Has anybody ditched cable yet?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Evo-L, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008
    Where I live we have one TV option, Dish Network. I personally hate it, it's outrageously antiquated. You need to record each show you want to watch on every single DVR in the house, the UI is complete trash, it records probably 75% of the shows I ask it to, it constantly cuts off the last 5 minutes of each show, etc etc etc. It's probably the worst TV provider in the country.

    So it got me thinking, what if I stopped paying Dish $75/month for their terrible service and just watched all of the TV I wanted from iTunes through my :apple:TV...

    So I thought about it, and I think I would lose my local news, and the occasional random shows you might find flipping through. Also, Im thinking it would raise my monthly costs slightly, which isn't the end of the world. It would be great having anything I wanted to watch right there on demand, not having to find a time when it airs and record it (if my DVR misses the recording). I am the kind of person who only watches what they recorded, rarely do I flip through to find something to fill my time.

    So my question is, has anybody done this? How has it been going?

  2. macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Hulu + Netflix + OTA = 95% of everything normal people watch for $16/month.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008
    OTA = Over the air? What do you mean?
  4. macrumors 603


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    I've been cable-free for about 10 years, and I've never been happier.

    I do the Netflix streaming only package and free hulu. This is sufficient for me, but I never watched much TV in the first place.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2011
    Mm, since we don't have Netflix in Oz, I jail broke my Apple TV and used Plex.

    Never looked back, and ditched DVDs as well.
  6. macrumors 68020

    Apr 12, 2011
    Finally cut the cable a few weeks ago. Bump up my internet speed to 50 Mbs and now saving $70 a month. Have a Roku 2 for netflix, NHL and Amazon, and ATV2 for shows I miss. I can pick up all the local channels with no problem. As far as live sports, widely available on the internet if you look. Hoping APPLE upgrades airplay on Lion so I can mirror everything I watch on my imac to my ATV2.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2010

    Just buy an antenna - you'll get all your local channels - I get mine in lovely HD. I gave up on cable when I got my ATV - between Netflix, OTA and an occasional iTubes rental - I get all the TV I need at a fraction of what I used to pay Comcast.
  8. macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    I have the $14.99 welcome package from Dish Networks, ATV 2 and a Roku. I use the Dish for the locals and the Roku and ATV for the rest. Works pretty well and I'm saving about $50 a month compared to buying the full spread from Dish.
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008

    All of these seem like good suggestions, but I think it might be missing one thing... new episodes?

    From what I can tell, Netflix doesn't do new episodes, Hulu is pretty limited on channels and you have to wait a week, and Roku is just another Apple TV that can access Hulu and Netflix.

    I would like to be able to use the Apple TV instead of my cable box, and ideally don't want to have to use/remember different things for different shows.

    Given that scenario, would these suggestions still work?
  10. macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2011
    Unfortunately, this is exactly what the cable and media companies want. Force you to use multiple devices to get what you want when you cut cable, which is a huge money machine for both sides. And don't forget, the cable companies currently control the internet which you would use these devices. That will change in the future, not the near future, but in 10 to 20 years. Google fired one major shot against the bow in Kansas City. Whether or not they got the revenue to go beyond Kansas City and across the rest of the US is yet to be seen.
  11. macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2008
    East coast
    Over a year ago I dropped cable to try and save some money. Plus, I was sick of the high price of cable.

    For the first few weeks I regretted it, but now I have no intention of going back.

    I have rabbit ears for OTA shows which works perfectly for me.

    I have the ATV with Netflix. That right there fills in often. Plus I order the MLB.TV package to watch my baseball team. I'll probably order the NHL package next year.

    I do miss the DVR at times and some of the channels like History and the like, but I really don't miss cable at all.
  12. macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Plenty of people have done so and have been happy with it. That's completely irrelevant though. You need to look at the content that you are interested in and how you would get it without cable.
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008
    Right, hence the question of how people are doing it. If I knew how to get the content I wanted without iTunes I would just do it.

    I was hoping I would get suggestions of how others are doing it, so I can see if their scenarios would work for me. So far I have had some great suggestions, so thanks everyone.
  14. macrumors 6502


    Feb 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    I think this highly depends on your viewing habits and preferences. If you regularly watch a large number of cable-only shows/series (things like USA, A&E,etc), your are kind of limited without paying for the episodes on iTunes, and that will get expensive beyond a few series. The selection is limited on Hulu Plus, and short of either paying through the nose on iTunes, torrenting stuff (legal disclaimer applies) or waiting a year to get the series on DVD/BD, you're screwed.

