I dumped cable TV, and still have loads to watch

Swarfigo wrote:

For a 12Mbps connection and a landline I'm paying $39.99 a month

$40 for 12Mbps is good, even without the landline.

Tigerbill wrote:

I hate you. I pay $55mnth for 6Mbps and no phone. Granted I won't have to do that here in a week when I move.

Yikes. $55 for 6Mbps is robbery. Surely it will be more reasonable at your new location.

I pay $55/month but my speed is...

IMAGE(http://www.speedtest.net/result/1892912311.png)

Well that $55 DSL is about the best I can get around here due, to the local cable companies monopoly. I don't know what ISP I will have, when I get to Ft. Worth. The first few weeks it will be hotel then, it will be a short term corporate lease if I'm at all lucky. If we do get the corporate lease I don't know if I can get my own internet or if it's included in the rental agreement.

MeatMan wrote:

Yikes. $55 for 6Mbps is robbery. Surely it will be more reasonable at your new location.

Don't count on that. That's about what I pay. And, the cable company charges extra if you don't have basic cable (which is essentially broadcast TV plus WGN).

Tigerbill wrote:

Well that $55 DSL is about the best I can get around here due, to the local cable companies monopoly. I don't know what ISP I will have, when I get to Ft. Worth. The first few weeks it will be hotel then, it will be a short term corporate lease if I'm at all lucky. If we do get the corporate lease I don't know if I can get my own internet or if it's included in the rental agreement.

I don't know who's up where you're at, but all I could get in San Angelo a couple years ago was CenturyLink, and they are HellAssBalls awful.

Yep, Centurylink it is. The service hasn't been too bad.

Tigerbill wrote:

Yep, Centurylink it is. The service hasn't been too bad.

Be grateful. They sold me 8 meg cable modem and I was lucky to get 6 on a good day. They're friggin awful.

AnimeJ wrote:
Tigerbill wrote:

Yep, Centurylink it is. The service hasn't been too bad.

Be grateful. They sold me 8 meg cable modem and I was lucky to get 6 on a good day. They're friggin awful.

I had them back when they were called Qwest. They screwed up by sending me three (!) modems, refusing to acknowledge that they'd received them back (even though I had UPS tracking numbers to prove it), sent me to collections three times, and had internal communications so bad that even the customer service reps were stunned at the ineptitude when they reviewed my tome-like record. Suffice it to say that I swore I'd never do business with them again unless I had absolutely no other choice, and they've never had a penny from me since.

Oddly, I switched to Qwest/Century Link after having dozens of issues with Comcast and haven't had any problems since.

I've been cable-free for about 3 years now I think. We moved to Hawaii at the end of 2010 and I was able to use MLB.tv to watch the baseball (Mariners), which is the only sport I watch. I was only blacked out of bay area teams, so I had to watch the M's/A's games on delay, but that was it. Plus, my 7meg connection meant that I got the games in near HD quality. This last offseason, though, MLB decided that Hawaii was the 'territory' of every west coast team, so I can no longer watch any live games (well, I can use a proxy to get around it, but it's still lame). They made this change without notifying anyone, so I only discovered it after trying to watch a regular season game live last week and finding myself unable to do so. This was after I'd watched all of Spring Training without a problem and gone way over their 5-day refund policy.

And then there's the internet issues - when I moved in, I could pull down my full 7 megs all the time. Since then they've added more and more people to the single node (DSL) in our area and during peak hours I'm lucky to get 1.5 megs. That speed makes watching baseball games near impossible. I called the cable company yesterday to see about getting their service and they apparently can't get access to the area in which I live. Sometimes living in the middle of nowhere really sucks.

All of that said, I called Directv yesterday and signed up. I think the sports package will allow me to see Mariners games (I AM in their 'home market' afterall), and my wife and I really like watching the Olympics. Once baseball and the Olympics are over, though, I'll pay the early cancellation fee and hope that cable internet works its way to me or the DSL company adds a few more nodes for my area to handle all of the traffic before next baseball season comes around.

I am fairly ignorant about my options but have just started the process of looking at my alternatives. Question for the moment tho:

Woot has Roku XD refurbished for $55 shipped. Why would I consider this over just Netflix and Hulu Plus I can get on my Wii? I don't watch sports so I'm not sure what Roku offers that IU can't already get. I'm just ignorant, and not sure what it offers other than what I see here: http://www.roku.com/roku-channel-store

Besides HD resolutions (if your bandwidth supports it and you have an HDTV), you'd be getting access to Amazon streaming (both a la carte purchases and Prime streams if you're a Prime subscriber) and a bunch of stuff that's too small / niche to cut a deal with console makers.

