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Talk To Me About Getting Rid of Satellite/Cable TV (Read 177 times)

mab411


Proboscis Colossus

    We recently, FINALLY, got unlimited high-speed internet at our house.  Long story short, no land-based high-speed internet available, had data-capped satellite, ditched it for radio internet.

     

    My BIL got us an Apple TV for Christmas that we weren't able to use until now, so we've been playing around with it.  Signed up for a trial membership of Netflix, toyed around with streaming from the iPads...we like it pretty well, and the speed seems sufficient.  So, we're thinking about cancelling our satellite subscription to save a little money.  Looking around, seems like all the shows we currently watch are covered by either Netflix or Amazon Prime (which we had long before this), with the exception of NCIS, which my wife loves.  We still have some hesitations, though, that I'm hoping someone here has experience with:

     

    1.  Local news/CNN Headline News are our usual sources for morning news, we have it on as we get ready for the day.  Doesn't seem like our local news has anything in the way of live streaming that I see, and the CNN channels need you to log in with your TV service account to watch live streaming.  Am I missing another option?

     

    2.  Though I haven't had time to really dig into it, while I was pleased with Netflix's selection, the picture quality was terrible.  Had to be SD, if not there is some setting wrong somewhere.  We watched a couple episodes of Arrested Development and some Futurama, not even close to HD-quality.  This is on a 42" 720p Plasma.  Am I missing some Apple TV setting somewhere (possible, like I say, haven't had much time to look), and/or would this be better on something like a Roku, which we'd probably get anyway so we can access Amazon Prime content?  I did find a setting in our Netflix account to set it to stream in HD...but it didn't seem to change anything.

     

    3.  What about special events, like the Olympics and such?  And my wife is a HUGE college basketball fan (typical woman, am I right, fellas?).  I know the Olympics specifically were streamed, though I hear it was terrible, but that's just as an example.

     

    Since we'd be saving a pretty good chunk of money on the satellite bill, we could afford the Netflix account and, say, a Hulu account, if that would address some of these concerns.  Don't want to go nuts on extra subscriptions, though, or it will negate the whole purpose.

     

    Any thoughts?

     

    And thank you in advance to the person who will urge me to just give up TV altogether, everything on is crap now anyway.

    "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

      I'm interested in this too! We've lived in Japan for the past three years and have had to get used to using the internet for most of our tv watching. We had a slingbox for a while which was nice, but with the ease of watching most things on Hulu and Netflix, we didn't need it all that much. My big concerns are like yours I guess, news shows and sports. DH and I are big football fans so we couldn't give that up!


      A Sweetheart

        Wait, do you have a regular tv?  Why does everything have to be on the internet?  Just because you don't have satellite or cable doesn't mean that your tv doesn't work. Get a set of rabbit ears, get the digital converter box if you have an older tv, and magically you will have local news, network television, and sporting events, just like the olden days.

        I want to do it because I want to do it.  -Amelia Earhart

        cbennett926


        Trust Me, Im an Engineer

          We recently, FINALLY, got unlimited high-speed internet at our house.  Long story short, no land-based high-speed internet available, had data-capped satellite, ditched it for radio internet.

           

          My BIL got us an Apple TV for Christmas that we weren't able to use until now, so we've been playing around with it.  Signed up for a trial membership of Netflix, toyed around with streaming from the iPads...we like it pretty well, and the speed seems sufficient.  So, we're thinking about cancelling our satellite subscription to save a little money.  Looking around, seems like all the shows we currently watch are covered by either Netflix or Amazon Prime (which we had long before this), with the exception of NCIS, which my wife loves.  We still have some hesitations, though, that I'm hoping someone here has experience with:

           

          1.  Local news/CNN Headline News are our usual sources for morning news, we have it on as we get ready for the day.  Doesn't seem like our local news has anything in the way of live streaming that I see, and the CNN channels need you to log in with your TV service account to watch live streaming.  Am I missing another option?

           

          2.  Though I haven't had time to really dig into it, while I was pleased with Netflix's selection, the picture quality was terrible.  Had to be SD, if not there is some setting wrong somewhere.  We watched a couple episodes of Arrested Development and some Futurama, not even close to HD-quality.  This is on a 42" 720p Plasma.  Am I missing some Apple TV setting somewhere (possible, like I say, haven't had much time to look), and/or would this be better on something like a Roku, which we'd probably get anyway so we can access Amazon Prime content?  I did find a setting in our Netflix account to set it to stream in HD...but it didn't seem to change anything.

