Going without cable or satellite, would like help

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by blueinwinston, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. blueinwinston macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2011
    So, I made the switch and dropped Directv. I have internet via Road Runner. My tv has a widget for Amazon video on demand, which I've used and it works fine. However, I'd like to eventually buy an AppleTV and a new mac mini to round out the experience. We don't watch a ton of TV or movies, so the only issue is sports. My main issue is this:

    What do I do about sports, specifically college football? Sometime my team (Michigan) is on the local channels, which I'll be able to pick up via my antenna, but other times they are on ESPN or ESPN 2. Has anyone else tackled this? Is there a way to get a stream of college football games? Any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated. ESPN 3 won't work b/c Time Warner (road runner) blocks it unless you are a cable subscriber.

  2. whawhat macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2006
    I connect a macbook to the TV via HDMI (sound runs separate thru my stereo) to access a web browser and stream sites like myp2p.eu for live sports. ESPN3.com works for me and I only subscribe to their internet service. ESPNnetwork.com does not. Def. takes a little more effort but save about $80 bucks a month here in NYC.
  3. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    www.tvfool.com to find out what OTA stations are in your area.
    A DIY DVR (I use SageTV but alas Google bought it out).
    AppleTV2 for rentals, Netflix & Handbraked DVD collection.

    Two years we switched off Cable TV. Thinking about upping our caps and switching to a DOCSIS 3.0 modem.
  4. blueinwinston thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2011
    Yeah, I was paying just over $80/month to Directv for HD service and realized it just wasn't worth it. Mainly it isn't worth it b/c we only watch a few shows and even less movies. So, I have the miniDVI to HDMI connector for my macbook and feel pretty good about getting tv shows and movies. Sports is the big issue. I'll try ESPN 3 again, b/c that could solve the issue. I'll look into myp2p. Are the streams provided by myp2p HD or standard def?
  5. cburton macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2008
    I'm struggling with this as well ... I'd really like to cut the cord on DirecTV not because we don't like the service or anything. It's just too expensive. we literally only watch Tue-Wed-Thu nights on USA but USA no longer makes any of these shows available on their website and they are not available (maybe one or two are but nothing current) via any streaming service. So I'm screwed!
  6. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    I've been without cable for over a year now, completely without regrets. Depending on what shows and programming you want to watch, there are various devices and methods that can be used. I found, however, that my viewing habits changed drastically after cutting the cord. Now, I use Netflix (disc and streaming) and my local library (to rent DVDs) for all of my movies and television and spend far less time sitting in front of my tv than I used to. I listen to a lot more music now, and I'm back to reading voraciously again.

    So I think the point isn't necessarily to worry about recreating your same viewing experience, but rather to just cut cable and see where it takes you.
  7. jmcrutch macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2010
    You could always "suspend" your Directv service from Mid-January through Mid-July (their policy is suspensions are for six months max). This way you don't pay half the year, but you have full access to all the sports you want to watch during the Autumn months.

    I suspended mine from December 2010 until May of this year. When I called to cancel because I had honestly not missed it, they gave me so many discounts that I decided to keep it for the rest of the year (averaging about $30 per month with all the discounts).

    I was truly calling to cancel, not just trying to negotiate a better deal.

    I like having Directv during the summer months for the Tennis Grand slams, Tour de France, and Golf Major and during the fall for Football. Come January all I'm watching are the broadcast nets (which I can get OTA) and movies (which I can get via Netflix, iTunes, or Redbox).

    I think I'll be suspending my service every January 10th for about five months, until the French Open, from this point forward.
  8. benh911f macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    Sports is pretty much what is keeping me from getting rid of cable. I'd say 90% of what I watch on TV is sports, and cable is really the only way to get what I need. ATV2 has MLB TV, but I live in Boston, so the Red Sox would be blacked out. So I need to have cable to get NESN for the Sox and Comcast Sports Net for the Celtics. College sports I don't care about, and NFL is OTA, except for the occasional NFL Network game. This probably doesn't help your case that much, but just something to think about in regards to sports.
  9. whawhat macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2006
    Most streams are standard def, at best, but you adjust. Veetle.com is another good source for streams and new movies. Once you cut the cord, your viewing habits will def. change - you find and watch what you want and done. Def. have a look at ESPN3 - it should def. work for you...
  10. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    I have 7 tv's in my home, I have been debating if I should cut the cord, but would need a good solution for providing tv to each of these tv's, when I have visitors I would like them to access TV plus as the OP, sports is everything to me. College football to me is worth the price of cable. if this suspension thing works, this is something I definitely could live with.
  11. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    I just ditched directv when I got my new place and just hooked the TV's into the wall with a coax cable. Since we have internet Cox sends the signal to the house and we get about 40 or so channels (some HD). ESPN is one of those channels. You could try hooking your tv up to the cable line and see if that works for you.

