Our City Online

Messageboard - Everyday Chit Chat

NOTE: You are viewing an archived version of the Columbus Underground forums/messageboard. As of 05/22/16 they have been closed to new comments and replies, but will remain accessible for archived searches and reference. For more information CLICK HERE

Cutting the Wire - Goodbye Cable TV

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Everyday Chit Chat Cutting the Wire – Goodbye Cable TV

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 109 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1013119
    hugh59
    hugh59
    Participant

    There are threads discussing internet providers and cable providers. I looked around and did not find a thread discussing cutting the cable and surviving without cable TV. I am going to share my experiences as we cut the cable.

    We have a bundle through WOW for cable, internet, and phone. We have the lowest internet service (I tested the downloads at 2 Mbps) and the mid-level of channels (about 140). We have no premium channels.

    The bundle is $101/mo but then there $5 for the HD Receiver, $4.50 for the broadcast TV surcharge, $4 for the telephone line fee, $5 for the advanced modem, and $8.70 for other taxes and fees. All told, our bill is $130.20/mo. This is too much for too little service.

    Our viewing habits are pretty minimal. We watch COSMOS and THE BIG BANG THEORY (either live or I record them on my computer using Windows Media Center). We also watch a few PBS shows during the week. We sometimes watch MYTHBUSTERS; we sometimes watch Turner Classic Movies. I think we could probably see all of the specific shows by going to the network websites – though probably not in HD.

    Step one: we are researching internet service providers and telephone service providers (which for stand alone service probably means AT&T). I will report back what we find when I have more time.

    Step two: we need an antenna to receive local broadcasts. I wonder if I can plug both the TV and my computer’s TV card into the antenna – will Windows Media Center record from broadcast digital signals? We shall see. I did a little research on antennas and found that price does not mean quality. There is an $11 RCA antenna that gets good reviews. Another RCA antenna in the $30 range also gets good reviews, as does a similarly priced Mohu antenna. I am going to start with the $11 antenna since it is available locally.

    #1013123
    Coremodels
    Coremodels
    Participant

    I’m still trying to figure out how to dump my cable and keep HBO Go. I find that out, its gone.

    #1013124
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Congrats on making the switch! We’ve been nearly 7 years without cable tv (just basic cable modem service) and we have no landline or voip line and just use our cell phones.

    We’ve saved approximately $5,040 in the past seven years.

    We watch tv with Hulu, Youtube and Netflix primarily across our main living room tv, laptops, phones and 3DSs. It’s easy and convenient and we don’t really miss the shows that are harder to find.

    I have no advice on the local HD antenna setup, as we never did that. We don’t watch anything local like tv news.

    #1013125

    mbeaumont
    Participant

    We finally cut the cord a few months ago and I can’t imagine ever going back, to be honest. We’re saving $150 a month, and I don’t feel I’m making any real sacrifices. Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, iTunes, plus the HD antennae for both TVs means we’re able to watch everything we did before.

    Core, as for HBOGo, just find a friend that has HBO and use their login. HBO is on record saying they know people do it and they don’t really care for the time being. I know it’s not the most honest approach, but I would happily pay them a monthly fee if they offered it without a cable account, but they don’t.

    #1013126

    Chicken
    Participant

    Core, as for HBOGo, just find a friend that has HBO and use their login. HBO is on record saying they know people do it and they don’t really care for the time being. I know it’s not the most honest approach, but I would happily pay them a monthly fee if they offered it without a cable account, but they don’t.

    This is the answer. I’ve been doing it for about a year with no problems.

    Hopefully HBO’s recent deal with Amazon is a sign that they may be moving HBO Go to a subscription model sometime in the near future, in which case I will gladly pay.

    #1013128
    Jason Powell
    Jason Powell
    Participant

    We cut ours about a year ago and we have no regrets…and more money in our pockets. There is nothing but garbage on cable TV anymore anyway. They should just change it to reality TV. I do miss HGTV, Food Network and a few other channels but those are partially substituted by “Create”, one of the basic cable channels. We subscribed to Netflix and even though the shows/movies are somewhat limited, there is still enough material to keep us occupied on more than a few rainy days. Now that we do not have 200+ channels to choose from at a ridiculous price, I also find myself with less distractions and can now be more productive with other things in life.

