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Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

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Xmann
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Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Xmann » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:22 pm

We have comcast and although I enjoy it, its become hard to look at a $180 bill each month. The truth is we only watch a few shows and football, hockey, and baseball. So I was wondering if an option like Hulu would be worth it to watch the few shows we do such as The walking dead. Also thinking of just getting mlb.tv for baseball to watch on the ipad.

Any thoughts or ideas or suggestions?

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by ImLawBoy » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:33 pm

At $180/month, it sounds like you have a lot of pay channels. What if you just narrow it down to a basic (or basic plus sports) package?
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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Odin » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:44 pm

It's definitely been done by others. If you're not watching TV, that's an awfully hard bill to swallow (especially if that's really JUST cable - not Phone/Internet, too). You might also look at alternatives like satellite TV that could bring your bill down and still give you a selection if you don't have local alternatives like AT&T, Verizon, or Time-Warner.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Brian » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:46 pm

We cut the cable years ago and haven't looked back.

We have an HD antenna so get all the local channels. Anything we want to watch that comes on the cable channels we can wait for the DVD release and either rent, stream, or buy (Archer & Futurama) the shows we missed.

If we absolutely can't wait there are other avenues available but we haven't really ever felt the need.
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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Xmann » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:00 pm

That price includes internet by the way. Like I said, other than The walking dead and a few other shows, its mainly sports. I was thinking of just buying something like mlb.tv and watching games on the ipad and maybe subscribe to something like Hulu for the couple shows we do watch.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Covenant72 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:09 pm

I picked up a Roku2 for the bedroom (XBOX downstairs), got subscriptions to Hulu and Netflix, then pared $80 a month off my cable bill. I wouldn't have it any other way and the wife is more than happy. There's tons available to watch and what's not there is covered by the basic cable I now have. Eventually I wanna cancel cable alltogether, but the wife isn't quite ready for that as several shows we like to watch still aren't available to stream anywhere else.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by killbot737 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:55 pm

I haven't had pay TV service since Voom went out of business. Turns out when you don't have 500 channels to choose from you watch less TV. I did get a Roku box last year because I use Netflix streaming and I wanted to watch it on the big TV instead of only on the computer(s), but until I got that I just used a regular TV antenna (and I still do).
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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Boudreaux » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:56 pm

We canceled our DirecTV subscription a few months ago and haven't missed it at all. We get all of our TV shows and movies through Hulu Plus and Netflix, our HD antenna gives us all the local networks for Sunday NFL and other sports, and ESPN on the XBox360 gives us all the college football/basketball we could ever watch. There are a few shows we can't watch until they're available on DVD, but there's so much else out there that we're not wanting for entertainment. The only thing we added after ditching DirecTV was Hulu Plus.

Total cost for DirecTV: $100+/mo

Total cost for Hulu Plus: $8/mo

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:11 pm

I cancelled my cable TV at the beginning of the fall season. I don't even miss the shows that I "loved". If I get a reminiscence, I might go back and pick them up on DVD, but even that will be pared down from previous. I spend a lot more time with my computer.

I did pick up the NHL package this season, and I've watched enough to make it cheaper than parking at a local game, but I still haven't gone whole hog hockey, and likely won't re-up next season.

I used a bit of the savings to pay for the next highest tier of internet speed.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Archinerd » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:15 pm

Do it. You don't need it.
I haven't had cable tv for 25 years.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Scuzz » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:18 pm

Xmann wrote:We have comcast and although I enjoy it, its become hard to look at a $180 bill each month. The truth is we only watch a few shows and football, hockey, and baseball. So I was wondering if an option like Hulu would be worth it to watch the few shows we do such as The walking dead. Also thinking of just getting mlb.tv for baseball to watch on the ipad.

Any thoughts or ideas or suggestions?
We have second level U-verse with internet and long distance for $150. And if it wasn't for the golf channel that would probably be about $120. If it wasn't for sports i would be all for dropping it but sports need to be watched live and netflix doesn't do that.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Xmann » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:26 pm

I think we could get most if not all the few shows we watch off Hulu Plus. My question is about sports programming.

#1. I have an Xbox Gold membership. How does the ESPN app i see on Xbox Live work? Is it real time ESPN programming? If college basketball, football, golf, poker, etc. on, is that what i can watch in real time? Is it just ESPN or is it ESPN 2 or any of the other ESPN varieties?

