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rlu929s
Aug 2, 2012, 12:22 PM
We cut out Dish to save money and this is my first full-on network TV season with no DVR via Dish.

I've got ATV's on all my TV's in the house.

We'll most likely have about 6-8 shows we'll watch and that could trim down if we don't like any of the new shows.

According to what I have researched my options are:

1. Use my OTA and hopefully catch them on time (not likely).
2. Buy Season Pass off Itunes. (More expensive than I'd like)
3. Mirror from my iPad3 using the NBC,ABC, and CW apps. (same commercials too often = annoying.
4. Buy Hulu Plus for $9 per month. (I was only paying $20 per month for Dish and could skip commercials via DVR.)

Am I missing anything. I'll probably just pick a couple I really like or that the their apps don't work well and buy season passes. The rest I'll use the iPad and apps.

Thoughts?



spiderman0616
Aug 2, 2012, 12:27 PM
We do HuluPlus for most of our network shows. We don't watch anything on CBS, so no big loss there. For NFL and MLB games, we use our antenna--comes in in HD with no compression--a lot better than I could say for Comcast HD. Sometimes if we're just dying to see something on a network, we watch the "live" broadcast on the antenna.

I was absolutely ECSTATIC to see the HuluPlus update on Apple TV the other day, because now we no longer have to mirror HuluPlus to the TV.

rlu929s
Aug 2, 2012, 12:31 PM
How is the quality on HuluPlus vs something like the ABC or CW app on the iPad?

Sounds like both have commercials you can't skip.

spiderman0616
Aug 2, 2012, 12:49 PM
How is the quality on HuluPlus vs something like the ABC or CW app on the iPad?

Sounds like both have commercials you can't skip.

HuluPlus has commercials you can't skip, but they are often VERY short and then get you right back in to the show. It's no 2 to 2 1/2 minute commercial break like you get on regular TV. Someday it may get that way, but I think HuluPlus is fine for now. I have found the shows themselves to be very good HD quality. I am using an Airport Extreme router and have a 20 Mbps connection from Comcast, so that helps.

As someone newish to Apple TV (we've only had ours for about a month) and coming from a couple years of Roku ownership, I have found AirPlay and cloud access to be the killer apps for Apple TV. That being said, I'm becoming increasingly annoyed with video apps that don't support AirPlay (such as NBC). You can do mirroring to the Apple TV, but only from certain devices like the two most current iPads, the iPhone 4S, and certain Macs that have Mountain Lion. I would rather have AirPlay integration into the app itself so that if my wife wants to watch something from her iPod Touch, she can.

Fortunately, almost everything we want to watch can be played on HuluPlus, Netflix, iTunes, or AirPlayed from an iOS device. We supplement that by watching sports and local news on the antenna. Even when you add in the cost of what I pay for iTunes to subscribe to shows I can't stream (like Breaking Bad, Dr. Who, etc.) we save hundreds of dollars a year by not having cable.

JoeBlow74
Aug 2, 2012, 01:04 PM
I have not had cable in three years now and I could not be happier. I had Netflix since they started, only to cancel them a few months back. I signed up for HULU+ as my only content source. I purchased one of those Antenna's Direct HD antenna for $50 for local OTA signals, which pick up 36 stations all in HD. My wife and I are very happy with the set-up.

rlu929s
Aug 2, 2012, 01:05 PM
I agree 100%. I also agree on the apps not supporting airplay. Mirroring works, but it doesn't fill the entire TV screen.

I will look into Hulu Plus and might cancel my Netflix Sub in place of HuluPlus.

I have to really hunt to find things to watch on Netflix.

JoeBlow74
Aug 2, 2012, 01:08 PM
How is the quality on HuluPlus vs something like the ABC or CW app on the iPad?

Sounds like both have commercials you can't skip.



Yo get commercials with HULU+, but who cares. $8 per month is a sweet deal for what they offer. The quality is better using Hulu on the AppleTV due to the HDMI cable hooked directly to an HD TV. With a rock solid internet connection, the picture and sound are very good.

brentsg
Aug 2, 2012, 01:09 PM
I capture all the network content via OTA antenna, to a TiVo DVR that I've upgraded to 2TB. I couldn't be happier with this.

