I want to get rid of Comcast but.....

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Cudadown, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Cudadown macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2007
    Hey guys (and/or girls), I live in an apartment in Chattanooga TN which does not allow any sat dishes, which leaves me stuck with comcast. My first bill with comcast was 79.00 and the second one is 140.00. Thats for broadband & HBO also. I am getting tired of paying for cable I that I do not even use much.. Here is what I would like to do;

    Get rid out my cable connection, use DSL for internet (with my at&t employee discount), get AppleTV for movies.

    My main concern is that I do like to watch some TV like Lost, 24, Hockey games..etc. I am somewhat unsure exactly what AppleTV is capable of.

    Can anyone offer solutions for how I can use my iMac 24" (08) and AppleTV to watch some live TV from internet on my living room TV?
    Would I need some sort of Tuner for any OTA signals?
    How would I get the Internet streams from my mac to the TV? and would the video be stuck in a little (web page) windows on my TV if the stream was from say Hulu?
    Or would I need to somehow capture the stream and convert it to some other format?
    What equipment would I need to do all this?

    I really like the idea of just spending some money up front and not having to pay a monthly bill for comcrap or any other broadcast subscription. Is this even possible with minimal work?
  2. TheCheapGeek macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    Ok well first get a nice antenna. I use this currently and get great HD broadcast channels. To record thoes shows you will need a tv tuner cars and and pvr software. The most common is elgatos EYETV. This will allow you to schedule recordings of your favorite shows and suto export them to the apple tv. Another alternative is to rather than buying an apple tv to buy a mac mini and use it as a HTPC and hook the tv tuner card directly into it. Then you would basically watch tv through your mac mini, this would allow you to record and playback recorded shows directly on your tv, like a tivo.
  3. iOrlando macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2008
    a) your cable bill would be a lot less without HBO and stuff...just get the minimal package.
    b) if you are worried about how you would watch live tv, i would say its not feasible for you to get rid of your cable. I know people who easily said...yeah i dont watch any cable now so it doesnt make sense for me to buy cable and they were fine without it, but it seems like you will miss some of your shows and the cost you would be saving might not be enough.
  4. Cudadown thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2007
    Since I really only have about 3 or 4 shows I watch on a regular basis, maybe getting the season pass thru itunes would be fine. Also, I have a usenet account for getting those hard to find shows.

    If appleTV has wireless, can I download shows on iMac and send them to the appleTV HD directly? or can I use my mobileme idisk to sink between the 2 automatically?
  5. katorga macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2006
    Drop Comcast

    I have to have comcast for internet access, but, you can do very well with a HD over-the-air antenna and Netflix. I have a Roku, and it is the bomb.

    FWIW, I think the 250GB bandwidth cap that Comcast implemented is aimed directly at Apple, Netflix and others who are streaming video content that competes with Comcast TV over Comcast's wires.
  6. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    Couple things to think of:

    1. With Boxee on your ATV, you will be able to watch Lost and 24. Not in HD, and I'm not sure how it would work on DSL however.

    2. You could buy season passes of said shows on itunes in HD for far less than your yearly cable bill.

    3. For live TV, you will need either an Antenna or pull in some Clear QAM. If you have a newer HDTV, it will most likely have a QAM tuner and you will be able to get the same channels via Cable for free, as you would OTA, without the hassle of an Antenna. In NC, I get about 25 free digital channels via Clear QAM on Time Warner. I use this for all my live TV. Used it for the super bowl last night. Use it for all sports.

    I personally, am hoping and dreaming of ATV providing live baseball via MLB.TV this year...but its probably only a pipe dream.
  7. Cudadown thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2007
    Thanks for that suggestion. I'll check my TV for QAM when I get home. Right now Im thinking I will get a decent gigabit router. plug my printer into router, network my iMac and my MB together. Use itunes for season pass on some shows. use my usenet account for other shows. find some software to capture the NBC, CBS shows that are streaming from their sites and sync all those to my mobileme idisk and get a ATV to view everything. I will get some sort of antenna (or eyeTV) for the live stuff and figure out a way to get the eyetv tuner live stuff from my imac to the TV screen. There must be some sort of video out on the iMac or better yet, a way to stream from my mac to the tv using ATV wirelessly.
  8. FSUSem1noles macrumors 68000


    Feb 23, 2006
    Ft. Lauderdale
    how can they not allow satellite dishes??