Giant Bomb posts all their videos on a Roku channel if you're into that sort of thing, as does Leo Laporte's TWiT network.

It's also as handy a way as any to play stuff like Pandora radio in your living room, if that's a thing that you like to do.

Also browse this listing of "channels" you can get on your Roku. http://www.roku-channels.com/

There's lots more than what's listed on the official Roku site.

hbi2k wrote:

Besides HD resolutions (if your bandwidth supports it and you have an HDTV), you'd be getting access to Amazon streaming (both a la carte purchases and Prime streams if you're a Prime subscriber) and a bunch of stuff that's too small / niche to cut a deal with console makers.

IMO, Amazon is pretty much the reason to get a Roku. The other channels are sometimes useful, but Amazon is the key component required to replace cable if you actually want to keep watching cable content on your TV.

Also, the Roku will work with normal universal remotes, unlike the Wii, which makes it feel much less hacky. And it's really small so you can travel with it.

Now that the PS3 has Amazon, it's a great alternative to the Roku, especially since it gives you a Blu-Ray player, Netflix, and even videogames to boot. Of course, you still have the universal remote problem the Wii has.

If you don't care about Amazon, the Roku is probably not really worth it. The WD TV Live things have a better feature set outside of that omission. You could also go with Apple TV if you're into the Apple ecosystem, which seems like a reasonable alternative to Roku + Amazon.

I've been fairly happy with the PS3 controller, never really felt the need for the special PS3 remote or a universal bluetooth one.

I do wish sometimes that the Sony Android Remote App would get updated, just to try it out, but last I checked it worked with everything except the PS3.

I haven't paid for cable/satellite since the HDTV broadcast switchover (2009?), when the local broadcasters increased the power for their HD broadcasts. I have been recording over the air on a Windows Media Center box since then, and I can watch it through my Xbox 360 or my iPad. We fill in on some things we miss with Netflix and Hulu, but over the air gives us most of what we watch. The over the air signals are also less compressed than cable or satellite, so the picture looks better as well.

Just got an email from MS saying that Comcast is now a supported provider for HBO Go on Xbox Live.

mindset.threat wrote:

Just got an email from MS saying that Comcast is now a supported provider for HBO Go on Xbox Live.

Smell that? That's the smell of money changing hands.

Still waiting on Comcast to get their sh*t together for WatchESPN and the app.

I want to go to the beach and watch live sports on my Droid dammit.

I'm not about to pay extra to both HBO and MS to watch HBO. I'll wait for the DVDs to show up in my queue.

I'm getting ready to dump DirecTV. My plan is to build a MythTV HTPC and get everything I watch OTA or Amazon. Even paying $3.00/episode of all the stuff we watch that isn't available OTA, I still figure I'll be saving about $100/month.

The only flaw in my plan is HBO. As far as I can see, there's no way to get my HBO programs on time without a cable/sat subscription. As much as I hate to go down that road, I think I'll probably end up acquiring the episodes through alternative means and making up for it by buying the Blu-Rays when they're released.

Anyway, I have most of the hardware I'll need for the HTPC sitting around from old builds, so it shouldn't be too difficult to get something up and running. I'll have to post back on my success (or lack thereof) once I really get into it.

Did a whole bunch of research today into HTPC software and finally decided that I'm too damn old to mess with that crap anymore (I used to love doing that stuff, but eh).

So I ordered a TiVo Premiere. I'll be paying $15/month for essentially a program guide, but it's still one tenth of my satellite bill, and I don't have to dick around with hardware and software, and there's a warranty, so I figure that's worth it.

So, TiVo for OTA, my Roku for Netflix/Amazon and Blu-Ray for HBO. I think I'm set!

And my conversion is complete! DirecTV is cancelled and I just got through my first weekend with OTA on my TiVo.

First impressions:

  • Wow, DirecTV really compressed their signals. The OTA HD picture is amazing! Watching hockey last night was pure bliss!
  • The TiVo interface is faaaaast! I'd gotten used to the crappy DirecTV DVR where it was 2-3 seconds after pressing a button before anything would happen. Not going to miss that.
  • Netflix on my TiVo has noticeably better picture quality than on my Roku.
  • The Amazon interface on the TiVo is absolute garbage. I'll use the Roku for that.
  • I kinda miss having a big program guide to flip through, but I'll get over it.
  • Damn you HBO for not taking my money.
  • My local FOX station has brief glitches in their OTA signal about once every 20-40 minutes. My signal strength varies between 75-90%, so I'm pretty sure it's not on my end, and no other channels have the issue. It's a touch annoying, but livable.
Serengeti wrote:

[*]Netflix on my TiVo has noticeably better picture quality than on my Roku.

