HELP! How Do Get Rid of Cable/U-Verse/Direct TV and Yet Have Good Options?

Discussion in 'Home Theater & Video' started by BirdLives, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. BirdLives

    BirdLives Super Member

    Messages:
    1,565
    Location:
    The Lou' (Baseball Heaven)
    I'm DONE with Cable! Charter now wants to charge me $180+ for crappy service and awful programming choices. I hate ATT U-Verse and the Direct TV option equally.

    There's got to be a way for me to set up an affordable option for internet service and entertainment choices. I have Amazon prime, my goal is to watch less (but good) TV and sports are a necessity.

    Who's faced this fork in the road and what choices have you made? Roku? Hulu? Firesticks? Netflicks?

    I need to pull the plug on these greedy %#@*& soon... how about some good options, AKers?

    Many thanks...
     

     

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  2. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Read a book? <G>

    I've heard some good about Playstation.Vue ... that will run you about $50 for a decent package with sports, but you'll also need to buy your internet connection separate ...

    PS - too late for U-Verse anyway. No more new connections or additions to service area, and rumor is they're phasing out the service since the DirecTV acquisition.
     
  3. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,733
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsula
    I don't know what kind of TVs you have but most can be connected to a computer and your internet if you have a smart TV.

    You could get rid of cable and then watch just about anything you want to off the computer just having internet. The TVs can be monitors or if they are smart you can use them to get on the web. Just about all programing is on the net these days as well as many other options you don't get on cable.

    I also don't know how many people live in your house, but you could also add gb to your mobile phone plan and use it as a hot spot running your computers and TVs off it at night in your home, getting rid of the house internet.
     
  4. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,733
    Location:
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  5. Audiofreak71

    Audiofreak71 Boerboelicious Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,625
    Location:
    PNW
    I ditched cable over a year ago and bought a Streaming box I think it's called Streamsmart, anyway I bought it outright about $250 and I stream all my shows and I can get anything from movies to sports to TV shows as well as TV in different countries if I wanted. It's all legal and I can watch what I want when I want with NO monthly fees!.

    Audiofreak71
     
  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,479
    Location:
    SCS, MI (near a lake)
    If you're in a larger market, a TV antenna and tuner (likely built into the TV) will bring in some programming. I'm lucky to be in a "border" area, so I also can pick up Canadian programming in addition to US. I'm currently watching Olympics coverage on CBC, who is airing about 12 or 13 hours of Olympics coverage per day. Beyond that we get all the major networks along with a handful of independent stations which I've never seen before.

    I'm using a network-based tuner, the HDHomeRun Connect Duo. I'm still struggling to find a workable DVR but picture quality is as good as what we get with our TV's tuners, if not better. (It actually scans and receives more channels, and I've only seen a few dropouts during one evening for a few minutes.)

    My better half has her Netflix, and she gets her PBS fix over the antenna, so that's all we need here.
     

     

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  7. NeedForSpeed

    NeedForSpeed Hands Off The Stereo Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,851
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    We just pulled the plug on our Dish. Went to Slingbox/HULU/And Over the air. Went from $200 a month, To $60.
     
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  8. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,546
    A qualification for PBS.

    From my recent experience - you can watch archived shows when they show up on their website on your computer/laptop/phone. You won't get live tv broadcasts. And if you want, connect up your laptop via HDMI to your tv to watch.

    If you use some sort of stick device and are subscribing to a streaming service, like DirecTV Now (which is not dish based), then PBS gets you.

    You must enable the PBS app via a code you get off of the tv screen/app, then login to the PBS website.

    Back on your TV, you will then discover that *some* of the content is free, while other content (the recent premier stuff) is 'locked' as Passport Member only. So to get that content you need to 'support' PBS by becoming a member ($5/mo or $60/yr).
     
  9. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,479
    Location:
    SCS, MI (near a lake)
    That's a fair price IMHO--for anyone who watches a few PBS programs, that's a good deal.

    Now if some of the sports networks would do that, with no contract or yearly commitment, I'd be on board. I only would watch NHL playoffs and the occasional NCAA football game, although for the latter, I am finding the few games I want to watch are televised on ABC, so I don't miss much there.

    The CBC has apps to stream online, but I would have to run it through my VPN service which connects in Toronto. I have never tried it, but I'm thinking the latency through the VPN service would cause a poor picture and/or dropouts.
     
  10. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,546
    By itself, the price isn't too bad, but the fees start to add up if you cut the cord with cable and you have add'l channels to 'plug up' with some of these streaming services.

    CBS is another example - live (or archived) CBS content is not available via DirecTV Now in my area. I'd have to spend another $5/mo to subscribe to that.

    There are some others that I'd like to have, but with each add'l $5/month, the costs start to stack up to parity again with Wrecktum.

    Everyone's wants/needs will be different; just do your homework and crunch the costs.

    For me, even if I can save a total of $1 per month over Wrecktum by streaming and signing up for a bunch of channels, it'll be worth it just to dump all the DVRs back in their lap and tell them to pound sand.
     
  11. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,479
    Location:
    SCS, MI (near a lake)
    True! It likely depends on what a household watches. Other than the Olympics, there will be nothing I'll watch on TV. Even now, the Olympics play in a small window on the computer while I'm working or doing other things. My better half watches Netflix and PBS, but we also have the advantage of being in a major TV market and can get all of the networks over the air. (If I could get some larger antennae higher up, I could even pull in Toledo OH's network stations like I used to--that was handy when local programming was blacked out.) For the limited sporting events I might watch, a two month subscription would cover a season of playoff action.

