Alternatives to Cable, Fios or Direct TV, etc.?

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by BBW, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    If you find yourself paying for many channels you never watch but do want to see certain channels (for me that's public TV in my NY area which means three chanels) and possibly a few more...but are sick of paying for all sorts of stuff you don't want and don't care about, what do you do?

    We tried an antennae, granted it was not on the roof, and we live just outside of NYC but the reception was terrible.

    As far as I can see, our three area PBS stations do not offer streaming though I am sure at some point they'll have to.

    Do you use your television and not worry about what it costs or do you have an alternative "plan" AKA method?
     
  2. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    Funny you should mention that as we've just begun our cord-cutting experiment. For our specific location, cable was our only option; too many trees in the way for satellite.

    What I was kind of shocked to discover: buying the shows in HD on Apple TV was, essentially, about the same as the cost of cable for us. Granted, there are several shows we watch that we can't get that way, and some we don't care enough about to buy. Plus, a lot of those are maybe gettable via over-the-air.

    So, we've got a multi-stage plan:

    1) We went out and bought a newer Apple TV and bought a Boxee Box.
    2) We're having an antenna guy come over.

    I asked for help on this forum. They seem to have a fair number of cord cutters.

    The best thing you can do is get a signal analysis for your address. It's free and will at least tell you how good things are likely to be.
     
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  3. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    How about a good book :)

    We have an antenna (15 miles west of Boston -- great reception on the locals) and a mac mini hooked up to the TV which serves as DVD player, DVR, Hulu and other web content. I will not pay for 300 channels of garbage (though I do have XM!)
     
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  4. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 8, 2010
    We have cable, and also use it for Internet access, but the strange thing we only use on-demand and DVR. We rarely watch live cable TV. We also have Netflix and we also have an Apple TV. Personally, I could do without cable, but the wife likes some shows that only it provides.

    We are in a transition time. In a year or two I'm sure that it will be much easier to go without things like cable.
     
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  5. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Just peeked at your "What I Saw" blog. Love this shot http://andrewteee.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/summer_vacation_2011.jpg!
     
  6. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 8, 2010
  7. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Great pig, Andrew!!

    Thanks you all, I can see that I will have to do some more research. I hate reading about technical stuff, but am so sick of the $$$$. As for reading, I'm a big reader but I do want to see PBS stations and I want to be able to watch the News Hour when it is broadcast. Plus I'm addicted to most of Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery.:wink:

    I don't know much about Apple TV and nothing about a Boxee Box, deirdre but I will read about both!

    wt21, is your antenna on the roof and does it turn or what?

    Appreciate everyone's responses very much!
     
  8. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Real Name:
    Jason
    I watch more TV than I should. I have cable with a DVR. I DVR a good bit of stuff on SyFy, USA, and TNT. Honestly, if I could get the major networks plus those three stations "a la carte" I would.
     
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  9. Warren T.

    Warren T. SC Regular

    27
    Apr 8, 2011
    San Francisco
    We have never subscribed to cable or satellite. We've always viewed off-the-air broadcast TV. When the US went digital, we stayed with OTA broadcast digital TV using converter boxes on our old sets. Fortunately, we live close to a huge broadcast transmission antenna (Sutro Tower) in San Francisco, so we're able to receive all the available digital stations, which as it turns out, gives us much more choice than the old analog TV stations.

    We also subscribe to Netflix, and for the last six months or so, we've been enjoying streaming video over high speed internet using an inexpensive ROKU box hooked up to our living room TV. With the ROKU, we have access to different streaming sources like Netflix, Amazon Video on demand, Hulu, Youtube, and many other sources. You can also do this with other Internet enabled devices attached to your TV.

    --Warren
     
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  10. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    Warren T, we don't live that far from each other -- it'd be fun to go out on a shoot sometime.
     
  11. Warren T.

    Warren T. SC Regular

    27
    Apr 8, 2011
    San Francisco
    Sure Deirdre, sounds like fun :smile:. Did you ever go to one of the Bay Area RFF group outings to SFMOMA? I might have seen you at one, but didn't have a chance to introduce myself.

    Warren
     
  12. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    I did go to the HCB outing, but so far just been to the one event.
     
  13. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw SC Rookie S.C. Charter Member

    11
    Jul 11, 2010
    I haven't had cable in almost 8 years. I've been using rabbit ears ever since ditching cable. I'm getting several HD stations and that will increase by the end of this month. Even with rabbit ears, they have to be positioned optimally or you do not get the station. I'm happy with what I have and with the savings I've accumulated thus far. I have no plans to switch away from my rabbit ears.