           

          3.  What about special events, like the Olympics and such?  And my wife is a HUGE college basketball fan (typical woman, am I right, fellas?).  I know the Olympics specifically were streamed, though I hear it was terrible, but that's just as an example.

           

          Since we'd be saving a pretty good chunk of money on the satellite bill, we could afford the Netflix account and, say, a Hulu account, if that would address some of these concerns.  Don't want to go nuts on extra subscriptions, though, or it will negate the whole purpose.

           

          Any thoughts?

           

          And thank you in advance to the person who will urge me to just give up TV altogether, everything on is crap now anyway.

          Ok, I work at OU and set up Apple TV's day in and day out for the libraries, so I have some first hand experience here fellow Okie!

           

          1)

           

          Sadly local news (4 and 9 at least that I know of) do not have any online streaming of the morning news, however the Apple TV does have a web browser and you can watch specific stories etc. etc.

           

          CNN also doesn't have an app, though they do sometimes do live streams on their website.

           

          2)

           

          Netflix caps some of their content that they allow on the "instant queue" to very low quality due to streaming restrictions on their end, however there is a setting to request HD content, and you can filter your search results to HD only as well and it takes time for the video to load the HD content when you switch it over, which is why you did not notice a difference. The Roku would have better video quality due to their availability of resources with the video suppliers.

           

          3)

           

          Apple has a watchESPN app now and they do live streams of all major sporting events such as the olympics and what not, you will also have access to 3 other ESPN networks so you will be covered on the sports fix!

           

          4)

           

          I know you didn't list 4, but as for HULU, HULU Plus (which is what you would be getting) has a MUCH better selection and video quality than Netflix, I would also recommend looking into Vudu, it's like pay-per-view so you don't need a subscription, just pay for what you want to watch, as well as the option of buying every movie or tv show you can think of, all in HD at no extra price (up to 1080p!)

           

           

          If you have any questions what-so-ever, or need help setting anything up, let me know!

           

          EDIT:

           

          Also, Wrigley is right, you can get a digital converter and have local news AND your Apple TV!

          Not all those who wander are lost - JRR Tolkien

           

          jimmyb


          port-a-bella-potty

            We got rid of the cable and now stream Netflix and have an antenna for the twenty or so over-the-air HD channels like local CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX. Never been happier, and TV costs went from 100.00 a month to 8.00 a month. WHen I opt to get DVD's on occasion, it's another 8 bucks. I'm a year behind on shows like Mad Men and The Walking Dead, but I catch up eventually, or just do a DVD binge. High-speed internet has been a constant for more than a decade, and the cost of that has gone down as well. Never liked having to pay for all those channels I never watched.

            Log    PRs


            Not dead. Yet.

              Wait, do you have a regular tv?  Why does everything have to be on the internet?  Just because you don't have satellite or cable doesn't mean that your tv doesn't work. Get a set of rabbit ears, get the digital converter box if you have an older tv, and magically you will have local news, network television, and sporting events, just like the olden days.

               

              +1 Seriously.  Get a good digital antenna.  I got rid of cable a few years ago and don't miss it at all.  Plus, the quality of over the air networks is  better than cable.  You get most of the good TV over the air anyway except for a few standout cable channels; and those you can probably stream.

               

              The $70 per month can then be spent on liquor, which is much more entertaining than cable.  Smile

              How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

                We tried that experiment early last year.  We live in the mountains and can't get over the air broadcasts.  I got a Roku and signed up for Netflix, Hulu, and we already had Amazon Prime and we cancelled DirecTV.  It lasted for about two months.  My wife had them re-install the DirecTV while I was on a business trip and signed a two year contract because she missed the news.  So now we pay for Netflix, Hulu, and DirecTV although I will probably cancel Hulu soon.

                GC100k


                  Never had satellite or cable, just rabbit ears.  Not that big of a deal. I still manage to watch too much tv.  My wife and kids have no interest in TV, so why get it just for my sports?

                   

                  Btw, watchESPN and olympic streaming only work if you don't need it.  That is, to access the live streaming, you have to have a login to some cable or satellite system that you pay for.  Without that, you get some secondary stuff, but not the main ESPN or NBC sports network stuff.

