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MicroApple
Oct 3, 2010, 03:53 PM
Well here is my exact setup now that everything is done. I was able to switch off my satellite, and switch to Apple TV, and still access all my stuff, and still keep my services like DVR, and get some extra features like SlingBox, and still save money.

Shows I watch: Lot of movies and old seasons of TV shows on netflix, and a bunch of shows on local TV, IE Office, 30 Rock, SNL etc, and some on other channels that are paid.


Before Apple TV:
Dish Network - $50/month (with DVR)
Netflix - 9$/month
------------------
$708/year


After Apple TV:
1) I downgraded my Dish Network to local channels only so I can have quality local channels instead of crappy DTV stuff. Plus I get to keep my DVR to record shows. Downgraded to $17/month, You can either do this or downgrade to Comcast Basic Cable (local only + Discovery channel)

2) Netflix - 9$/month works great on the new Apple TV
------------------------------------------------------
$396/year

I saved 708-396 = $312 yearly
------------------------------------------------------
Now I have local channels (most of the shows I watch are here anyways) + DVR Service. To get my premium channels (maybe 2 seasons a year)
------------------------------------------------------
They aren't available for .99 rentals so i'll buy each episode for 2.99 on iTunes
(24 episodes x $2.99) x 2 shows = $143.52/yearly
------------------------------------------------------
312 - 143.52 = $168.48/yearly in savings total


Now I have all my TV shows (I probably wont spend that much in TV shows probably anyways). Either way its $150 savings, more probably if you don't watch alot of premiums shows like me or can wait until they arrive on Netflix.



Now to solve the problem of TV you watch when there is nothing new on, like re-runs and stuff, you can watch the old reruns on netflix, some local channels, saved stuff on DVR, Youtube, etc.

And extra stuff with that 168$ saved yearly you can buy some other extra services like SlingBox.

Pretty good setup for me, works well. Don't know if this translates to any of you but I thought I'd share.



Shanewilliams
Oct 3, 2010, 04:22 PM
Almost exactly what I did. The only tv I really watched on dish was a&e and the history channel. Most of the shows I watched are available for instant streaming on netflix anyways! So I completely shut my dish off yesterday evening after we got the apple tv hooked up. I had originally just bought my daughter one for her birthday but once I seen the potential to save money I went back and purchased another one! All HBO, Showtime and cinemax are nowadays are repeat of what played a day or so before anyways! So, I'm looking to save close to $1100 a year with my apple tv's and if the family don't like it, they can go get a job and start paying some bills themselves! Lol

TheStork
Oct 3, 2010, 04:41 PM
I have a Mac Mini HTPC w/Plex, original Apple TV hot rodded with an external eSata drive, a Roku HD-XR and a Wii. Oh, yeah, and DirecTV.

Unfortunately, I like college sports (Big Ten Network, etc.) and the business cable/sat channels CNBC & FBN and The Weather Channel. If I could find those streaming live, I'd join you guys in dumping DirecTV in a heart beat. Too bad, I'm not a baseball fan because the Roku streams MLB.tv beautifully, or so I'm told. I need the equivalent for NCAA football & basketball and the Big Ten Network. And in HD. Once you watch sports in HD, you can't go back.

Oh, and the WAF is highest on the DIY/HGTV and the news cable/sat channels. (WAF = Wife Acceptance Factor)

So, good for you guys. Well, I've joined you for part of the adventure. :)

From A Buick 8
Oct 3, 2010, 06:47 PM
I would be there, but i need my cable service for my internet access. You have to have their digital service in order to get internet from them. I tried using the service from our local phone company but that was not much better then dial-up.

tapper2x
Oct 20, 2010, 08:15 AM
I would be there, but i need my cable service for my internet access. You have to have their digital service in order to get internet from them. I tried using the service from our local phone company but that was not much better then dial-up.

I went and got a Sprint Sierra wireless hot spot, bridged the connection via USB on my (YUK) windows PC and used it to light up my apple network. Works pretty good, i'm fortunate I have 4g service at home. Nice thing is you can take your own network with you for iPad/iPhone and any wireless device up to 5. Speed is good, there is lag so playing online games may be a limitation, but I don't play online so it works for me.

Netflix on ATV2 is great, good content especially for History channel stuff.

Do miss ESPN for Nascar.

trip1ex
Oct 20, 2010, 08:48 AM
All depends on what you watch, how much you watch, how many in your household watch and how much you pay.

I pay $65/month for FIOS 15/5 internet, TV and phone plus box/cablecard fees.

If I cut the cord I would still need the $45 internet plan.

From A Buick 8
Oct 20, 2010, 09:37 AM
I went and got a Sprint Sierra wireless hot spot, bridged the connection via USB on my (YUK) windows PC and used it to light up my apple network. Works pretty good, i'm fortunate I have 4g service at home. Nice thing is you can take your own network with you for iPad/iPhone and any wireless device up to 5. Speed is good, there is lag so playing online games may be a limitation, but I don't play online so it works for me.

Netflix on ATV2 is great, good content especially for History channel stuff.

Do miss ESPN for Nascar.

I am not 100% sure i understand all of the different terms. Currently through cable we have their 20 MbPS service (avg 15 to 22 using speedtest). When we used the DSL service through the phone compnay we had 1 to 4 Mbps.

So what Mbps to you see with sprint.