That one I find a little surprising. Netflix on our Roku is indistinguishable from Netflix on the 360. If we're missing out on anything, it's nothing I've been able to notice.

The Roku does one thing differently in my experience - it starts streaming more quickly, at a lower quality than the 360, but it ramps up quality fairly quickly. The 360 seems to take longer to buffer initially and starts off with the highest quality.

Serengeti wrote:

And my conversion is complete! DirecTV is cancelled and I just got through my first weekend with OTA on my TiVo.

First impressions:

  • Wow, DirecTV really compressed their signals. The OTA HD picture is amazing! Watching hockey last night was pure bliss!
  • The TiVo interface is faaaaast! I'd gotten used to the crappy DirecTV DVR where it was 2-3 seconds after pressing a button before anything would happen. Not going to miss that.
  • Netflix on my TiVo has noticeably better picture quality than on my Roku.
  • The Amazon interface on the TiVo is absolute garbage. I'll use the Roku for that.
  • I kinda miss having a big program guide to flip through, but I'll get over it.
  • Damn you HBO for not taking my money.
  • My local FOX station has brief glitches in their OTA signal about once every 20-40 minutes. My signal strength varies between 75-90%, so I'm pretty sure it's not on my end, and no other channels have the issue. It's a touch annoying, but livable.

You've almost got me convinced to give this a go. The Tivo doesn't happen to handle iTunes, does it? If not, is there any easy way to get iTunes to the TV?

Teneman wrote:

If not, is there any easy way to get iTunes to the TV?

An Apple TV would do the trick.

I think Apple TV is the only way to get iTunes content on your TV apart from hooking up a PC.

I may need to pick up an OTA antenna and give it a shot. If the signal is decent - as I imagine it ought to be - I might just have to take the plunge. I'd love to tell DirecTV where they can stick there $100+/month bill and crappy DVRs...

Serengeti wrote:

I think Apple TV is the only way to get iTunes content on your TV apart from hooking up a PC.

You could also hook up an iPad or iPhone via HDMI, but that's not a great long-term solution.

I'm seriously considering dumping satellite.

In the UK, choices are limited to Freeview (OTA digital TV, with some HD channels and pay content optional), Virgin (cable) and Sky (Satellite). I live in an area without cable, so that cuts Virgin out (as well as decent Internet; our phone exchange only allows 1.5m dl, and BT have no plans to upgrade).

My dad has been with Sky as long as they have existed, so I have a natural bias that way; I remember watching the old analogue signals when I was about 10. However, I hate Murdoch and no longer wish to give him any more money, even if our shoddy government have been shamed into preventing him buying a controlling interest in Sky.

I have the most basic Sky+ DVR package, with the option £10/month HD pack, so o pay about £25 a month. The problem is, everything that's watch on there is either on one of the OTA channels (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5), SyFy or on one paid channel, Sky Atlantic, which pretty much specialises in HBO programming. My wife likes some of the supernatural and police procedural stuff from Sky Living.

I have been accumulating stuff over the last 6 months, including a semi-decent DNLA Blu-ray player, a Boxee Box with a 1Tb drive connected to it (which also allows for smb access over my router, though the Boxee) and an Apple TV (3rd gen). I did build a media centre PC, but my wife didn't get on with it, and the cost of making it as quiet we needed it to be was too high.

I also have a 360 and PS3, but they are connected to a different TV.

My wife and I both have iPhones and iPads, my iPad being the latest one, so mirroring is supported through the Apple TV.

The Boxee has all of my ripped DVDs and TV shows on it, accessible to the idevices through Buzz player. It also has iplayer as an app, and can access 4OD via the browser. The Apple TV has my few iTunes store purchases, and digital downloads from Blu-rays that include such. Netflix is through the Apple TV, since Boxee haven't got a deal in the UK. I can mirror other content from my iPad.

All that I am struggling with is the premiere stuff from Sky Atlantic and Sky Living (Game Of Thrones and so on). My only options seem to be illegal (downloading or the NaviX repo on Boxee, though I doubt my connection would allow for streaming from there anyway) or waiting up to a year for DVD/bluray/iTunes releases. Given that a single box set at release costs the same as a month's Sky subscription, if not significantly more, I am struggling to get away from Sky without giving up on some of my favourite shows, or resorting to piracy.

So hockey is essentially the only reason that I have cable at all. I'll be able to use GameCenter Live to stream games during the regular season, but it looks like NBC/CBC/NBCSN have a ten-year deal to show all of the playoff games. Does anyone know if you can get NBCSN via an OTA signal?