Cable Alternatives

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Goaldeje

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Hey. We hate Comcast. They're Crap-Tastic! Anywho, their customer service sucks, internet is spotty, and I just found out that even though I am paying almost $200/mo for their service, there are non-porn channels I don't get. WTF? For that price, I actually feel like I should get the porn channels too.

Anyway, I heard an ad on the radio the other day for Century Link, which is supposed to provide broadband to residences. I could get phone and internet for about what I'm paying now, and then supplement with DirecTV or something like it. And probably pay less than what I am already paying now.

So anyone have any other suggestions about how to avoid Comcast? And has anyone heard of anyone who has used Century Link?
 

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DirecTV is awesome. If Verizon Fios is available where you are, that's the best option out there by miles right now compared to anything. It's faster, never goes down, cheaper, etc.

If anyone tries to steer you away from DirecTV claiming the satellite goes out in a rain shower, it's total BS. I live in Virginia Beach, took a pretty direct hit from Irene, and lost satellite for about 25 minutes the whole storm, and not all at once - it was 5 minutes a few different times. if it can withstand a hurricane, obviously they've solved their reception issues.

Oh, did I mention you'd save a boatload of money? I have the highest package you can get through Verizon/DirecTV. Every premium channel (there are about 35 now), and every non porn package available. I have 3 HD DVR receivers in my home too. I also have local calling with call waiting and caller ID, and high speed internet with a wireless router they included.

All total, I paid $60 for installation and shipping for everything (which they bill you for) and The entire package after all charges, taxes, regulatory fees, etc. is a little over $110 a month. When they get Fios in my neighborhood, they will convert it all for free with the same price. I just got it last month, so it is unlikely that the price has changed.
 

Goaldeje

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Nice. I should clarify that my $200/mo includes phone and interwebz, but I am thinking I can find somewhere else for those...
 

Lanky Livingston

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Verizon Fios seems hit or miss, depending on your area. I've heard people say they are worse than Comcast.
 

Om

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GoogleTV + Roku + NFLlivestream + HDMI = cable/satellite-free happiness

:)
 

Goaldeje

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OK, I have Roku through Netflix and love it. Can you expand on the others, please?

EDIT: OK, looked at GoogleTV, kind of get that. But how can I use GoogleTV to do away with Cable/Satellite? We don't watch many shows regularly, but we watch enough that the wife (dear sweet woman that she is, should she read this) would be unhappy to miss Walking Dead, Mad Men, 30 Rock, etc. And I would be quite unhappy to miss Justified and a few others (Cougar Town. Shut up.).

EDIT 2: And sports. I love me some NBA when it's on. Annndddd, that's about it actually.
 
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Lanky Livingston

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Whoah - I just googled Roku, and it looks amazing. Om, do you need a certain type of TV to use GoogleTV, or can you use it on any box with the Roku unit? Or I guess from your PC to whatever TV you want?
 

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OK, I have Roku through Netflix and love it. Can you expand on the others, please?

EDIT: OK, looked at GoogleTV, kind of get that. But how can I use GoogleTV to do away with Cable/Satellite? We don't watch many shows regularly, but we watch enough that the wife (dear sweet woman that she is, should she read this) would be unhappy to miss Walking Dead, Mad Men, 30 Rock, etc. And I would be quite unhappy to miss Justified and a few others (Cougar Town. Shut up.).

EDIT 2: And sports. I love me some NBA when it's on. Annndddd, that's about it actually.
Lots of people are simply doing away with traditional cable and satellite. In their place, they're taking advantage of the explosion in online content.

Your broadband internet provided gets you in the cyberdoor.

Roku gets you just a TON of stuff--their site can list it better than I--including Hulu Plus, where you can catch just about every "TV show" out there, as long as you're willing to wait until the day after it airs to watch it.

GoogleTV gets you a gazillion apps as well, plus access to the full web on your TV.

NFLlivestream is one of various alternatives to watch NFL games live online.

HDMI cable lets you hook up your laptop directly to your massive HD TV to watch any games or anything else you don't trust to get buffered by Wi-Fi streaming issues you might sometimes experience if your internet provide isn't always reliable.

No, I don't have all this myself. But I'm going to. :)

Whoah - I just googled Roku, and it looks amazing. Om, do you need a certain type of TV to use GoogleTV, or can you use it on any box with the Roku unit? Or I guess from your PC to whatever TV you want?
GoogleTV, accessed via either their Blu-Ray player or a Logitech Revue, turns any HDTV into a "Smart TV." That is the genius of it. It can operate in concert with or separate from your Roku. GoogleTV hasn't gotten HuluPlus on board yet (access to current TV shows), but Roku has.
 