Even if you pay TiVo a monthly fee it's worth it. Personally, mine's old enough (Series 3) that it has lifetime service on it.

rctlr
Aug 2, 2012, 01:12 PM
bbc iplayer - the best
itv player
4 on demand
5 demand

tvcatchup.co.uk for everything else

its been years since we actually watched TV off the net.

R

JoeBlow74
Aug 2, 2012, 01:17 PM
I agree 100%. I also agree on the apps not supporting airplay. Mirroring works, but it doesn't fill the entire TV screen.

I will look into Hulu Plus and might cancel my Netflix Sub in place of HuluPlus.

I have to really hunt to find things to watch on Netflix.

I canceled Netflix because their UI sucked balls. Really!! The content for streaming was horrible, the UI for most streaming content on a Netflix connected device was horrible. They took away the search option in the UI on the connected device. They took away the "add to DVD queue" from the UI. I hated to go upstairs to my PC, log into Netflix, brouse the same UI that was on my connected device, look through the same listings every day, Surf the net for Netflix fan sites for suggestions on what to rent or stream, go back to Netflix so I can search for the suggestion only to find out that it was "availability Unknown", just to watch something. Did I mention the lack of content? Netflix has slowly been loosing content for years now compared to what they had back in the day. Maybe some day when they figure out what hole they want to pull their head out of, I will sign up with them.

AppleDApp
Aug 2, 2012, 01:19 PM
I am trying to completely cut out cable. I have just purchased a apple TV and I will be purchasing an iMac soon. What's the best way to cut cable at a low cost. I currently pay 50$/month in Canada.

Hulu is US only AFAIK
Netflix has a poor selection
Season pass would be more expensive
Network Channel Airplay apps works great but I am still missing out on some of my favourite shows
Airplay also has commercials and takes a toll on the iPad's battery life.

JoeBlow74
Aug 2, 2012, 01:37 PM
I am trying to completely cut out cable. I have just purchased a apple TV and I will be purchasing an iMac soon. What's the best way to cut cable at a low cost. I currently pay 50$/month in Canada.

Hulu is US only AFAIK
Netflix has a poor selection
Season pass would be more expensive
Network Channel Airplay apps works great but I am still missing out on some of my favourite shows
Airplay also has commercials and takes a toll on the iPad's battery life.


Since you are in Canada, I would stick with the cable.

1. you cannot use HULU+
2. Most ISP's severly cap your internet up North
3. Sorry. Stick with the cable.

I have heard that some ISP's up North have enabled a cap of 25gb of data per month. OUCH!!! If that is true, you might as well stick with cable TV.

SandboxGeneral
Aug 2, 2012, 01:41 PM
I use only the AppleTV with iTunes & Netflix. I tried Hulu Plus and didn't care for it. I'm too spoiled with Netflix not having commercials and I loathed even the 1 or 2 commercials on Hulu.

Overall I live very easily without network TV (no OTA) and have more than enough content between Netflix and iTunes to satisfy my TV watching desires.

cdavis11
Aug 2, 2012, 01:45 PM
I cut the TV cord a couple of years ago and haven't looked back.

I was using a combination of Roku and AppleTV for HuluPlus, Netflix and a few iTunes season passes.

This past winter I tried to cut Hulu Plus off by picking up an Elgato EyeTV/HDHomerun package. It works extremely well - records on dual tuners from OTA or the basic cable that comes with your internet only connection. I record shows with a scheduler and EyeTV dumps them into iTunes for viewing on my AppleTVs once they're encoded. I use a couple of different programs for MetaData tagging - I kinda like "iflicks" right now.

I was happy to see HuluPlus as an option on the AppleTV - if we need to go back to it for some reason I would be okay with it. I prefer my current setup - No commercials at all and the price is reasonable.

