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Reducing your cable/satellite bill with TV Everywhere Apps
Old 02-26-2018, 10:47 AM   #1
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Reducing your cable/satellite bill with TV Everywhere Apps

If you have multiple TVs at your residence or multiple residences with multiple TVs, and you want cable TV channels extended to all your TVs, this method will save you some money. Cable and satellite providers have been supporting TV Everywhere apps to fight cord cutters. These apps are supported on Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple, Samsung, LG WEBOS, Windows, IOS, Android and other platforms.
The OTT packages (such as Sling, PS Vue, Direct TV Now) will save you some money but if you have a traditional cable or satellite service, you can extend that service to all your other TVs, tablets, phones, and PCs without paying extra. We even dumped our OTT service, Sling TV after we tried this and it's much better than Sling TV and PS Vue (we have tried both for extended periods of time). Even better is that you can add the channels you watch not all the garbage you find even in the "skinny bundles".
Our condo in Florida has monthly dues that include basic standard definition analog and digital TV and high speed internet. It includes 75 channels of which 45-50 are of interest to us. If you want HDTV, you have to pay an additional $40 per month including the set top box and $15 per month for additional TVs. You cannot opt out of the basic cable and internet package but you can enhance them. We have two Roku enabled TVs in Florida and five in California. We were using our Sling TV service in both locations without any issues until my wife wanted to watch the TLC channel. It was not included in our Sling Blue package but part was part of our basic cable package. Our cable provider supported TV everywhere apps and I downloaded the TLC go app on both Roku TVs in Florida and then activated them by signing on with our cable provider. It worked well. We got a live HD feed plus on demand programming without paying any extra cost. I then started downloading all the TV everywhere apps corresponding to our basic cable subscription that we would watch (ABC, NBC, CW, CNN, FOX, FXX, DiscoveryGo, TNT, USA... about 47 of them). They all worked very well and the on-demand feature were far better than what Sling or PS Vue offered. The individual channel apps on demand feature behave a lot like Netflix and are rock solid stable just like Netflix. When we returned to our home in California, I did the same thing with our five TVs and it worked. So we dumped Sling TV and have completely free cable TV service in California. We now only pay $13.99 per month for Netflix premium and cover 7 TVs at two residences plus our tablets and smart phones. The set-up takes some time but it's worth it. The picture is fantastic. Some channels are broadcasting in 4K which you do not get with Sling TV or PS Vue or most cable providers for that matter. Our bandwidth usage with Sling TV and PS Vue was on the average 1.5 terra bytes per month. Now it's down to about 600 gigabytes per month because these apps use better compression technology while delivering superior picture quality. We don't have data caps yet at either location, but some providers do put data caps on so this will help that issue.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:06 AM   #2
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Looks like a good approach if you’re already paying for cable with condo fees, like the OP. Otherwise I’d be very surprised if it saved anything, especially with a $55 upcharge for HD and multiple TV’s if I read that right. But the cable/satellite vs streaming TV approach is well covered in other threads.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:30 AM   #3
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You can pay for the most basic cable service on a single TV and with these apps you can extend that basic service to multiple TVs with HD and on demand service at no additional cost. Cable/satellite companies charge for each set top box and some even charge a monthly HD service fee. All of that goes away.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:32 AM   #4
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I have Comcast cable for my living room only. Didn't see the need to rent a box for my bedroom as I can pick up all my local channels via an antenna. I do use some of these apps for a few additional channels like TBS, TNT, ESPN, History along with Netflix. Works well and gives me all I need for late night viewing. By time I go to bed and stretch out, I don't have much tv viewing left in me as I'm quickly snoozing away.......
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:52 AM   #5
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I somewhat use this approach.

Our Florida condo has Xfinity basic cable included in the condo fee. At home in Vermont, we are in front of a mountain and can't get OTA for our locals so we use Dish.

However, at home I use the cheapest Dish package that includes locals (called Welcome Pack $20/mo) but there are a few channels that we like to watch that are not included in the cheapo Dish programming package, like USA and TNT that I access using Fire TV and our Xfinity credentials.

The only annoying thing is that TNT seems to make you validate your credentials weekly but that only takes a minute... also, you have to put up with commercials.. which I have grown to hate after being spoiled with the DVR.

So during the summer our cable bill for Dish is $63 ($20 for Welcome Pack programming, $40 for equipment for our 4 tvs and fees/taxes) and $0 for Florida.... and in the winter it is $5 for Dish 6 month pause and $53 for Xfinity ($10 HDTV, $10 DVR and $30 internet plus taxes/fees).

In the fall, I keep them both going so I can watch Patriots regular season games since if it is not a Sunday of Monday night game we may not get it in Florida. Sometime I think it might be cheaper to just cut off Dish and go to a bar but it is nice to be able to watch the games in the condo.
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:35 PM   #6
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Doesn't look like AT&T Uverse works with this. Uverse also doesn't work on Roku.
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
I somewhat use this approach.

Our Florida condo has Xfinity basic cable included in the condo fee. At home in Vermont, we are in front of a mountain and can't get OTA for our locals so we use Dish.

However, at home I use the cheapest Dish package that includes locals (called Welcome Pack $20/mo) but there are a few channels that we like to watch that are not included in the cheapo Dish programming package, like USA and TNT that I access using Fire TV and our Xfinity credentials.

The only annoying thing is that TNT seems to make you validate your credentials weekly but that only takes a minute... also, you have to put up with commercials.. which I have grown to hate after being spoiled with the DVR.

So during the summer our cable bill for Dish is $63 ($20 for Welcome Pack programming, $40 for equipment for our 4 tvs and fees/taxes) and $0 for Florida.... and in the winter it is $5 for Dish 6 month pause and $53 for Xfinity ($10 HDTV, $10 DVR and $30 internet plus taxes/fees).

In the fall, I keep them both going so I can watch Patriots regular season games since if it is not a Sunday of Monday night game we may not get it in Florida. Sometime I think it might be cheaper to just cut off Dish and go to a bar but it is nice to be able to watch the games in the condo.
In California, have have several mountains blocking the broadcast antennas also. We can't get OTA reception here. However, with version 8 of Roku software the activation process is simplified. We do not have to re-activate every week. Why don't you use your Xfinity credentials to get all the cable channels you have in Florida? Our Florida condo uses Hotwire Communications for cable and internet. But we never used the basic service and used our Sling TV subscription (which we cancelled) to get HD service and used a small flat antenna to get HD OTA reception. Florida is so flat OTA reception is easy even with a small compact antenna. Plus our condo unit is on the 6th floor which helps. So far the TV everywhere apps are working in both locations without any issues. We are going to see if any of these work in Europe when we are there in the summer. Our Netflix subscription works in Europe (Switzerland). Sling TV did not. Playstation Vue did not even work outside our primary residence.
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