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Cutting the cable guy
#334988 01/19/11 11:45 PM
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I thought I post this up since the subject of a la carte TV has come up in the past.

I'm a HUGE Tivo fan, we currently own a Series 3 and Tivo HD. We've had them going back to the DirecTivo (non-SD). I've been using them w/ Comcast's TriplePlay for a few years. However, I got more and more frustrated with the increasing prices at Comcast. When my 1 year promo ended some time last year, they slowly increased my bill from month to month by almost $50. I called them to complain and said they could decrease my bill by removing some HD packages and get it down to about $150. I countered (knowing it wouldn't go anywhere...) that I could get those same package channels OTA on my Tivo and still have DVR functionality.

The tide turned in November when the PS3 finally had Hulu Plus capability. If I could do Hulu Plus on my PS3, I could use Hulu to supplement my OTA channels. Sadly, I did realize that not all streaming content is on Hulu Plus. It should be called Hulu Derivative, cuz you don't get more than Hulu, in truth, it's less. BUT, it's not Comcast. Then Roku had a sale on their XD box so then I had an option for my bedroom TV.

Last week I finally cut the Comcast cord (for cable TV), including mailing back the cablecards. I still need a landline so I kept their VoIP service. I also can't live w/o sub-15Mbps service so I kept the internet. But w/ this 'double play' package, I dropped my monthly cost by about $80/mo. I just bought an Arris modem on ebay so I can stop the $5/mo cable modem rental fee.

Here's some ways that I keep the home viewers happy w/ content.

1) Most of our TV watching is OTA, so using our outdoor Channel Master 4228, we can get quite a few channels in the Bay Area.
2) Tivo, Roku, PS3, Wii and our Macs all have Netflix capability so we're good w/ movies.
3) Slingplayer sits on one of the Tivos so we can watch on our Macs or iPhones anywhere in the world.
4) On the family Mac Mini, I use an Elgato Hybrid TV tuner. I was going to use it w/ OTA but for fun, I tried it on the 'dead' cable' line. Lo and behold, it pulls in the OTA channels unencrypted, along w/ some analog channels (including Discovery) and some unencrypted cable HD channels.
5) I have a lot of movies and TV shows on our home NAS that serves content to our iTunes libraries. Fortunately, I can use our Tivos as DLNA clients. I run a program on the Mac called PyTivo and it transcodes the videos for use on the Tivo. On the Tivo's Now Playing List, the videos show up on folders at the bottom of the list, after Netflix.

Some of the negatives
1) I am now only limited to broadcast sports. Fortunately, I can get NBC/Universal sports on OTA. I may opt for ESPN3, NBA, or MLB streaming packages but haven't felt the need.
2) I can't channel surf anymore but it makes me more efficient when watching TV. Plus I have more time to play video games and read.
3) I miss some of my cable shows like Archer, Tosh.O, and Psych. The wife misses Top Chef and a few other Bravo shows. Some of these can be watched online or on Hulu. Or there are other ways to get them.
4) Some content needs to be manually put onto the server. The good thing is that this really only involves 2 shows.

Overall, I'm happy with the decision and wish I did this a year ago. That saved money will be going to my new plasma this year...


Last edited by oldskoolboarder; 01/19/11 11:47 PM.
Re: Cutting the cable guy
oldskoolboarder #334994 01/20/11 12:32 AM
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Very cool.

I've been thinking about this for years. Unfortunately, I always run into a dead end.

I'd need Tivo hardware and service. And an antenna. And - almost certainly - something like a HD HomeRun or something. So, there's capital cost involved.

And I still wouldn't get Fox Sports Northwest, which would probably kill me during baseball season.

So I just keep writing checks, and swearing.


bibere usque ad hilaritatem
Re: Cutting the cable guy
tomtuttle #334995 01/20/11 12:36 AM
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I needs my F1.


I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!
Re: Cutting the cable guy
Ken.C #334999 01/20/11 12:58 AM
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Yeah, you'd need SpeedTV online or streaming. Haven't run across it. Although F1 is supposed to be in HD this year.

Re: Cutting the cable guy
tomtuttle #335000 01/20/11 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Very cool.

I've been thinking about this for years. Unfortunately, I always run into a dead end.

I'd need Tivo hardware and service. And an antenna. And - almost certainly - something like a HD HomeRun or something. So, there's capital cost involved.

And I still wouldn't get Fox Sports Northwest, which would probably kill me during baseball season.

So I just keep writing checks, and swearing.


I got my HD Tivo for $50. My Series 3 already had lifetime service. Yeah, there's a h/w investment, but it's not too bad.

FSN is a loss but could be supplemented w/ MLBTV. However, you wouldn't get the Mariners games streaming, only out of area games. For sports, I did a quick look at NHL Game Center, MLBTV and NBATV. Most of them are about $100 to $150 per season. At most, that's $450, which is still saving half my yearly cable bill. I've also heard that DirecTV's NFL package may be sold outside of their DirecTV package so that may be an option down the line.

Re: Cutting the cable guy
oldskoolboarder #335007 01/20/11 03:12 AM
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Check out iTunes for those missing shows you're looking for.Tosh.0 & Top Chef are available the day after network airing. Archer's there, but it's last season. Psych is there too, but I don't know the seasons to know if it's current or old.

A $99 AppleTV paired with $.99 rentals might be the last piece in your anti-cable puzzle.

smile

Last edited by PeterChenoweth; 01/20/11 03:29 AM.

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Re: Cutting the cable guy
oldskoolboarder #335008 01/20/11 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted By: oldskoolboarder
I've also heard that DirecTV's NFL package may be sold outside of their DirecTV package so that may be an option down the line.


Already done. No DirecTV subscription needed. wink

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/nflstonline/overview


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Re: Cutting the cable guy
Ken.C #335015 01/20/11 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted By: kcarlile
I needs my F1.

Is WRC on anything these days?

I've been meaning to [censored] the past season from [censored].


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Re: Cutting the cable guy
ClubNeon #335017 01/20/11 05:44 AM
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I haven't seen WRC on anything for a couple of years, and the one year I did see it, it was 30 minute highlight shows on ESPN.


I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!
Re: Cutting the cable guy
PeterChenoweth #335018 01/20/11 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted By: PeterChenoweth
Check out iTunes for those missing shows you're looking for.Tosh.0 & Top Chef are available the day after network airing. Archer's there, but it's last season. Psych is there too, but I don't know the seasons to know if it's current or old.

A $99 AppleTV paired with $.99 rentals might be the last piece in your anti-cable puzzle.

smile


Agreed. I just dusted off my original AppleTV. I'm actually updating the Boxee that's on there.

I can get to Hulu in the browser. Now if I can get my keyboard to work, I can do a login...

Last edited by oldskoolboarder; 01/20/11 07:05 AM.
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