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RE: TV options

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by firefighterjake, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    The other day I realized that as a long-time Directv user I'm kind of getting the shaft vs. folks that sign up brand new -- both in the savings in the first yearand free options which I don't get (local TV which I don't get through the satellite, NFL Sunday Ticket, HD and whole home DVR).

    So in both an effort to save a little bit of money . . . and to get a few more perks . . . I am considering either jumping to Dish TV or at the very least calling up Directv and seeing if they would spring for some of the perks as a long-time customer or risk having me jump ship.

    It then occurred to me that there may be another option -- streaming to the TV using a device like Roku. I don't know much about this type of service though and figure folks here might have some opinions.

    1. Does this work well?

    2. Is it HD?

    3. Can you watch current season episodes or only past episodes of cable TV shows -- I admit to watching BBC America's Dr. Who and Copper . . . my wife tends to favor true-life crime stories, DIY, HGTV, etc.

    4. I assume one would also have to use Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, etc. . . . which is the better service and what are the costs?

    5. Can you DVR any of these shows . . . or do you simply turn on the show when you want to watch it?

    6. Approximate total monthly cost?

    7. Final thoughts -- pros and cons?

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  2. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Pros would be that as a family that never really had all the enhanced cable shows and picks, it works well for us as there are endless shows for my wife and I and the kids to watch. Cons would be that you are not going to be able to watch all the recent HBO type stuff, like Game of Thrones (Reading the books now...books are much better than the series)
    I think if you are a "movie" watcher it is a good deal, as with the selection you may find yourself watching movies that you wouldn't have normally gone to see. If your main activity is watching "sports" you may be better off with cable/dish, etc..
  3. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    You don't get local channels with Direct? It's probably a regional thing, but mine are free.

    Call the customer service and tell them your planning on switching( the cs is actually pretty good) to Dish and your geting all the goodies(HD DVR, premiums etc for cheap money)

    They'll alomost always hook you up with a discount package and atleast a DVR receiver maybe even throw in the Ticket.
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I think I don't have the local channels because I've been with them for so long and have a package that isn't even listed anymore -- it's pretty close to the 3rd tier option (not the all-inclusive) for $3 less each month. This has never been a real issue since I also have an OTA antenna and pick up most of the local stations.

    The funny thing is I have the HD DVR (and pay for the DVR service) and a second HD receiver . . . just no HD.

    I may try calling and see what happens . . . but I am still interested in folks' experience with foregoing satellite/cable.
  5. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Jake, Do you have cable in your area? Or is the only option Sat? Reason I ask is that if you have cable in your area, perhapps get a copy of their current promotions available, and use that at leverage with your dealings with the Sat company. (Actually, if you tell them you already have an antenna, that might also work in your favor)
    Good luck
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I use Netflix only at the our RI - along with an apple TV (99) and it provides all the TV and Movies we desire. There are lots of other options within it other than Netflix, but that does the job for us......

    Most stuff is past seasons on Netflix. I think you'd have to use hulu or another service to see current - but some of these services are also available.

    In MA. we still have regular cable - but, realistically, it's not worth the price. We just haven't bit the bullet yet and gotten rid of it. I might watch Hardball once a week, but that's not worth $100 a month to me!
  7. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I'll probably be switching back to directv. My wife is pretty pissed off that dish and AMC parted ways, so when the new season of Mad Men starts I have to figure something out :eek:

    I miss rabbit ears with balls of foil squeezed on the ends.
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Netflix streaming is about $10 a month - in addition to the roku or apple tv purchase price.

    BUT, you need to have a decent internet connection to make any of these services work!
  9. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Just checked the bill, and Netflix was a total of $16.48 for the unlimited streaming and 1 dvd at a time. (Actually, the turnaround on the dvd's is very good...most times if we mail on back on a monday, we will have the next one by sometimes Wed the same week and if not then Thursday)
  10. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Netflix and an antenna. Over the air broadcasts give free HD local channels for under $100 one-time cost.
    See tvfoool.com or antennaweb.org

    Will never pay cable again. If I could get true high speed internet under $30/mo, I would, but I'm stuck with low speed DSL.