87vert
Oct 20, 2010, 11:07 AM
I used to pay 95 a month for DirecTV. I canceled it all use OTA for my locals and pirate the shows and movies I want to watch. I just watch them a day late and get no commercials. :D

Only thing I'm missing is hockey but I can live with that.

dXTC
Oct 20, 2010, 11:41 AM
Oh, and the WAF is highest on the DIY/HGTV and the news cable/sat channels. (WAF = Wife Acceptance Factor)

So, good for you guys. Well, I've joined you for part of the adventure. :)

Agreed on the WAF. In my wife's case, add in HBO's "True Blood" to the DIY and Food Network stuff. Now, if TB's available via NetFlix or iTunes, that could sway my wife to drop to basic service, so that we could still get local and keep our DVR; we're both tired of paying so much for one or maybe two channels. Dish Network is rather sneaky about its packaging tiers.

We've already got the :apple:tv and she likes it, so that part of the objective is already accomplished.

newagemac
Oct 20, 2010, 02:05 PM
We used to pay $95 or more a month for Directv. Dropped it completely and now use free OTA for ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, and more in beautiful HD. I already owned an HD HomeRun device and use Elgato's excellent Eyetv software so our Macs can record shows in HD off these channels and even watch them live on our computers if we want. The Apple TV streams the recorded shows to the big screen HDTV and we couldn't ask for a better setup. We can also access all the shows we recorded plus live TV on our iPhones and iPads using their iOS app.

Netflix Watch Instantly on the Apple TV is great for convenient access to a large variety of movies and tv shows and we can rent hit movies on the Apple TV as soon as they come out on DVD/Blu-Ray if we don't want to wait for the disc to come from Netflix.

Bottom line we ended up saving almost $1200 a year.

emaja
Oct 20, 2010, 02:29 PM
I would love to do the same, but sports make it impossible. I can't get all the Cubs or Blackhawks games without cable. I really wish Comcast would offer us the ability to pick channels - at least sports - without offering a bogus "package" of channels I would never watch.

newagemac
Oct 20, 2010, 07:20 PM
I would love to do the same, but sports make it impossible. I can't get all the Cubs or Blackhawks games without cable. I really wish Comcast would offer us the ability to pick channels - at least sports - without offering a bogus "package" of channels I would never watch.

If I were you, I would buy a Roku and get the MLB channel. That would be more cost effective than to hold on to Comcast just for baseball. Or if you have an iPad, you could use the MLB at Bat app directly on the iPad or Airplay it to your Apple TV when the video part is activated in November. People who have the MLB at Bat app and the iOS 4.2 Beta on the iPad say you can already Airplay the audio of the games to your TV or Home Theater system from your iPad so once video is enabled you should be able to watch the games too.

emaja
Oct 20, 2010, 11:52 PM
If I were you, I would buy a Roku and get the MLB channel. That would be more cost effective than to hold on to Comcast just for baseball.

That only works with out of market games and I live in the Chicago area. Hockey is still pretty much cable only here also.

Trust me. I want to ditch Comcast. I would go with the most basic package I could get if I could add just ESPN, WGN-HD, and Comcast SportsNet.

raydixon9
Oct 24, 2010, 09:12 PM
I'm a huge University of Georgia fan and I finally cut the Dish out and now I watch ESPN's College gameday on channelsurfing.net and can always find the game on justin.tv, espn3, channelsurfing.net, or atdhe.net. I know you can find any and all other sporting events on these. Channelsurfing.net also will cover live cnn, foxnews, msnbc, or whatever you want along with cbs, nbc, abc, fox.

Shanewilliams
Oct 24, 2010, 10:19 PM
I'm a huge University of Georgia fan and I finally cut the Dish out and now I watch ESPN's College gameday on channelsurfing.net and can always find the game on justin.tv, espn3, channelsurfing.net, or atdhe.net. I know you can find any and all other sporting events on these. Channelsurfing.net also will cover live cnn, foxnews, msnbc, or whatever you want along with cbs, nbc, abc, fox.

Im right there with you, except being a mississippi state fan, ive turned to channelsurfing.net to fill all my sec and nfl action! I know this year its been a few state games that would not have been on my previous cable anyways...yet, its always there on channelsurfing.net or espn3.com. I cant see any reason to pay for cable or dish ever again at this point. OTA channels actually look better OTA then they did coming through my digital box anyways. Its not something everyone should do, but everyone should at least sit down and ask themselves, "Do I really need to pay the cable company all this money each month!"

Bozley0621
Oct 24, 2010, 10:57 PM
I'm a huge University of Georgia fan and I finally cut the Dish out and now I watch ESPN's College gameday on channelsurfing.net and can always find the game on justin.tv, espn3, channelsurfing.net, or atdhe.net. I know you can find any and all other sporting events on these. Channelsurfing.net also will cover live cnn, foxnews, msnbc, or whatever you want along with cbs, nbc, abc, fox.

Once Air Play comes, will I be able to log in to these games on my ipod or iphone via safari and watch them on the tv streaming through Apple TV?

Tilpots
Oct 25, 2010, 08:48 AM
Oh, and the WAF is highest on the DIY/HGTV and the news cable/sat channels. (WAF = Wife Acceptance Factor)



Agreed on the WAF. In my wife's case, add in HBO's "True Blood" to the DIY and Food Network stuff.


