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The Cable-Free TV Thread

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Lanky Livingston

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I know we had a thread about this previously, but I cannot seem to locate it, and there are still some search problems (possibly due to migration issues?).

I've done some math, and its easy to save well over a grand a year by getting rid of cable, and still get most of the TV you watch. I'm so sick of paying $150+ a month for however many channels, when a good 30-40% of them are crap ads (literally, there is an entire "Lincoln" channel, that is one big Lincoln commercial). This thread is about recommendations - what antennas to get, etc. I'm looking at the Leaf:

Amazon.com: Mohu Leaf Paper-Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna - Made in USA: Electronics

$40, and it gets really good reviews.

I have a Roku player & a smart TV - the only channel I will have a problem getting is AMC, so Walking Dead & Breaking Bad will be hard to watch. Good thing is, Breaking Bad is only on for like 8 more episodes. Not sure how much longer Walking Dead will go.

So, any thoughts? Recommendations? Om, I think you got rid of cable altogether - how is that working out for you? Any thoughts or recs?
 

Goaldeje

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James Madison

Your problem will be sports, live. It's a major problem during football, March Madness, etc. Everything else I can live without, but the live sports are a killer. Through your Roku you can access Amazon's player and purchase individual episodes of the Walking Dead, for instance, at $2-3 each (depending on HD), which normally works out to a helluva lot cheaper than cable. Plus, they are in your library forever, so you can watch them anytime.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Your problem will be sports, live. It's a major problem during football, March Madness, etc. Everything else I can live without, but the live sports are a killer. Through your Roku you can access Amazon's player and purchase individual episodes of the Walking Dead, for instance, at $2-3 each (depending on HD), which normally works out to a helluva lot cheaper than cable. Plus, they are in your library forever, so you can watch them anytime.
Well, you can pick up the networks for free, so you get Sunday football for free this way - I have been buying Sunday ticket online version for $250, so I may do that again. The watch ESPN app gets you ESPN, so you can get MNF that way. I already pay for streaming NHL games through their app - don't really care about any other sports. MLB.TV is really cheap too I think, like $20 a year. But I rarely actually watch baseball anyway.
 

Goaldeje

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James Madison

Yeah, the antennas are not an option for us in the mountains, I always forget about them. You should be good to go, I would think.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Yeah, the antennas are not an option for us in the mountains, I always forget about them. You should be good to go, I would think.
You may want to give the Leaf a try, apparently it works fairly well even in the mountains.
 

Snydershrugged

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We cut the cord about 3 years ago and used the Boxee unit and the navi-x app to get all our shows free (no sports though). It had worked wonderfullyt until last month. Navi-x seems to be down and maybe forever so we are looking at replacement options too. we have a roku and may pick up that Chromecast device since its so cheap.

If anyone has any ideas on how to get a working navi-x app again, I'd definitely appreciate it. We were spoiled!
 

tshile

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Walking dead and other shows are available on Amazon next day for a decent price. I'm not sure if it requires prime or not.

I've been watching this industry very, very closely and as soon as it meets all my needs i'm dumping directv. The only real issue for me is you can't get hbo/showtime without having some package with someone.

Check out this service:
https://aereo.com/

Basically this guy put up antennas on buildings in New York to catch free broadcast signals and then provides them for streaming online. He's being sued by CBS (I believe?) but that either didn't go anywhere or doesn't appear to be going anywhere. Fox and CBS have threatened to move all of their shows off broadcast TV to their cable affilliates in an effort to push the US Government into stepping in, but at the end of the day neither is going to do that; They'd have to give up their NFL broadcast rights, and they're not going to do it.
 

Nobody

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Army

As much as I'd love to get rid of the cable packages, it just isn't realistic for our family. I love live sports, news, comedy, discovery and history channel shows, crime shows, some cable shows like The Glades/Dexter/Homeland/American Horror Story. My wife loves reality shows, ghost shows, sci fi shows, documentaries, food shows, and biographies. My kids love all the stuff kids love. For us, I am almost positive we'd pay more if we were having to pay for every show we all wanna watch regularly.

And seriously, my only true must have is live sports. Without a device that offers that, I will never switch, plain and simple. I don't want to see some events I wanna see, I wanna see all the events I wanna see.
 

Lanky Livingston

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But really, most live sports are carried on the major networks (outside of MNF). With the money you save on cable, you can afford to buy dinner out at a bar once in awhile to watch football.
 