Now that MLB and Netflix are on my AppleTV boxes (I use 3) I rarely turn the Rokus on anymore.

takeshi74
Aug 2, 2012, 02:08 PM
How do you consume network TV?
Tivo but it sounds like your needs/wants are entirely different than my own.

spiderman0616
Aug 2, 2012, 03:32 PM
For all of you saying you cancelled Netflix--I totally see why. I do think their streaming options have been lacking, however, it has been getting better again. I feel like it was bad at the beginning, got better, got way worse again, and now it's back on the upswing. They're getting some newer movies again and adding some good shows. But I've found that Netflix is great for old seasons. Hulu seems to kill the old season availability a LOT faster than Netflix does. A lot of times, you only have a short window on Hulu to catch up, and then it's back to just the current season.

I don't go to Netflix for movies generally--they are mostly garbage. But we've found that cancelling our disc by mail portion of Netflix to be a good move. A lot of times we would get a bluray in the mail and it would sit for 2 months before we got a chance to watch it. Now we just rent the new movies on iTunes. No 30 day waiting period for the new ones, and no disc to mail back. Also, lower monthly cost.

rlu929s
Aug 2, 2012, 03:42 PM
With Netflix that's kind of what I'm seeing as well. It's been great for the kids to watch all sorts of cartoons, but movies are pretty much garbage and what new movies they get I'm already seen or own.

If I had the time to go back and watch a bunch of old shows I'd be all over it, but keeping up with current shows and the occasional movie is about all we have time for.

I've got 6 days left of my Netflix trial. Will probably cancel and sign up for the HuluPlus trial closer to the time our shows come out.

We'll continue to rent what few movies we watch off iTunes.

Does Hulu get much in terms of movies even old? We usually try to do 1 movie night with the kids and I got Netflix, so we could pick an old movie to watch each time. It was getting expensive renting movies off iTunes even old ones.

mellofello
Aug 2, 2012, 04:29 PM
Looking forward to downloading torrents of my shows and then AirPlay mirroring my MBA to the tv. There are torrent clients that will auto download shows as they become available.

AppleDApp
Aug 2, 2012, 08:37 PM
Since you are in Canada, I would stick with the cable.

1. you cannot use HULU+
2. Most ISP's severly cap your internet up North
3. Sorry. Stick with the cable.

I have heard that some ISP's up North have enabled a cap of 25gb of data per month. OUCH!!! If that is true, you might as well stick with cable TV.

That's not my case. I pay for 300gb a month and 12mbps up/0.5mbps down. Often times I get 20+mbps down.

Most ISP offer plans between 15gb-250 gb a month.

Looking forward to downloading torrents of my shows and then AirPlay mirroring my MBA to the tv. There are torrent clients that will auto download shows as they become available.

I'm thinking of doing the same thing. What's your plan for when you run out of space on your MBA? Delete the episodes or load them elsewhere?

WesCole
Aug 2, 2012, 08:47 PM
Looking forward to downloading torrents of my shows and then AirPlay mirroring my MBA to the tv. There are torrent clients that will auto download shows as they become available.

Why not just add the shows to iTunes and watch them from your ATV? Well, I guess if you only plan to watch them once then you don't need to go through the trouble of encoding and tagging. Makes sense now that I think about it. :D

AppleDApp
Aug 2, 2012, 09:01 PM
Why not just add the shows to iTunes and watch them from your ATV? Well, I guess if you only plan to watch them once then you don't need to go through the trouble of encoding and tagging. Makes sense now that I think about it. :D

it get's expensive.

WesCole
Aug 2, 2012, 09:06 PM
it get's expensive.

I was talking about adding the torrents to iTunes, not buying them through iTunes.

AppleDApp
Aug 2, 2012, 09:10 PM
I was talking about adding the torrents to iTunes, not buying them through iTunes.

In that case video formats are limited in iTunes VLC and Plex offer much better support for various file types.

WesCole
Aug 2, 2012, 09:11 PM
In that case video formats are limited in iTunes VLC and Plex offer much better support for various file types.

And that's why I said it wouldn't be worth the hassle of encoding the video if you only plan to watch it once.

AppleDApp
Aug 2, 2012, 09:17 PM
And that's why I said it wouldn't be worth the hassle of encoding the video if you only plan to watch it once.