Just wanted to let you guys know that Plex has plugins for both HGTV and the Food Network. My wife loves HGTV and complained over the summer that there weren't any new shows listed, but I think the fall season has started and HGTV is once again updating their online vids. Neither of us watch the Food network, so YMMV. Definitely worth checking out though.

chapindad
Oct 25, 2010, 09:35 AM
I am using a Mac Mini 2010 loaded with PLEX and EYETV on the main TV, just waiting to see how things go with Airplay for the AppleTV on the other TVs. The only problem is that finding and converting all my movies has forced me to purchase a 4TB drive system. My son loves it because he gets easy access to all his movies which he can watch on the ipad or iphone if he wants. My wife loves her Korean Dramas so this has been a big improvement in the house for her. I miss ESPN but for 7-8 games a year that can be to costly. It is cheaper to just go hang at the bar for the game then it is to pay $90/month just for ESPN because my OTA is doing great for most stations and the EYETV gives me DVR ability. I also love running EYETV on the ipad and taking it around the house or outside to work on the car and not miss a thing. Everything else is on the web the next day for free.

Tilpots
Oct 25, 2010, 09:40 AM
I am using a Mac Mini 2010 loaded with PLEX and EYETV on the main TV, just waiting to see how things go with Airplay for the AppleTV on the other TVs. The only problem is that finding and converting all my movies has forced me to purchase a 4TB drive system. My son loves it because he gets easy access to all his movies which he can watch on the ipad or iphone if he wants. My wife loves her Korean Dramas so this has been a big improvement in the house for her. I miss ESPN but for 7-8 games a year that can be to costly. It is cheaper to just go hang at the bar for the game then it is to pay $90/month just for ESPN because my OTA is doing great for most stations and the EYETV gives me DVR ability. I also love running EYETV on the ipad and taking it around the house or outside to work on the car and not miss a thing. Everything else is on the web the next day for free.

ESPN3 (http://espn.go.com/espn3/) might be what you're looking for depending on what games you're missing. If it's not available from your isp, just find an out of town friend who will give you a login for theirs. Works great!

EvilC5
Oct 25, 2010, 11:35 AM
this is very similar to my master plan. I have 3 ATV2's set up now and 2 160 ATV's that im relocating to tv's that dont have HDMI and plan to get rid of at least 5 of our 7 Fios cable boxes.

my question is what OTA antenna's are you guys using indoors that arent huge and/or ugly?

briansolomon
Oct 25, 2010, 11:57 AM
OTA + Xbox 360 for me.

I live in a small, 1 floor house at the moment, so it's easy to walk to the Xbox to watch netflix in the living room. I can't wait until Xbox gets Hulu and ESPN3. Then I will be set, but I'm still going to be tied to the computer for Conan- the only thing I will miss about cable, but I couldn't justify the minimum $60 (non-promotional) package to get TBS from Comcast. I hope TBS jumps on board hulu soon.

stick30
Oct 25, 2010, 02:45 PM
OTA+Tivo, AppleTV and a WDTV Live with PlayonTV on my server.

Disconnected DirecTV and the kids are having a hard time with no Nick, Nick Jr Disney...

Getting by with the Netflix and Playon TV but the shows for Nick and Nick JR are scarce and and most Disney you pay for from Apple.

So overall we are saving about $100 a month and have made a few sacrifices which can be overcome. So right now this is working. :)

bobr1952
Oct 25, 2010, 02:51 PM
I would love to do the same, but sports make it impossible. I can't get all the Cubs or Blackhawks games without cable. I really wish Comcast would offer us the ability to pick channels - at least sports - without offering a bogus "package" of channels I would never watch.

I think of this a lot--and there are some nice options to take care of a lot of content--especially movies. Netflix is king for movies and TV shows that have come to disc and Amazon on Demand has some nice choices for new TV shows--but sports is a killer. There really isn't a viable option--even if you could get ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox via antenna--there is still ESPN to consider. I'm sure there will be options offered in the future to cover this--maybe some kind of al a cart system for everything--but for me it just isn't there yet.

Faalkor
Oct 25, 2010, 05:20 PM
I would love to get rid of Time Warner but I can't beat the price for what I want. I pay $101 a month for Internet and HD DVR. Until I can get ESPN, Big Ten Channel, and Disney (for the kids) some other way I am stuck with TW.

DanMacApple
Oct 25, 2010, 10:58 PM
I'm a huge University of Georgia fan and I finally cut the Dish out and now I watch ESPN's College gameday on channelsurfing.net and can always find the game on justin.tv, espn3, channelsurfing.net, or atdhe.net. I know you can find any and all other sporting events on these. Channelsurfing.net also will cover live cnn, foxnews, msnbc, or whatever you want along with cbs, nbc, abc, fox.

Anyone else use the channelsurfing.net site? Is this safe or is it likely to get a virus from this site??

EvilC5
Oct 26, 2010, 06:21 AM
I bought the 10 dollar RCA OTA antenna at best buy yesterday because it had some good reviews, but it didnt pick up everything well, I think the 39 dollar amplified antenna might be better. Im going to swap the 10 dollar one today for it and see.

Bozley0621
Oct 26, 2010, 07:47 PM
I bought the 10 dollar RCA OTA antenna at best buy yesterday because it had some good reviews, but it didnt pick up everything well, I think the 39 dollar amplified antenna might be better. Im going to swap the 10 dollar one today for it and see.

