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Old Feb 21, 2012, 04:26 PM   #26
cdavis11
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Here are my numbers:

Regular Cable/Internet bundle =

Cable+Internet with DVR and an HD Box for my other TV: $130 a month on a bundle ($1560 per year).


Streaming =

Internet per year $756 (30MB down/5 Up on Road Runner)

Netlifx per year $102.60

Season passes to a few iTunes shows:
Top Chef $35
Breaking Bad $50+/-
Man Men $50 +/-
Misc Show 1 $50
Misc Show 2 $50

Streaming total per year is $1093.60

I save $466.40 (1560-1093.60) per year streaming, and we have more than enough to watch at any given time. We've also found that we watch less TV - which is a good thing. Also - no commercials telling me and my kids what we should buy.
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 05:25 PM   #27
SuperBrown
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Rabbit ears + Netflix. Been doing this for nearly two years and have no complaints.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:02 AM   #28
cdmcmahon
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Honestly, one of the biggest reasons I don't pay for cable and look forward to a day when most people don't whether because of an Apple TV with an App Store or any other reason is because I think an a la carte system of buying shows will result in better shows. Anyone else ever had this thought as well?

Content will have to stand alone and get people to buy it, instead of now where it only has to be compelling enough to get people who have already paid for it (through their cable subscription) to say "yeah, I suppose I'll watch that over any other number of terrible shows."

Also, shows dedicated to niche groups can hopefully find their audiences, instead of having to broaden appeal to satisfy some network head.

Unfortunately that day has not yet come, so I just have an antenna for network channels, netflix and then I buy some things individually on iTunes.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:42 AM   #29
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You do know that cable and broadcast is not in 1080p either, right?
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 03:52 AM   #30
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Torrents.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 10:06 AM   #31
phas3
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still trying to figure out what the best setup would be for us. Looks like xbmc route might be good?
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 10:45 AM   #32
cdavis11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmcmahon View Post
Honestly, one of the biggest reasons I don't pay for cable and look forward to a day when most people don't – whether because of an Apple TV with an App Store or any other reason — is because I think an a la carte system of buying shows will result in better shows. Anyone else ever had this thought as well?

Content will have to stand alone and get people to buy it, instead of now where it only has to be compelling enough to get people who have already paid for it (through their cable subscription) to say "yeah, I suppose I'll watch that over any other number of terrible shows."
Let me preface this by saying - I am a dedicated cord cutter and will NEVER go back to cable TV. But this is food for thought:

There are those that say cord cutting may hurt in the long run.

The cable TV subscription system is set up so that a few popular channels (think ESPN, MTV, AMC, whatever else) drive subscriptions to packages that include the other X-hundred channels.

So, the logic goes that when everyone cuts the cord we go back to something like the big 3 networks of old - very generic shows designed to appeal to a very broad audience - because the current cable model no longer subsidizes the niche networks/channels. New, niche shows would (some say) never have a chance in an ala carte model because they would have to self fund so quickly.

I don't know that i'm totally on board with this theory - Netflix seems to be trying to generate it's own content...but it's an interesting way to think about it.

The joke around our house is - let's stop preaching the gospel of cord cutting, and let the masses fund Breaking Bad and Mad Men for us.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 10:58 AM   #33
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I am considering cutting the cord as well, but two things hold me back: phone service and DVR. I don't want bill collectors calling my personal cell phone and I usually work contract which means faxing is needed. Not a fan of computer based faxing.

Two SD TVs in the house ans 1 HDTV. The kids are getting a Wii for Christmas, so that will make the transition more acceptable to all.

They watch Disney channel, but there are so many repeats, it's not even worth it. I like Doctor Who, which I can subscribe to, but I usually don't re-watch episodes, even though I own many.

I own a MacBook Pro, iPhone 5, and iPad 4. I'm considering ATV as well.

Current bundle: $160/month and were already 2 months behind.

