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First move toward cutting the cord
Old 09-24-2015, 05:56 PM   #1
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First move toward cutting the cord

I researched local TV channels, found I should have 5 within 20 miles. I bought a Mohu 30 Antenna from Amazon $39.99 and installed it today. I tested it first on a 24" Haier TV in our spare bedroom. It worked great. I'll get another for that room. Then installed it on our 40" Toshiba in our family room. Works great there too. We receive 11 channels in both locations. Next step is buying a DVR (TiVo? Roku?) so we can watch the broadcast shows without commercials and when we want. Which DVR do you suggest?
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:55 AM   #2
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Love my Roku, but it is not a DVR. For over the air DVR I have a two channel "Tablo" that can be viewed on the roku attached to any TV on my network.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:07 AM   #3
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Yes, the Roku is a streaming device. You'll need high speed internet for it. We love it and use it mostly with Netflix.

If I was going to cut the cable, I'd do the Roku and then a Tivo for the antenna. This allows you to DVR the network (antenna) shows and stream the rest.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:12 AM   #4
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I am kinda spoiled in that I have been using SageTV for about ten years and have found nothing to replace it.

Anyway, Windows Media Center is a good option (combined with a server of some kind to play the recording on your TV... Xbox, perhaps). Plex is another choice.

BTW, SageTV, which was sold to Google in 2011 and closed down, has recently been released to "open-source." A large number dedicated SageTV users (along with the original developer) are currently working on making it available again. Us original license holders have been able to use it during these years but Google stopped issuing licenses preventing new users. The new version will eliminate that need.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:01 AM   #5
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Love my Roku, but it is not a DVR. For over the air DVR I have a two channel "Tablo" that can be viewed on the roku attached to any TV on my network.
This is exactly what I purchased in June.

There are a few quirks with the Tablo software it but so far it's working fine. I hooked up a 2TB hard drive to mine. We do pay $5/mo for the Tablo scheduling service.

In addition, we have subscribed to Sling TV for $20/mo which gives us ESPN (for me) and HGTV (for her).

edit - for anyone else, those Mohu antenna's get good reviews but I hooked up a $15 Best Buy powered set of HD bunny ears and it works great even though we are 25 miles from the towers. It's on the floor of upstairs bedroom so out of sight behind dresser and hooks into the old coax cable to the basement (reversing the direction of old cable) so I can connect to the Tablo which can then be hard wired to the Router.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:20 AM   #6
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I bought a magnavox DVR from Walmart to go with my antenna TV. It works great!!
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:44 AM   #7
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When we cut the cord several years ago, I connected an old laptop to the TV via HDMI. I installed Kodi (formerly XBMC) and hooked up a 3TB external drive and a cheap USB TV tuner (HDHR w/ 2 tuners). We control Kodi and the laptop with a Media Center remote control, and also use a wireless keyboard. Now, all live OTA TV is routed through the TV tuner into the laptop and is recorded on the external drive. This enables all the standard DVR functionality like pausing live TV, recording 1 channel while watching another, skipping commercials, etc. Just using free software and some hardware I already had lying around.

Kodi also provides a free EPG (electronic program guide) and scheduling GUI which works great. With 3TB of storage, we record tons of OTA HD programming (with 5.1 sound) and never come close to capacity. The external drive also contains our entire collection of about 150 movies (ripped from DVDs), our entire MP3 collection (ripped from CDs), digital photos, home movies, etc, all of which is nicely organized and played via Kodi. All our old DVDs and CDs are stored in a box somewhere.

There are also thousands of 3rd-party add-ons for Kodi that open up the entire universe of internet streaming. Some of these are quite obviously accessing illegal content, so we stick to the official Kodi add-ons that only access legitimate and reliable streaming sources. Still tons of great free content, including traditional cable programming, much of which is not available via Netflix and Amazon.

If you have an old PC or laptop lying around, and you're a tech-savvy DIYer, this is a great and fun alternative to collecting a bunch of new hardware (Roku, TiVo, etc). The USB tuner was around $35 and the MCE remote was $15. We already had everything else (laptop and external drive); plus there's no ongoing subscription costs. IMHO, Kodi is a must-have for serious cable-cutters.
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lem1955 View Post
I researched local TV channels, found I should have 5 within 20 miles. I bought a Mohu 30 Antenna from Amazon $39.99 and installed it today. I tested it first on a 24" Haier TV in our spare bedroom. It worked great. I'll get another for that room. Then installed it on our 40" Toshiba in our family room. Works great there too. We receive 11 channels in both locations. Next step is buying a DVR (TiVo? Roku?) so we can watch the broadcast shows without commercials and when we want. Which DVR do you suggest?
Another option is to simply stop now, and not bother buying a DVR at all. I just mute the sound during commercials and play iPad games, go to the restroom, or whatever, during the commercials. And honestly I kind of like not getting to choose when I watch a show. It makes the actual discovery of that show being on at the moment, much more fun for me. Like an Easter egg. YMMV and for 99.99% of people, it probably does.
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:03 PM   #9
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I started with Roku years ago. Now I combine Tivo DVR with OTA and apple tv. Theres not much I cant get or record without cable.


