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Sun Jun 2, 2013, 06:13 PM

Please help me get rid of cable TV!

This may be out of the scope of this group, I apologize, but I really need some advice. Our cable bill is $170/month and want to get rid of cable TV. We have HD TV's, so I'm not sure if it can even be done. They aren't smart TV's. We have a phone and WiFi internet also on the cable. We would be keeping those.

I saw a box made by Net Gear that gives a TV apps.

Is there a way to still get HD channels and local channels without cable or satellite? Also, if we stream TV via WiFi, it counts towards our monthly usage, correct? Thanks so much.

If I need to move this, please let me know where to post.

19 replies, 5449 views

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Please help me get rid of cable TV! (Original post)
Holly_Hobby Jun 2013 OP
steve2470 Jun 2013 #1
wandy Dec 2013 #15
BlueJazz Jun 2013 #2
grok Jun 2013 #3
hunter Jun 2013 #4
MannyGoldstein Jun 2013 #5
Make7 Jun 2013 #6
MannyGoldstein Jun 2013 #7
cprise Jun 2013 #10
CountAllVotes Jun 2013 #8
cprise Jun 2013 #9
Holly_Hobby Jun 2013 #11
pkdu Jul 2013 #12
parallax1978 Dec 2013 #13
Holly_Hobby Dec 2013 #14
parallax1978 Sep 18 #16
Holly_Hobby Sep 18 #17
DavidG_WI Sep 19 #18
Holly_Hobby Sep 20 #19

Response to Holly_Hobby (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 06:15 PM

1. 1- Connect your PC to your TV; 2- Check out hulu.com

The details of the PC to TV connection we can help you with. I'm sure others will be along with more help.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 21, 2013, 05:32 PM

15. Not only is Steve spot on, theres more............

As long as you have the connection speed, if you don't want to tie up you're PC there is always a ROKU device.
http://shop.roku.com/?sp=1&gclid=CML825mrwrsCFeYWMgodzxoA-w
Shop around some good deals exist.
Also Google has joined the party with Google Chromecast.
http://www.knowyourmobile.com/google/google-chromecast/21104/google-chromecast-review-apple-tv-killer

If Hulu doesn't have enough variety, others exist such as Crackle ........
http://www.crackle.com/

You can make a quick check as to if you have fast enough connection speed and a gutsy enough PC for smooth 480p by just going to
the above sites.
This youtube video will let you check video up to 1080P


The only word of warning is to check out what inputs the TV requires before you buy anything.

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Response to Holly_Hobby (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 07:14 PM

2. I use Dish Network and get 200 channels (includes ABC, NBC..Etc) for 63 bucks a month.

You mileage may vary

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Response to Holly_Hobby (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 09:24 PM

3. Threaten to switch cable providers.

 

Of course if there is only ONE cable company in your area, this way is quite moot of course.

Cable companies will go the extra mile to keep you from switching. When i switched from Comcast to Astound(not recommending either) Comcast actually matched Astound's (periodic special) discount price. Only reason I switched in the end is because Comcast lied to to me on a minor point,

Presently paying 90 for all three(cable,internet,telephone)

as far as streaming off wifi/internet, keep in mind high quality video uses uses alot of bandwidth . Read the fine print on what kind of bandwidth cap(gigabytes per month) you have with your internet service. i my case, i could probably watch about 8 hours a day on a single tv before i would exceed my cap.

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Response to Holly_Hobby (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 10:37 PM

4. Well, as Nancy Reagan said, "Just say No!"

Our television is strictly a DVD and videotape player.

DVDs and videotapes from the thrift stores, family exchange, occasionally newer movies rented from the RedBox. Ten dollars a month, tops.

Our unlimited DSL connection is just fast enough to play VCR quality video but we share it with whoever is in the house and neighbors, so it's always hit or miss.

If you live in an urban or semi-urban area it's pretty simple to build an antenna for broadcast television, it's just a seven and a half inch square of coat hanger wire, but I haven't even looked at broadcast television this year. I might if there is a huge earthquake or some other catastrophe, but let's hope that doesn't happen.