And now I crawl back to where I came from

WesCole
Aug 2, 2012, 09:17 PM
And now I crawl back to where I came from

Haha! :D

Jim.R
Aug 3, 2012, 03:06 AM
This past winter I tried to cut Hulu Plus off by picking up an Elgato EyeTV/HDHomerun package. It works extremely well - records on dual tuners from OTA or the basic cable that comes with your internet only connection. I record shows with a scheduler and EyeTV dumps them into iTunes for viewing on my AppleTVs once they're encoded.

I'm considering something similar as our UK Freeview (OTA) DVR is getting more and more unreliable and I'd rather not be tied into a proprietary device if possible.
How soon after a program ends does it show up in iTunes/aTV?

I use a couple of different programs for MetaData tagging - I kinda like "iflicks" right now.

Does EyeTV not populate the metadata itself from the EPG though?

I just need to wait for it to support a DVB-T2 tuner so we can get the HD freeview channels here in the UK.

spiderman0616
Aug 3, 2012, 07:38 AM
Why not just add the shows to iTunes and watch them from your ATV? Well, I guess if you only plan to watch them once then you don't need to go through the trouble of encoding and tagging. Makes sense now that I think about it. :D

I did some number crunching last week to see if I'm REALLY saving money buy not having cable. I calculated the cost of ALL the shows I want to watch, whether it's through Hulu, Netflix, or an iTunes subscription. I do not use bittorrent--I like to keep it legal.

The most expensive option per year BY FAR is having cable. We're talking hundreds of dollars difference for having a zillion garbage channels, when all we really watch is Fox and NBC. The middle option cost wise is killing Hulu and Netflix and watching all our content through iTunes. It's not as expensive per year as you would think, especially if you just get the SD versions. The cheapest way by a long shot is the monthly fees of Hulu and Netflix, a few iTunes subscriptions for the shows we can't stream (Breaking Bad, Deadliest Catch), and the antenna for sports and news.

My wife was a little upset about our move from Roku to Apple TV because of the loss of a native HuluPlus app. She didn't like to have to jump through hoops to get it playing on the TV. But in my eyes, AirPlay and access to iCloud made it a no brainer. The addition of Hulu a few days ago just made things that much easier--we were very happy. I though Apple kept it off of their box because it competed with iTunes content.

Forgot to mention: It also looks/feels super cool to just have a small black box underneath your TV handling all your content for you. I felt that way with the Roku too, but the Roku felt and looked cheap and plasticy. The Apple TV is a rock solid piece of hardware and looks really nice under the flat panel.

testerdennis
Aug 3, 2012, 08:10 AM
I did some number crunching last week to see if I'm REALLY saving money buy not having cable. I calculated the cost of ALL the shows I want to watch, whether it's through Hulu, Netflix, or an iTunes subscription. I do not use bittorrent--I like to keep it legal.

The most expensive option per year BY FAR is having cable. We're talking hundreds of dollars difference for having a zillion garbage channels, when all we really watch is Fox and NBC. The middle option cost wise is killing Hulu and Netflix and watching all our content through iTunes. It's not as expensive per year as you would think, especially if you just get the SD versions. The cheapest way by a long shot is the monthly fees of Hulu and Netflix, a few iTunes subscriptions for the shows we can't stream (Breaking Bad, Deadliest Catch), and the antenna for sports and news.

My wife was a little upset about our move from Roku to Apple TV because of the loss of a native HuluPlus app. She didn't like to have to jump through hoops to get it playing on the TV. But in my eyes, AirPlay and access to iCloud made it a no brainer. The addition of Hulu a few days ago just made things that much easier--we were very happy. I though Apple kept it off of their box because it competed with iTunes content.

Forgot to mention: It also looks/feels super cool to just have a small black box underneath your TV handling all your content for you. I felt that way with the Roku too, but the Roku felt and looked cheap and plasticy. The Apple TV is a rock solid piece of hardware and looks really nice under the flat panel.