#2. MLB, NHL, NFL, CFB specialty packages. When you subscribe to them, can you use them on mulitple platforms? For example, the MLB.TV subscription is $125 a season. Can i log in to my computer, phones, ipad, android tablet, etc. to use it? How do these services work? I'm more worried about my sports than regular tv programming.

#3. Similar question about Hulu Plus. Can i be logged into Hulu on my ipad AND android tablet simultaneously? Say my wife wants to watch something on Hulu on the ipad and i want to watch something on my android tablet, can we be logged in at the same time?

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Grifman » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:19 pm

Xmann wrote:We have comcast and although I enjoy it, its become hard to look at a $180 bill each month.
FRACK!!! What are you paying $180 for? I pay that for HD cable, phone and internet service. You could get the price down just by dropping some of the premium crap you must have.
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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:33 pm

Xmann wrote:I think we could get most if not all the few shows we watch off Hulu Plus. My question is about sports programming.

#1. I have an Xbox Gold membership. How does the ESPN app i see on Xbox Live work? Is it real time ESPN programming? If college basketball, football, golf, poker, etc. on, is that what i can watch in real time? Is it just ESPN or is it ESPN 2 or any of the other ESPN varieties?

#2. MLB, NHL, NFL, CFB specialty packages. When you subscribe to them, can you use them on mulitple platforms? For example, the MLB.TV subscription is $125 a season. Can i log in to my computer, phones, ipad, android tablet, etc. to use it? How do these services work? I'm more worried about my sports than regular tv programming.
ESPN's stuff It's mostly lower tier programming with some top tier, cable-channeled stuff.

MLB Tv offers multiple device options. NHL Center Ice does the same.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Boudreaux » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:50 am

Xmann wrote:#1. I have an Xbox Gold membership. How does the ESPN app i see on Xbox Live work? Is it real time ESPN programming? If college basketball, football, golf, poker, etc. on, is that what i can watch in real time? Is it just ESPN or is it ESPN 2 or any of the other ESPN varieties?
ESPN3's value is largely determined by what you want to watch. If you're into college sports, it's wonderful. Nearly every college game we've wanted to see (football/basketball) over this last season was available on ESPN3 through XBox Live. If you're more into pro sports, they don't stream as much of that. Monday Night Football, for example, is not available on ESPN3. You also won't see any of the ESPN shows like Sportscenter or College Gameday.

The other thing that's a little weird about it is you lose the integration with the constant stream of news and highlights that ESPN likes to provide. So when you're in the middle of a game, and they cut to commercial and the announcer says "Let's go back to so and so in the studio for an update," you just get a static "We'll be right back" screen until they return to your game.

Still, free ESPN content through your XBox is pretty nice.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Kelric » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:58 pm

The fiancee and I are planning on getting rid of cable TV as well in the next few months. We'll need to get a digital antenna, renew her Netflix subscription and possibly also go with HuluPlus. I'd really want MLB.TV, especially with my unlimited data plan on my iPhone letting me watch stuff since I'll be commuting again in the fall.

Currently $102 a month for TV and internet. Potentially $50 a month for 6 MB a second internet package, $8 for Hulu, $8 for Netflix, $5 for Xbox Live subscription, plus $10.50 a month for MLB.tv Premium gets me $81.50 a month cost AND gives me a lot more stuff to watch.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Hypnotoad » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:59 pm

I would love to be able to dump cable but my wife would never allow it.

Just remember that MLB.TV blacks out games for all teams you are considered to be within the home viewing area of, regardless if they are at home or away. This makes it all but useless for watching live games of your local team. You can watch the games later through their archives if you're a premium subscriber.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:01 pm

NHL works the same. Since the Stars are carried locally, there's not an issue for me there, but I've had the Sabres blacked out when they get a national cable slot on Versus.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:28 pm

I helped a friend of mine go OTA/internet/Netflix only and he says he's saving $220 per month. Most of that being his cable bill.
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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by LordMortis » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:37 pm

Any options aside from Comcast?

I love basic cable and basic cable Internet and I'm cheap. I pay about $60 a month (up from $40 a couple of years ago) for my basic cable and basic Internet. They'd be gone in heartbeat for $180 a month.

