Cutting the Cable Cord

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Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby fightfan » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:18 pm

Totally non-tennis related, but my wife and I just cut our cable cord this week. Actually, we had IPTV but whatever. We did buy a Roku box, but unfortunately we are too far from broadcast stations (~50miles) to receive local channels over the air without an external antenna. We probably don't really care to set that up either.

Anyway, have any of you gone without cable? Any suggestions, i.e. how/where to watch stuff? We already have Netflix and Hulu, and I understand that CBS generally only broadcasts their shows on their website, i.e. not on Hulu. I think the toughest thing to replace is news and sports. By my calculation, if we can even last 2 months without cable, we can at least break even (cost of Roku box and monthly subscriptions).
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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby Mark in Sandy Eggo » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:38 pm

FF,

I had a phantom cable in the apartment I am in for the past 18 months. Basically the guy before me had cable, and I didn't subscribe, and it took that long for them to shut is off.

Which they did just before the NFL Playoffs.

Anyway, Son in Sandy Eggo has a couple weeks of intense exams for school, so he recommended not getting cable again until after his tests in a couple weeks.

BTW, I have internet service via ATT Uverse.

We actually end up using our computer to play to the television. This is pretty easy if you have recent models of each, and connect the two using a HDMI cable. Amazon is a good place to get the cable, which will be about 10x as expensive if you go to Best Buy. The sound also goes over the HDMI.

On Windows7 (and Vista I think) there is Windows Media Center, and a selection here is "Internet TV". This has a lot of the last couple episodes new shows (pretty much what is on the network websites). Also, there are a number of shadier places where you can "poach" live TV streams. This is particularly useful on games that have been locally blacked out. These websites are moving all the time, but it seems that when you go into a team message board, and look at the Gameday thread, there will be lots of people asking (and answering) this question.
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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby Charlzz » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:10 pm

If you're looking for economical cables, try http://monoprice.com. Very low prices.
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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby brian.mark » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:17 pm

I'm waiting for Ian to respond since he recently went this route, too.
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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby fightfan » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:54 pm

Thanks for the responses guys! Luckily, I already had an extra HDMI cable, so I'm all set as far as connectors go. I bought one from Monoprice a long time ago, and with shipping, I think it was almost like buy one get one free, so I just bought two of them.

Mark - from what I gather, the computer is definitely far more powerful than my Roku box (some Hulu stuff is computer only, Roku does not have YouTube, Roku does not have a CBS channel, etc.), but I tend to multitask a lot. I'm usually tinkering on my computer when I'm "watching" TV, and I don't have any extra laptops for this purpose. The Roku is easier to use though, and I don't think my wife would want to deal with "channel surfing" on a computer. Is the Windows Media Center really user-friendly? Do you have to have a computer with a TV tuner built in? If we end up "cable-less" for a long-time, maybe we'll invest in a dedicated laptop. I wish a netbook (are those still around?) was powerful enough to run this stuff. (?)
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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby John M » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:18 pm

When I want to watch live sports when I am at the office, I use www.firstrow.tv. If you make the picture full screen, it seems to eliminate all the extraneous stuff.

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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby fightfan » Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:43 pm

John M wrote:When I want to watch live sports when I am at the office, I use http://www.firstrow.tv. If you make the picture full screen, it seems to eliminate all the extraneous stuff.

Awesome! Thanks so much for the link John! I never heard of that site before, and I can definitely use all the sports streaming I can find now that I don't have regular TV. You never know how long they "last." ;) Previously, I used WatchESPN (ESPN3) and livescorehunter.com. WatchESPN is somewhat limited in their broadcasts, and livescorehunter is pretty hit or miss. Thanks again!
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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby Charlzz » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:29 pm

I think Ian got rid of cable/satellite, if memory serves. He doesn't check the forums as much as he used to, but perhaps he'll find the post.
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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby brian.mark » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:43 pm

And here I am... enjoying my first major with DirecTV and having 6 dedicated channels of coverage. :)
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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby BravoREd691 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:43 pm

brian.mark wrote:And here I am... enjoying my first major with DirecTV and having 6 dedicated channels of coverage. :)


Welcome to the promise land brother...too bad they are not letting us preview the TC this year as well...

Br :penguin: :penguin:
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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby Mark in Sandy Eggo » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:39 pm

fightfan wrote:Thanks for the responses guys! Luckily, I already had an extra HDMI cable, so I'm all set as far as connectors go. I bought one from Monoprice a long time ago, and with shipping, I think it was almost like buy one get one free, so I just bought two of them.

Mark - from what I gather, the computer is definitely far more powerful than my Roku box (some Hulu stuff is computer only, Roku does not have YouTube, Roku does not have a CBS channel, etc.), but I tend to multitask a lot. I'm usually tinkering on my computer when I'm "watching" TV, and I don't have any extra laptops for this purpose. The Roku is easier to use though, and I don't think my wife would want to deal with "channel surfing" on a computer. Is the Windows Media Center really user-friendly? Do you have to have a computer with a TV tuner built in? If we end up "cable-less" for a long-time, maybe we'll invest in a dedicated laptop. I wish a netbook (are those still around?) was powerful enough to run this stuff. (?)



Yeah, I have a bit healthier computer than I think you have

Image

For doing internet only, no, you do not need a TV Tuner Card. One thing is that I wish I had gone the route of getting a USB TV tuner box. This would make the box usable by other machines as well.

As far as channel surfing, Windows Media Center does work pretty well. It has a standard grid display, etc.

Image

A wireless mouse or trackball would be good for controlling this.

For those who have an Xbox, there is a new Windows Media Center extender that was included in the new Xbox User Interface that was pushed out about a month or two ago. This is an application on the Xbox that lets you use the Windows Media Center capability on PC that it is "extended" from. This allows you to do all the fun things on the Xbox (tune channels, pause TV shows, replay recorded shows, view Internet TV stations, etc) that you can do on the PC itself.
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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby brian.mark » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:03 pm

BravoREd691 wrote:
brian.mark wrote:And here I am... enjoying my first major with DirecTV and having 6 dedicated channels of coverage. :)


Welcome to the promise land brother...too bad they are not letting us preview the TC this year as well...

Br :penguin: :penguin:


I always have TC as part of my standard package. What are you on?
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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby Royce » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:21 pm

I looked at getting a slingbox pro and putting it on my moms TV so I could watch anything I wanted without having to actually pay for cable. It wouldve also allowed me to watch it where ever I had an internet connection. The slingbox pro runs maybe $100 more expensive than the standard one but comes with a DVR. If you know anyone that would let you put it on their tv, it wouldnt be a bad way to go.
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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby fightfan » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:24 pm

Royce wrote:I looked at getting a slingbox pro...

Awesome idea Royce! That's exactly the type of out of the box thinking I was looking for. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who could "help" me that way. However, we've been getting along pretty good so far with just Hulu, Netflix, WatchESPN, and LiveScoreHunter. We're getting used to watching shows a day late.
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Re: Cutting the Cable Cord

Postby Royce » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:58 pm

The one thing about the slingbox that I dont know about is that if you view it online, what that does to the tv that has the software on it... if it turns the tv on, makes the tv unavailable or whatnot. Depending on those things, Id offer to hook it up.
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