    #1013130

    theadocj
    Participant

    Totally understand where you’re coming from, but I feel like you all probably have something in common that I’m reading between the lines: no interest in sports. We live as organic and local as possible, use car sharing programs, and do most of the other things that folks on here do to live a healthier and a little bit more alternative of a lifestyle…except my wife and I love sports. On a slow evening we love to watch Reds games. We both do fantasy football and love watching NFL and Monday Night Football. The fall is special because of OSU football, and I would never want to miss out on special things like the World Cup, Kentucky Derby, March Madness, etc!
    To our knowledge, and that of our sports-loving friends, there is no way to access the sports we want to see without cable. We don’t watch the garbage on cable except for a few specialty networks and the premiums like HBO…but as much as I hate to say it we couldn’t live without ESPN and the specialty sports networks. If they had that available a la carte, I would totally support cutting the cable too, as we did with phone a long time ago, obviously. Thoughts?

    #1013131

    geoyui
    Participant

    I cut the cord last year and love it. Save about $100/month. Netflix, youtube, HD antenna. Haven’t gotten into Hulu though, not sure why.

    In terms of the RCA antenna, I have a $20 one and it works great. I receive all the basic channels in HD, no issues.

    I do miss watching sporting events. That’s primarily why I picked up an HD antenna. Any other major sporting events I just head to a bar (like when the CBJ are playing).

    Another option that is still being fought in DC is Aereo. It’s not available yet in Cbus, but they want to come here.

    #1013133

    GCrites80s
    Participant

    Totally understand where you’re coming from, but I feel like you all probably have something in common that I’m reading between the lines: no interest in sports. We live as organic and local as possible, use car sharing programs, and do most of the other things that folks on here do to live a healthier and a little bit more alternative of a lifestyle…except my wife and I love sports. On a slow evening we love to watch Reds games. We both do fantasy football and love watching NFL and Monday Night Football. The fall is special because of OSU football, and I would never want to miss out on special things like the World Cup, Kentucky Derby, March Madness, etc!<br>
    To our knowledge, and that of our sports-loving friends, there is no way to access the sports we want to see without cable. We don’t watch the garbage on cable except for a few specialty networks and the premiums like HBO…but as much as I hate to say it we couldn’t live without ESPN and the specialty sports networks. If they had that available a la carte, I would totally support cutting the cable too, as we did with phone a long time ago, obviously. Thoughts?

    firstrowsports.eu
    Quality’s meh and lots of popups to dodge, but admission is FREE!

    #1013134
    Coremodels
    Coremodels
    Participant

    The problem with finding a friend, I’m currently that friend for 3 other people :D

    #1013136

    NerosNeptune
    Participant

    For your question about using an antenna, yes you could get a splitter and run it to both your TV and your media center. And WMC will record from the antenna just fine.

    http://www.antennaweb.org/ will tell you what sort of reception you can expect at your address, and recommend certain types of antennas that will be good for you.

    Unfortunately it will probably be a while yet before channels like HBO and ESPN are available without cable. Right now HBO is getting a lot more guaranteed money from the cable companies than they figure they could make selling HBO Go standalone. It is getting closer though.. Comcast advertises an Internet, local channels, and HBO Go bundle now. http://www.comcast.com/internet-service.html

    #1013141
    hugh59
    hugh59
    Participant

    That is my plan – to use a single antenna for both the WMC and the TV.

    The more I think about how much programming we watch (and the kind of programming we watch), we might be able to survive without subscribing to one of the streaming services. As once commenter noted, we are not sports fans.

    One thing we will miss is Turner Classic Movies. About once or twice a week we take a look to see what is playing. Every so often we end up watching something just because it was on, not because we really were interested – at least at first. We have been surprised by some excellent old movies.

    But there is no rush. We can always add a streaming service later.

    One thing I need to research is cable modems. I don’t know if we will stay with WOW or go to Time Warner (or go with some other service – like DSL, assuming it is even available in Olde Towne East). I wonder if there are any modems I can pick up at MicroCenter that will work with any possible provider.

    I plan to keep notes at this thread about the choices we make so that others can learn from our successes (and our mistakes).

