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Old 12-29-2015, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Suburban wasteland of NC
248 posts, read 150,206 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lottamoxie View Post
My ongoing monthly cost for TV stuff is $10 (the Tivo service charge).

I get the OTA channels from an HD UHF antenna I had installed, I have a Tivo, and now I have a Roku streaming device. I download stuff from the Internet all the time and transfer it automatically over to either the Tivo or the Roku, depending on the format of the content. I only watch free content on my Roku. I do have Amazon Prime and that does happen to come with lots of free media so that I can easily access that through the Roku.

I don't watch sports so that's a non-issue.

I'm looking for a way to cut the Tivo out of the equation, but not sure I'm ready to try and configure my own DVR solution, and Tivo really has a great user interface and tools. I use Tivo Desktop software to transfer content from my computer to the Tivo where I can watch on my large plasma TV.
The one I use is called the Ceton Infinitv4 (so called because it has 4 tuners). They have a newer 6 tuner model out now and the Infinitv4 can be bought used for $80. I paid $180 when it was new back in 2012, but with the $18 a month Comcast was charging for a 2 tuner, Win95 like interface, tiny HD, crappy DVR it was still a bargain. As a bonus, at the time Comcast was providing 1 cable card free of charge (they later started charging $3 a month, of course if you're using OTA that doesn't apply).

The beauty of the Ceton is that you just need a desktop with Windows 7 and Windows Media Center. Since WMC shares out to xBox 360s (which can be had on Craigslist for ~$80 - 100) you can get a $20 xBox remote online and voila; Netflix streaming + DVR + streaming of AVI and other digital movie files on your living room TV. WMC also doesn't care how many extenders you hook up, so in theory you could hook up 20 xBoxs if you desired (for that matter you could easily share your cable with your neighbors, I'm sure someone has used this method).

There's no monthly charge for using this method to hook a xBox to the living room TV, another to a bedroom TV, etc. The cable company only knows about that 1 cable card in the desktop, after all. You're only limited by the 4 tuners, or 6 with the newer model.

I only keep cable on during football season, but the other 1/2 of the year the xBoxs are still great for Netflix + streaming digital movie files.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU View Post
It is more than that (especially given that as time has gone on, the convenience factor of cord-cutting has improved): The more people who cut the cord, the less of any advantage there shall be in doing so. It's like that magic mutual fund: When few people know about it, it flies high, then as its total asset value climbs, it loses its ability to restrict its funds to those magical investments that kept it riding high all those years before.
I don't think that's likely, at least not within the next 10 years. We're on a Frugal Living forum, and many posters still keep cable. Poll the audience outside an Internet financial forum ...

The only way I see cord cutting in critical mass in the wider population is if sports is completely decoupled from cable/satellite TV service and offered online free of charge or for a very low price (ESPN would still make money off commercials obviously, they still air ads on their streaming service). If that happens, then I could see cable TV dying within the next 10 years. As it is now, we're talking about people who don't care for cable anyway or MMM types who are cord cutting. Heck, people still pay the cable company for a phone when Magic Jack is $2 a month.

Lots of people are streaming and coming nowhere near their data caps too. I think for the last year my usage ran around 70 GBs a month, on a plan that allows me 300 GB.

Last edited by happygeek; 12-29-2015 at 08:41 AM..
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:13 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,699 posts, read 8,159,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happygeek View Post
I don't think that's likely, at least not within the next 10 years.
The metrics have only been tracked since 2013, so we cannot say much yet, but if the 2013 and 2014 data is any indication, yes, it is likely within the next 10 years.