Keep us posted on which antenna ends up working for you. As soon as I'm able to find an indoor antenna that picks up a signal in my condo (first floor surrounded by trees), I'm giving Comcast the boot.

I pay $105 for HD, DVR, and internet, which isn't bad, bad I only really watch channels that are also over the air. Anything I watch on Nat Geo and History Channel is available via Netflix. I'm hoping to utilize AirPlay to get ESPN3 on the TV. I just don't like paying for what I don't use. This is also the reason I don't mind my internet cost increasing, b/c I actually use it.

newagemac
Oct 27, 2010, 06:58 AM
Here ya go:

http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Amplified-High-Definition-Antenna-Reception/dp/B0007MXZB2

You really can't beat the Terk HDTVa. This is the one I'm using and after a whole lot of research I ended up settling on this one. Couldn't be happier. I think I bought mine at Best Buy thinking I would return it if it didn't get good reception but I couldn't be more pleased. It's amazing to me that more people aren't doing this. I think people don't realize they're all digital and all the major networks plus more are in HD. Not only is it HD, but it is better quality than you can get from cable or satellite.

chapindad
Oct 27, 2010, 07:48 AM
http://uhfhdtvantenna.blogspot.com/

I did this one myself. Cost was parts laying around the house. It is a great antenna. I live way out in the country and this picks up all but one channel.

Chris Blount
Oct 27, 2010, 08:08 AM
This is all fine and good guys and you are saving money right now but sooner or later your costs will go right back up once your internet service provider start metering your data usage. It's only a matter of time.

EvilC5
Oct 27, 2010, 09:14 AM
Here ya go:

http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Amplified-High-Definition-Antenna-Reception/dp/B0007MXZB2

You really can't beat the Terk HDTVa. This is the one I'm using and after a whole lot of research I ended up settling on this one. Couldn't be happier. I think I bought mine at Best Buy thinking I would return it if it didn't get good reception but I couldn't be more pleased. It's amazing to me that more people aren't doing this. I think people don't realize they're all digital and all the major networks plus more are in HD. Not only is it HD, but it is better quality than you can get from cable or satellite.

http://uhfhdtvantenna.blogspot.com/

I did this one myself. Cost was parts laying around the house. It is a great antenna. I live way out in the country and this picks up all but one channel.

these are both good ideas, but big and bulky. im just trying to get the local stations on 2 or 3 tv's and dont want to have to tap into my coax that my cable comes across nor do I want something huge over top of the tv.

I havent made it back to best buy yet to get the amplified model, but I might try today to get over there.

but I can see the arguement about the cable companies starting to jack up the price for internet services. they will realize that they are losing money from cable, and see the net usage jump thru the roof. probably a good reason why we need more choices of providers to keep the prices down. I guess im lucky because at my house I have 3 choices (Comcast, Broadstripe and Fios). for years I played the comcast/broadstripe game against each other to get the best price, but the fios, while its more expensive, the picture quality, speed, and lack of disruption makes it worth it to me.

newagemac
Oct 27, 2010, 10:55 AM
The Terk isn't big or bulky. Plus like most people I put mine in my attic so it's not even seen. Can't get any less conspicuous than that.

And how would this make your internet usage go up? You do realize this has nothing at all to do with your internet, right? It comes over the air. You don't need internet at all to receive free digital HD with an antenna.

I get ABC, NBC, Fox, NBC, CBS, PBS, The CW, and a few more in crystal clear digital HD as well as a whole lot more channels in digital SD. I can also record seasons of my favorite TV shows on these channels with EyeTV and it prepares them in iPhone/iPad format if I want to access them on my iOS device too. I even found a free plugin that strips out the commercials for me.

mstrze
Oct 27, 2010, 11:06 AM
I second the Terk antenna...it's THE BEST set-top antenna, and it's not all that expensive or large for that matter. AND it looks pretty good too, unlike other antennas.

Do what you can to avoid amplified antennas. they had always tended to work for me in the days of analog TV, but they tend to make the signal worse for digital.

newagemac
Oct 27, 2010, 11:12 AM
I agree with you about using an amplified one for digital signals. The Terk one I linked to is available in both an amplified and non-amplified version. The amplified version does have an on-off switch though so from what I understand if you turn it off, it is just like using the nonamplified one. That's how I use mine because it picks up all the channels I needed without needing any amplification.

Tilpots
Oct 27, 2010, 11:17 AM
I even found a free plugin that strips out the commercials for me.

What's the plug in? I don't archive my EyeTV recordings or export them for iTunes, but I might in the near future for a possible bedroom ATV setup.

EvilC5
Oct 27, 2010, 11:24 AM
And how would this make your internet usage go up? You do realize this has nothing at all to do with your internet, right? It comes over the air. You don't need internet at all to receive free digital HD with an antenna.



streaming netflix/hulu/itunes rentals....etc.....they do not come over the air and would supliment the OTA antenna thus eliminating the need for the traditional cable box type service....

newagemac
Oct 27, 2010, 11:36 AM
What's the plug in? I don't archive my EyeTV recordings or export them for iTunes, but I might in the near future for a possible bedroom ATV setup.