                   

                  Rumor has it that there are illegal sites that will let you watch sports for free  ;-)

                   

                  Have cable/satellite when I travel.  Again, not a big deal either way.

                    We dumkped our satellite system about 7 or 8 years ago (my HS-age son was watching too much television).  At the time we were paying about $75/month for service which included some HD content that you had to pay extra to have.  We already had a huge roof-top antenna that probably hadn't been used for years which I wired to both of our televisions.  It's still up there.  We receive  ~30 channels and, of course, most are unwatchable because they're in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean etc.  so we end up watching lots of local news and PBS shows and watch way less television that we used to.

                    Possbile downside  is that you end up knowing zero about cultural fads such as the vampire thing of a few years ago or the zombie thing that seems to be popular now.  I don't really consider it a negative.

                    Sports can be streamed, of course.

                    We're somewhat minimalist, though.  We also dumped our land-line telephone a long time ago.  Lack of real 911 service is an issue there, though.

                     

                    Hmmm ... $75/month for 7 years?  That's $6,300.  Sweet.

                    mab411


                    Proboscis Colossus

                      Thanks, everyone!

                       

                      Looking into digital antennas...the first, most obvious thing that comes up, they all seem to connect using a coaxial cable.  Is that going to run right into my receiver or TV, or is there a converter box of some kind that I need?  I've never associated HD with coaxial cable.  Not even sure if my new receiver, has a coax input, though I think I remember seeing one on the TV.

                       

                      The next thing that comes up is, plugging my address into antennaweb.org, looks like I'd really need one of the bigger outdoor antennas to get reliable reception, and even then, am I seeing correctly that sometimes you have to reposition the antenna?  I'm nostalgic for the "simpler time" of watching TV for free over the antenna, but not that nostalgic.  Our favorite morning news channel's nearest tower is 22 miles away (through very hilly, heavily forested terrain), but CBS (home of my wife's beloved NCIS) is 61 miles away, with a difference of 33 degrees between them.

                       

                      I'll look into Vudu and Hulu+ here in a bit.  Sounds like we may be in the market for a Roku no matter what, given cbennett's comment about their HD availability.  So, HD availability through these streaming boxes is a function of the manufacturer, rather than the service, is that what I'm getting from the last sentence in your item 2 paragraph, cbennett?  Or did you just mean that the services I can access through Roku have better HD capabilities than Netflix?

                       

                      You know, on the sports front, I sure wish someone would post on the forums repeatedly about a way for me to ***wAtcH LiVe STreAM$ of __SoCCER ChampiONShips for FREE SPAIN V MANCHESTER****.  Sure would make life easier and provide a valuable service.  *sigh*  Maybe someday we'll reach that level of sophistication here on the RA Forums.

                      "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

                        I have not had cable, satellite, or antennae for years, and I do not pick up any channels on my television.

                         

                        If not for my Blu-ray player, I would not even own a television.

                         

                        I watch free movies on Hulu a lot of the time, I rent Blu-rays from the dollar box up the street, and I keep up with current events online.

                        cbennett926


                        Trust Me, Im an Engineer

                          Thanks, everyone!

                           

                          Looking into digital antennas...the first, most obvious thing that comes up, they all seem to connect using a coaxial cable.  Is that going to run right into my receiver or TV, or is there a converter box of some kind that I need?  I've never associated HD with coaxial cable.  Not even sure if my new receiver, has a coax input, though I think I remember seeing one on the TV.

                           

                          The next thing that comes up is, plugging my address into antennaweb.org, looks like I'd really need one of the bigger outdoor antennas to get reliable reception, and even then, am I seeing correctly that sometimes you have to reposition the antenna?  I'm nostalgic for the "simpler time" of watching TV for free over the antenna, but not that nostalgic.  Our favorite morning news channel's nearest tower is 22 miles away (through very hilly, heavily forested terrain), but CBS (home of my wife's beloved NCIS) is 61 miles away, with a difference of 33 degrees between them.

                           

                          I'll look into Vudu and Hulu+ here in a bit.  Sounds like we may be in the market for a Roku no matter what, given cbennett's comment about their HD availability.  So, HD availability through these streaming boxes is a function of the manufacturer, rather than the service, is that what I'm getting from the last sentence in your item 2 paragraph, cbennett?  Or did you just mean that the services I can access through Roku have better HD capabilities than Netflix?

