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Cutting the Cord on Cable

Breedy

Busted
We did it.
 
Some up front cost, but our monthly “cable” bill should go from $140 a month to $50.   We replaced Uverse (not available at our new house) with Over The Air HD, Ooma Telo and Netflix/Hulu and so far couldn’t be happier.
 
I lot of this hinges on 1.) living in the right spot for OTA and 2.) having access to cheap high-speed internet with enough bandwidth to handle streaming, surfing and VoIP.
 
The OTA HD antennas are reasonable cheap and easy to install.  Just bring the line into your house and tap into the existing system, with newer wiring/short runs that should be all you have to do.  More information can be found at www.tvfool.com.
 
Netflix/HuluPlus can make up for most of the lost programming but live sports is going to be lacking.  Sunday Ticket or Gameday may be an option for an additional fee, but with the kids and family life it’s not really worth it for me. If you don’t have one a Roku is pretty handy; refurbs run around $35.
 
On to Internet/Phone.  First off, buy your own modem even if you are staying with a cable company.  Locally, they wanted $7/month to rent a modem, yet a good Motorola is $80 from Amazon; pure savings after the first year.  We were paying Uverse $65/month for Internet and Phone, that got us 3mb/s and local calling.  The City we moved to offers up 20mb/s for $30 as a mid-level tier and up to 30mb/s is around $7 dollars more a month. We are staying with the mid tier for now, surfing and watching Netflix as I type, so I don’t see a need to up the speed.
 
To replace the phone I was looking into NetTalk Duo and MagicJack.  To be blunt both got shitty reviews on call quality but only cost ~$50 for start up costs and ~$20-30 a year subscription.  Not terrible expensive, but I didn’t think my wife would go for it if the quality was as advertised. 
 
More research lead me to Ooma Telo which got much better reviews but had a higher start up ($120) and slightly higher monthly fees (Ooma pays local taxes) that run about $3.xx/month.  I was able to find a refurbished unit on woot.com for $80 and ported my old number over for $40, so I am into it for $120. It gives us nation wide long distance and the quality is on par or better than when we had Uverse
 
Here is a little clearer break down of costs
 
Up Front                                                                     Monthly (Uverse         $140)
 
RCA ANT 751           $50                                          OTA HD                     Free    
Roku XS                    $35                                          Telephone                 $3.xx (taxes)
Ooma Refurb            $80                                          Internet                      $30
Number Porting         $40                                          NetFlix/Hulu Plus       $16
500’ rg6                     $50                                          Total Monthly             $50

Fittings and tool         $25

Up Front Total            $280                                        Monthly Savings         $90
 
It all pays for itself in just over 3 months and I have the left over cable and connectors should the need ever arise.
 

bfreebern

Yada, Yada, Yada.
I did this 2 years ago and am happy with the results.  Like you said, I miss ESPN/NFL network, but it's worth it compared to what we're saving.
 
We went from Dish/Home Phone to an HD OTA (HD quality is great) and Netflix ($7.99/month).  The kids don't complain, but in reality we don't watch a lot of TV as a family, more then anything it's movies.  We had Hulu, but just didn't use it all that much.  Also tried Amazon (which is where all the Nickelodeon shows moved to) but you had to rent individual TV shows.  You can get Amazon Prime, but you still have to pay for TV Shows/Movies.
 
Currently, we have a Roku 3($99) and an Apple TV($99), which we've been happy with both.  The thing we really enjoy with the Apple TV , is the ability to download a TV app to the iPad/iPhone/iPod (A&E/History/any others) and have the ability to push it to the TV and watch those episodes that way.
 
Now if I can just get a better cell phone monthly rate, I'll be happy.
 

Mrepp

To boldly troll where no Troll has trolled before
We just did this like 4 months ago. We were paying 140 just for TV service as well. Even though I has the wideband internet so I watched everything on demand/downloaded my shows anyway. I went with the Popcorn Hour media boxes myself which are a bit more expensive then the Roku's but I feel have ALOT more features and better playback of local media. They also have an auto crop function which I love. If the movie or TV show has the black bars on the top and bottom it will trim enough off the sides to make it fit the whole screen without stretching it. To me this makes movies far more enjoyable and you very rarely notice anything missing that's cropped off. I also ran the whole house in cat6 and I have a 12TB NAS that im using as a media server. My setup is a bit exteme but still comes out to about the cost of 1 year of cable TV.
 

Breedy

Busted
sar127 said:
I ran across that yesterday as well, but in truth you can get a better deal on a used Tivo on Ebay. For around ~$250 you can get a TiVo HD (currently preferred for OTA) w/ a life time subscription and a 500+ gig hard drive. The one you linked requires a external HD, which has some benefits, but also has a pending litigation regarding their "guide feature".