Walking Dead's a basic cable show. What else are you married to on the TV? I don't know other markets but here in Detroit, most of our local sports are available on basic cable as well. Oddly enough, Comcast are (were?) the only one to have all local sports on their extended basic package. (Fuck you, Comcast OLN/Versus/NBC Sports)

Edit, it looks like your local Comcast basic cable/Internet is $60 a month as well. Call downgrade and negotiate until you get it or have a real plan to leave.

http://www.cabletv.com/co-denver-comcast-cable.html" target="_blank

Maybe for Qwest/DirectTV combo

http://www.centurylink.com/home/interne ... &cdid=2988" target="_blank
http://www.cabletv.com/co-denver-comcast-cable.html" target="_blank
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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Sectoid » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:37 pm

I've been cable tv free for over 2 years now. I can't say I miss it much, especially the bill. I have internet via FiOS (WiFi) that the people below me have and I chip in for. I also set everything up for them and do some troubleshooting when they need it.
I mostly watch Netflix on the 360 and use OTA for football season/major events like New Years Eve.
Really, I don't need cable anymore. If you include video games and movies, I don't have time for much else with work and the other activities I do.
If you don't "need" all the channels cable has to offer, drop it. Even if you just go with internet access through them, it will save you a bunch of dough.
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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by killbot737 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:33 pm

Kelric wrote:We'll need to get a digital antenna,
Just FYI, there is no such thing. Any TV antenna is a digital TV antenna. I get OTA HD channels on one made of a 1x4 and coat hangers. :ninja:
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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Kelric » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:46 pm

killbot737 wrote:
Kelric wrote:We'll need to get a digital antenna,
Just FYI, there is no such thing. Any TV antenna is a digital TV antenna. I get OTA HD channels on one made of a 1x4 and coat hangers. :ninja:
Eh, that shows how much work I've put into thinking about the switch. I think that post is the most considering I've done yet. ;)

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Zaxxon » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:15 pm

You can totally do it, Xmann. We dumped our cable TV at the end of 2011 and haven't looked back. What we did:
  • Got a Mohu antenna
    Bought a Roku
    Added Hulu Plus
The Mohu gets something like 30 channels in HD (glorious OTA uncompressed HD, even--way better picture than the shizzle Comcast was giving us). It's hooked into our TiVo and works flawlessly. I highly recommend this antenna; it's the size of an 8.5x11" sheet of paper and is pinned to the wall behind the TV. People watching our TV don't believe it's an antenna signal until I show them the antenna hiding behind the TV.

The Roku is great from a functionality standpoint--if there's an Internet source of audio or video that you want to come to your TV, it's likely that the Roku will do it. Our only complaint so far has been that the box occasionally lags a bit (eg we'll hit pause on the remote and 20 seconds later the Roku will pause). Doesn't happen often but is slightly annoying.

Hulu has filled a lot of the gaps for us--Daily Show, Colbert, etc. ESPN is the only thing I'm really missing, and ESPN3 has partially filled that void.

I'd recommend checking out AntennaWeb to get a feel for what you can expect to receive via antenna, but IIRC you're not far from me at all so I would think you're in an excellent spot for antenna reception.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Xmann » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:53 am

Ok, haven't made a decision but i have a question. I'm about to pull the trigger on cable and keep our internet service only and get Hulu Plus. There really is only 2 or 3 shows we really watch and care about and we can get those on Hulu. However, i just can't go without missing the MLB season and watching the Rockies 4 or 5 times a week.

My plan was to subscribe to MLB.TV and watch it on my ipad or computer. However, living 20 minutes from Coors Field puts me in the blackout market for them. BUT, on the MLB.TV website you can go to a page that shows you whether you are blacked out locally by your IP address. I hit the button and it says we aren't in a black out area and can receive any MLB game live. It shows my IP address, which is correct. However, the zip code it is showing is not where i live. The zip is actually for a town about 10 minutes away. When i put my zip code in, it says i'm blocked out. When i put the zip it shows on my computer (which is just down the road) it says there are no blackouts.

Anyone wanna take a stab as to why this would be? If this is true, i'd happily cancel cable tv, keep internet, subscribe to Hulu, and subscribe to MLB.TV and watch all my Rockies games. Doesn't make sense and i sure don't want to subscribe to MLB.TV to only find out i'm in a blackout market.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Chaz » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:17 pm

No direct help, but I'd hope that if you subscribed based on what their IP-detecting tool told you, and that turned out to be wrong, they'd give you a refund.
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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:35 pm

Take dated screenshots of what was entered and the results and keep those on file for argument's sake later.