It's called ETV ComSkip:

http://code.google.com/p/etv-comskip/

It's not always completely accurate but the cool thing is when watching the recording using Eyetv, the marked commercials are skipped automatically and if it starts a bit too late you can just do a quick rewind. However if you export to iTunes and watch from there, the commercials are not included at all in the encoding so if it's off a bit, there's nothing you can do about it. The iPhone and iPad access ignore the marked commercials altogether so you have to fast forward through them if you don't want to see them.

Tilpots
Oct 27, 2010, 11:46 AM
It's called ETV ComSkip:

http://code.google.com/p/etv-comskip/

It's not always completely accurate but the cool thing is when watching the recording using Eyetv, the marked commercials are skipped automatically and if it starts a bit too late you can just do a quick rewind. However if you export to iTunes and watch from there, the commercials are not included at all in the encoding so if it's off a bit, there's nothing you can do about it. The iPhone and iPad access ignore the marked commercials altogether so you have to fast forward through them if you don't want to see them.

Ah. I'll investigate more tonight. Not sure it's what I'm looking for, but I appreciate the tip! :)

Bozley0621
Oct 27, 2010, 12:56 PM
Here ya go:

http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Amplified-High-Definition-Antenna-Reception/dp/B0007MXZB2

You really can't beat the Terk HDTVa. This is the one I'm using and after a whole lot of research I ended up settling on this one. Couldn't be happier. I think I bought mine at Best Buy thinking I would return it if it didn't get good reception but I couldn't be more pleased. It's amazing to me that more people aren't doing this. I think people don't realize they're all digital and all the major networks plus more are in HD. Not only is it HD, but it is better quality than you can get from cable or satellite.

http://uhfhdtvantenna.blogspot.com/

I did this one myself. Cost was parts laying around the house. It is a great antenna. I live way out in the country and this picks up all but one channel.

I've tried 2 Terks and another brand that I can't remember from Amazon and none have held one channel. I might try the RCA one. It got expensive sending things back to Amazon. I just think I live in a lead building and there may be no hope for me.

mstrze
Oct 27, 2010, 01:16 PM
I've tried 2 Terks and another brand that I can't remember from Amazon and none have held one channel. I might try the RCA one. It got expensive sending things back to Amazon. I just think I live in a lead building and there may be no hope for me.

How far away are you from the transmitters? Are there a lot of trees/buildings/hills in between you and them?

It sounds like you may just be in a bad area or are too far from the local transmitters. 20 miles is about the distance, after which you will start to have issues in all but optimal situations.

I am 35 miles from my local transmitters and have some wavering issues on two of my channels if my antenna in not pointed just right. Of course I live in Houston and the terrain is absolutely flat.

I would be there, but i need my cable service for my internet access. You have to have their digital service in order to get internet from them.

I really doubt this is true.

I have NO TV service from my local cable company but do have internet service from them. Almost thought about bundling a TV package with them, but DirecTV cut my bill from $80 a month to $29 a month AND upgraded us to HD and a new DVR. I was going to quit, but I couldn't say no to a deal like that!

emaja
Oct 27, 2010, 02:46 PM
I would be there, but i need my cable service for my internet access. You have to have their digital service in order to get internet from them.

Who are you with?

Most companies - including Comcast - want to generate revenue any way they can and losing a customer because they won't purchase a whole package of services is shortsighted. In my case, I do get a discount for packaging service, but I can still get just broadband if I want to.

fsron
Oct 28, 2010, 01:30 PM
This thread sounds like something I just did. What I was going to miss most was the DVR available from pay television and it sounds like others here are thinking the same thing. If you haven't heard of it, take a look at the DTVPAL DVR. It can be had from amazon and Crutchfield. TIVO may have a more elegant guide, but unlike TIVO, it's free. I picked one up last Monday and so far, I like it.

The DTVPAL DVR has two HD tuners in it and can record two different OTA channels at the same time. Between it and my Apple TV, I'm happy.

TheBritishBloke
Oct 28, 2010, 01:40 PM
I pay an equivalent of 75USD for my Satellite over here from "Sky". I pay for every single channel on it, probably don't use them all though lol.. Main reason I won't get rid of it is House is shown on it, and all the best UK movie premieres :)

From A Buick 8
Oct 28, 2010, 01:41 PM
This thread sounds like something I just did. What I was going to miss most was the DVR available from pay television and it sounds like others here are thinking the same thing. If you haven't heard of it, take a look at the DTVPAL DVR. It can be had from amazon and Crutchfield. TIVO may have a more elegant guide, but unlike TIVO, it's free. I picked one up last Monday and so far, I like it.

The DTVPAL DVR has two HD tuners in it and can record two different OTA channels at the same time. Between it and my Apple TV, I'm happy.

I am using an EyeTV Hybrid as my DVR, it works pretty well. The programs i record are automatically exported into iTunes, so they can be watched on the ATV.

From A Buick 8
Oct 28, 2010, 01:54 PM
Who are you with?

Most companies - including Comcast - want to generate revenue any way they can and losing a customer because they won't purchase a whole package of services is shortsighted. In my case, I do get a discount for packaging service, but I can still get just broadband if I want to.

Here in KY i have insight, i have not asked them in a while but about a year ago they were unwilling sell me "just" their internet service.