Roku may look cheap but it is miles ahead of the ATV for streaming content.

spiderman0616
Aug 3, 2012, 10:55 AM
Roku may look cheap but it is miles ahead of the ATV for streaming content.

I don't think so. Yes, there are a lot of "channels" on Roku, but 99% of them are absolute crap. I had the Roku XS and the top model of the first gen one as well. Both had USB ports to hook up external drives. I had trouble playing most files, even though they were on the list of supported file types. I have a hard drive literally FULL of movies in all kinds of formats (all officially supported by Roku). Almost none of them would play when I hooked it up to the USB port on the Roku box. Almost all of them play when I HomeShare that same drive to the Apple TV or just hook it up directly via USB.

Where the Apple TV lacks in quantity of channels, it fills the gap with AirPlay, as long as you have a device that can do it, or at least do wireless mirroring. All the Roku channels are are feeds from a website, so as long as you can get to the site, you can still play it on the Apple TV without some janky channel.

Don't get me wrong--I think both boxes are great. Apple TV and Roku are the only two streaming boxes I would recommend to anyone. But with all the iTunes and iCloud content we have, Roku simply doesn't make sense for us anymore.

EDIT: The first gen Roku also lost wifi connection a lot and eventually completely stopped working. I wanted the new one for some of the gaming capabilities so I replaced it with the new one, but I soon was lured over to the other side.

JAT
Aug 3, 2012, 11:40 AM
Does Hulu get much in terms of movies even old? We usually try to do 1 movie night with the kids and I got Netflix, so we could pick an old movie to watch each time. It was getting expensive renting movies off iTunes even old ones.
Netflix streaming doesn't sound like a match for you. But an alternative: switch Netflix to disc, get movies in a better format. Hulu offers better recent shows. Some of them are on Plus, some free Hulu.

I use Hulu+, Netflix streaming, and Tivo. I got in on the $10/month antenna-only deal for Tivo (unfortunately no longer available), so my "TV" bills total $26/month. We watch basically the same shows we did with DirecTV, which was $94/month. Actually, it was ~$18 more since I had Netflix for discs at the time. I've now dropped the discs because of their price gouging in 2010. Nearly dropped them entirely, but we do like watching some older shows.

spiderman0616
Aug 3, 2012, 12:01 PM
Netflix streaming doesn't sound like a match for you. But an alternative: switch Netflix to disc, get movies in a better format. Hulu offers better recent shows. Some of them are on Plus, some free Hulu.

I use Hulu+, Netflix streaming, and Tivo. I got in on the $10/month antenna-only deal for Tivo (unfortunately no longer available), so my "TV" bills total $26/month. We watch basically the same shows we did with DirecTV, which was $94/month. Actually, it was ~$18 more since I had Netflix for discs at the time. I've now dropped the discs because of their price gouging in 2010. Nearly dropped them entirely, but we do like watching some older shows.

I dropped Netflix discs BEFORE the price gouging actually. We had the one bluray at a time plan, and we would get blurays in and not have time to watch them for a long time. I figured, why pay this monthly fee for a service I don't use monthly? So we just rent movies on iTunes. It's actually better and cheaper that way. You still get them in HD, you don't have to deal with a 30 day waiting period for new titles, and you don't end up paying as much if you don't watch that many new movies.

We use Netflix mostly for the shows our kids watch (there is a metric ton of kids programming on Netflix) and for past seasons of shows we are trying to catch up on. The streaming does mostly suck for movies. In fact, if I were to give up one pay service I have right now--it would be Netflix. I could totally live without it. Not sure my kids would like it too much though.

BIG neutrino
Aug 3, 2012, 04:11 PM
We're now on our first full day without DirecTV. For our needs, we're using an ATV2 with a Hulu+ subscription. I'll hook up a Leaf Plus indoor HDTV antenna next week. Previously we used a 2.7Mb/s download connection. We now have a 5 Mb/s, and it works great. $96/month with DiectTV vs. $21/month w/ Hulu + and a faster connection. This will be great!

rlu929s
Aug 6, 2012, 09:25 AM
It's for sure the way to go. Eventually they'll catch up and the pricing gimmick will hit us....but until then:)

Spider you hit the nail on the head. We used to do discs with Netflix and although nice to arrive at home....we just didn't watch them enough. I hated the feeling pressured to watch them to "get my money's worth".