    I can see how it would add up if there were no way to receive OTA broadcasts.

    I did similar with Comcast so many years ago. I dumped my cable modem off at their local office and cancelled service. Few months later, the collectors are calling me, trying to bill me for the cable modem. Complaining never worked, so I went around them and contacted our state's public service commission. You never saw Comcast act faster after that, apologizing and removing the erroneous charge within a week. :D I did try to get Xfinity a few years ago, but it took them five weeks and they still couldn't figure out how to roll a truck out here to drop a line from the pole to the house. That is all they needed to do! Five weeks. I see their ineptitude has only grown stronger over the years. ;) (And I went back to a competitor--slightly better deal, slightly faster speed.)
     

     

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  12. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,546
    I live at the bottom of a canyon and don't get line of sight to any broadcast towers.

    That said, I ordered an indoor powered antenna to try upstairs, just to see if I can pull in any local stations OTA.

    If so, then I was thinking that I could cancel Wrecktum, and use the in-house coax cable wiring to distribute the antenna signals to other rooms with add'l splitters/amps.
     
  13. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,479
    Location:
    SCS, MI (near a lake)
    Maybe we need a separate antenna thread. ;) If not, maybe my babblings will help anyone similarly cutting the cord.

    I tried an antenna preamp, but I bought it a couple of years ago and it appears to be DOA, so I can't return it. So instead, I picked up a Channel Master distribution amplifier, and it's sturdy and works perfectly. My coaxial situation is not ideal, but I plan to rewire and reroute everything once the weather breaks. I ganged two antennas to get signals from two different directions; from what I understand, they needed to be at least 15 ft. apart so they did not interfere with each other's patterns, and I couldn't just use a 2-to-1 splitter to combine them--I actually had to buy a specific combiner to combine them outside. My signal from Canada is not 100% ideal, but on the other hand, I have not had any dropouts while watching. When I first installed the HDHomeRun, though, I was getting poor reception and dropouts on the TVs in the house as well as the new toy. I found that the 1-into-4 splitter outdoors has an insertion loss, and it was older (it was already attached to the house, inside a plastic box), so I substituted that with a grounding adapter and everything improved greatly.

    And as you know, height is your friend when installing antennas. My south (Canada) antenna is not at an ideal height but still gets a perfectly good signal--I may be only nine or ten feet from the ground. My west antenna is higher, but still not ideal, yet I get 100% on the stronger channels. If you're in a canyon, I'm wondering if a few feet either way will really make a difference or not--ideally it'd be a half mile high tower to peek out from the canyon, but that's a little bit inconvenient, I'd say. ;) Let us know how that antenna works out!
     
  14. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,546
    Yeah, I have a feeling if I put a mast up for 'proper' reception, I'd need to put FAA lights for aircraft warning. :oops::p

    Back on topic - I have noticed some buffering via my Roku Stick Plus during the Olympics last night using DirecTV Now. It wasn't related to my wifi as I did a check with my android phone connected to the 5GHz band and was getting 56 Mbps. The display said something like "Your connection was lost, but we are working on it." The worst buffering was about 10-15 seconds.

    I've read on the interweb (;)) that practically *every* streaming service experienced buffering during the Superbowl.

    So, that is a very valid concern for me. Hopefully as streaming services mature more, that infrastructure will be beefed up to ensure a non-interrupted stream for high demand content.
     
  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,479
    Location:
    SCS, MI (near a lake)
    I'm trying to debug playback of my HDHomeRun on a Nexus Player at the moment. I can stream ripped BluRay files from the server downstairs via WiFi with no issues whatsoever, yet it drops out with HDHomeRun. Can't be WiFi--I get a full signal reading on everything in this room. Is it the Nexus Player? Well, it's newer hardware than my Nexus 7 tablet, and that streams HDHomeRun perfectly even in a remote part of the house. But it might be a little bit limited in memory or processing power...although that theory is kind of shot when I can stream a ripped BluRay folder (not converted to an MKV file) with no issues.

    As for incoming bandwidth, I have 100Mbps service here now. Even if both of us were streaming, that should nowhere near saturate our incoming bandwidth, unless there is a lot of this activity upstream on our provider's network.
     
  16. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,358
    Location:
    west Texas
    If I didn't like Velocity, Smithsonian, Hallmark, TCM, and a few other channels I would tell direct tv to take a hike and go back to Antenna's only. Between the RV which is off right now and the house thats $2700.00 bucks a year. OUCH Ouch. Have close to 1400 DVD's so I don't need the movie channels as I once did.
     

     

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  17. nackesww

    nackesww Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    New Auburn, Wisconsin
    Were in the process of dropping Direct TV. I have bought 3 Amazon fire TVs and I really like them. If you have a smart TV you should be able to download the apps right now. I also have Netflix and hulu and plenty of other apps. The only thing I'm worried about is making sure I can watch all the NFL games.
     
  18. hnash53

    hnash53 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,572
    Location:
    The beautiful Oregon Coast
    Youtube TV has lots of sports plus local TV. It's worth a look.

    Know that if you stream all of your video, you will want to up your bandwidth... and that will add to your total viewing costs.
     

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