Our landscape will look totally unfamiliar 10 years from now. I just received a phone call from the Ford dealership on my cell phone. I never gave them that number. I looked again, and I didn't receive a phone call from the Ford dealership on my cell phone, actually, but rather from within the Xfinity Connect Android app. Sure, we had call forwarding years ago, but this new brand of seamlessness is fostered by software-defined environments we didn't have years ago. Watch what happens when that become pervasive. AllVid was a first cut at what it would look like - an environment within which valuable spectrum would be recovered from linear television service in favor of something similar to SDV on a grander scale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by happygeek View Post
Poll the audience outside an Internet financial forum ...
They do. Stay tuned in a few months for the third year of reliable metrics, which I am confident will show not only a continuation of the increase from 2013 to 2014 but will reflect an increase in the rate of increase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by happygeek View Post
The only way I see cord cutting in critical mass in the wider population...
You missed the point of my message: I said it will never reach critical mass to become the dominant distribution mechanism because its popularity will be accompanied by an increase in its price to monetize the added perception of value. It'll end up settling out at a certain level, with those subscribing to that approach being those willing to endure some extra inconvenience for a marginal advantage in price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by happygeek View Post
Lots of people are streaming and coming nowhere near their data caps too. I think for the last year my usage ran around 70 GBs a month, on a plan that allows me 300 GB.
How many cord-cutters watch an average amount of television and say under the cap?
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:25 AM
 
6,308 posts, read 7,987,919 times
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Quote:
The beauty of the Ceton is that you just need a desktop with Windows 7 and Windows Media Center.
... and I use a Macbook.
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Old 12-29-2015, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Suburban wasteland of NC
248 posts, read 150,206 times
Reputation: 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU View Post
You missed the point of my message: I said it will never reach critical mass to become the dominant distribution mechanism because its popularity will be accompanied by an increase in its price to monetize the added perception of value. It'll end up settling out at a certain level, with those subscribing to that approach being those willing to endure some extra inconvenience for a marginal advantage in price.

How many cord-cutters watch an average amount of television and say under the cap?
I guess I did. Are you saying that Internet rates will rise or that Netflix will cost more than $10 a month
(and Hulu will quit offering free streaming)? It'd have to rise quite a bit to rival cable, and even then cable is less useful.

And I have no idea, you'd have to ask them. I've been keeping cable off 1/2 the year and using 70 GB on average. The only guy I knew who busted Comcast's cap was torrenting like there was no tomorrow, and this was before Netflix caught on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lottamoxie View Post
... and I use a Macbook.
Maybe another poster knows of a whole home DVR solution for $80 up front and no monthly fees that works with Mac? Ceton has worked great and done so cheaply for me*

*I do realize I practically sound like a salesman for them, but would their salesman recommend buying their product used? I also can't recommend their extenders, which offer less function than a used xBox 360 and cost more. Their extenders also seem to get poor reviews.

Last edited by happygeek; 12-29-2015 at 03:49 PM..
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Old 12-29-2015, 04:24 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,615 posts, read 2,831,335 times
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We recently cut off our TV service and bought a Roku 3 to stream channels. We pay around $10/mo for Hulu, $10/mo for Netflix, $8/mo for Amazon Prime, and we're in the test period for Sling ($20/mo). That's around $28/mo total for all the channels we used to watch. We probably won't keep Sling TV because I don't think it's worth $20.

It took a two-week adjustment period to figure out how to watch TV instead of clicking around the TV guide like on cable. For streaming, you need to have a general idea of what you want to watch. I recently started watching a few series that are Amazon originals, like "Man in the High Castle", and I'm really enjoying them. The best part is, I'm watching TV less and less because I don't mindlessly click around like I did on cable.

If you're really into sports, cutting the cord might not be for you. I don't watch any sports, but others have told me it's hard to find games live on streaming devices. If you're going to get a Roku, make sure you get the Roku 3 or Roku 4 and not the earlier versions. The "voice search" function works very well, and it saves a lot of time.
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:29 PM
 
6,166 posts, read 3,249,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU View Post

You missed the point of my message: I said it will never reach critical mass to become the dominant distribution mechanism because its popularity will be accompanied by an increase in its price to monetize the added perception of value. It'll end up settling out at a certain level, with those subscribing to that approach being those willing to endure some extra inconvenience for a marginal advantage in price.