Any suggestions for me.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 11:14 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbachandouris View Post
I am considering cutting the cord as well, but two things hold me back: phone service and DVR. I don't want bill collectors calling my personal cell phone and I usually work contract which means faxing is needed. Not a fan of computer based faxing.

Two SD TVs in the house ans 1 HDTV. The kids are getting a Wii for Christmas, so that will make the transition more acceptable to all.

They watch Disney channel, but there are so many repeats, it's not even worth it. I like Doctor Who, which I can subscribe to, but I usually don't re-watch episodes, even though I own many.

I own a MacBook Pro, iPhone 5, and iPad 4. I'm considering ATV as well.

Current bundle: $160/month and were already 2 months behind.

Any suggestions for me.
I know I'll get flamed for this and you probably won't like my suggestion, but here goes...Live within your means first, add the toys later.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 11:18 AM   #35
jbachandouris
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You will get flamed. I'm trying to cut expenses and all you want to do us lecture?

If there were any jobs out there, I wouldn't be in this situation. Contract work is just not cutting it!
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 11:28 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by jbachandouris View Post
I am considering cutting the cord as well, but two things hold me back: phone service and DVR. I don't want bill collectors calling my personal cell phone and I usually work contract which means faxing is needed. Not a fan of computer based faxing.

Two SD TVs in the house ans 1 HDTV. The kids are getting a Wii for Christmas, so that will make the transition more acceptable to all.

They watch Disney channel, but there are so many repeats, it's not even worth it. I like Doctor Who, which I can subscribe to, but I usually don't re-watch episodes, even though I own many.

I own a MacBook Pro, iPhone 5, and iPad 4. I'm considering ATV as well.

Current bundle: $160/month and were already 2 months behind.

Any suggestions for me.
I'm sorry for your circumstances. It is very hard and stressful.

I'm not sure what to say about DVR other than would you consider forgoing the DVR until your finances improve?

Regarding the phone, acquiring a Google voice number could be an option to give to parties that you don't want to have your cell phone number. Are you faxing enough to justify the phone cost or could you get by faxing from Kinkos or Staples until things improve?

I know my suggestions aren't "Eureka's," but options worth considering.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 11:55 AM   #37
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still trying to figure out what the best setup would be for us. Looks like xbmc route might be good?
xbmc is the best route, you can find almost any repository by googling fusion xbmc addon. This will open up your MACMini to a world of possibilities. I have it on my appletv and I am thinking about buying the Mini for better reliability.

The add-ons I use the most are Amazon Instant, since I am a Prime subscriber and Navi-X is a good program to install also.

For the shows on HBO and Showtime you can download the icefilms plugin which is in one of the repositories fusion offers. I watched Dexter and Boardwalk Empire 1 hour before they aired in Hawaii this week...not bad.

I still have cable and I still pay them an arm and a leg for their services, but I will not pay 40 dollars a month for the two things I watch on HBO and Showtime.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 12:06 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by jbachandouris View Post
I am considering cutting the cord as well, but two things hold me back: phone service and DVR. I don't want bill collectors calling my personal cell phone and I usually work contract which means faxing is needed. Not a fan of computer based faxing.

Two SD TVs in the house ans 1 HDTV. The kids are getting a Wii for Christmas, so that will make the transition more acceptable to all.

They watch Disney channel, but there are so many repeats, it's not even worth it. I like Doctor Who, which I can subscribe to, but I usually don't re-watch episodes, even though I own many.

I own a MacBook Pro, iPhone 5, and iPad 4. I'm considering ATV as well.

Current bundle: $160/month and were already 2 months behind.

Any suggestions for me.
I went with an Ooma for phone. Often found for $100-130 on the net. My phone bill is now $4/month. You still need internet access, which you didn't mention, so I'm assuming you'd keep that. This is fax capable, it basically operates like a land line, although you may need a couple tricks for some things.