We get a fair amount of OTA channels but really nothing I would want to DVR except the couple of shows we watch on Network broadcasts. At that price HuluPlus seems like a better option to me.
 

Lkyman

Sobrrrrrr
I broke away from having all my home services with one provider a few years ago, and went with Ooma in my conversion. Absolutely love the Ooma. Three years later, still working like a champ. Moved from one city/state to another, and all I did was plug it back in. Same number, which made it easy for all family and friends in not changing to a new phone number.
 
I cut off cable when I bought my house 5 years ago . . . I have full Netflix service (instant and DVD) for about $17 a month and U-Verse internet-only for $15 a month, and a Virgin Mobile smartphone for $35 a month.  I buy episodes of current shows I like on Amazon and iTunes for $1.99 an episode.
 
Previously, I was paying AT&T over $80 a month for phone/DSL and Clear Choice about the same for premium cable that I didn't really watch much.  This is cheaper, and better, and I only pay for what I want to watch, when I want to watch it.
 
I'm thinking about getting the $99 Apple wifi box to hook up to the big flat screen surround sound I currently only use for movie DVDs, which a few of my friends have done and like.  Currently, I watch TV show episodes on my iMac . . . but since  that's also where I smoke my cigars, it works for me.
 
~Boar
 

jfields

Where did all my money go?
I've been wanting to do this for some time, but just can't fathom the idea of being able to watch local channel sports. Other than that, we rarely watch TV other than the occasional Discovery Channel show, or Duck Dynasty. Typically, we stream movies, or series shows. 
 

Mrepp

To boldly troll where no Troll has trolled before
Not A Nice Person said:
 
I'm thinking about getting the $99 Apple wifi box to hook up to the big flat screen surround sound I currently only use for movie DVDs, which a few of my friends have done and like.  Currently, I watch TV show episodes on my iMac . . . but since  that's also where I smoke my cigars, it works for me.
 
~Boar
 
You may really like Cloud Media's PopBox. I have their Popcorn Hour player and I love it. Its been getting rave reviews and is said to be a Roku Killer because it offers so may more playback options and functions as well as a great Apps market. Linky: http://www.cloudmedia.com/products/popbox/v8   otherwise for something with a little more bulky for more local playback rather then streaming I got my folks a Micca EP350 for 80$ shipped off Amazon. This one offers the abbility to have a internal hard drive to put media on like a bluray or dvd collection. Linky http://www.miccatron.com/micca-ep350-g2-1080p-network-digital-media-player/   both are great players for in my opinion really good prices. I also feel like they offer a lot more then Apple or Roku does but thats just me. Of course there are far more expensive options all the way up to 400$ if thats the rout you want to go but I've seen both of the ones I listed on my 60" Sharp Aquos LED and they look flawless, just like watching a Bluray disc.

 
 

Breedy

Busted
jfields said:
I've been wanting to do this for some time, but just can't fathom the idea of being able to watch local channel sports. Other than that, we rarely watch TV other than the occasional Discovery Channel show, or Duck Dynasty. Typically, we stream movies, or series shows. 
So far we are about 2 weeks in and things are going pretty well. The kids have plenty to watch and my wife is happy. Netflix Streaming gives us a fairly large selection of series to watch, but is a little light on new release movies. For the once or twice a month we want a DVD I'll look into Red Box.

There are lots of gray market solutions and work arounds to premium content.
 

bfreebern

Yada, Yada, Yada.
Breedy said:
 
I've been wanting to do this for some time, but just can't fathom the idea of being able to watch local channel sports. Other than that, we rarely watch TV other than the occasional Discovery Channel show, or Duck Dynasty. Typically, we stream movies, or series shows. 
So far we are about 2 weeks in and things are going pretty well. The kids have plenty to watch and my wife is happy. Netflix Streaming gives us a fairly large selection of series to watch, but is a little light on new release movies. For the once or twice a month we want a DVD I'll look into Red Box.

There are lots of gray market solutions and work arounds to premium content.
 
 
Yep, the first month was the hardest for me as well.  As we moved on with it, we got more comfortable and found work around for pretty much everything we needed.  I was surprised how much we DVR'd and watched at a later date.  Still miss my MNF or NFL network, but that's about it.  Everything else falls into place.  The kids have plenty to watch on Netflix, but like you said it is light on new release movies.  Apple TV has movies you can rent and so does Amazon, but when you compare it to the $1.20 @ Redbox, that's a no brainer.  I just wish there was an on demand Redbox app/station.
 

duglynukem

Nuclear Advocate
I have Direct TV, DSL a Roku and Amazon Prime at our place in Iowa and cable TV with cable high speed internet in Florida. The monthly fees just keep going up. It seems like a lot of money to pay for commercial TV and commercials on most internet sites.