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Old 09-25-2015, 11:58 PM   #10
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My ROKU in conjunction with Amazon Prime and Netflix are what I use most. Last summer while arguing with Comcast over their raising my Internet only from $50 to $80 they agreed to give me another year of $50 internet as long as I paid $5 for basic cable. They may be trying to keep their cable subscriber numbers up. I had AREO for the major network TV until they lost their Supreme Court case. Cable is doomed.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:35 AM   #11
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I started with Roku years ago. Now I combine Tivo DVR with OTA and apple tv. Theres not much I cant get or record without cable.


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Al in Ohio - I have Apple TV and the OTA antenna already, but I thought the TiVo DVR would take the place of the Apple TV box. (So I could move the Apple TV box to another television.) What does having both give you that the TiVo can't do on it's own?
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Old 09-26-2015, 09:29 AM   #12
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I don't know about the newer Tivo's - but my tivo xl lets me stream netflix, amazon, amazon prime, hulu, etc... As well as dvr. So one device lets me dvr and stream.

Not sure if Roamio or the newer tivos also offer these features.
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Old 09-26-2015, 09:44 AM   #13
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I spent a lot of time comparing the various options when deciding to (mostly) cut the cord a couple of years ago. The ability to record & pause OTA was a deal-breaker for DW so that limited our choices. I started with the HomeWorx PVR as suggested by others on this board but just found it a bit too quirky. (I knew that going in but, after using it awhile, found there were some limitations we just didn't want to live with.) Looked hard at the TiVo Roamio with TiVo Minis to connect two other TVs in the house. Might have been the slickest solution but just couldn't make myself commit to the ongoing $15 monthly. ("If we're motivated do this cord-cutting thing, let's not go half-way and still be saddled with ongoing payments of any sort!")

In the end we ended up going with the "Channel Master DVR+" picked up on their Black Friday sale and are quite happy. It accepts up to a 3TB USB hard drive and, as DW and I are much better at recording than deleting, we appreciate the storage space. We feed it (them) with the $40 FlatWave amplified panel antenna from Costco which is pretty much the same device as the much-touted Mohu Leaf. The only real down side to this solution is that you need a separate DVR+ and hard drive for each TV so the price of entry isn't chump change. But at least then you're done. I guess beautiful, intuitive EPG and plenty of storage space along with no monthly fees won us over. So we gritted our teeth over the upfront costs and just pulled the trigger. DW is in the other room enjoying our choice as we speak.


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Old 09-26-2015, 09:50 AM   #14
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"If we're motivated do this cord-cutting thing, let's not go half-way and still be saddled with ongoing payments of any sort!"

Oh, I failed to add that we do have NetFlix streaming so there's that...



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Old 09-27-2015, 07:12 AM   #15
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i have the tablo. goto the tablo community forums or to Amazon feedback reports to decide if the Tablo is for you. Tablo support will eventually get to you and fix you up but my last blunder took 4 days to fix. it still beats paying $160 per month.
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Old 09-27-2015, 11:09 AM   #16
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Would like to cut the cord, but can not get over the air channels. Maps show our area can get CBS and it is listed as weak.
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Old 09-27-2015, 11:17 AM   #17
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Would like to cut the cord, but can not get over the air channels. Maps show our area can get CBS and it is listed as weak.
There is most likely no solution to your problem. However, just to confirm the "maps," are you using these websites?

AntennaPoint.com - Antenna Locator
AntennaWeb - Home
and (not or)
TV Fool
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:01 PM   #18
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Yes, two stations about 50 miles away. TV Fool identified more stations that could work with a roof mounted antenna, but that is not allowed in the subdivision.
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:35 PM   #19
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Yes, two stations about 50 miles away. TV Fool identified more stations that could work with a roof mounted antenna, but that is not allowed in the subdivision.
Then the solution lies with your HOA... until Science comes up with a way to enhance distant radio waves (in that spectrum) to a magnitude that can penetrate man-made structures. (We are all wishing for that.)
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Old 09-27-2015, 05:09 PM   #20
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HOA can't ban antennas

https://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-...n-devices-rule


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