How many cord-cutters watch an average amount of television and say under the cap?
I do think streaming will become the dominant distribution for tv. Cable will still exist, but will be less dominant.

There will be price increases, but streaming will become what electricity is now. Internet service will be like a utility. You will be charged for what you use. There may even be different rates for different levels or times of data use.

One of the big reasons streaming will grow like that is that it is a la carte viewing. One of the biggest complaints about cable/satellite was that the companies sold packages, requiring a customer to purchase a lot of channels that it doesn't want or watch. One example is myself. I had whittled my package from DirecTV down to basic or a step above. I had over 150 channels, but I watched only 5 on a regular basis. I would have had to pay extra to get an upgraded "package" that included others I'd want. The upgraded package would, again, require me to pay for a lot of channels I won't watch. All the cable cos./satellite cos. have it planned that way.

Cable cos. resisted the a la carte demands, and went the opposite direction instead: bundling.

With streaming, I am in control of what I pay for and what I have access to. If I want only Netflix, that's what I pay for. If I don't want to pay anything at all, I don't have to. Roku (and I assume other devices) has hundreds, maybe thousands of free channels. Most aren't good. But some are VERY good and just to my liking.

Now that I've experienced streaming, I can't go back to cable. It takes a while to get used to the different way of accessing tv. But I've gotten used to it.

Another thing: Cable cos. have always (and I didn't know this) given us only SOME of the local stations. When I cut cable and got digital antennas, I was able to get 15 to 20 GOOD local stations. I got about 4 or 5 via satellite & cable. Over the air broadcast stations have crystal clear pictures (cable pics are compressed and less clear), and HD....FREE. But I live in a good location in a big city. Most will not have such luck. But most can get at least a few local stations for free. (Of course, a person can get OTA broadcast stations even when he has cable, but I didn't know that, or know that my area had so many stations.)

I pay for Netflix ($8.65/mo.) and Amazon Prime Video ($9/mo.), have a Roku for each tv (purchase cost of $50 on sale; no further costs), two good digital antennas ($40 ea. I think). For $200/yr I have access to more excellent viewing choices than I could possibly watch. AND how-channels, and fitness channels, and gardening, and animal channels, and documentaries, and PBS....everything.

Viewing domination is changing....just like when tv came in when radio was dominant. Just like talkies overtook silent movies, to everyone's surprise. Even if it cost the same as cable (but it won't in my lifetime), I'd still choose streaming. Because I'm in control of all the choices, and the cost.

BTW, people keep mentioning sports. I'm not a sports fan. But SlingTV has an ESPN channel. I don't know if it has live games or what. But just so everyone knows to check it out.
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Old 12-29-2015, 06:00 PM
 
6,166 posts, read 3,249,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
Yup. It's like that in my area. Generally speaking, internet service with enough bandwidth and a high enough cap to stream in HD costs of a minimum of ~$60 before taxes.

I can get it as cheap as $35 if I don't stream or download/upload much and just want basic access.

It's why I go ahead and pay for cable because the bundle is a better deal than internet alone. If I "cut the cord," given my and my wife's viewing habits, we'd save about $25 a month at best. If we were hard up for money we'd cut it, but cutting one dinner or two lunches out per month more than pays for that.
If you research speed needed for streaming, I think you'll find that 6mbps is all that is needed to stream well for 1080p. I have 3mbps dsl, and I am a cord cutter. My internet service streams very well. I have only 720p tvs, though. The internet support guy, and an article I read, both told me that 6mbps is all that is needed for excellent streaming. The cable cos. won't tell you that, though.

What the extra speed/bandwidth gets you, though, is the ability to stream over several devices simultaneously. With 3mbps dsl, my laptop is slow, if I'm on the internet and streaming on my tv at the same time.

$300/yr ($25/mo.) is nothing to sneeze at. I don't understand the logic of paying for something you don't really need, so that you get a deal where you end up paying more.
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Old 12-29-2015, 06:05 PM
 
6,166 posts, read 3,249,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
It all depends if you actually have competition in your area for internet service.

