HD).
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