Heck, when I tested my ZIP codes, I was told that I would be subject to blackout for Houston games.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Xmann » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:36 pm

Ya that's my concern too. What makes no sense to me is why i would be blacked out by my zip code (which would make sense being i live so close to the stadium). But when i put in the zip code their system is showing me at, it's not blacked out and it's literally down the road 10 minutes.

Not sure what to do. This would save me tons of money if i could do this.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Hypnotoad » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:45 pm

I've got to guess it's a mistake. Some little glitch like their zip code database has the one you're looking at listed as CA instead of CO. Rockies games are blacked out in Utah so it seems unlikely you can get them 30 minutes from Coors Field. But if you signed up because their website said you could watch the games, I'd have to think you'd be able to cancel if and when you found out you are blacked out.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Xmann » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:03 pm

I guess i will email them and see what they say. When i search for the zip code they say is not a blackout, it is a Colorado zip and not California.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Hypnotoad » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:32 pm

I know you're entering a Colorado zip code, I was just making a wild guess on a possible reason why the website is telling you that zip code is not blacked out. It's highly unlikely there is anywhere in Colorado where Colorado Rockies games are not blacked out on MLB TV.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by stessier » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:45 pm

Here's the national blackout map. Kind of crazy for some areas.

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Click to embiggen.
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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:21 pm

Firewalled. But Wiki has one.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Xmann » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:24 pm

Well i've spent an hour or so on the phone with MLB.TV and Comcast. Comcast has no idea why my ip is showing up like it does. I have reset my modem and it still pops up as the one listed on the MLB.TV site.

MLB.TV confirms (no duh), that my zip code is blacked out for the Rockies. However, the other zip code which is down the road IS not a blacked out area. But, they use the ip and not zip code. Tech support at MLB told me that if my ip address is indeed what it is showing up as, i won't be blacked out.

My plan is to wait until spring training is over and subscribe to MLB.TV for a month and see if i can get the local games. If so, i'll do the season package.

Regardless, canceled my Comcast Cable and said goodbye to $180 monthly bill. Just internet still gonna run me $80. And yep, Comcast is the only provider for internet where i live. Guess i need to be happy to save $100.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Exodor » Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:38 pm

Xmann wrote:My plan is to wait until spring training is over and subscribe to MLB.TV for a month and see if i can get the local games. If so, i'll do the season package.
From what I've readon on SA mlb.tv only checks your location when you launch it. Goons there have been using foreign proxies when they launch mlb.tv to get around the blackouts.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by stessier » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:02 pm

If I can't get over the air channels, which of the online solutions would have the episodes? I think Hulu Plus has everything but CBS, right? Is there anyway to get CBS?

I'm thinking perhaps a Roku would be best for us and that would make things really cheap. Has anyone used it?
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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by dobberhd » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:15 pm

I've been using a roku for four or so years now. IMO it is just a better way of streaming Netflix than an Xbox. I also have amazon prime, which works well on it too. I had Hulu plus for a while, but ended up canceling because I didn't use it.

Actually, I'm thinking of getting a second roku for the living room. I have an Xbox in there right now, but I'm really thinking of dropping Netflix. Amazon prime's library keeps growing and is pretty much the same stuff. I wish an amazon channel would come out for the Xbox, but I don't have my hopes up.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Zaxxon » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:20 pm

stessier wrote:I'm thinking perhaps a Roku would be best for us and that would make things really cheap. Has anyone used it?
See my post a few back. We like ours (just bought a 2nd for another TV, actually).

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Mookee » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:34 pm

Zaxxon wrote:
Got a Mohu antenna
Does that thing do anything that my rabbit ears can't do beyond aesthetics? g/f lives in a dead zone and I'm wondering if there is an indoor antenna that could help. A crazy roof mounted one is a non-starter.

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Re: Thinking of ditching cable tv, thoughts

Post by Zaxxon » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:40 pm

Mookee wrote:
Zaxxon wrote:
Got a Mohu antenna
Does that thing do anything that my rabbit ears can't do beyond aesthetics? g/f lives in a dead zone and I'm wondering if there is an indoor antenna that could help. A crazy roof mounted one is a non-starter.
I'm not sure how it compares, as I haven't tried any other antennas in our current home. All I know is that it works really well for us.

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