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Ridding myself of Cable TV providers

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by abrucerd, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central MA
    The contract with my current provider expires this summer, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to cut the cord with the cable companies. I don't really watch any live TV... anything I watch is either recorded on my DVR, or a series/movie I'm watching through Netflix streaming.

    I have a PS3 in my living room, which I can use for Netflix streaming and Amazon video (which I currently already have), plus any other services I may want to sign up for. I can also use the native PS3 browser to go to any network website and stream recent show episodes.

    I just got a new "smart tv" for my bedroom to replace an old box tv which is on the fritz anyway. The new tv comes with Netflix already installed, but not sure about Amazon. It also has a browser for tv episodes.

    I'll probably get one of those digital tv antenna's to pickup any local stations (and network affiliates).

    That's my plan. My current cable/internet bill is at 125 /month. Cutting out TV will bring it to $70-80 a month (depending on which internet speed package I go with). So, extra $ in my pocket.

    Anyone else gone through this and have any tips/advice?

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  2. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    West Michigan
    I dropped dish/cable just under three years ago. It's now shocking to me when I think back about all the shows I used to watch and how much time I really spent sitting staring at the box mounted on the wall. My kids will not live in a home with cable until they go to college if I have anything to say about it.

    Amazon.com is a great source for antenna's. Don't get fancy, there is no such thing as an "HD Antenna". They are all the same within reason if you're not talking an amplified unit. Mine was $30 +/- and it works great. Mounted it on the roof on the DirectTV dish they left me. I did end up buying an amplifier, also from Amazon, last year when we added another TV upstairs and I needed to force the antenna singnal through the house wiring. Works great.

    I wish more people would pull the plug on the TV and get outside. Even in the winter...
    granpajohn and abrucerd like this.
  3. Elle

    Elle Member

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    Loc:
    North East Pennsylvania
    I"ve lived without cable for a few years. Used to do the Netflix streaming and dvd but now I exclusively stream. I also have a tv that used amazon and netflix. If you have the Amazon prime shipping you get some movies and tv shows, but I have found they are generally the same as what is available on Netflix. I'm currently converting all my movies onto an external hard drive and will plug that into the tv eventually. Also, the Youtube app on the tv lets me watch even more stuff. I'm really quite satisfied. If there is a show I can't live without I try to find somewhere to stream it and watch it on the computer. So far that hasn't really happened. Good for you!
  4. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    We put a rooftop antenna up with 150 mile range and an appletv in the living room. I got sick of cable and satelite so we dumped them and spent the money on the antenna which was $99 at best buy. Now we have Netflix, Hulu and all the content we could ever want through that little box podcasts, movies, radio, music, sports and more. We don't use it all all the time though. We spend $16 a month on Hulu and Netflix sometimes we buy a season of something or rent a movie. Far better than cable which was 129.00 a month after our original 19.99 for a year. Learned my lesson there !

    Pete
  5. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

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    Loc:
    Central MA
    Can I ask what internet speed you all have purchased from your ISP? And do you notice any slowness/buffering issues when you stream HD or download large files?
  6. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    We started out with 768k which worked just fine 99% of the time but there was the occasional night where everybody in my little village got online and it dragged. Frontier just ran lines through Ovid to Owosso for high speed and so we are able to get 7 meg for the same price. No issues yet !

    Pete
  7. Elle

    Elle Member

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    Loc:
    North East Pennsylvania
    I think my provider is at 12mb and I have no buffering issues with netflix, amazon or youtube stuff.
  8. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    Central Maryland
    Amen brother.
    how-cable-really-works-800x600.png
    abrucerd likes this.
  9. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
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    Loc:
    Kansas City
    When I first dropped cable TV I was looking into things I could replace it with. Fast forward 3 years and I find that I watch very little TV. A movie here and there and only the TV shows that I find absolutely amazing, it is amazing how much time I have now to actually do things.