Snydershrugged

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But really, most live sports are carried on the major networks (outside of MNF). With the money you save on cable, you can afford to buy dinner out at a bar once in awhile to watch football.
Thats pretty much what we do now, and its actually been a wonderful family building time for us too. Mine was never as into the Skins as I had hoped, but all of my girls now get so excited to go watch them play at the skins bar locally.
 

tshile

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Also, many people don't realize this, but HD over those antennas is such higher quality than satellite, and way better than cable.

Satellite and cable providers compress the crap out of the signal; cable providers significantly more than satellite providers. It's completely raw/uncompressed when you get it over the air via antenna.

I've thought about getting one of those HD antenna's and keeping my satellite package just so I had much better signal on the local channels (especially for sports.)
 

Lanky Livingston

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I just can't get over how much I'd be able to save - looking at close to $1200 in savings. That's a plane ticket to pretty much anywhere!
 

Nobody

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Army

Another problem I tend to have with a lot of these products, is all of them seem to only offer network tv. Network tv is garbage, which is why I pay for cable. Is there one that offers access to channels like A&E, SyFy, FX, Showtime, History, Discovery, Nick, Disney, TLC, NatGeo, etc. ? If there was something like that, I'd be far more inclined to check it out, but if all they do is network tv, it seems pretty blah to me.
 

Terry

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But really, most live sports are carried on the major networks (outside of MNF). With the money you save on cable, you can afford to buy dinner out at a bar once in awhile to watch football.
I watch MASN for the Nats, ROOT for the Pirates (wife), FOX Soccer Channel, and all the ESPN channels for college football, WFN for fishing shows, and even a couple of Skins games are on ESPN (as you note).

But again, I HATE commercials, and the shows on commercial TV are annoying as hell to me. I really don't mind paying for commercial free content.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Another problem I tend to have with a lot of these products, is all of them seem to only offer network tv. Network tv is garbage, which is why I pay for cable. Is there one that offers access to channels like A&E, SyFy, FX, Showtime, History, Discovery, Nick, Disney, TLC, NatGeo, etc. ? If there was something like that, I'd be far more inclined to check it out, but if all they do is network tv, it seems pretty blah to me.
Most cable channels do not give their content to Hulu, because they are paid by the cable channels to only broadcast there. AMC, for example, does not. This sucks, because Breaking Bad & Walking Dead are probably my two favorite shows. However, if you get a Chromecast, you can stream the episodes from the website right to your TV. Or, as others have mentioned, you can just pay a dollar or two for the episode the next day. You're still coming out ahead in that case. Or, you can always just bit torrent new episodes and get them for free, if you choose to go that route. There are options out there.

Its not a great option for just kicking back and watching TV...I will freely admit. However, you have to weigh the options and the price difference - is it really worth twelve-hundred dollars to be able to watch the History Channel? For me, its not. And I don't really have any type of money issues either; I just feel like I'm throwing that money away.

My biggest problem with it is that I'd say a good 75% of the time I sit down to just watch TV, there is absolutely NOTHING on worth watching. If you like more things, maybe you can always find something interesting on - for me, its becoming more and more frequent that I CANNOT find anything on worth watching. And if I really feel like watching some old History Channel shows, they have most of them on Amazon Prime.

I may switch and then decide in 3 months it sucks and I have to switch back - but I don't know at this point. We shall see!
 

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Army

Most cable channels do not give their content to Hulu, because they are paid by the cable channels to only broadcast there. AMC, for example, does not. This sucks, because Breaking Bad & Walking Dead are probably my two favorite shows. However, if you get a Chromecast, you can stream the episodes from the website right to your TV. Or, as others have mentioned, you can just pay a dollar or two for the episode the next day. You're still coming out ahead in that case. Or, you can always just bit torrent new episodes and get them for free, if you choose to go that route. There are options out there.

Its not a great option for just kicking back and watching TV...I will freely admit. However, you have to weigh the options and the price difference - is it really worth twelve-hundred dollars to be able to watch the History Channel? For me, its not. And I don't really have any type of money issues either; I just feel like I'm throwing that money away.

My biggest problem with it is that I'd say a good 75% of the time I sit down to just watch TV, there is absolutely NOTHING on worth watching. If you like more things, maybe you can always find something interesting on - for me, its becoming more and more frequent that I CANNOT find anything on worth watching. And if I really feel like watching some old History Channel shows, they have most of them on Amazon Prime.