    TE
  11. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    To answer some posts . . .

    I looked at cable and at one time we had cable. Right now, it's the most expensive service in the area -- perhaps due to the rural location.

    To reiterate . . . past seasons are good. . . but what I'm really looking for is a service that offers current seasons of the various programs.

    I currently have Netflix DVD service . . . mainly because it seemed to be slightly better than Blockbuster's comparable service with a quicker turn-around (3 days). I'm still peeved at the CEO of Netflix for his shenanigans with the price increase, breaking off the free streaming from DVD service and attempting to spin off Netflix . . . as stated . . . I looked at BB's service and tried them free for a month and they were not bad, but in the end Netflix still offered a better product/price. From what I remember of the Netflix streaming service it mostly was a lot of old seasons of shows and movies that were quite old.

    Internet connection should be good . . . along with decent wi-fi.

    Over the Air reception . . . love the High Definition experience as I have a pre-amp, roof top antenna and a rotator . . . only issue is that I cannot get all of the local affiliates . . . fortunately I get the two or three I mostly prefer to watch.
  12. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I've never paid for TV. I get the 4 networks over the air and that's it. I would spend too much time on the couch if I had cable/sat TV.

    I got asked by the Direct TV dude at Sam's Club if I'd like to save $30 a month on my TV bill. I said "Sure! How does that work....do you just mail me a check?" He was not amused.
    Poult, Dairyman, MasterMech and 3 others like this.
  13. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Jake to actually get HD service from direct you have to upgrade to the multi LNB dish(the horizontal oblong ones) and the HD reciever - $10 extra a month.

    My brother did the Netflix thing for a while - he hadn't really watched Tv for the past decade of med school and loved the old reruns. They eventually broke down and got some service provider as the lack of current broadcasts were wanted. As some above noted Hulu offers current programs, I don't have a broadband connection so haven't tried that route.
  14. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    I don't miss the cable or DTV.
    We watch online through Hulu or any of the major networks. They all have an online presence.
    I have a desktop with HDMI hooked up to the bigscreen, and can also hook up the laptop the same way. Very easy.
    Netflix and Huluplus is there for less than $10/month, I think. No real need for a box unless you want more than basic stuff.
  15. Adkjake

    Adkjake Member

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    Over at the cottage I have an antenna up in the loft, that pulls in the local networks, plus 5 or 6 different PBS channels. Also have internet service there and have a small notebook PC with HDMI hookup to the TV. All kinds of internet channels and TV providers available.
  16. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    ;lol This is what I am seriously considering lukem. Cancelling my cable TV all together. I want to keep the high speed internet though. I like having quick access to things I want to learn about or keep up to date on. There is some cool stuff on TV, but only some. Most of it is chit I do not want to watch and do not want my kids to watch. Some of the commercials I do not even want my kids to watch. Do they not even think about what they put into commercials will be seen by children who are very young. Creepy, slutty, or sick things in commercials on the regular stations during daytime or early evening hours when the children will see them. Some of these people involved in TV and movies (hollywood) are real assholes who have warped our societies views on what is acceptable and what is not. My second rant of the day. Okay. I will stop now. Mmm. Maybe.
    gregbesia likes this.
  17. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I have cable interwebs....you should be able to do that too.
  18. jeffoc

    jeffoc Member

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    I got rid of Direct a couple of months ago. Now just doing Netflix. They raised my rate one time too often. I tried to get them to cut me a deal, but they wouldn't budge. I do the streaming through a WII with no DVD through the mail.
    I have a DSL connection because I'm out in the country and it works fine no buffering or anything like that. And no outages during cloudy weather. That used to drive me nuts. When you couldn't do anything outside, you couldn't watch TV either.
    Most stuff I like to watch is there. They even have Doctor Who. Not sure what season though.
  19. shmodaddy