Icculus
Oct 28, 2010, 05:07 PM
Here is my story/savings of how I ditched Cable in the past few months. We were paying around $135 a month for Cable/Phone/Internet. We cancelled everything except High Speed Internet from Time Warner and they wanted $49.99 a month but I got them down to $29.99 for a year, and now I have a Vonage phone line for our house phone (alarm really, we don't use it) for $9.99 a month. I have 2 HD TiVo's w/Antenna in the Attic for all locals and I have to pay TiVo $24.42 a month for the guide.

So Monthly expense went from $159.42 (TiVo Guide + TWC Bundle) down to $64.40. Almost $100 savings and now we use the AppleTV + Netflix for everything else. HUGE Savings, and I love the AppleTV as we have all our movies/tv shows encoded in iTunes already so streaming is a breeze. PLUS I have over 300 concerts I can stream. AppleTV is one of the best devices I ever purchased. ATV1 never really appealed to me as it had a HD and my iTunes Library is 1.2TB so no drive will ever hold my library.

Savings $1200 a year! WOO HOO!! I never plan to go back to Cable..EVER.

For sporting events, even though its a lame workaround I use channelsurfing.net for Monday Night Football and other sports until they catch up and start doing live streaming...which will be coming.

dgalvan123
Nov 1, 2010, 02:41 PM
Well here is my exact setup now that everything is done. . . .

Before Apple TV:
Dish Network - $50/month (with DVR)
Netflix - 9$/month
------------------
$708/year


After Apple TV:
1) I downgraded my Dish Network to local channels only so I can have quality local channels instead of crappy DTV stuff. Plus I get to keep my DVR to record shows. Downgraded to $17/month, You can either do this or downgrade to Comcast Basic Cable (local only + Discovery channel)

2) Netflix - 9$/month works great on the new Apple TV
------------------------------------------------------
$396/year

I saved 708-396 = $312 yearly.

Thanks very much for posting these examples, everyone, especially the original poster! This thread inspired me to try something similar. Here's what I did:

Before:
Had Dish Network "Top 200" package for $55/month + $6/month DVR service + $6/month "service plan" (for tech support, I guess) + $11/month Netflix 1-Disc with Bluray = $79 / month = $948/year .

Now:
Dropped down to Dish Network "Welcome" package for $15/month + $6/month DVR service (dropped the "service plan") + $11/month 1-Disc with Bluray = $ 32 / month = $384/year.

This "Welcome" package is NOT advertised at all on the Dish Network website or anywhere. I only found out about it by seeing this thread and looking around on other message forums on the web. Apparently this welcome package is a method Dish network uses to avoid losing customers: people have been cutting back expenses due to the rough economic times, and this ultra-lightweight package allows them to stay on as customers. Anyway, here's the list of channels that are on this package:

AMC
Bloomberg
Boomerang
Comedy Central
CMT
Discovery Kids
Food Network
Hallmark
HGTV
The History Channel
Home Shopping Network
MSNBC
MTV2
Oxygen
QVC
Shop NBC
TBS
TLC
WE
Weather Channel
+Local channels (varies by locality, but includes all major network affiliates)

I had my wife write down all the shows she watched, and we realized the vast majority of the stuff we watch is from network channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX). Most of the other stuff is covered by the channels on the welcome package (comedy central for Daily Show, AMC for Mad Men, Food Network, TBS for the new Conan show when it comes on, etc.) The only thing my wife watches that we don't get on this welcome package is Lifetime for Project Runway and that *$%&! kathy griffin show, so she'll just buy those on iTunes and stream them using our new :apple:TV once per season. As for me, I have resigned myself more and more to wait until the rest of society tells me a show is good and worth watching, and then go catch up on it via Netflix disks, Netflix streaming, re-runs, or iTunes if necessary. Used to watch a lot of mythbusters, but those don't need to be timely, and all the past seasons are on netflix streaming now. We have a 6 month old son who will need kids programming once in a while, but that will be available through local PBS and TONS of kids content via netflix streaming (Dora, Blues Clues, Thomas the tank engine, etc.)

I priced out other options, like quitting Dish entirely and going OTA Antenna, but priced out over the next three years DISH STILL CAME OUT CHEAPER. Here's why: If we went OTA antenna, we would need to buy a standalone DVR (or run EyeTV or something like that). EyeTV looks like a hassle, would have to be running all the time on our main computer (which takes processor time and resources I'd rather have for editing in iMovie and iPhoto and the like), and apparently is not easy to output to 2 TVs. For standalone DVRS that can handle OTA Antenna input, I only found Tivo as a good user-friendly option, and they are $300 at a minimum, plus ~$12/month into the future. Add in the cost of the antenna itself and any other equipment I'd need to buy to get it up and running (budgeted $100 one-time cost), and, while the monthly cost can indeed get lower than the $21/month for the Dish Welcome package (basically $12/month for Antenna/Tivo vs. $21/month for Dish with DVR), in order to get all the shows we want we'd have to buy/rent a bunch of them via iTunes (since OTA only gets you local channels), and the costs add up. (Yes, SOME could be watched free on the web, but that is a hassle to watch on our main TV and my wife would not put up with connecting up our main laptop every time she wanted to watch Project Runway, so streaming via iTunes/:apple:TV is what is needed.) That puts the total cost over a three year period for going OTA as slightly HIGHER than just doing the Dish Welcome package and using iTunes for just a couple shows. (Antenna option is more expensive due to a combination of higher up-front equipment costs, and more shows needing to be purchased/rented via iTunes.)

