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Cable Tv Cord Cutter Info

Big2dabank

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,208
Location
Central Florida
This post is for you cable tv cord cutters or or semi cord cutters like me. I live in an area where the hills and terrain restrict access to over the air antenna feeds for local channels so I have to get some type of cable subscription to get me local channels. I figured out a way to cut my cost considerably and I thought I would share it. I recently purchased an Apple Tv 4 and the new app store got me thinking if there were any apps in development that would let you view live over the air cable channels. I came across this device on the internet in my search, its called an HDHomeRun Prime (HDHRP) made by a company called SiliconDust. They have several options, but the one I purchased has three tuners uses a cable card from your local cable provider. The HDHRP hooks up to your local ethernet network and allows you to access the three tuners from a pc, mac, xbox, windows media center, plex, etc. I also found an app for the new Apple Tv called Channels - Live Tv. The HDHRP has allowed me to save the box rental fees from my cable company and all I pay is $2.95/ month for the cable card and I can tune in the cable channels I want on any device I choose. It has been pretty slick so far and I thought I would share with you want to be cord cutters. Happy cutting.
 

Odimus

Well-Known Member
Messages
89
Location
Maine
Nice! Tried the cable cutting route and it didn't work so well. The HD antenna gave us all the local channels but there were a couple premium channels we still wanted. Figured since we were wired for internet to stick with it. Still looking at options as they become available.
 

cbetts

NERD!!!
Messages
3,174
Location
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
My Roku gives me a lot of viewing options. There are also a ton of private channels which work well. I haven't cut the cord yet, but might one I get moved in my new place.
 

skeptic

Well-Known Member
Messages
737
Location
Orygun
I've been a cord cutter for years. There are forums for this stuff, but if we want to chat about it here I'd be happy to answer any questions I can based on what I've tried over the years. For now I'll just give a quick rundown on what I'm using today.

Devices:
.....FireTV (original)
.....nVidia Shield Android TV Pro - the best device overall that I've ever used, it's one drawback is Amazon doesn't allow Amazon Instant on it.
.....Sony 65x850c w/Android TV

Accessories:
.....HDHomeRun connect to get OTA TV stations to all my devices
.....Indoor antenna, picks up ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and a few other channels I don't care about - live sports and NFL is all I use it for

Main Services:
.....Netflix for movies and previous seasons of TV shows
.....Hulu for current TV shows
.....DroidTV for current TV shows not available on Hulu (lots of overlap). It's an Android app that downloads TV episodes (legally), so it's not a streaming app.
.....SlingTV for liveTV not available OTA. Mainly for ESPN for Monday Night Football. I'll probably cancel it after the season, at $20/month it's way too expensive for the almost no use it gets.
.....Amazon Instant (Prime). There are some Prime only shows, tons of HBO content, and movies not available elsewhere. Honestly, I don't watch much, but since I pay for Prime for the free shipping anyway it's a nice freebie.

Notable apps:
.....Plex - this allows the shows downloaded from DroidTV and my ripped DVD collection to be played on any device.
.....Kodi (formerly XBMC) - a multimedia app with add-ons for everything from DVR connectivity to local media playback to gray area streaming.
 

Big2dabank

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,208
Location
Central Florida
I cam across the HDhomerun by chance, because I wasn't sure what I was searching for but I new I did not want to pay box rental fees and I wanted something that uses a cable card or Clear Qam channels so I could get my local feeds. OTA did not work for me because my antenna would have to be over 60 feet in the air for me to get decent reception and that was a no go for me. I am currently using a Mac mini in my master bedroom, yes its overkill, but it was a spare mac mini server I have performing a bunch of other stuff and it works great to view my live channels from the HDHomerun. I also have several apple tvs, one for the kids, one for the master, and a new apple tv in the living room, with the Channels - Live Tv app to view the HDhomerun. If I wasn't already married to iTunes and apple devices I know their are much cheaper media streaming devices, but my wife and kids like them so that is always worth peace of mind for me. The only thing I haven't solved is a media remote to control ir on the mac mini and map ir commands to perform programmed functions I want. I use an IOS app now that works fine, but my wife wants a real remote, so I am looking into a couple of things like LIRC, iRED, IRControl, remote buddy, and few others to customize a universal remote to control certain functions on the mac during live tv viewing. Anyway happy cutting or snipping in my case, I got my bill down from $160/month to $120/month including 75 MB internet. Not a substantial amount, but hey my services are the same, I almost quadrupled my internet speed and cut set top boxes and dvr fees all together.
 

Big2dabank

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,208
Location
Central Florida
I've been watching that one and watching the forums to see how it matures. Yeah between my wife and kids, our iTunes library is pretty substantial, so for the most part we are married to iTunes.
 

LagunaH1

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,631
Location
Lake Forest, CA
I use an over the air antenna which gets me NBC, CBS, KTLA and a bunch of weird stuff. I also have an Apple TV which I hardly use and a Roku device which I use a lot. I subscribe to Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime and Vudu.
 

skeptic

Well-Known Member
Messages
737
Location
Orygun
Antenna + HDHomeRun + online streaming services > cable + HDHomeRun > DirecTV + set top boxes.

The trick is choosing the right devices and services to meet your needs, or pay more for limited but simple to use cable/sat with their set top boxes. The NFL package is about the only thing I can think of that you can't (legally) get.
 

alrock

El Diablo
Staff member
Messages
10,092
Location
Scottsdale
I've considered cutting the cord but with my DirectTV bill about $85 per month, the savings don't seem worth it vs. the convenience. HDHomeRun - all I'm saving is the difference between a set top box rental and $2.00/month for the card rental?