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Lanky Livingston

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GoogleTV, accessed via either their Blu-Ray player or a Logitech Revue, turns any HDTV into a "Smart TV." That is the genius of it. It can operate in concert with or separate from your Roku. GoogleTV hasn't gotten HuluPlus on board yet (access to current TV shows), but Roku has.

So if I were to get just one, would you recommend Roku? It seems I can stream all the movies and TV shows I'd like with that. Can you do the NFL Livestream with Roku, or do you need GoogleTV?
 

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Meh. I'm wrong about the Logitech Review freeing you from a cable/sat box. Got bad intel. Apologies. Looking into it ...
 

Goaldeje

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That would be all right if I could get away with a smaller cable plan though. I would like to have High Def sports, but that's really all I care about as far as HD goes.
 

Om

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Actually, you CAN use the Logitech Revue w/o a cable or sat box. You just won't be able to have it search/access actual TV. The good news is you can still cut the chord and not miss anything you don't want to. Movies, TV shows, etc., all still available via Roku (with its Hulu Plus App) and all it's content, and the full web, including NFL games and other sports in HD (some via Roku apps and Google TV apps, others from sites like NFLlivestream).

Can't think of anything else I'd need. All with simple broad band web access.

One time investment in hardware and then pay as I go for on-demand content. Pay for what you actually use, as opposed to a flat fee for a ton of stuff you don't. Almost makes too much sense. :)
 

Dreamingwolf

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anyone actually use any of these? It does seem to make too much sense.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Om, do you need a particular device (Roku, GoogleTV) to watch NFLLivestream? Or will it work on either?
 

Om

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Dunno, LL. GoogleTV has access to the full web, so unless NFL Livestream is one of the handful of sites not willing to allow GoogleTV users access (like HuluPlus), it should access it just fine. Not sure if Roku has an app for that actual site...but it may have access to similar NFL streaming sites. Probably something that can be verified either way via the Roku site itself or an associated message board.

All that said ... one way to get around any difficulties getting access to ANY particular site is to bypass the "device" thing entirely. For NFL Livestream, for example, if that's the site I decide I want to use and I can't access it via a Roku type device (there are others---Sony, LG among them) I might be tempted to buy a good HDMI cable and connect my laptop to my HDTV and simply use the TV as a monitor during the games I buy online. No Wi-Fi related streaming/buffering issues, no licensing problems with GoogleTV, etc.
 

Burgundy Burner

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Verizon FiOS here and loving it. High speed internet is faster than any cable service out there. Got the landline phone deal with it - free calling to the entire U.S. (and territories) and Canada. Standard plan for the TV - and that includes 100s of channels at no extra charge - the vast majority in HD. On Demand is free and it includes just about everything. Simply awesome.

It helps to live in the shadows of Comcast's headquarters. Verizon will bend over backwards in this area to steal customers. You don't want to know what I pay for all three services each month. And you don't want to know what I pay for cell service each month as well - unlimited calling, texting, internet, and a variety of services for one low price. Love me some Verizon.

No need for GTV, Roku, Hulu, etc.

Only one issue - need a reliable stream for NFL. For example...tonight.
 

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We ditched our Pay TV (our definition of cable) as we felt we could no longer justify paying $120/mo for repeated programs and ever increasing commercials. WE have since found something better, and cheaper.

With the saving of the $120, we increased our broadband download limit, and now get 90% of our TV viewing from the internet. For example, we can get full, complete series that are due to be shown on FTA 'coming soon'. We have already got the first three series of Sons Of Anarchy (nearing the end of season one here), the first eight episodes of season 4 of True Blood (not even seen on FTA here!), the complete season two of Vampire Diaries (half way through here) - see a common theme developing here? We download and convert to DVD. Illegal, yes, but a truckload cheaper and we're only making the one copy for later viewing (which is permitted), then will be archived (which is also permitted).

We also do the same with latest release movies. Already we have Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Part 2 of Harry Potter 7, Cowboys And Aliens, Priest, Fast And Furious 5 and Hanna, to name just a few. These movies are still being shown at the cinema, so they are at least another 4 months away from being officially released on DVD down here.

The beauty of all of this is that we still pay less then the $120/mo for 'cable' PayTV.
 

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We download and convert to DVD. Illegal, yes, but a truckload cheaper and we're only making the one copy for later viewing (which is permitted), then will be archived (which is also permitted)
Everyone is a pirate, don't sweat it. I had a neighbor a few years ago that pirated everything, and he was a judge. When I worked for the state department of corrections, everyone that worked there pirated everything. I am convinced that the only people not pirating all of their movies and music off the internet, are people who don't know how to.
 

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