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Response to Holly_Hobby (Original post)

Mon Jun 3, 2013, 12:07 AM

5. I was just scheming about this earlier today

After some poking around, I think I'm going to do the following:

1. Use PlayOn software ($60) running on a Windows PC to record programs off of the Internet.
2. Use a Roku box ($100) attached to our TV to watch the stuff recorded by PlayOn.
3. Local channels using an amplified antenna. There's also a service that will beam your local channels to you over the Internet.

Should work, probably details to iron out.

You'll still need to pay for Internet, of course.

If you need free phone service... we've been using Google Voice with an Obihai OBi100 adapter for about a year. Unlimited free domestic calling. Foreign calls cheap, too.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 3, 2013, 12:23 AM

6. Looks like a few of the links in your post disappeared.

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Response to Make7 (Reply #6)

Mon Jun 3, 2013, 12:33 AM

7. Thanks!

Fixed.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 08:59 PM

10. Those are good suggestions

I do have a bit of reservation about GoogleVoice, though. I recall something about it being free because they mine your conversations for advertising info.

My phone service is VOIPO which is very good for about $8/mo. ITP is another good one (but doesn't handle 911).

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Response to Holly_Hobby (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 06:19 AM

8. I recently got rid of most of it

I dropped my service down to 13 channels or so. The cost is $19.97 a month v. $80.00 a month.

You really don't miss all of those extra B.S. channels after about one week. This saves me $60.00 a month which works out to be $720.00 a year!

Well worth doing IMO and if I want to watch something, I can find something easily enough on the internet (PBS has a great selection of programs for free).

I pay $29.95 a month for a DSL connection (10.0 Mbps is the speed) and it suits me just fine!

Best of luck trying to get the cost down of this stuff. It really can and does add up fast and wow, $180.00 a month is a load to spend on a bunch of crud IMO.



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Response to Holly_Hobby (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 08:44 PM

9. Local channels are HD

Get yourself an HD-compatible rooftop antenna and receive your local channels over the air.

Then you can supplement that by hooking your computer up to the TV for Netflix and such. You can hook up the antenna either to the TV or the computer (with a $30 adapter); with the latter you have all your viewing going through one device and don't have to switch the TV back and forth.

Also gadgets like Ouya and Roku will stream shows from the Internet.

Also, if we stream TV via WiFi, it counts towards our monthly usage, correct?

If they come after you for simply watching shows over the Internet (and going over some set limit as a result) they have crossed a very bad line (anticompetitive behavior, making you a captive audience) esp. since Internet providers are merging with Hollywood studios. Don't be intimidated on this point... you have to try very, very hard to go over typical limits.

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Response to cprise (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 09:20 PM

11. First of all, thanks to everyone for replying....

I stumbled on killthecablebill.com, and with some of your suggestions, my cable bill is down to $50/month, soon to go lower once we get rid of the phone.

We installed indoor antennas made like military mud flap antennas to our 3 tv's. They're made by Mohu. We get about 20 local channels. The antennas have a booster on them, which were a bit more expensive, but...we have aluminum siding, metal roof and aluminum-framed windows. A rooftop antenna was out of the question according to the manufacturer because the metal roof would scatter the signals, and if we installed it on a pole, the cable would be too long and degrade the signal. We are pleasantly surprised at all of the local HD channels and the quality of the picture with the antennas.

We're not really movie watchers and we can get all of the programs we watch with local broadcasts, so we probably won't get a streaming device.

Now, on to get rid of the land line phone. I'm going to look into the suggestions here for Voip.

I did talk to the cable company about usage, they WILL charge extra if we go over our limit, but we have 200GB to use. Since I don't download movies or music, we shouldn't have anything to worry about.

Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction.