I may switch and then decide in 3 months it sucks and I have to switch back - but I don't know at this point. We shall see!
I think a big issue, which you just pointed out, is not being able to just kick back and watch tv. The family can't gather around the computer and watch tv (I hate watching things on a computer screen anyway), and my tv although sweet as **** in my opinion (42in Samasung Plasma that's only 3 years old) it doesn't have a USB or ethernet cable hookup, so I can't just send the feeds to my tv.

Is there an option you know of where if I do go that route, where one of these boxes will allow you to connect from the internet to the tv? And I know with on demand a lot of the shows I regularly watch don't even exist on demand or on the network's site, so would those still be available on amazon prime or hulu?

I have amazon prime now and love it, but the only reason I am able to currently stream those things to my tv is because a hookup on the Dish box allows me to do that. I would be interested in something that still makes that option available, because I will never give in to Bill Gates' emphatic statement that everyone will eventually be watching tv on the computer. I'd quit watching tv first, because computer tv viewing is not enjoyable to me in any way.

Additionally, with multiple tvs in the house, I'm assuming we would need multiple boxes, which isn't an issue at all, but if I paid for one thing, would it only be viewable on one box? It would suck to have to sync schedules so everyone can watch everything together, but if I would have to buy the same thing multiple times to watch it on multiple tvs, that would kinda suck.
 

Lanky Livingston

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I think a big issue, which you just pointed out, is not being able to just kick back and watch tv. The family can't gather around the computer and watch tv (I hate watching things on a computer screen anyway), and my tv although sweet as **** in my opinion (42in Samasung Plasma that's only 3 years old) it doesn't have a USB or ethernet cable hookup, so I can't just send the feeds to my tv.

Is there an option you know of where if I do go that route, where one of these boxes will allow you to connect from the internet to the tv? And I know with on demand a lot of the shows I regularly watch don't even exist on demand or on the network's site, so would those still be available on amazon prime or hulu?

I have amazon prime now and love it, but the only reason I am able to currently stream those things to my tv is because a hookup on the Dish box allows me to do that. I would be interested in something that still makes that option available, because I will never give in to Bill Gates' emphatic statement that everyone will eventually be watching tv on the computer. I'd quit watching tv first, because computer tv viewing is not enjoyable to me in any way.
Chromecast. Its a new device from Google that plugs into any HDMI port on your TV, and automatically streams whatever is playing in a Chrome Browser on your computer (once connected to Wifi, obviously).

Chromecast

Another great option for streaming is the Roku player. I have one, and love it. Turns any regular TV into a smart TV pretty much.

Roku Streaming Player

Also, many BluRay players now have this functionality as well. XBox, Playstation 360, etc. do as well.

Additionally, with multiple tvs in the house, I'm assuming we would need multiple boxes, which isn't an issue at all, but if I paid for one thing, would it only be viewable on one box? It would suck to have to sync schedules so everyone can watch everything together, but if I would have to buy the same thing multiple times to watch it on multiple tvs, that would kinda suck.
This is an issue - you'd have to buy a Roku and Chromecast for every TV in the house. However, you're still saving a ton of money even with that investment.
 

Snydershrugged

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Chromecast. Its a new device from Google that plugs into any HDMI port on your TV, and automatically streams whatever is playing in a Chrome Browser on your computer (once connected to Wifi, obviously).

Chromecast

Another great option for streaming is the Roku player. I have one, and love it. Turns any regular TV into a smart TV pretty much.

Roku Streaming Player

Also, many BluRay players now have this functionality as well. XBox, Playstation 360, etc. do as well.



This is an issue - you'd have to buy a Roku and Chromecast for every TV in the house. However, you're still saving a ton of money even with that investment.
When the Navi-x app is working, Boxee will provide all that Roku/Amazon/chromecast provides plus your choices of shows for free. That said, its not been working far a few weeks now and I cant promise it will return. That sucks!

In terms of the multi sets issue, would the slingbox work for sharing a unit on multiple TV's possibly?
 

Lanky Livingston

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When the Navi-x app is working, Boxee will provide all that Roku/Amazon/chromecast provides plus your choices of shows for free. That said, its not been working far a few weeks now and I cant promise it will return. That sucks!

In terms of the multi sets issue, would the slingbox work for sharing a unit on multiple TV's possibly?
That's a good question...we only have one additional TV in our place at the moment, and its in the guest room - so its not a huge concern for me. We've been considering moving it to our bedroom, but I don't like a TV there. We shall see what happens.
 

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