    The only thing they can do is restrict you from damage to THEIR building.. they can NOT prevent you from having your own dish..
  9. Cudadown thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2007
    I suppose if I keep the dish in my living room and point it out the window I could, but I wouldnt want to do that. Other then that, if they dont want them visible on the roof or outside walls or mounted on pole in common grass area...im screwed. Only one more year till Uverse is here...
  10. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    Strictly speaking, this is correct. Federal Law overrides leases and covenants prohibiting television antennas and dishes. On the other hand this does not give one the right to attach it to the building. Not everyone wants a satellite dish in their living room with the window open. :)


    reference: http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html
  11. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2007
    I got rid of Dish (and Comcast previously) and have never looked back. I can't believe people are still paying for commercials and not getting them for free.

    I have both a Mac mini and an AppleTv setup on two different systems. The Mac mini is also used as my media server feeding out to the ATV. Depending on what type of TV you have you have options of going one of several routes.

    In my bedroom I have an old CRT TV so I use a Pinnacle USB device (it's like an Elgato Hybrid) to take OTA HD signals and play it through my Mac mini to my TV (using a mini-DVI to s-video adaptor). The added feature of this setup, using the EyeTV s/w, is it can also record as a DVR 9and can convert and dump automatically into iTunes). Even though I don't like Elgato because how they ripped me off with their Turbo.264 product, their EyeTV software works pretty well. The Pinnacle stick (800e) is a digital/analog tuner so it's very straightforward to hook up a digital antennae. I currently have it hooked up to an antennae on my roof (can be used inside) because I needed the extra signal ooomf because I split it to two TV's. Previously though I had it hooked up to an internal Star Trek looking Terk antennae. The Pinnacle/Hybrid hooks up to a USB port and you would hook up your TV via your iMac's mini-DVI port (depending on your TV, using DVI to s-video or DVI or HDMI (w/adaptor). Then just mirror your screen.


    If you already have a TV with built-in tuner then you can go the antennae and AppleTV route. Out-of-the-box you can watch movies & TV Shows through Apple's iTunes Store. If you hack it (very easy now with ATVUSB-Creator) you can watch your own ripped collection or watch stuff through like Hulu (through Boxee).

    Like I said, got rid of Dish and haven't looked back...
  12. Cudadown thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2007
    Thanks Tuck, I figured there was a way to do it all. The amount of streaming TV online really negates the need for cable or sat. It just seems to be a matter of getting it from the computer to the tv screen. I am ordering ATV tonight. I already ordered DSL so I can be completely comcast free in a couple weeks. When I add the ATV and the pinnacle USB TV thing, I should be able to network all that using the 2Wire DSL router with wireless hub right? I'd love to be able to access all that from the couch by syncing everything to mobileme. ATV can access video from mobileme directly right?
  13. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2007
    The Pinnacle (or other Elgato device - check dealmac.com for deals) hooks to your iMac via USB and then you pump out the picture via your mini-DVI port to your TV. If you already have a built-in tuner on your TV (what make & model do you have?) then you don't need this unless you want the DVR feature.

    The 2WIRE is 802.11g (or at least the one I have) which is okay for streaming. Try it and if you get stuttering then just get an 802.11n wireless router or hardwire everything (that's what I have). I've heard some people have no problem with g while others say you need n.

    MobileMe? No way. iDisk is dog slow. If you go unhacked then you'll be adding & playing things from iTunes from your iMac. Depending on how big your library is then you may need more hard disk. Renting iTunes stuff is done directly from the ATV.

    If you're interested in hacking then I'd suggest reading up at these places:
    http://xbmc.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=56 --> the specific AppleTV forum which has seemed to have gotten very popular for getting questions answered
  14. Acidglaze macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2008
    Apple TV does not synch to mobile me

    Apple TV does not synch to your mobile me account. It is linked through an active session of iTunes running on another computer. You must have a laptop or desktop on with iTunes running in order to stream video/music between devices.

    If you use a hack to load Boxee or other software, you won't have to have iTunes open to view content on the web (like Hulu).

    The elgato devices are capable of transcoding the recordings and placing them in iTunes so they are available for your Apple TV. But mobile me has nothing to do with the Apple TV setup.

    -ahh... tuck beat me. See his comments.
  15. jtbell macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Carolina, USA
    The most basic level of service probably costs about $10-$15 per month and includes only the local broadcast channels (both analog and HD) plus few things like shopping channels, typically about 20 channels altogether.

    Here, Charter calls it "lifeline basic" and it's not anywhere on their web site. You have to call them up and ask for it.

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