    shmodaddy Burning Hunk

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    @Firefighter

    Call customer support and threaten to cancel. If you can't understand "bob" ask for another agent nicely. They will drop drop your price and give you all the movie channels free for six months. If you dont have a DVR get one. Dont take no for an answer . After the reduced rates promo us nearing end call them again. Complain tell them you are thinking of jumping ship to their biggest competitor. SET UP A DISCONNECT DATE 2 weeks from then. Sit back and relax they will call with a even better offer. Take that till it runs out then jump ship. I went from dish to direct n really not happy again soon as this contract is up im doing something different.

    Sent from my rooted and eclipse running X2--thanks nitro-- if im posting on here I'm probably supposed to be working! I can't help im addicted to HEARTH.COM!
  20. Burn-1

    Burn-1 Feeling the Heat

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    I have the upper model Roku with Hulu and Netflix and can't say say enough good things about it.

    The best channel for the Roku is Plex. You can use that to capture video from any webpage and then queue it to watch when you want. I watch a lot of Youtube shows and general videos. You can also use Plex to send a DVD from your computer to your TV or any other content on your computer for that matter.

    As others have said, you do need a good connection. I have mine hardwired in. I would also recommend some of the private Roku channels such as http://thenowhereman.com/roku/ That has tons of content including many local channels across the country
  21. BIGDADDY

    BIGDADDY Feeling the Heat

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    If you have had Directv a long time I doubt you will like Roku or Netflex. I know some people don't want or need anything more then some basic tv programming. I had cable for years and Tivo. I had Netflex just for movies but no more. I had a Roku box and still do but don't use it.
    I switched to Directv and I got the whole home Dvr with a dvr that will record 5 shows at once and a second dual tuner dvr.I think you should call Directv and ask for what you want.
    Dish-network does not have AMC with shows like Breaking Bad , Mad Men , He'll on Wheels, and walking dead.
    I like directv has tons of programs and I can record the shows I like and watch when I want.
  22. Dtunes

    Dtunes New Member

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    Before making the switch, ask around to see if someone has a used Nintendo Wii laying around. You can watch Netflix/Hulu on that, and a lot of people have one collecting dust on a shelf somewhere. It's not HD but works well enough. You can also buy wifi dvd/blue ray players that can stream the common video services for not to much money.
  23. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    This is my setup. I have a laptop with a HDMI port on the coffee table, connected by wifi to 3 mbps internet service, provided by cable company. I have my HDTV Plasma connected wirelessly to laptop via a device called WHDI. On the tv side, a small receiver is plugged into the TV HDMI and the power outlet. on the laptop side, a small receiver hangs on the lid of the laptop. One connection to the HDMI port and one to the USB for power. Set the display settings to extended screen. Now I can watch any video available on the internet, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube. I can display photos from my computer on my Plasma HDTV, nice way to share a photo album. There are web sites that stream HBO, movies, etc., tvlinks tvduck, project free tv, wootly
    I watch whatever I want, whenever I feel like it, even live sports. I just watched Thursday Night Football over the internet last night(thefirstrow.eu) even the Superbowl last year. The laptop is like a TV guide, I find stuff to watch on it, then drag the tab over to the TV, hit full screen. It works great, full 1080p HDTV. I have an antenna to watch local stations.
  24. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    What connection speeds are you getting? I also only have DSL but it is pretty consistent between 3 and 5 mbps. I'm wondering if those speeds are fast enough for HD viewing of Hulu and Netflix without a lot of buffering pauses or anything.
  25. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    We're using DSL at speeds of about 1.6 to 2 Mb/S. We use Netflix on a Roku. Netflix adjusts the playback quality to match network speeds. We find the image quality good and the interruptions (buffering) infrequent unless other users are hitting our router hard.

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