I grew up with a half dozen channels over the air and seemed to be happy with it. Where did I go wrong?
Hey Brandon, you can get Redbox over the air. I have the app on my Playstation. I haven't tried it yet.
 

bfreebern

Yada, Yada, Yada.
duglynukem said:
I have Direct TV, DSL a Roku and Amazon Prime at our place in Iowa and cable TV with cable high speed internet in Florida. The monthly fees just keep going up. It seems like a lot of money to pay for commercial TV and commercials on most internet sites.

I grew up with a half dozen channels over the air and seemed to be happy with it. Where did I go wrong?
 
You were probably the channel changer as well.....when the parents needed it changed.
 

extremeXconcepts

eXtreme Concepts
Nice. Thanks for all the info. Ill have to look into this. Right now we have ATT u-verse but there is not TV service at my new house, so they gave us dish network instead. So far we are happy with all that we have. Phone, Internet and TV with 1 Genie, and 3 Minis is running us around $130 a month.
 

Sweetrice80

Deaf Mofo
I did this too last year, I am going on 1 year and 3 months cable free and quite honestly I will never look back.  Yes I do miss the sports channels and such, but I have found a ton of free streaming sports casting on the net that gives me all my Steelers and Pirates games that I need to watch.  
 
I have never given Roku a shot, mostly due to the fact that its so expensive for what is inside the box.  Last month I brought chromecast from google for $35, it has been so awesome, that I brought 3 of them to give to my family and friends for christmas.  Though it does not have as many apps yet as Roku, it will get there with the google releasing the SDK for developers.  Just last week, they released 10 more apps one which allows me to stream my desktop computer to my chromecast.  I fully believe within the next five years that companies will start doing some pay for channel apps.  I would totally pay $5 for just the history channel, which is the only channel I miss from general cable.  I know I can go online to stream it on their website but you must be a subscriber to a cable company to watch any of the newest episodes.
 
My biggest thing I have with not having cable is my damn over the air antenna   I currently have an clearstream micron indoor antenna but I am always moving it around depending on what channel I am watching, ABC and CBS work well in one part of the apartment, and ION and NBC work better at another location in my apartment.  I am guessing this has something to do with me being in an apartment as I looked up my over the air channels from my location and I should be able to pull in 60 channels from my location but I can never get all 60 channels with the antenna being at one location.  I guess its a small price to pay to save some money.
 
David 
 

Breedy

Busted
Redbox has an app/streaming service. I believe it's runs about $8 a month and gets you 4 rentals per month from a physical box and streaming content similar to Netflix.

As to the NFL I believe there is a Sunday Ticket app, that allows you to stream all the games.

David, do you have a balcony? How are the towers located in relation? Some of the things I read during research said you could see as much 50% signal loss with interior attic mounting vs outside mounting with the same antenna. From looking online the multi-directional units are pretty unobtrusive. They look, and probably are, the same as ones of RVs;a saucer shaped disc.
 

duglynukem

Nuclear Advocate
bfreebern said:
I have Direct TV, DSL a Roku and Amazon Prime at our place in Iowa and cable TV with cable high speed internet in Florida. The monthly fees just keep going up. It seems like a lot of money to pay for commercial TV and commercials on most internet sites.
I grew up with a half dozen channels over the air and seemed to be happy with it. Where did I go wrong?
 
You were probably the channel changer as well.....when the parents needed it changed.
Yup. That was pre-remote control too. I would really get winded when dad was surfing the channels
 

bfreebern

Yada, Yada, Yada.
Breedy said:
Redbox has an app/streaming service. I believe it's runs about $8 a month and gets you 4 rentals per month from a physical box and streaming content similar to Netflix.

As to the NFL I believe there is a Sunday Ticket app, that allows you to stream all the games.

David, do you have a balcony? How are the towers located in relation? Some of the things I read during research said you could see as much 50% signal loss with interior attic mounting vs outside mounting with the same antenna. From looking online the multi-directional units are pretty unobtrusive. They look, and probably are, the same as ones of RVs;a saucer shaped disc.
 
 
Anyone have any experience with the streaming Redbox?  I looked and it's $8/month for streaming content, along with 4 kiosk rentals, which seems like a pretty good deal.  There is a DirectTV app, but without a subscription, you can't get the NFL ticket.  I think it would be cool if you could get the Sunday Ticket, separate of a DirectTV subscription.  I'd pay and download the app, then push it to our TV through Apple TV AirPlay.  Until then, I'll continue to suffer through not seeing every Green Bay game.
 
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