    *You will probably have to do a channel search when in TV mode and the channels are not the same numbers as with a digital cable box just so you know.
  12. jmcrutch macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2010
    You don't even have to talk to a rep - you can suspend service via the voice promted menu system - you pick the date to begin and end and your billing is suspended until it turns back on. It's primarily for people that don't live in a house full-time (i.e., snowbirds) but DirecTV doesn't place any restrictions on who can and can't do it.
  13. ringonbob, Aug 6, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011

    ringonbob macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2009
    I cut the chord a year ago and am still happy about it. Granted, I have spent more time and money on gear worth the savings, but am hoping it will pay off this year. It is worth it just to stop funding the beast! 'Had been using Windows media center on an HP media center PC with the 30+ channels that Comcast let's me access through my Internet service (like the previous poster, some HD). Also used Hulu desktop on media center and then apple tv 2 for Netflix and iTunes library (I ripped all of my DVDs). This worked but was cumbersome for my wife and windows media center is awful.

    The HP recently blew out it's third motherboard, so I replaced it with a Mac mini. I just ordered the Elgato HD Homerun which has a dual receiver, streams live and DVR content to macs and iOS devices over wifi, and best yest can use AirPlay to transmitt to Apple Tv! So in theory, other than Hulu, I will be able to do all of this (dvr, live, netflix) from apple tv. Supposedly screen mirroring will happen from iPad to Apple Tv when iOS 5 launches, hopefully Hulu+ won't get blocked. (anyone know if iPhones will also have screen mirroring with AppleTV?) Still hoping for an AppleTV app store, native Hulu + to Apple Tv, or an a le carte type offering from cable channels on apple tv. That's where I am at with it, I hope it's helpful to someone.
  14. Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Troutdale, OR
    One thing that hasn't been mentioned is Hulu Desktop, it is good to watch hulu programs on the big screen when they are prohibited from hulu plus. It's worth the free download to try it out if you have a mac mini hooked up to your tv.
  15. reputationZed macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2011
    34°55′42″N 80°44′41″W (34.
    I dumped DirectTV about 6 months ago and couldn't be happier. Initially I picked up a Roku, but then supplemented it with an AppleTV. The only solution I've found for sports is the Hickory Tavern around the corner.
  16. blueinwinston thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2011
    Thanks for the replies. I am excited about setting up the antenna and going ota for my hd. Tracking down Michigan games may cause me headaches, but saving 90/month is worth it.
  17. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Sounds like what happened to me about a year ago. I couldn't care less about sports so there is no real reason I NEED actual live cable TV coming into the home with AppleTV and Netflix and a set-top antenna for the local stations (in HD of course). Called to cancel actually and they put me on the 6 month plan, like we have been discussing. When I called in 6 months they through everything and the kitchen sink at me to stay...upgraded to HD-DVR and HD service for free...we pay $30 less now for HD than the SD service! The only gripe I have is that the boxes don't have built-in wifi so I can't get the on demand stuff without investing at least $80 for their other option. Not that that would be a big deal for me. I'll be calling again next year to cancel. We really don't need it at all. Especially by then, I'd imagine iTunes streaming will exist and a number of other streaming option will show up too.

    For those of us who don't care about sports, it's admittedly much easier to cut the cord. You really don't miss anything. Admittedly, you might have some delayed gratification...i.e. not being able to watch a new show as it's happening, but a day or maybe months later. But being absolutely on top of things doesn't matter to me at this point in my life. Heck, I have a DVR full of shows I should be watching live, but I don't have the opportunity to.

    And that one poster who has 7 TVs! We have 1 and at most in my life, my family had 3. I cannot imagine having 7.
  18. blueinwinston thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2011
    ESPN 3 update

    I just wanted to update the issue with ESPN 3. Initially, I mentioned that ESPN3 was blocked by Time Warner b/c I didn't use Time Warner's video service. Well, I found a way around that. When you go to ESPN3 it will ask you which ISP you use, instead of picking Time Warner, I chose AT&T. I was taken to an AT&T login screen, so I signed up for an AT&T e-mail account. Got the account and was able to use ESPN 3, even w/o the Time Warner video subscription. So, that solves the college football issue for the most part. Just wanted to share that work around, especially if you use Time Warner for your ISP.
  19. mumaluke macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2011
    if you have an ipad or iphone you can get the ESPN app and watch ESPN, 2, & U on your device. You will need an log on for TW, Verizon, or Britehouse. I am not sure if you use Airplay to connect it to aTV or not. So far I have not been able to get it to connect.

    Go Blue!

Share This Page