                           

                          You know, on the sports front, I sure wish someone would post on the forums repeatedly about a way for me to ***wAtcH LiVe STreAM$ of __SoCCER ChampiONShips for FREE SPAIN V MANCHESTER****.  Sure would make life easier and provide a valuable service.  *sigh*  Maybe someday we'll reach that level of sophistication here on the RA Forums.

                          Silly me forgot exactly what the Roku was and got it mixed up with a difference box. I was thinking that Roku is an Amazon only machine.

                           

                          Back to the manufacturer vs service, it's kinda both. In my experience I have always found that Netflix consistently provided the best clarity of TV shows that I watch, and is able to get the picture faster. There are many factors, my internet connection, what the machine supports (the Nintendo Wii will never provide the HD that my $2500 computer will due to the graphics card in both systems respectfully), and what the service provider can well, provide.

                           

                          Roku has the upper hand in that it has access to Netflix, Hulu, AND Amazon Instant (Apple TV does not if I recall correctly). Amazon Instant, if you already have a prime account, is the best because you can watch a TV show you missed the day after it's aired. If you have prime this service is free and has a better movie selection that Netflix.

                           

                          All in all I would recommend the Roku if you have a prime account, and then if you had to pick one, get a subscription to Netflix for the must have TV shows that Amazon might not offer for whatever reason. Netflix is far superior than Hulu for the simple fact that even if you pay for Hulu Plus, you still get ads in your videos (really? cmon guys).

                           

                          Roku also has an ENORMOUS amount of channels for stuff like sports and stuff!

                           

                           

                          So yeah, tl;dr:

                           

                          Roku Box with Netflix subscription will get your TV fix!

                          Not all those who wander are lost - JRR Tolkien

                           

                            Roku Box with Netflix subscription will get your TV fix!

                             

                            +1 on Roku.

                             

                             

                            Not all those who wander are lost - but some of us are.

                            Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.


                            Not dead. Yet.

                              Looking into digital antennas...the first, most obvious thing that comes up, they all seem to connect using a coaxial cable.  Is that going to run right into my receiver or TV, or is there a converter box of some kind that I need?  I've never associated HD with coaxial cable.  Not even sure if my new receiver, has a coax input, though I think I remember seeing one on the TV.

                               

                              The next thing that comes up is, plugging my address into antennaweb.org, looks like I'd really need one of the bigger outdoor antennas to get reliable reception, and even then, am I seeing correctly that sometimes you have to reposition the antenna?  I'm nostalgic for the "simpler time" of watching TV for free over the antenna, but not that nostalgic.  Our favorite morning news channel's nearest tower is 22 miles away (through very hilly, heavily forested terrain), but CBS (home of my wife's beloved NCIS) is 61 miles away, with a difference of 33 degrees between them.

                               

                              If you have a current tv, it can plug directly in to that and use the built in menu.  Or you can get a converter box if your TV is old.  I use a Tivo and use it's (awesome) menu system and then out to my TV.  Also, if you need to split the channel to go to several TVs, you can do that, but you might need another (different kind) of amplifier.  Mine goes to three TVs.

                               

                              Setting up the antenna is a project.  You need to get a good mount for the roof and if you are borderline being too far away or with interference in the way, consider getting an amplifier.  Antennaweb told me that the mountain between me and the tower would not allow me to get reception, so I just got a really big antenna and a really strong amplifier and it picks everything right up.  I rarely have dropouts on a few very windy days per year.  Otherwise the reception is perfect and clear as glass.

                               

                              I guess you can get a little motor with remote control to move the antenna between towers, but I didn't have to do that.  Otherwise you just have to choose the one that works the best for you.  I think you should be able to get most (all?) of the networks at least from one tower.  Antennaweb will give you a list.

                              How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

                              mab411


                              Proboscis Colossus

                                 

                                If you have a current tv, it can plug directly in to that and use the built in menu.

                                 

                                ...and it will be in HD?

                                 

                                Here is the map antennaweb gave me:

                                 

                                 

                                That means I have four separate towers to deal with, yes?  I did see an antenna or two that have the motor built in.  I'm worried we're fast approaching the point where the trouble I'd go to will outweigh the money savings, though.  We had to build a tower for our radio internet antenna, I'm guessing whatever digital antenna I'd get would need to go on top of that to get clear of the treeline, too.

                                "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

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