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Old 01-26-2012, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Vienna
258 posts, read 771,541 times
Reputation: 106

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Trying to cut costs and the cable TV component is one that we can get rid of.. we bought an antenna (so far good quality), would plan to get netflix, i dvr most of my tv shows so I don't care if i don't see them when they are first aired.. kids tv shows should be fine as well.. (we are testing this in parallel for when our never-ending extended fios contract is up).

Has anyone done this successfully- any tips or advice? thanks!
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:23 PM
 
Location: NoVa
26 posts, read 82,170 times
Reputation: 24
I cut the cord for a year. Digital HD satellite (highly directional, amplified) which I spliced: one coaxial directly into my tv and one via elgato into a mac mini. The mac mini acted as a dvr (with elgato / eye tv) and netflix provider, and went back to my tv via an hdmi cable.

I used a wireless keyboard to control the mac mini. Logitech makes one with a small trackpad. Now I use a separate macbook to screenshare with my mac mini--much easier and more stable.

So how did the one year experiment go? Mixed. Worked for me, but drove my wife and others and nuts. I realized that simplicity has its price. We eventually broke down when we moved and got cable with the fios package. I may try the experiment again in a year.

I will say that Netflix is a huge plus and makes this potentially doable.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:54 PM
 
2,633 posts, read 3,067,392 times
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- Hulu.com has all the TV programs worth watching. You can connect a laptop to your TV through the HDMI port.

- Free DVDs at the public library and RedBox can effectively replace or augment Netflix.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Vienna
258 posts, read 771,541 times
Reputation: 106
Hi- thanks for the feedback so far- I agree it's simpler just to go to cable.. but it kills me to pay that much.. the DVR component (as PP described) would be the tricky part.. I guess that my may be the biggest issue (since our kids are too young to watch "series"- shows that have plots- and I don't care when my favorite more novela show ends this year)...

I;d love more input.. $100 off- $1200 per year!
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:32 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,988,325 times
Reputation: 3858
I think that what SmokeJag suggested is the simplest option. It's basically just hooking up your TV via one cable (an HDMI--available most cheaply [about $10] at Marshall's or TJ Max) to your laptop.

As far as watching live TV, that's the iffy part. Last time I checked, the digital over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts were still coming in pixelated and would freeze a lot depending on the weather.

I think the "digital transition" was a huge scam; we went from an era where the basic channels were all free and dependable to one in which "free" OTA signals are squirrely, and a major portion of the people who depend on OTA TV (elderly, fixed-income folks) don't have the technical know-how to set up the digital box (assuming they don't have a newer TV).
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:21 AM
 
1,256 posts, read 3,541,748 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke_Jaguar4 View Post
- Hulu.com has all the TV programs worth watching. You can connect a laptop to your TV through the HDMI port.
Thanks for the Heads Up - I'm considering dropping cable TV in favor of 100% Internet TV (our cool Vizio directly gets Internet TV wirelessly, including Hulu - I'll have to look into Hulu).

I believe the cost savings, assuming COX allows it, would be about $60-70/month.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:27 AM
 
766 posts, read 853,042 times
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I want to do it... but I can't, because there's simply no substitute for sports.

I'll be missing a lot of college sports if I cut cable.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
738 posts, read 3,568,632 times
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Check the fine print with your cable company on the price of just internet... Comcast charges $45 for internet, but if that is all you order, they bump the price up $15 to $60/month. We found that the basic cable is just $17/month, so really for $2 more we kept the local channels through cable... No messing with antennas.

We got a Roku box for each TV, and subscribe to netflix and hulu plus ($8/month each) and we have been very happy. The only think I miss sometimes is ESPN. Roku comes with a lot of free programming as well, which helps. It is even starting to get some live channels.

Oh, and the best level has gaming abilities, with a wii-like remote.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:58 AM
 
1,256 posts, read 3,541,748 times
Reputation: 778
Yeah, I have vague memories of Cox saying Basic cable (minimally) was required for Internet WAY back when I first got Internet - I do not know if that is still required - the Cox website does NOT overtly say it is - and may, if it is, be misleading about it up front since they do have Internet pricing without up front mentioning it.

Our viewing habits tend to be cable-only channels when we watch cable - very seldom (can't remember last time!) do we watch local TV. By far our biggest use is watching Internet TV like CrunchyRoll (!). That's followed by things like the Science Channel, etc - doesn't look like Hulu offers that though they do have my daughter's favorite - International House Buying (or whatever it's called).

We don't watch sports; we don't watch news; we don't watch any of the popular "lower channel" programs like Twilight or whatever is currently popular. BTW, I believe sports and news are thoroughly available right now directly off the Internet with the Vizio (via "apps") - but we STILL don't watch them! I get my news via web surfing since I can't stand the entertainment side of TV news (but that's for another discussion).

Definitely I'll have to look into it; Cox might require us to up our Internet service if they even allow dropping cable TV stuff since the data use would for sure climb.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:13 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,988,325 times
Reputation: 3858
I recall our Comcast bill for Internet and TV only, including rental of the router, as I think $65 including all taxes, as of two years ago. Same service with Fios currently comes to $85 total, but we get a few more channels, and the Internet is faster. (I may call them up and demand a reduction, in part since we were without service for two days, due to some squirrel damage a couple of weeks ago. And because Comcast is offering a much better deal--not that we'd ever consider going back to them, but VZ doesn't know that!)
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