And then for the convenience of on Demand I need to pay for Hulu, etc?

What am I missing here?
 

chaos254

Well-Known Member
Messages
576
Location
United States
The savings really arent worth it IMO. We just moved last week and we signed back up for direct TV @ 75 a month. Free NFl ticket for 2 years, all wireless boxes except main DVR box, 3 months free hbo/stars/cinemax and $300 Costco gift card.

If you don't really watch TV then I think cord cutting has its place. But thats not really a cost issue, its that you just don't use it enough to justify the price
 
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cgalpha08

"Like Nothing Else"
Messages
3,499
Location
Indianapolis, IN
I'm interested in the price differences that you guys report. I have AT&T Uverse, and i'm calling every 6 months or so and telling them my bill is too high and they lower it. For me, the cost of no TV would have to be less than $70 a month. Otherwise its not cost effective to deal with it. Personally I like having the TV online in the background, even when i'm not watching it. Otherwise telling my cable company i'm leaving them is the best way to lower my bill :) haha
 

skeptic

Well-Known Member
Messages
737
Location
Orygun
I've considered cutting the cord but with my DirectTV bill about $85 per month, the savings don't seem worth it vs. the convenience. HDHomeRun - all I'm saving is the difference between a set top box rental and $2.00/month for the card rental?

And then for the convenience of on Demand I need to pay for Hulu, etc?

What am I missing here?

HDHomeRun doesn't work with DirecTV, they only have options for OTA (antenna) or cable. Saving the monthly rental fee for the cable box is only one small part of it. The big draw, at least for me, was letting me get rid of the cable box and getting all my media better organized. Saving money was just a bonus.

The savings really arent worth it IMO. We just moved last week and we signed back up for direct TV @ 75 a month. Free NFl ticket for 2 years, all wireless boxes except main DVR box, 3 months free hbo/stars/cinemax and $300 Costco gift card.

If you don't really watch TV then I think cord cutting has its place. But thats not really a cost issue, its that you just don't use it enough to justify the price

It's not just about money, although cord cutting is generally cheaper. Depending on what you want it can be a little cheaper or a lot. One remote, one small hidden device at each TV (no big ugly set top box), access to everything I want including my personal 700+ DVD collection, thousands of movies, TV shows going back decades up through current, music videos, music, live local OTA TV, games..

For me it all started with getting rid of the set top boxes while I still had cable. It had nothing to do with cutting cable, I just wanted all my media in one place, no swapping DVDs, no changing inputs, no big ugly cable box. Eventually this slowly evolved to where the only things I ever watch live is local news and NFL, the same channels I have now with OTA and Sling.TV.

The weak points of cord cutting are live sports and local news with local news and a fair amount of sports covered depending on your ability to receive OTA stations. Beyond that, most everything you could want is available through a streaming service and there is a ton of stuff you can get streaming that you cannot get with cable/sat service.

Cable/Sat is easier, but it's not better. Every year cord cutting gets easier and better with more and more providers getting in on the action. DishTV is jumping on board, Showtime and HBO are available as a subscription service without cable/sat, new streaming deals are being made constantly. Still though, it's not for everyone such as my parents. They have crappy internet where they are, my father watches sports all the time and they have zero interest in tech or change.

I don't see this as strictly a question of monthly bill but since that's what seems to be this thread is focusing on, my total monthly bill is under $45/month. As soon as I cancel sling.tv, likely at the end of the NFL season, it will be under $25/month. Obviously there are other costs involved, highspeed internet which I have anyway, Amazon Prime which I have anyway, streaming devices that I've bought for anywhere from $25 to $300 (or zero for a couple smart TVs), $49 for lifetime subscription to DroidTV (I believe it's now around $100 for lifetime) and an antenna + HDHomeRun device. It might be worth noting that I have the higher priced Hulu with no commercials and the upgraded Netflix that allows more streams and some 4k content (as far as I know, you can't get 4k video with cable or sat service).
 
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Fish

Well-Known Member
Messages
871
Location
San Diego, CA
On a similar note we tried cutting the telephone cord and going all cellular but that didn't work so I bought Ooma, it's an Internet phone system where you get unlimited calling and all you pay is your local FCC tax which is a few bucks a month for me. Your regular phone plugs into the box and the sound quality is as good as a landline and we have never had problems with it.
 

Big2dabank

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,208
Location
Central Florida
I use 1-voip for my phone service. Its a little over $10.00 per month after taxes, fees, etc, but it has been very reliable, crystal clear and super easy to configure.
 

alrock

El Diablo
Staff member
Messages
10,092
Location
Scottsdale
I haven't had a landline/traditional line since about 1992. As for TV, I haven't been able to justify having to use multiple services to watch TV when using one, DirectTV, already has me in front of the TV for too many hours each week.
 

3Hummers

Super Moderator
Staff member
Messages
10,183
Location
Central Texas
I watch sports and just a few shows. TV is not a big deal for me. If it weren't for sports I likely would not own a TV or have a service. Direct TV is the best I found. Works for me.
 

skeptic

Well-Known Member
Messages
737
Location
Orygun
Just out of curiosity, those of you with DirecTV what are you paying? If it's an into period, what are you committed to paying next year?
 

3Hummers

Super Moderator
Staff member
Messages
10,183
Location
Central Texas
I am not sure what we pay. My wife has that billed to one of her credit cards. Unfortunately her bill is much higher than the Direct TV portion and fluctuates wildly month to month. I will find out for you though.
 

alrock

El Diablo
Staff member
Messages
10,092
Location
Scottsdale
I'm about $87/month for one TV with DVR. I'm past the intro promotional periods - had DirecTV for about 4 years now.
 
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