And a Tivo for DVR, currently $120 on Amazon. Far superior to any cable DVR I've seen, although the sat models have caught up. $15/month now. You would need an antenna, they are quite inexpensive for most people. The least important issue is the kids shows, that's what I discovered. You can get them to do something else, or just find plenty on PBS or straight from the internet.

I would recommend a UPS power supply for the phone setup. I use a $50 model that covers the modem, router, Ooma, and phone. So I don't lose phone in a power outage. Regular outage, not like NYC after Sandy.

But, that still means a bit of an upfront cash outlay.

Hope you find some work.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 01:01 PM   #39
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For phone: google "NetTalk".
It's a voice over IP service.

$70 up front covers the first year's service and the cost of the hardware (ie: $5.83 per month). You hook the device up to your router, and plug your phone (any regular land-line phone) into the device. unlimited local and domestic long distance calls, with very reasonable rates for calls outside the country.

Yearly cost after the first year is $30/year. ($2.50 per month)
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 01:24 PM   #40
dgalvan123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbachandouris View Post
I am considering cutting the cord as well, but two things hold me back: phone service and DVR. I don't want bill collectors calling my personal cell phone and I usually work contract which means faxing is needed. Not a fan of computer based faxing.

Two SD TVs in the house ans 1 HDTV. The kids are getting a Wii for Christmas, so that will make the transition more acceptable to all.

They watch Disney channel, but there are so many repeats, it's not even worth it. I like Doctor Who, which I can subscribe to, but I usually don't re-watch episodes, even though I own many.

I own a MacBook Pro, iPhone 5, and iPad 4. I'm considering ATV as well.

Current bundle: $160/month and were already 2 months behind.

Any suggestions for me.
Disclaimer:
Any suggestion for cutting cable while STILL maintaining your entertainment consumption is going to involve an up-front cost, with the savings working out over year-timescales. Meaning you'll pay several hundred dollars now to make the switch, but then pay less per month than you were with cable, resulting in long term savings. But you won't experience the savings benefits until a few months to a year down the road. It sounds like your situation is such that a big upfront cost would not be recommended.

But you are a grownup and can make your own decisions.

Now for my suggestions:

The two things holding you back: phone and DVR. for Phone see my "net talk" suggestion above. (NetTalk does allows faxing. I've used my Canon printer/fax machine with it successfully.)

For DVR:

-Get an OTA antenna (as little as $15 at home depot or radio shack, though you may need something bigger depending on how good your reception is where you live).

-Get an HD Homerun dual tuner device. ($130 from manufacturers, http://www.silicondust.com/products/hdhomerun/atsc/) (or as little as $88 shipped from B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...G&Q=&A=details )

-Get EyeTV 3 and install it on your mac.($80, plus $20/year for TV guide program information) http://www.elgato.com/elgato/na/main...html#section_3

-Get an Apple TV 3 (or an Apple TV 2 if you can find one on ebay for a lowish price). ($85 refurbished from Apple, or $100 new from Apple)

-Get a netflix streaming subscription ($8/month)

-Install all the devices so your setup is as follows: The OTA antenna is split: one cable goes straight to your TV so you can watch live TV in HD. The other cable feeds into the HD Homerun. That HD Homerun connects to your router via ethernet cable. Your mac connects to your router via ethernet OR wifi. EyeTV runs on your mac, providing the DVR recording capability for any channels available OTA (the major networks, PBS). You use EyeTV to schedule recordings (dual tuner). EyeTV will auto-export the recordings to iTunes, which makes them available to stream to the Apple TV, or sync to your iPad or iphone. Expanding to multiple TVs is easy: just buy another Apple TV, and it will have access to the same iTunes library stored on your mac (or on an external hard drive).

-For non-network shows, use Netflix (they are great for kids shows. . . check out the instant streaming catalog for kids before signing up to see if they have the ones your kids would like). Or use Hulu (Hulu Plus for Apple TV costs another $8/month, or you could just use free Hulu on your mac and use airplay mirroring or AirParrot to stream your mac's screen to your Apple TV wirelessly. Or if you have an Apple TV 2 you can jailbreak and install the Hulu plugin which enables free Hulu access on the Apple TV.)