    So my tip would be focus more on doing other things and less on finding and using other methods to still watch TV. For those times you do still watch it, you seem to have the alternative methods of watching TV covered well enough. The only thing I could suggest is a Roku which would essentially replace the Netflix function on the TV and your PS3 but add Amazon and Hulu.
    abrucerd likes this.
  10. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    northern-half of maine
    before you buy an rooftop antenna, check out antenneaweb. Gives a good idea if you can receive over the air TV. There are other sites that work good too. Digital signals are touchy, mainly line of site. Also, if you think you'll need a rotor, do not buy the ones from radio shack. Inside of a year they break. Plastic parts.
  11. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    497
    Just be aware there is no such thing as a "digital" antenna. There are only antennas, and they don't know digital from a donut. A radio signal is a radio signal, no matter what kind of information it is carrying or how it is modulated. It's all marketing hype started by unscrupulous sellers. The major TV antenna manufacturers have pretty much been forced to label their products digital as well, in order to compete in the market place.

    A sure sign that the salesperson you are dealing with doesn't know what he is talking about is any statement that you have to have a "digital" antenna in order to receive a digital TV signal.

    I second the suggestion to avoid Radio Shack. There are several good one line sellers of antennas and antenna accessories. I have had good luck with Solid Signal. The Audio Visual Sciences Forum is an excellent resource covering over the air TV (OTA) and much more. Do a search there for antenna.

    http://www.avsforum.com/f/
    abrucerd and flyingcow like this.
  12. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Mid Atlantic
    At my house, I have only over the air digital TV. It's more than enough for me. I do watch a few of the cable offerings at a friend's place, mostly news/ politics/ humor, etc. I don't care for movies much any more. Huge time waster.

    Anyway, if you are near one of the larger metro areas, there should be some choice in the over the air digital stations. YMMV.

    BTW 80 dollars or so for high speed internet sounds like a huge ripoff to me. In most markets, you should be able to get high speed cable internet for about half that. Or less. No way I'd pay 80. for internet!
  13. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    With about 6 hrs of daylight and it being -15* I don't mind watching TV. Hardly gets used in the summer though. I just DVR everything I like and watch through the winter.

    Satellite is the only way to get Tv where I live. Nothing comes in on antenna but snow and no cable. Heck it's been only a year of so that I have had cell coverage here.
    abrucerd likes this.
  14. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Agree . . . for me winter isn't too bad since I sled on the weekends when the snow comes . . . but my wife hates the cold and snow . . . if it wasn't for satellite TV and the hot tub I am afraid I would be living in Maine alone . . . or living somewhere south of the Mason Dixon line.
  15. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Combined? That does sound like a good time... ;)
  16. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Uh no . . . one at a time. Our hot tub time is actually quite nice as it's just the two of us outside without any electronic distractions.
  17. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Upstate NY

    Not even Aurora Borealis?
    abrucerd likes this.
  18. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

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    [​IMG]
  19. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Nope . . . roof overhead.
  20. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I dropped cable 3 years ago. The wife and I don't miss it much. I liked the history channel, but it looks like their programming is more reality TV than knowledge based so I doubt I'm missing anything.

    Matt
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Dropped cable several years back. How they can provide so many channels of absolutely brain dead sludge and get paid for it is beyond me.
  22. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I've noticed that as well . . . ditto with The Learning Channel (now simply called TLC) and Discovery. Seems like half of the programming now on what were decent educational/informative channels is now reality TV crap with made up drama.
  23. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    Central Maryland
    A few years ago my wife visited her sister, (who does have CATV), and was amazed that they have advertising commercials on pay TV. ("You pay for it, AND they still have ads")
    Whatever the market will bear, I suppose.
  24. toonces

    toonces Member

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    Farmington Valley, CT
    buy your own modem instead of leasing. i have exactly one choice for broadband where i live so i choose to give them as little money as possible as they choose to act like they are the only game in town. i stopped leasing their modem, and i use a VoIP phone system which costs me $4/mo in taxes. we ditched our cell phones for an emergency Tracfone and pay about $8/mo for that and it gets far better signal strength than either of our cell phones did. next on my list of money pits to axe: oil heat. electricity might take some work and more $$$, though.
  25. hotprinter

    hotprinter Member

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    Loc:
    North Pole, Alaska
    At $99 and no subscription, Apple TV is a bargain if you have fast reliable Internet. You can watch movies and other services like Hulu ant Netflix. If you have a subscription to those. You can also mirror your iPhone or iPad or Mac so whatever you see on that device will show on your hd TV. You can also wirelessly stream movies or photos from your phone or iPad. The interface is really intuitive and slick. We love our Apple TV.

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