I tried Redbox for a bit while McD's had the free coupon in Happy Meals. That got annoying having to return it.

For the most part I can tell that Netflix is for Kids. There's so many kid shows my kids have been in heaven the past 3-4 weeks.I just canceled it today before my free trial is over, so we'll see if the kids notice. They are young enough we can switch back to my Ripped Kid collection.

Really the only snag with the ATV has been Home Sharing. It's kind of flaky at times. About once a week I have to restart iTunes and the router to get it working.

We're going to try Hulu Plus to see if we can avoid paying the Season Pass rates on iTunes.

We rent off iTunes and even at 2.99 and 3.99 it's cheaper and VERY convenient!

dgalvan123
Aug 6, 2012, 09:54 AM
If your goal is skipping the commercials using an Apple TV, here are your options. I do each of these methods depending on the show.

1. Purchase the shows on iTunes (expensive, but for some shows it's the only reasonable way. For example AMC only puts the first episode of a season on their website. Since we don't have cable, we do a seasonpass for Breaking Bad and Mad Men.)

2. Jailbreak an Apple TV2, install XBMC, install the "Hulu" plugin and the "FreeCable" plugin. (The former gives you Hulu/Hulu Plus access, the latter streams TV shows from the network web sites straight to your ATV2). Both plugins have options to eliminate the commercials. We watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for free every night this way, and never have to watch an ad.

3. Purchase a tuner (like the HD Homerun) and the EyeTV software. Use EyeTV on your mac as your DVR. EyeTV has a setting that will auto-export the recorded shows to iTunes so you can watch them on your Apple TV. Then just fast forward through the commercials like you would on your DVR.

(There is also an Applescript plugin called "ETVcomskipper" which you can install in your EyeTV software. It will automatically remove the commercials from an EyeTV recording before exporting the show to iTunes. Such that the final version of the show that gets into your iTunes Library has already had all the commercials removed before you even press play. This works for some networks, like NBC, but not for others, like ABC, for some reason having to do with how ETVcomskipper identifies commercial start/end points.)



Does EyeTV not populate the metadata itself from the EPG though?


Yes, EyeTV DOES populate the metadata itself from the EPG, and that metadata is automatically included when EyeTV exports the recording to iTunes. You can see the title, date, and description for the show on your Apple TV without having to use iflicks or any other tagging software.

JoeBlow74
Aug 6, 2012, 10:32 AM
We're now on our first full day without DirecTV. For our needs, we're using an ATV2 with a Hulu+ subscription. I'll hook up a Leaf Plus indoor HDTV antenna next week. Previously we used a 2.7Mb/s download connection. We now have a 5 Mb/s, and it works great. $96/month with DiectTV vs. $21/month w/ Hulu + and a faster connection. This will be great!



Stick in there and give it a try. Hulu+ is very cool. Most of the issues that I have found is most people are so used to having so many channels at the push of a button, they get used to channel surfing. Using Hulu+ forces most people out of their comfort zone and actually look for something to watch. Most people have a hard time changing their viewing habits. But, trust me, it will be worth it in the long run. On a side note, my wife and I actually found a small local movie rental store that is still in business and signed up to rent movies. Walking into a movie rental store is very strange. It is like flying to the moon to play golf. I forgot how much fun it is to hang out in a store looking to rent a movie. :eek:

Tech198
Aug 16, 2012, 05:46 PM
We've 'cut the cord' here for over 6+ month, and still going strong :)

Netflix + Itunes on two Apple TV 2 devices in out place....

Thinking about adding Hulu Plus, to the mix, but i havan't seen any comelling advantage over Netflix nor Itunes for that mater.

And from the forums i hear ..... its a waste of money...

I was trial it and see.

Any advanage in doing this ? Is there anything "different" on Hulu Plus, that you *can't* get on Netflix or Itunes ?

It is like flying to the moon to play golf.

neat.... someday that should be a reality.