-If there are shows you can't stream free online somehow, just buy the show ala carte on iTunes or Amazon.

Costs:

Upfront: as little as $268 (for antenna, EyeTV, HD Homerun, and Apple TV only). Costs go up depending on where you buy.

Recurring: $20/ year ($1.67 per month) for TV Guide program information.
$8/month for netflix. $8/ month for Hulu Plus. So as little as $1.67/month and as high as $17.67/month.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 01:59 PM   #41
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Cut cable in last June (2012) after getting fed up with cable prices. I also am using a Mac Mini with main HD flat screen (HDMI hook ups). I made an investment of about $800-$900 (which after 6 months has already been paid off, when compared to what cable would've cost me over that same time). With my 2 other TV's (kids TV's) I have hooked up Roku boxes. I have 2 monthly subscriptions- Hulu+ and Netflix (totallying $16 a month) and also got one of my Roku boxes with a deal PlayOn was having (when buying a lifetime license to PlayOn, got a discounted Roku box). I also purchased 2 indoor HD antennae (one for $20 & the other $30).

I get all of the Hulu+ and Netflix content on all TV's with Roku boxes, as well as PlayOn. The 2 TV's that have HD antennae's, get all the local channels of interests (and more, not so interested in, but basically the major networks).

With the Main TV (Mac Mini) I am able to go to network sites or other sites that have "free" downloaded, commercial free, episodes that I can't get through Hulu+, Netflix, or PlayOn (ex. Son's of Anarchy on FX).

The biggest obstacle has been live sports and DVR. The DVR issue, is more about "pausing" live stuff I get over my HD antennae, because all streams you can pause and are usually there for quite a while. Sports: well, a lot of what I like to watch is on HD antennae (college football, pro football, etc..), which by the way, both antennae's give me HD quality, and on main TV (Vizio, which came with a surround-sound unit) I get Dolby 5.1 surround-sound. I will even say this, the over the air HD is better than my previous U-Verse HD... and, I know longer need an "optical" cord for the Surround-Sound (wonder how the mysteriously happened) that is being fed through my HD antennae to my TV/Surround-Sound unit.

The sports I don't get through HD antennae, I can usually get on ESPN 3 (on Roku w/ PlayOn or a free ESPN login account). I have also found ways around getting access to things not on HD antennae or ESPN 3. Unfortunately, there really aren't that great of websites that offer Live sports content for free (as advertised) but what I have done is accumulated some email addresses and password from family members/friends to access such sites as ESPN (Watch ESPN), MLB.network, and NFL Sunday Ticket. My PlayOn license does allow me acces to ESPN 3 which does give some LIVE sports content, but things like MNF (Monday Night Football) is only streamed over the ESPN website (which I access through my main TV through my Mac Mini).

One idea I did consider was just purchasing a "SlingBox" and finding a friend or Family member that would allow me to piggy-back off their cable subcriptions, but I figured I'd be obligated to pay part of their cable bill and I didn't want to contiue paying cable companies. I would theoretically have access to that SlingBox with all my devices (iPad, iPhone, Mac Mini, etc...), but a lot of the stuff I am watching now, I also have access to on my devices (Hulu+, Netflix, MLB.network, NFL Sunday Ticket).

I like my set up, but TV is now what I call "appointment-TV". No more plopping down on the couch and surfing through channels, it's more about me knowing what I'm going to watch and then watching it. It works though, because honestly, everything I had watched the previous 3 years was somewhat the same idea, but with my DVR. My surfing is of the major networks through the antennae. I can tell you this, there are internet sites out there that "share" almost every TV episode you can think of (including Showtime, HBO, etc...) and they are free.