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Response to Holly_Hobby (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 9, 2013, 10:28 PM

12. Check out Magic Jack for replacing land line. We can't complaint and have been on it 2 years. Nt

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Response to Holly_Hobby (Original post)

Wed Dec 11, 2013, 10:34 AM

13. Get Rid Of Cable

Big cable and satellite corporations are essentially trying to hold their customers hostage with their poor service and ridiculous prices. There are better ways, that is why I have created a support site to help teach people what they can do to free themselves from these mega-corporations so they can cut the cord and get rid of cable. Please check it out and pass it on [link:http://getridofcable.net/streaming-media/cord-cutting-process|

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Response to parallax1978 (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 17, 2013, 06:43 PM

14. Hey, thanks for your blog!

I just found out on your blog that YouTube is now available on Roku - thanks!

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Response to Holly_Hobby (Reply #14)

Thu Sep 18, 2014, 11:03 AM

16. Late

Sorry I am so late in getting this response to you, but you are very welcome! We have added a bunch of new material since then so please check out what we've been up to! http://getridofcable.net

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Response to parallax1978 (Reply #16)

Thu Sep 18, 2014, 11:25 AM

17. Better late than never, thanks! n/t

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Response to Holly_Hobby (Original post)

Fri Sep 19, 2014, 09:58 PM

18. How far do you want to go with this?

 

Sure, you could buy the prebuilt solutions on you can go the DIY hove media server route.

First lets cover TV itself, in most of the country you'd be surprised how many channels you can now get via a good antenna, , why an antenna? what most people don't realize is that OTA signal since going digital delivers a better HDTV signal then any of the cable or satelie providers and they are able to deliver more digital channels in the same spectrum space as they could a single old analog channel. You can see whats within reasonable capability by plugging our location and projected antenna height into this tool https://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29

You can either buy a good antenna for around $70 shipped or you can build any of the DIY antenna designs you'll find online like the ones listed here http://www.diytvantennas.com/index.php I rarely ever watch broadcast outside of the local news or the excellent NOAA band weather robot weather channel out of the Milwaukee area, it's just weather and no cruft.

For more features like DVR service you can build a DVR, I recommend a Linux system running either Myth or XBMC, both are a DVR system, XBMC is all in one where Myth uses a front end and a server. Myth is better if you want a whole house system, while XBMC is best if you only want the one TV. You just need any desktop PC made in the last about 8 years to do this, a dual core 64 bit CPU wit 2Gb of ram or better would be ideal though. To this you'd add a Tuner card, theres several models to choose from from various companies, weigh what features you want with the compatibility list here http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Digital_Tuner_Cards With the tuner card you can watch and record TV, then with it being a full computer, cut out the ads from the recordings. The number of channels you can record at the same time are only limited by the speed and number of PCIe and USB jacks your computer has.

If building a single HTPC system thats only going to be fore TV and no gaming I'd go with http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8rFMXL with an Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 dual channel tuner as a solid baseline all in one HTPC. It's got the speed to handle recording 2 shows at the same time while also letting you have a torrent program running in the background while watching a full HD video. I've built a few systems for people based around that mobo and APU, it even has some overclocking headroom.

To expand content it's up you, weather or not you want to pay for legal services or if you would rather just pay for a VPN(About $5 a month, excellent for a number of reasons) service and just pirate content, though with the crap the ISPs are pulling using a VPN will allow you to reach services like Netflix and Youtube with the full speed of your connection. The VPN is also great for accessing streaming content online that is region locked like stuff from the rest of the English speaking world. I did what most people did when they built their first home media server or HTPC, went to the library and ripped every DVD they had in their extended network for free...

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Response to DavidG_WI (Reply #18)

Sat Sep 20, 2014, 07:52 AM

19. At this point, we have

A smart TV, a Roku box, an HD antenna and wifi, which is $47/month. We're happy with it. Roku has YouTube now. We're not movie people, so there's no interest in Hulu or Netflix. I could easily live without TV because I have a laptop, but my husband isn't computer literate and he can't live without TV. What we have now saves us $120/month vs. cable. We also have Ooma phone, which is $3.79/month.

But I appreciate the information in your post, I had no idea any of that was possible.

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