The other big plus for doing this INSTEAD of going OTA antenna is that we get to keep our Dish DVR at $6 a month. (way cheaper than a TiVo since TiVo has a $300 up front cost and $12/month for service). Plus, our Dish DVR can output to two different TVs, allowing one person to watch something in one room while another watches something else in another room. TiVo can't do that (as far as I can tell), unless you get two units and two service plans, doubling all the costs. Yuck.

dXTC
Nov 1, 2010, 03:14 PM
Thanks very much for posting these examples, everyone, especially the original poster! This thread inspired me to try something similar. Here's what I did:

Before:
Had Dish Network "Top 200" package for $55/month + $6/month DVR service + $6/month "service plan" (for tech support, I guess) + $11/month Netflix 1-Disc with Bluray = $79 / month = $948/year .

Now:
Dropped down to Dish Network "Welcome" package for $15/month + $6/month DVR service (dropped the "service plan") + $11/month 1-Disc with Bluray = $ 32 / month = $384/year.

This "Welcome" package is NOT advertised at all on the Dish Network website or anywhere. I only found out about it by seeing this thread and looking around on other message forums on the web. Apparently this welcome package is a method Dish network uses to avoid losing customers: people have been cutting back expenses due to the rough economic times, and this ultra-lightweight package allows them to stay on as customers. Anyway, here's the list of channels that are on this package:

AMC
Bloomberg
Boomerang
Comedy Central
CMT
Discovery Kids
Food Network
Hallmark
HGTV
The History Channel
Home Shopping Network
MSNBC
MTV2
Oxygen
QVC
Shop NBC
TBS
TLC
WE
Weather Channel
+Local channels (varies by locality, but includes all major network affiliates)



Wow! Thanks for the heads up about the "welcome package"; this fits my family's needs almost perfectly, except for HBO's True Blood. Do you ask for the "welcome package" by name, or do you have to give some sort of sob story and/or threaten to cancel entirely and hope the customer service rep mentions it?

dgalvan123
Nov 1, 2010, 03:36 PM
Wow! Thanks for the heads up about the "welcome package"; this fits my family's needs almost perfectly, except for HBO's True Blood. Do you ask for the "welcome package" by name, or do you have to give some sort of sob story and/or threaten to cancel entirely and hope the customer service rep mentions it?

I had originally called Dish and asked to drop to a "locals only" package, based on the first message I saw in this thread. But the Dish customer service rep told me the lowest package I could get was the "Welcome" package. I asked what was on that and he gave a few examples of channels on it. Then I went online and found this list in a "slickdeals.net" message forum. Apparently the package has been around for over a year, but, like I said, it's not advertised.

Anyway, yeah, you can ask for the Welcome package or just to drop down to the lowest price package. No sob story required. I told them I was downgrading simply because I found I didn't watch most of the channels I was paying for. Customer service was based in India, I think, but I was actually impressed with how fast/friendly/efficient they were. No attempts by then to upsell me at all, just "sure, you can do that". kudos to Dish.

newagemac
Nov 1, 2010, 03:44 PM
Great job on cutting your satellite bill down! My only problem with a setup like yours is that Dish still requires a multiyear contract for it right? I left Directv because their lowest priced option is still substantially more expensive. At $21 a month, I might have gone with Dish instead of EyeTV+OTA if there was no contract required. Plus I already had the EyeTV software, the antenna, and the HD HomeRun and I really wanted our recorded TV shows easily available on the iPad and iPhone. Especially for the iPad. I was pleasantly surprised that watching TV shows in bed on the iPad with headphones on is in many ways more engaging and enjoyable than watching them on a big screen tv.

By the way guys, I watched the Steelers vs Saints game on NBC last night live in beautiful HD with 5.1 surround sound. It was awesome and even better knowing I don't pay any monthly fee for the privilege. :D Just an antenna connected to the TV. And I recorded it with my computer using EyeTV so if I wanted to watch it again without the commercials I can. I still can't believe I used to pay so much for cable/satellite for so long.

dgalvan123
Nov 2, 2010, 01:01 PM
Great job on cutting your satellite bill down! My only problem with a setup like yours is that Dish still requires a multiyear contract for it right? I left Directv because their lowest priced option is still substantially more expensive. At $21 a month, I might have gone with Dish instead of EyeTV+OTA if there was no contract required. Plus I already had the EyeTV software, the antenna, and the HD HomeRun and I really wanted our recorded TV shows easily available on the iPad and iPhone. Especially for the iPad. I was pleasantly surprised that watching TV shows in bed on the iPad with headphones on is in many ways more engaging and enjoyable than watching them on a big screen tv.

The Dish Welcome package does not require a multi-year contract. It is month-to-month, so it's ok to start/change/stop it any time.

The lowest cost Dish package that is actually advertised is the "America's Top 120" package, which does require a 2-year contract. I should say I have seen rumors (on other message boards) that the Welcome pack is only available to current Dish subscribers, but I don't know if that's true or not. I was a dish subscriber for several years before downgrading. I dunno if the welcome pack would be available for a non-dish subscriber who just called up the company. I would presume that it WOULD be available, given that they call it the "Welcome" pack, but I don't know.