I no longer have a home phone line, but that's an easy fix as suggested with Magic Jack and other telephone companies. I did upgrade my internet service with AT&T, because I knew I would be streaming, and get a consistent 16-18 MBPS. My set up has also transformed my entertainment center (formerly my TV). With our Music (iTunes) and Pictures and Videos (iPad & iPhone), we are creating more family memories. My children are also using the "TV" from time to time to do research for school (got a wireless Keyboard and Mouse with initial purchase of set up). All is well, and I haven't missed anything... I have benefited from other family members or friends who don't use the internet to view content through their cable provider (although they have that access), but even if I didn't have that access I would say the biggest miss would really only be Live Sports not accessible through major networks).

Total Savings per year: a little over a $1000 a year.

Cable Bundle (with phone/internet) a little over $2,000 a year.

Streaming/Antennae/Internet: (after initial investment, that is already paid off after 6 months of not paying for cable): $950 (again, with internet/wife included).





I made one purchase of a series through iTunes (TV series): Then I figured out where to find that series for free! Probably won't have to pay for a series again in the immediate future (at least I hope).
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 02:01 PM   #42
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dgalvan123, great explaination of what is needed, how to set it up and cost breakdown. Thanks so much.

My only question is this: Does the Homerun have to connect to your router via ethernet? Could a person connect to an Airport Express via ethernet, then have that set up as a bridge network to my Airport Extreme? Only reason I ask is that my internet connection is via cable, but that is in the office and the Homerun would be located in the livingroom as my OTA cable does not run to the office. I did not want to have to re-string some cable in my house if possible.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 02:03 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by jbachandouris View Post
I'm trying to cut expenses and all you want to do us lecture?
He's giving you common sense advice and is totally right. You have bill collectors calling yet you're not willing to give up a DVR? Get your priorities straight. You don't need a DVR, your kids don't need Disney, you don't need an Apple TV. Not only that, you don't need TV at all.

If I were in your situation, I'd completely cut cable and not spend any money trying to replace it outside of perhaps a cheap OTA antenna. You'll survive.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 02:30 PM   #44
dgalvan123
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Originally Posted by BigDukeSix View Post
My only question is this: Does the Homerun have to connect to your router via ethernet? Could a person connect to an Airport Express via ethernet, then have that set up as a bridge network to my Airport Extreme? Only reason I ask is that my internet connection is via cable, but that is in the office and the Homerun would be located in the livingroom as my OTA cable does not run to the office. I did not want to have to re-string some cable in my house if possible.
The HD Homerun does not have a wifi antenna, just an ethernet port.

The setup you suggest using an Airport Express as a bridge would probably work, I'd think. Though I haven't tried it. EyeTV on your mac is going to scan the local network to see if it can find an HD Homerun, and so all that matters is you connect your Homerun to your router somehow.

My only worry would be that the wireless connection between the Airport Express and the Airport Extreme would be handling a lot of data (2 uncompressed HDTV signals coming from the HD Homerun tuners). I suppose 802.11n should be able to handle that, though perhaps this might slow down your network a bit. But again I haven't tried.

Someone asked a similar question on the apple forums, here:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread...art=0&tstart=0
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 02:39 PM   #45
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Dgalvan123, thanks for your input. I will probably pass on having the Homerun setup, and go just with the EyeTV Hybrid device on my Mini that is connected to the television. I would think that will still give me streaming and DVR capability, along with my Roku and an ATV3.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 02:02 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by phas3 View Post
still trying to figure out what the best setup would be for us. Looks like xbmc route might be good?
Custom build HTPC + Internet.

Take a look at this article, you may find it interesting.

http://www.howtogeek.com/72267/how-t...th-sick-beard/
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 07:43 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by dgalvan123 View Post
Buy an Apple TV.
Jailbreak it.
Install XBMC.
Install the Bluecop Repository.
Install the Hulu and Free Cable add-ons.