    #1013142

    mbeaumont
    Participant

    Totally understand where you’re coming from, but I feel like you all probably have something in common that I’m reading between the lines: no interest in sports. We live as organic and local as possible, use car sharing programs, and do most of the other things that folks on here do to live a healthier and a little bit more alternative of a lifestyle…except my wife and I love sports. On a slow evening we love to watch Reds games. We both do fantasy football and love watching NFL and Monday Night Football. Thoughts?

    Oh I hear you. I’m a huge NFL/Browns fan. Fortunately, nearly all the Browns games are on locally, so I can bring them in via the HD antenna. And my Mom has Sunday Ticket, so I use her login for the Sunday Ticket app if WBNS is showing the Bengals instead.

    If the Browns are on NFL Network or something, I just watch at a bar. I also subscribe to NFL Rewind, so I can watch all the games throughout the course of the week if I want to catch up on non-Browns stuff.

    As for other sports, I’m a pretty casual fan, so I just attend some Crew games, and follow others online when I can. It’s not perfect, but it’s not too bad. That is the biggest area of sacrifice though when it comes to cord-cutting.

    #1013156

    Rockmastermike
    Participant

    Step two: we need an antenna to receive local broadcasts. I wonder if I can plug both the TV and my computer’s TV card into the antenna – will Windows Media Center record from broadcast digital signals? We shall see. I did a little research on antennas and found that price does not mean quality. There is an $11 RCA antenna that gets good reviews. Another RCA antenna in the $30 range also gets good reviews, as does a similarly priced Mohu antenna. I am going to start with the $11 antenna since it is available locally.

    You can use a splitter to split antenna signal to two receivers. However you will experience about 3db loss to each even with a good splitter.

    That being said I have no trouble at all splitting signal on my home-made antenna between my DVDrecorder and my TV. Reception is perfect 1080 (some stations are still only 720) with dolby 5.1 surroundsound.

    A few things about antennas:
    Here in C-bus you ONLY need UHF. You do NOT need the big VHF “rabit ears”. It’s all UHF (i.e. >400mhz) so the smaller antennas designed for UHF only will actually work better than the bigger ones designed for VHF/UHF. UHF only antennas also tend to be cheaper, so win-win.

    Depending on where you are in town, many of the broadcast stations actually come in perfectly with just with a paperclip (unfolded) jammed in the antenna jack because the signals are so strong. Try it. UHF wavelengths are only about 6″, so a short little piece of wire works pretty well.

    The strong signals actually work against you in some cases because some antenna configurations will pick up signal reflections (called multipath interference). That kind of interference used to produce ‘ghost’ images in analog but digital just goes pixely and shuts down.

    DO NOT use an amplified antenna. Here in town the signals are so strong you don’t need it and the amp will just amp up the interference and make the situation more difficult.

    the WB channel 53 is 25+ miles south of town and is the weakest signal in town. Up on the second floor of my house even the most basic interior antenna picks it up fine but it has to be aimed in the right direction.

    Anyway, I’m getting excellent results with a home-made directional yagi type antenna mounted to the side of the house (just to declutter the livingroom a bit and avoid multipath from interior walls) using the old cable lines to bring it in. I have it aimed south to pick up 53, which is the weakest signal. It picks up all the rest just by default because they’re so strong. Reception is flawless with zero issues.

    Nothing wrong with the simple inside antennas. I have one of these on a second floor tv and it works great, but with a few seconds of interference from people walking around the room or when the police copter flies overhead.

    http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Flat-Indoor-Antenna-Sewell/dp/B00BIO9VSE/ref=sr_1_163?s=audio-video-accessories&ie=UTF8&qid=1399139583&sr=1-163

    yes it’s just two laminated sheets of cardstock with antenna elements embedded between the pages and a matching transformer. Mount it high up on a south facing wall and it works perfectly well.

    #1013157

    Liner Notes
    Participant

    We cut the cord over 4 years ago and have no regrets. As mentioned already, live sports is really the only difficult thing for to watch without cable. I do the firstrow site GCrites80s mentions and it’ll do for me. Watched many Buckeye games and the Rose Bowl just fine.

    I’ve been lucky enough to keep renewing or getting a similar price for my ATT Uverse internet. For $35/mo. +tax and no equipment fee, I get their Max Turbo service with downstream at 24Mbps.

    And I’ve tried every antenna Target carries from $10 to $40. The $10 one turned out to be the best. Has anyone tried Aereo?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 109 total)

The forum ‘Everyday Chit Chat’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Subscribe below: