Are any other Wackos going Cable TV-less?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by donmei, May 16, 2008.

  1. donmei macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2007
    For the last 8 years I've not had cable TV. In that time I've gotten married and renovated my house.

    Recently my wife and I decided we wanted to get cable again. She went looking and ended up completely annoyed with her interactions with the cable company.

    So I looked at Satelite. Well, with the trees and layout, the only way to get satelite tv was to put a dish right on the front of the house. Nope. ugly.

    then I saw heard that cbs was showing NCAA bball games on the internet, in full screen. This got me looking.

    I relized that CBS had full screen episodes on their web site. All the most popular shows are there. THE COMMERCIALS ARE 15 SECONDS!!!

    Then I found HuLU - NBC and Fox shows are there. Veoh has some other CBS shows but the video isnt as good as at

    So here we are. I tweaked our internet speed up to the fastest we could get for an extra $5/mo and am now enjoying "video on demand" via free IP TV.

    Its great. We're able to watch The Office or CSI or NCIS or anything like that whenever we want. The video quality is not as good as "real" tv, but its fine for these plot driven shows.

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else had done the same thing.

    Does anyone else has any other leads on free and legal video sites?

    I'm not interested in buying episodes from Apple or Amazon. I'm also not interested in getting them from some peer to peer virusfest. Free AND Legal.


  2. skybolt macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2005
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Look into Joost. They have some good content (and some not so good)
  3. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    I am cable/satellite TV-less.

    I moved into my condo in November with the intent of signing up with DirecTV, as I'd just purchased a 47" LCD. However, I had problems getting the condo association to allow a dish to be placed anywhere (it's a historic building, so certain rules apply, apparently) and they just drug their feet in getting the framework installed. In the mean time, I spent $10 on a set of rabbit ears, which get me excellent HD reception for my local channels, and I signed up for Netflix.

    I'm saving about $50 a month, and have found that I'm not missing cable TV much at all. And, like you said, I'm able to watch many shows that I miss online. It's working out great.
  4. marykay9507 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2008
    my husband and i just cancelled all of our premium channels and have basic cable-- the amount of money we were spending a month was insane considering we never watched 3/4 of the channels. i do the same as you and watch stuff online when i have the chance-- tv bores me sometimes!
  5. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Cable free - in fact I have never had cable. Regular TV reception is awful here so that left iTunes until I CBS and Hulu. I catch the news on and I still purchase occasional episodes or rent movies from iTunes if it can't be found elsewhere, I just want to enjoy it in pristine quality or will likely view it multiple times. Hulu plays musical chairs with their content. I also have an extensive DVD collection.
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i've been cable free for a long time. and well pretty much tv free (as in the programs, i have a television) for a while now too. the shows aren't all that great imo, and i occasionally give them a watch online when and where i can find them if they sound good. if they then pass that test i'll either buy the dvd or buy it from itunes. other than that, no tv for me. i might actually go ahead and sell my actual tv soon, as i don't use it that often. and just use my computer for watching dvds.
  7. operator207 macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2007
    The problem with this, for me at least, is the content I want to watch that isn't necessarily online. Shows on the cable channels that are not premium channels. I can find some of them, but not all of them. I have to watch them within the week they are shown, or they fall of the site. If I was less broad in what I watch (DIY stuff from cars to houses, then scifi stuff to crime drama) it might be easier to get all the shows I watch online.
  8. stealthninja macrumors member


    Aug 15, 2006
    i've been cable tv free in my home for all of my life (19 years), we get 5 channels (NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS and ABC) and for as much as i watch tv, that's enough.
  9. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    To be perfectly honest, I find there's enough nonsense and nostalgia on YouTube to keep me busy for hours :)

    I use rabbit ears on an LCD HDTV and I pick up a few stations which is enough to keep me up to date on the news and most of the shows I watch... some comes from iTunes, and the rest, I don't miss!
  10. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007
    yeah well, ya'll can protest all you want i love my cable
    cable HDTV with HD-DVR = win
  11. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    donmei, you could also give a digital antenna a try. After the cost of that antenna, you get free, digital over-the-air broadcast. Depending on where you live, you can get all the networks and pbs, and shows that are broadcast widescreen will show up great. Some antennae are small and can sit next to your tv (though reception isn't always the best), or at the very least, they are fairly non-intrusive hanging on your house. (Mine is about 8 inches tall and 4 inches wide.)

    Just a thought.
  12. macwall macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    Cupertino, CA
    With easy access to streaming video on the internet, cable/satellite hardly seems worth it. All you get is hundreds of channels with nothing to watch. It's only really worth it if you're a sports fan or do a lot of other social tv watching. If you're just by yourself most of the time, the computer seems like a much better viewing device.
  13. Hushbull macrumors member


    Apr 23, 2008
    Bible Belt ---> NYC.

    between and my netflix account, which allows me to stream, I dont have a need for cable.
  14. cheeseadiddle macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2007
    I could do the netflix only thing... but then I'd miss the drag racing on ESPN2. It's about the only thing I really watch anymore.
  15. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    We have three cable TV's in our house. One is basic on a 26" LCD HD Sony, one is digital on a 36" Sony tube, and the other is digital on a whopping 52" Mitsubishi 1080i rear projection that we've had for about ten years.

    On a daily basis, I don't really watch much TV. I'll occasionally watch the local news. I always watch Craig Ferguson, either live on my rabbit ears in my bedroom, on the DVR, or on YouTube. I can find almost anything I want to watch online, and usually free. I used to buy a lot of TV shows on iTunes, but streaming with adverts is a better option than paying $2 and having the massive file sit in your hard disk for a single use. iTunes is worth it, however, if I'm going to watch it elsewhere on my iPod. As for news, I usually watch the VOD selections on or their live CNN International feed stream when it's available.

    I've also seen this, which gives you dozens of (most European, but still impressive) channels live for free on your computer. It's only available in select countries, however, and I can't get it in mine.
  16. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    I have Direct TV with two DVRs and two regular receivers. Had it for over two years now and I am thinking of canceling it. I haven't turned it on in about three weeks. Been catching up on all these TV shows that I haven't been able to see in several years such as Lost and 24. I'll miss a few shows like Ghost Hunters but I'm not sure that is worth $100 a month.
  17. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2008
    I've thought about doing it. Right now I'm in the same boat as someone else, in that my condo association won't allow a satellite dish, so I'm stuck with OTA HDTV and cable. I have Tivo and can use it to download movies off Amazon Unbox (works great and downloads to the Tivo or a PC), as well as Netflix and Hulu, but they're all still lacking HGTV and The History Channel. I'm pretty sure those are the only two remaining networks that are preventing me from dumping cable.

    Another network that's online is, but I'm not sure if their player is Mac friendly. I have a PC laptop to stream Netflix, etc., but it'd be nice if they worked in OSX.
  18. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    I'd love to go completely cable free, but how do you do that and still have an internet connection? Those idiots at Comcast charge basically the same for internet only as they do for internet + cable TV so it's stupid to not have it even though I don't watch it at all. It's actually quite annoying that in order to have internet one has to either go through the cable company (I don't want cable TV) or the phone company (I'm also not interested in local phone providers, with internet telephony being so cheap) and is more or less forced to use their legacy services. I'd love someday to see internet service providers as a distinct and separate utility company that offers all speeds and flavors of internet that is free from any other services. But that's probably the topic for another conversation. In the meantime, good job to all of you who have freed yourselves from the financial bondage of the cable company. I will join you as soon as I figure out a way to do it.
  19. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    well it worked out cheaper for me to have DSL and a home line than any sort of cable package, but it all depends on your locale really and phone usage.
  20. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    I know how you feel. I have DSL, but no phone line. Fortunately (I guess), they only charge me an extra 5 bucks per month without a phone line. Better than Cable. The only internet-only we have here is Clearwire Wireless, and they suck.
  21. mags631 Guest

    Mar 6, 2007
    Interesting. I hope that this becomes available for the US. I miss French television... (remembers fondly fort boyard and Ushuaïa).
  22. donmei thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2007
    wow. I didnt realize that I'd get such a response.

    I didint mention it in my original post, but I picked up a Vista home premium scratch and dent for $200. It works great as a media center pc. We have it connected to our TV via a VGA cable. I stuck a promise raid controller and a couple of 250gb SATA drives somebody gave me and and I now have my dedicated HTPC.

    I've also just purchased a Logitech dinovo mini wireless keyboard. I'm hoping this will take us for at least a year.

    our baby is 4 months old and is being raised "TVless".
    The other day she was having a meltdown and my wife was out of the house. i panicked. I went to youtube and grabbed the first teletubbies episode I could find. It was in Arabic. . . hmm.

    p.s. thanks for the joost tip. i had forgoten about that.
  23. rockosmodurnlif macrumors 65816


    Apr 21, 2007
    New York, NY
    I know what you mean. The only thing I consistently watch on the TV is Sportscenter. Is there a replacement where I can watch it? And I don't mean ESPN's website or reading the news, I want the videos, the highlights, the anchors, the useless facts, just without watching it on TV.
  24. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    I think is your best best. They post videos of most of their highlights. Or many of them, at least. Not super high quality, though. Far as I know, they don't put their programs on any other download service.
  25. donmei thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2007
    I think if I watched televised sports, It would be much more difficult.

    My brotherinlaw is an executive with one of the major networks. He is in charge of crafting the deals that allow this kind of content to get put on the internet.

    We were talking about it last week. The technology is there. What isnt there is the revenue model.

    Most tv shows have several parties who get a cut of the advertising money. Talent, production house, distribution group. Once the contract law catches up to the technology, we will see more and more shows being shown on the web. Sports shows, unfortunately because of the complex syndication deals will probably be the last to end up on the internet.

    (Did you know that NBC produces shows that are shown on ABC and vice versa)

    p.s. someone asked how you get Internet if you dont have cable. good question. I'm close enough to the AT&T central office that I can get 6mb/s DSL service. My wife and I both do project management and we both work from home, so we need the phone line anyway for conference calls. We have the absolute minimum phone service because the call in numbers are all toll free. Cell phones arent the answer either because with 3 hrs of con calls a day, we'd burn through minutes very quickly.

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