    On the other hand, if your interests are primarily movies, broadcast network series and older shows, you're golden.

    Personally, I would ditch the cable in a heartbeat. I watch mostly movies, with NCIS, Fringe, Justified & Eureka as the only series I really care about. I could buy those on iTunes (already purchase Fringe and Eureka) and come out ahead.

    However, my wife would kill me. She is constantly watching (and recording) many of the crap reality shows on Bravo, TLC, and the like. She is far more addicted to TV than I am. I often have it on (50% of the time on NCIS reruns on USA due to nothing else being on) because I am too lazy to put a DVD or Blu-ray on. I am currently hardwiring my house with GigE so I can deploy my new HTPC and NAS to have access to all of my library at my fingertips.

    Frankly, if you want the best possible A/V quality as well as maximum variety, you need at least 3 devices ...

    1) Roku 2 XS for internet streaming (the HTPC clients for many serives are sub-standard quality wise or non-existent)
    2) ATV2 for iTunes content (or a Mini). Limited to Netflix & some sports - no Amazon, Hulu Plus, etc.
    3) Win7/PC HTPC or a HD network streamer like PopcornHour, Dune or WD TV Live Plus for local blu-ray rips with lossless audio passthrough

    Either the Win HTPC or a Mini can handle DVR duties for OTA or ClearQAM
  15. macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    I use Boxee to get rid of my cable found every show I want and some new ones however live sports is an issue but most were solved by.



    On a boxee box you will be able to watch the flash videos the networks post on their sites a day after the show airs or you can fall back to icefilms or torrents if you want an older episode or series.
  16. macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    I ditched it several years ago. The series I want to see I get on Apple TV. Baseball, F1 and the news I watch live via the Internet. My bill is way less than it ever was using satellite or cable.
  17. macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2007
    i have been wanting to do this for awhile but still haven't found a hassle free way to get college basketball and football on my tv. The watchespn iPad app seems like a great idea but my internet provider doesn't support it
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2010
    Wherever the army needs me.
    Once I get posted to my new base in Feb next year I'll be ditching cable completely, they're in a service area with shaw's new insane bandwidth home service so I'll be absolutely jumping all over that. Unfortunately that's not a viable option yet in the current neighbourhood :(
  19. macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Ditched cable two years ago.

    Windows 7 media centre (AMD A6-3650) running a pair of HVR2250 dual tuners and an XBOX 360 as an extender.
    (EyeTV doesn't support multiple tuners or extenders very well plus $20 yr for guide data)

    AppleTV2 for everything that's not on network TV.

    Works great, cheap too.
  20. macrumors regular

    May 17, 2011
    I'm wondering the same thing. Here's what I have and our habits. We currently have Dish Network and pay $49 per month. Seems to be a shame since we're mainly just using it to DVR local shows. I should be able to accomplish this using other means right?

    Children's Shows for Kids: PBS, DVR'd disney movies etc
    Us: Movies and Local Network Shows: Grey's, Vampire Diaries etc

    What we already have:
    2x ATV2 with Itunes on my Win7 Desktop (entire dvd library is ripped to Itunes)
    Wireless N via Airport Extreme through house
    10MB Cable Internet Connection
  21. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Detroit, Michigan
    I dumped my cable provider only after two months. Before I moved into the city, I didn't have broadband Internet and I refused to pay for cable/satellite so I was without TV for 7 years and it didn't bother me at all.

    Once I moved into the city and got cable Internet, I thought I'd get their TV as well. I was so sick of the garbage and commercials and the price after two months that I dumped the TV service.

    I have the ATV2 + Netflix streaming and it provides me all the entertainment I desire and a great price.
  22. macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2008

    I have ditched cable and watch my soccer/football online or at a bar if need be. Apple tv and Xbox fit my needs for 16 a month and I don't mind being a week behind.
  23. macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2008
    I haven't had a tv for 12 years... I get enough kicks out of looking at macs! :)
  24. macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2010
    If I didn't have kids I'd be free of my service as well.

    Just might still.
  25. macrumors regular

    May 17, 2011
    Well I took the advice of the guy above and shaved $20 off my Dish bill by calling Dish and switching to the Welcome Pack for $14.99. That way I get my DVR, Locals and a few channels. I think mixing this with the ATV2 will get us all we need with the exception of an occasional show off itunes.

    We still rent our movies off the Redbox for $1.

    Dish Welcome Pack: http://www.dishnetwork.com/supportsection/channels/packagewelcomepack.aspx

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