In my area there are two companies you can go with for internet service - one cable and one DSL. They both charge within $5 of each other and have ridiculously low bandwidth caps. When you add the cable TV package with the cable company, your bandwidth cap expands exponentially, more than covering HD streaming.

As a sports fan I am going to see my games one way or another. If I don't see them at home I will go out, probably buying a couple beers and food in the process. It saves money for me to stay in and just pay for the cable.
You only need 6 mbps to stream well in full HD. Don't listen to what the cable cos. tell you. They're trying to sell you more than you need, so there's a conflict of interest. Cable also slows your speed/shortens your bandwidth at times, since the service is "shared" in a neighborhood. So although you buy 18mbps, you are not always getting that, to make sure there's plenty of bandwidth for the others in your neighborhood.

DSL doesn't shorten the bandwidth, nor does AT&T u-verse. It's not "shared."
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Old 12-29-2015, 06:09 PM
 
6,166 posts, read 3,249,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by te3t View Post
I tried to leave Comcast a few years ago for Clear Internet at $9.95 a month but the service was so crappy I ended up going right back to Comcast four months later.
Well, things have changed a LOT in a few years.

Get a Roku. Thousands of channels, many of them free. Netflix ("House of Cards"), Amazon Prime Video, HuluPlus are popular subscription channels.

All sorts of channels...gardening, news, movies, tv shows, documentaries, how-to, fitness, you name it.

Now there are beginning to be "live" streaming channels: SlingTV, Pluto. I don't think they're excellent, yet. These are the first ones.

It's evolving fast.

You can also subscribe to Showtime, HBO, Starz, and other cable stations.....through Amazon Prime.
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Old 12-29-2015, 06:29 PM
 
6,166 posts, read 3,249,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weezerfan84 View Post
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc can stay cheap, because they're generally offering you stale tv shows. Very little of the content available is new within the last 6 months. I have Hulu, Amazon Prime, Sling, and use a friends password for Netflix. Hulu has me wait sometimes almost a year to see the second season of a show. It took a year for Fargo to come to Hulu after airing on FX. I cancelled my cable subscription after the season finale aired of the first season. The second season is on air now, but it will probably be Summer or Fall of 2016 before I can view it. Hulu gives me next day access to Fox, NBC, and ABC shows, even though I haven't watched a Primetime show since The Office, which is all available to be streamed through Netflix now.


For the most part, my cable needs are met though. The only channel I actually miss is Investigation Discovery. I seemed to DVR a show each night from that network. I also realized I was paying close to $175/month, with internet, to pretty much only watch TNT (for sports), ESPN, and Investigation Discovery. At that point, the bill was too high for cable.


Now I pay $68 for internet, $7.99 for Hulu, $8.33 for Amazon Prime (I buy more than watch the content), $20 for Sling (ESPN and TNT), Netflix for free, and I also have an OTA antenna. Now, I'm paying $105/month to pretty much have my sports fix met, even though I have to use several different apps to do it.


Good thing is that very rarely NFL and NBA are playing at the same time, to where I would have to run ESPN on my phone and NFL on my antenna. It was mainly priorities for me. There was no doubt that cable was going to continue to increase. Even though at some point streaming services will increase as well, but not at the same rate as cable. My cable bill initially started out at $115/month. After almost (3) years they were raising my rate from $150 to $175. After an hour long phone call, they finally agreed to raise it to $155, but it would only stick for (12) months and then I would have the same dilemma a year later. The continued negotiations wasn't worth it for me, so I felt even more compelled to drop the service.


Sling really came in and saved the day with allowing users to still use the ESPN app to access sports and their updates. I very seldom watch ESPN through Sling, but I watch the Food Network constantly on Sling. If they added Investigation Discovery I would be on cloud 9!
I'm thinking about doing the 7 day free trial for SlingTV. That's a pretty short free trial, though.

So are you liking Sling pretty well? Does it work okay? I'm not a sports fan, so I'd be watching movies and news and such.
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