This will get you most of the content you mention, with the exception of HBO, Showtime, and other premium pay channels. For that you could just use iTunes.
What he said except no need to buy Apple TV just install XBMC on your Mac Mini and your choices are endless.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 04:27 PM   #48
sdilley14
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Sorry, don't mean to hijack your thread, but I have been considering doing the same thing for a while now. I am wondering if there is really any worth while way of doing this in my situation.

Right now I pay $29.99/mo for internet and $49.99/mo for cable with HD and "free" DVR. After taxes and everything it comes out to be about $88/mo. That isn't really a bad price for everything, but I'm always looking for ways to save money. I am OK paying the $29.99/mo for internet...that is a pretty reasonable price and I don't know if there is any way I could just cut my internet connection, especially if I want to cut cable and start streaming more content (I'm thinking there is no way my 4g iPhone 5 connection could support all of this bandwidth).

My cable needs are rather basic...TBS, TNT, Spike, FX, Discover, Nat Geo, MTV, History, ESPN, FSN (Fox Sports North) and local channels. If I really had to narrow it down I would say ESPN, FSN, TBS, and the local channels are the most important. I don't need any of the premium movie channels. I get DVR for free now, but it isn't essential that I have it.

I have a MacBook Air, an Apple TV 3, Xbox 360, and PS3.

I am trying to figure out if there is a good streaming option for these channels...mainly ESPN and FSN. I've heard of ESPN 3 and Watch ESPN but I am not really sure how these work (as in, are they a mirror of the regular ESPN channel or are they their own ESPN channel with different/random content). Also, do they stream in full screen HD?

I am ok with getting an OTA antenna and using that for local channels.

Is there really a worthwhile and efficient alternative to what I have now for under $50/mo?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 05:42 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by sdilley14 View Post
Sorry, don't mean to hijack your thread, but I have been considering doing the same thing for a while now. I am wondering if there is really any worth while way of doing this in my situation.

Right now I pay $29.99/mo for internet and $49.99/mo for cable with HD and "free" DVR. After taxes and everything it comes out to be about $88/mo. That isn't really a bad price for everything, but I'm always looking for ways to save money. I am OK paying the $29.99/mo for internet...that is a pretty reasonable price and I don't know if there is any way I could just cut my internet connection, especially if I want to cut cable and start streaming more content (I'm thinking there is no way my 4g iPhone 5 connection could support all of this bandwidth).

My cable needs are rather basic...TBS, TNT, Spike, FX, Discover, Nat Geo, MTV, History, ESPN, FSN (Fox Sports North) and local channels. If I really had to narrow it down I would say ESPN, FSN, TBS, and the local channels are the most important. I don't need any of the premium movie channels. I get DVR for free now, but it isn't essential that I have it.

I have a MacBook Air, an Apple TV 3, Xbox 360, and PS3.

I am trying to figure out if there is a good streaming option for these channels...mainly ESPN and FSN. I've heard of ESPN 3 and Watch ESPN but I am not really sure how these work (as in, are they a mirror of the regular ESPN channel or are they their own ESPN channel with different/random content). Also, do they stream in full screen HD?

I am ok with getting an OTA antenna and using that for local channels.

Is there really a worthwhile and efficient alternative to what I have now for under $50/mo?
In your situation, I'd say stick with what you have. For sports you'd really have to be currently purchasing a sports package for it to be worth it because if you want to watch any sports other than what's on local channels you really need to be streaming the baseball package or one of the other sports packages on Apple TV for it to look affordable.

I've found that as far as ESPN goes listening to the podcasts works just as well, and they are free.

Keep in mind, you won't be paying 29.99 for your Internet connection. Assuming they let you out of your cable deal, your Internet price will go up substantially at the end of your contract if not immediately. The price for Internet service differs if its the only part of their package you purchase, at least that's the case with Time Warner.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 01:28 PM   #50
phr0ze
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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My neighbor says I can use his Wifi. I may be able to take my $2400/yr cable bill down to $300 (cost of buying various season passes not available on Hulu or free cable)

Thats a $2100/yr savings.
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