If I already had EyeTV and an Antenna I might have opted for that. But given those were new upfront purchases, they pushed the cost up. Also, using EyeTV would have required I buy another external HD to store all the HD TV files I would be acquiring and storing, so the cost goes up again. And I am doubtful that managing the EyeTV and the process of getting something playing on our TVs in two different rooms would be as easy and seamless as the DishDVR currently is for us. We have been using a DVR of some form for over 6 years now so we're pretty spoiled, and there's no way we'd put up with going back to watching shows "when they are on", and sitting through commercials.

Plus the additional cost of buying/renting more non-network shows off of iTunes played a role as well. For example, the Daily Show can be purchased with "multi-passes" for $10/month on iTunes, so that's $120/year just for the Daily Show. That's the most expensive show per season, since there are so many episodes. Other shows cost ~$20-$40 per season to purchase (most of the non-network shows aren't available to rent on itunes, just purchase).


By the way guys, I watched the Steelers vs Saints game on NBC last night live in beautiful HD with 5.1 surround sound. It was awesome and even better knowing I don't pay any monthly fee for the privilege. :D Just an antenna connected to the TV. And I recorded it with my computer using EyeTV so if I wanted to watch it again without the commercials I can. I still can't believe I used to pay so much for cable/satellite for so long.

One negative about the Dish welcome pack: none of Dish's promotions are offered for it (ie: no "free HD for life", or "free HD DVR upgrade"). Thus, if you are an existing Dish subscriber and already have an HD Dish DVR, you can get HD service on the welcome pack but it costs extra (don't know how much, maybe an extra $10/month?). If you don't already have the HD DVR, the only way to get the HD DVR on the welcome pack would be to PURCHASE the DVR for $400+. If you get the America's top 120 pack or any higher package, you get the HD DVR for just the $6/month DVR service charge. And, of course, if you started the Top 120 package just to get the HD DVR, you'd have to wait 2 years before you could downgrade to the Welcome pack.

We didn't have HD when we first got Dish network years ago, so we don't have an HD DVR. Which meant that when we downgraded to the welcome pack, we still don't get HD, because we didn't want to pay $400+ to get the HD DVR. Thus our only source of HD quality video is our blu-ray player and our apple TV. Frankly, for TV shows we watch day-to-day, I don't think HD is worth what it would cost us, given our biggest TV is 37 inches. I've found where HD shines most is for nature-documentaries and movies (which we get on netflix blu-ray, or instant streaming) and sports, of course, which we don't watch at all. Don't need to see my sitcoms in HD. Still, that is definitely a plus for the OTA antenna people: free HD.

rjderama
Feb 11, 2011, 01:36 PM
I got rid of cable and now use Over the Air signals (OTA) and Hulu in combination with a MacMini. The only thing I don't get is ESPN, sadly.

But it's worth the $90 savings every month with no bill!

check out my blog at www.tvonthecheap.com

RJ

sattv123
Feb 16, 2011, 07:46 PM
I think that there are many interesting information from sat television.;). I do not know why you want to get rid of it.

jlyanks85
Feb 16, 2011, 08:05 PM
Don't know how some of you guys are able to rid of your cable or satellite service. Probably doesn't matter if you don't like sports, but for me I would never be able to get rid of my cable since I have to be able to watch football, baseball and basketball.

CoreyHendo
Feb 16, 2011, 08:57 PM
Don't know how some of you guys are able to rid of your cable or satellite service. Probably doesn't matter if you don't like sports, but for me I would never be able to get rid of my cable since I have to be able to watch football, baseball and basketball.

The only sport I would watch religiously was Formula One and I needed to stay up super late or get up super early to catch a race on speedvision -- who had terrible coverage of the event. I got rid of cable and just watched blurays/Netflix streaming/DVD/s and I'd download a torrent of the f1 race from BBCs coverage immediately after the race. I honestly didn't miss cable tv at all. I didn't even have an ota antenna.

StruckANerve
Feb 16, 2011, 09:48 PM
I would love to be able to get rid of my 85 Dollar a month satellite package but I watch TONS of MMA and there are not enough online resources for me to get all the content that I watch.

Mac.World
Feb 16, 2011, 10:21 PM
I would love to be able to get rid of my 85 Dollar a month satellite package but I watch TONS of MMA and there are not enough online resources for me to get all the content that I watch.

??? Below are the legal websites I use to get my MMA fill, since I don't have cable or satellite. (And since the UFC took over the WEC, all the mainstream fights are on these links. The last link is a streaming feed of Spike TV for watching the free UFC and prelim fights and of course TUF series.)

mma-core.com
mmatko.com
ufc.com
http://www.boxlive.tv/channels/spiketv21

malikk
Feb 16, 2011, 11:11 PM
Are there places online where you can watch educational programs like history channel or discovery channel etc.? Or (as well as sports) are those channels that are unobtainable without cable?

CoreyHendo
Feb 17, 2011, 05:22 AM
Are there places online where you can watch educational programs like history channel or discovery channel etc.? Or (as well as sports) are those channels that are unobtainable without cable?
Both the discovery channel and the history channel have programming available for instant streaming on Netflix. One nice thing about Netflix streaming is it's available through many products -- ps3, xbox 360, Apple tv, Internet connected tvs (wireless and wired options), iOS devices, etc. I do believe you can get a 14-day free trial to see if it'll work for what you need/want.